I am an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Rowan University where I teach classes in American politics and public policy. I received my PhD from the University of California, Irvine where I was an affiliate of the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD) and a 2017 Harvey Scholar.
In the broadest sense, my research centers on understanding how institutional, group, and individual identities shape politics and public policy. I execute this overarching goal through three streams of subfield research. First, I study public policy processes and substantive policy issues. Much of my work in these areas investigates the way connections to identity and culture shape policy outcomes. In a second stream of research, I study the role policymakers’ identities play in their campaigns and behavior. Lastly, I investigate how institutional identity impacts national policy outcomes. Some of my research bridges one or more of these areas and much of my work employs large datasets and quantitative analyses.
My dissertation, Rights, Regimes, and Reinvention: The Role of the Welfare State in Same-Sex Relationship Recognition Policy, explores the effects of welfare state comprehensiveness on the timing and scope of same-sex relationship recognition (SSRR) policies in western advanced industrialized nations. I argue comprehensive welfare states that reduce economic inequalities, better address social inequalities, and are thus more likely to adopt SSRR policies sooner than their less comprehensive counterparts. A potential implication of my theory—that comprehensive welfare states adopt more expansive SSRR policies—comes into conflict with existing research on policy reinvention suggesting early adopting states adopt sub-optimal policies and then update them to keep pace with later adopters. I employ both statistical analyses and comparative case studies to test my theory. I find strong support for my theory that welfare state comprehensiveness impacts the timing of SSRR policy adoption. Welfare states impact policy scope, leading to more expansive policies to a point, but then have diminishing returns.
For information on my other projects, please see my research page.