I am especially interested in how communities act under conditions of extreme threat: how they survive, how they live, and how they mobilize in response to violence. These topics build on varied literatures on the conditions and dynamics of violence and contention, from the fields of political science, sociology, and history. They raise important descriptive and causal questions like:

  • What explains local variations in violence against civilians during episodes of large-scale repression or one-sided violence?
  • What strategies do civilians use to respond to instances of large-scale repression or one-sided violence? How do these strategies interact with the local, national, and international dynamics of these violent episodes?
  • Why do some civilian populations undertake collective action in response to mass violence, while others do not?

Below is a list of published and in-progress works that make up my ongoing research agenda on these topics. If you’re working on these issues as a scholar, policymaker, practitioner, or activist, and want to collaborate, please reach out at

Peer-reviewed publications

(with Laia Balcells) “Violence, Resistance, and Rescue during the Holocaust,” forthcoming at Comparative Politics (2020) (pdf)

“The Black Freedom Movement and the Politics of the Anti-Genocide Norm in the United States, 1951 – 1967,” Genocide Studies and Prevention 13, no. 1 (April 2019), 130 – 143 (pdf)

Policy publications

(with Otto Saki and Lawrence Woocher) “Scenarios of Repression: Preventing Mass Atrocities in Zimbabwe,” US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC, November 2016 (pdf)

(with Richard Gowan and Lawrence Woocher) “Preventing Mass Atrocities: An Essential Agenda for the Next UN Secretary General,” US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC, September 2016 (pdf)

Working papers

“Evaluating Counterfactual US Policy Action in Syria, 2011-16: A Review of Empirical Evidence from Related Cases,” US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC, August 2017 (pdf)

Works in progress

(with Kelebogile Zvobgo) “Co-Opting Truth: Explaining Quasi-Judicial Institutions in Authoritarian Regimes” (October 2019 draft)

“The Symbolic Logic of Pogrom Violence: Evidence from Kristallnacht” (August 2019 draft)

Best Doctoral Paper, Central Europe Section, Association for the Study of Nationalities Convention 2019