I am a PhD candidate at the University of Pennsylvania, specializing in Comparative Politics with a secondary concentration in Political Economy. I focus on parties and elite decision-making during democratization by specifically studying voting rights, social-service provision and, party system consolidation in Central Eastern Europe. I am a mixed-method researcher and employ statistical techniques, with archival research and process tracing. I am also trained as a formal theorist (auctions/voting theory) and this informs the way I view political research. I am currently based at LSE's European Institute. During the 2022-2023 academic year, I will be the Queen Elizabeth Prize Scholar at the University of Oxford.
In my book-length dissertation project I study one of the largest democratizing processes which took place throughout the long 19th century: universal male enfranchisement. I look at how the different pathways to mass enfranchisement privileged the survival of certain political parties into the democratic period and why this matters for the ideological orientation of democratic party systems. I focus on what happens when voting rights are awarded on the basis of religious and/or ethno-national identity, as opposed to dominant theories of European democratization that center class identity. I propose a resource-based explanation that looks at social-service provision by political parties' civil associations during the time when voting rights were slowly awarded by parliamentary parties. I argue that the incentives to organize and the resources available to disenfranchised (and enfranchised) groups to cement their respective parties into civil society helps explain why some parties survived democratization and why other political parties -- even those parties that dominated autocratic politics, did not survive into consolidated democratic party systems.
For this project, I collected and digitized micro-level data from the constituent states of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire (1867-1918), including: pre-democratic electoral records, census records, and local association and social club records. I also worked with legal and constitutional records to compile the Halevy-Teele Enfranchisement in Europe Dataset (in progress) and party records to compile the Entry-Exit and Merger of Parties in Austria-Hungary dataset.
I have received generous research support from the Price Labs for Digital Humanities, Center for the Study of Ethnicity, Race and Immigration, and APSA's Religion and Politics section, among others.
Please follow the hyperlinks for more information about my research (working papers), and teaching.