I am an Assistant Professor of Government at Cornell University, an editor at the Washington Post Monkey Cage, and a Principal Investigator of the 2021 Russian Election Study, supported by the National Science Foundation. My research interests include comparative political behavior, with a focus on regime preferences and voter behavior in nondemocratic systems, development and democratization, post-communism, and survey methodology.
My first book, The Autocratic Middle Class (Princeton University Press, 2021), explains how middle-class economic dependence on the state impedes democratization and contributes to authoritarian resilience. It won the 2022 Best Book award from the American Political Science Association's Democracy & Autocracy section, the Ed A. Hewett Book Prize for outstanding publication on the political economy of Russia, Eurasia and/or Eastern Europe by the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES), and an Honorable Mention for APSA's William H. Riker award for best book in political economy. I am also the recipient of the Juan Linz Prize for Best Dissertation and a Best Article Award honorable mention, both by APSA's Comparative Democratization Section.
My articles appear in the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Sociological Methods & Research, and Post-Soviet Affairs.
Prior to joining the faculty at Cornell, I was an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Southern California and a Postdoctoral Prize Research Fellow at Nuffield College, University of Oxford. I have also worked for the U.S. State Department’s Office of Global Opinion Research, where I designed and analyzed studies of public opinion in the former Soviet Union. I hold a Ph.D. from Princeton University.