I am a political scientist working on political parties, social policy and democratic decline, primarily in the Middle East and North Africa. Beginning from August 2022, I will be an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Bryn Mawr College. I received my PhD in political science from Harvard University Government Department (July 2021). During the 2021-2022 academic year, I was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule ofLaw (CDDRL).
My book project explores the reasons behind the weak electoral appeal of secular parties in the Middle East after the popular uprisings of 2011-2013 and why they could not form a robust electoral alternative to Islamist parties. Using interviews with party elites, original large-scale candidate surveys, contemporaneous household surveys and conjoint experiments in Tunisia and Turkey, I show that secular parties suffer from disadvantages in political selection and organizational cohesion, which leads to a valence deficit and electoral disadvantage. The dissertation which forms the basis of this book project won the Edward M. Chase Prize for the best dissertation on a subject relating to the promotion of world peace from Harvard University Department of Government.
I also study how ethnic and organizational diversity affect the quality of social services, the role of international organizations in social policies for refugees, youth political and civic engagement and how citizens respond to executive aggrandizement. My work has been published or is forthcoming in Comparative Political Studies, Governance, International Studies Quarterly, Journal of Development Economics, and World Development.
Here is an up-to-date CV.
Please feel free to contact me for inquiries related to my work at email@example.com.
HIGHLIGHT: NEW PAPER
ON DEMOCRATIC DECLINE IN TURKEY
How Voters Respond to Presidential Assaults on Checks and Balances: Evidence from a Survey Experiment in Turkey
(with Alper Yagci and Daniel Ziblatt)
Comparative Political Studies, 2022
Why do voters support executive aggrandizement? One possible answer is that they do so because they think this will ease their preferred leader’s hand in putting their partisan vision into action, provided that the leader will continue winning elections. We study this phenomenon through a survey experiment in Turkey, by manipulating voters’ perceptions about the potential results of the first presidential election after a constitutional referendum of executive aggrandizement. We find that voters from both sides display what we call “elastic support” for executive aggrandizement; that is, they change previously revealed constitutional preferences in response to varying winning chances. This elasticity increases not only when citizens feel greater social distance to perceived political “others” (i.e., affective polarization) but also when voters are concerned about economic management in a potential post-incumbent era. Our findings contribute to the literature on how polarization and economic anxiety contribute to executive aggrandizement and democratic backsliding.