My research focuses on the political economy of development and the comparative politics of democratic and authoritarian regimes, especially the origins and consequences of differences in political elites.
In my dissertation, I investigate how the economic ideology of heads of government and their social support affects redistributive economic policy and civil conflict in democracies and dictatorships. I combine a global statistical analysis based on self-collected, comprehensive data on ideology and novel data on social support with a comparative case study of 20th century Mexico and Spain based on archival research and elite interviews.
The data on ideology collected by me and a team of research assistants covers heads of government in 178 countries throughout democracy and dictatorship from 1945 (or independence) to 2017:
Note: figures created with Stata using Daniel Bischof's graphic schemes. I thank Amisha Kapur, Russell Legate-Yang, Julia Lodoen, Lysimachos Mavridis, Mariana Paez, Ivanna Shevel, Alexander Shura, Benjamin Silvian, Wen Li Teng, Sean Uribe, Joshua Zakharov, and Hsin Min Zee for their outstanding research assistance, without which this dataset would not exist.
In a separate project (jointly with Tanja Eschenauer-Engler), I study the causes and effects of coup d'états based on self-collected data on the identity and rank of all coup leaders from 1950 to 2018.
I received a Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Political Science and Economics from Heidelberg University, Germany. I was a lecturer of Comparative Politics at Heidelberg University before coming to Chicago. For more information, see my CV.