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 a variety of political science, sociological, and historical literatures about the conditions and dynamics of violence and contention. 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 are interested in collaborating, please reach out at

Academic publications

“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)

Work in progress

(with Kelebogile Zvobgo) “Co-Opting Truth: Explaining Transitional Justice in Authoritarian Regimes”

“The Symbolic Logic of Pogrom Violence”

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