I am a PhD candidate in Political Science at the University of California, Irvine, where I am also an affiliate of the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD) and a 2017 Harvey Scholar. My research empirically examines the role of political institutions in shaping public policy and public law. in advanced and developing democracies.
My dissertation, Why Can’t We Be More Than Friends?: Variations in Minority Rights Protections in Welfare States, explores the effects of welfare state comprehensiveness on the timing, degree of accommodation, and implementation of minority rights policies in western advanced industrialized nations. I argue that more comprehensive welfare states have three key features–trust and tolerance fostered by the (comparatively) universal economic security, a policymaking toolkit that includes state intervention, and a balance between care and austerity that prioritizes care– that shape their responses to minority rights contestations. Using same-sex relationship recognition (SSRR) policies as a test case, 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 and implementation of SSRR policy adoption. Welfare states impact the degree of accommodations, up to a point, but then have diminishing returns.
For information on my other projects, please see my research page.