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 in advanced and developing democracies.
My dissertation, Why Can’t We Be More Than Friends?: Variations in Same-Sex Relationship Recognition Policy in Welfare States, 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 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. 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 policiesto a point, but then have diminishing returns.
For information on my other projects, please see my research page.