I am a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Comparative Politics and Political Psychology at the University of Leeds and a founder for the Political Studies Association’s Political Psychology Specialist Group (PPSG-UK). Previous to my position at Leeds, 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.
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.
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