I am a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Comparative Politics and Political Psychology at the University of Leeds and a founder and co-convenor for the Political Studies Association’s Political Psychology Specialist Group (PPSG-UK). Previous to this position, I was a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Vienna (2012-2013) and a Lecturer in Electoral Politics at the University of Exeter (2010-2011). I received my Ph.D. in Political Science from Michigan State University in 2009, specializing in Comparative Politics and Democratic Theory. My dissertation examined the psychological and social-psychological causes of ideological identification in a cross-national perspective. I also possess an M.A. in political science (2006), a B.A. in Psychology (2001), and a B.A. in Criminal Justice (1999).

I am a quantitative researcher who takes a social-psychological perspective toward most, if not all, social and political issues. My research focuses broadly on issues relating to values and perceptions of voice in cross-national perspective. This often puts my research at the intersection of institutional and individual considerations. Specifically, my research looks at how political culture and institutions impact value orientations, particularly individual-level authoritarianism, and the effects this has on understandings of democracy, partisan support and identification, and social tolerance; and how various forms of representation facilitate or inhibit perceptions of voice in the political systems and trust in representatives and representative institutions. Click the “Publications” tab to the left to see my published research.

My primary objective as a university lecturer is to help students acquire the skills necessary to critically analyze and assess information in general and regarding society and government in particular. I view social science and the research methods we utilize as fundamental for gaining an understanding of how humans and the social environments in which we live function. I largely ignore disciplinary boundaries, using any material I see as relevant to the topic at hand in my classes and conduct such in a way designed to build analytic capability and expose students to as wide a variety of perspectives as possible. Click the “Teaching” tab to the left for more information on modules (classes) that I currently lead and have taught in the past.

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Teaching and Research Positions

University of Leeds

Lecturer - Leeds, UK

Sept 2014 – Current

Courses (Modules):

  • Data Analysis in Political Science (M.Sc.)
  • Political Psychology - Authority and Obedience (3rd Year B.A.)
  • Advanced Data Analysis (3rd Year B.A.);
  • Analyzing Data in Politics (2nd year B.A.);
  • Comparative Politics (1st year B.A.)

Departmental Activities:

  • Leeds Institute for Data Analytics, Education and Training Board
  • M.Sc. in Political Science Program Designer & Lead
  • Faculty Research Ethics Committee
  • Year-in-Industry Placement Supervisor
  • School-Library Partnership Coordinator
  • B.A. & M.A. Personal Tutor
  • B.A. & M.A. Dissertation Supervisor
University of Vienna

Post-doctoral Researcher - Vienna, Austria

University of Vienna Campus Photo

Apr 2012 – Jan 2013 (10 months)


The “Representation in Europe: Policy Congruence between Citizens and Elites” project.

Michigan State University

Instructor - Michigan, US

June 2006 – Aug 2009 (3 yrs 2 months)

Courses (Modules):

  • The Political Psychology of Authority and Obedience;
  • Political Socialization and Public Opinion;
  • American Constitutional Law;
  • American National Government;
  • The American Judicial Process

Departmental Activities:

  • Student-Faculty Judiciary Committee Member
University of Exeter

Lecturer - Exeter, UK

Sept 2010 – Aug 2011 (1 yr)

Courses (Modules):

  • The Political Psychology of Authority and Obedience (M.A. course);
  • The Politics of Authority and Obedience;
  • Electoral Politics

Departmental Activities:

  • Undergraduate & Graduate (M.A.) Advisor
  • Undergraduate & Graduate (M.A.) Dissertation Supervisor
  • Open-day Politics Department Representative
  • U.S. Foreign Study Discussion Host