I am an Assistant Professor of Government & Politics with a joint appointment at the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland.
I study the politics of authoritarian regimes, specifically the legal and judicial instruments of power. My book Undue Process (Cambridge University Press, Studies in Law and Society Series) examines these themes in the context of postcolonial Africa. In 2023, it won the Theodore J. Lowri First Book Award, the Giovanni Sartori Book Award, and the Juan Linz Best Book Prize in the Comparative Study of Democracy & Autocracy.
In other works, I examine the challenges of promoting access to justice and the legacies of autocratic rule. As co-founder and co-director of the Digital Inclusion and Governance Lab and a faculty affiliate of the Interdisciplinary Lab for Computational Social Science (iLCSS), I draw on a variety of digital tools and data to analyze the political economy of development in the Global South.
My research has been published in the American Political Science Review, The Journal of Politics, World Politics, Cambridge University Press, and Oxford University Press. I have received research support from the National Science Foundation, the Institute of International Studies, and the Global Research Institute. I am also a faculty affiliate of the Center for International Development and Conflict Management at the University of Maryland and a research affiliate of the Centre on Law and Social Transformations at the University of Bergen.
I earned my PhD in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley and my BA in Economics from Vassar College. I was previously a Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies postdoctoral fellow at the University of Michigan and an Assistant Professor of Government at William & Mary where I also served as a faculty affiliate of the Global Research Institute and the Data Science program.