I am a PhD candidate at Harvard University Government Department, expecting to receive the degree in summer 2021. During the 2020-2021 academic year, I am a Pre-Doctoral Research Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Middle East Initiative.
My dissertation project explores the reasons behind the weak electoral appeal of secular-modernist parties in the Middle East after the popular uprisings of 2011-2013 and why they could not form a credible alternative to Islamist parties. I undertake a close case analysis of two large secular parties in the region, Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi (Republican People’s Party) in Turkey and Nidaa Tounes (Call of Tunisia), and exploit the subnational variation to test various hypotheses. I find that, unlike many conventional expectations, valence deficit and inability of secular parties to signal good governance credentials are among the main causes of secular disadvantage. The valence deficit stems from negative political selection and problems in organizational cohesion, i.e. inability of social networks within the party organization to cooperate effectively.
The data for this project comes from pre-election interviews, candidate and household surveys and post-election interviews in both countries. Data collection efforts were supported by Democracy International, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Institute for Quantitative Social Science and Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University.
My other current projects explore how parties and charities engage in and affect the quality of primary healthcare in Lebanon, the role of international organizations in poverty reduction programs for refugees, and why citizens support executive aggrandizement reforms in Turkey.
Here is an up-to-date CV.
Please feel free to contact me for inquiries related to my work at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEW WORKING PAPER!
“Equity with Prejudice: International NGOs and Healthcare Delivery in Refugee Crises”
(with Melani Cammett)
Working paper available at SSRN.
Refugees often face prejudice in host countries. Does local resentment of refugees result in discrimination in access to social services? We explore the quality of care received by Syrian refugees and Lebanese nationals in Lebanese health facilities using data from original surveys in a nationally representative sample of primary health centers. Our results indicate no difference in the quality of care for Syrians and Lebanese. Instead, they suggest incentives from international organizations at both the organizational and individual levels, as well as perceived public health imperatives, may explain equitable treatment, despite evidence for prejudice against Syrians. The findings advance research on the politics of refugee crises and humanitarian response, illuminating the experience of everyday life for refugees.