About Me


I hold degrees in history and sociology. My recent research deals with questions of ethnic politics and political violence. I explore these themes in the context of Middle East. A common thread that cuts across my work is the role that violent opponents play on ethnic politics. The general idea that informs this effort has been to explore the ways in which institutional politics, insurgency and activism are connected in conflict settings.  

My work-in-progress and future projects partly expand on this agenda. In one such project, I examine how state repression changes coethnics’ support for an ethnic platform. My contention is that violence has a positive impact on ethnic politics primarily because it increases political participation. This dynamic seems salient in the short-run: coethnics will join an insurgency, stage a protest, and use conventional means at an increasing rate. However, as state repression raises risks for collective mobilization, it will force civilians to opt for safer options. I suspect that this is when the most durable impact of state repression on ethnic politics will materialize: Conventional channels (such as voting) will emerge as the ‘weapon of the weak’, allowing the ethnic message to reach a wider audience.  

Among others, my work has been published by Cornell University Press and Brookings Institution. I also contribute regularly to academic blogs and media outlets, including the Washington Post (Monkey Cage).