My main research and teaching areas are comparative politics and quantitative methodology. In comparative politics, my research interests focus on the politics of authoritarian regimes, in particular transitions to and from democracy, populism, mass media, public opinion, and information control. In quantitative methodology, I'm interested in research design and causal inference in experiments and observational studies.
My current research, conducted jointly with various co-authors, addresses topics such as censorship, regime propaganda, and protest in Russia, cults of personality, sponsorship effects in online surveys, and finite-sample bias in the stochastic simulation of quantities of interest. My empirical research has an explicit focus on causality and uses either field experiments or carefully designed observational studies to draw robust causal inferences.
My past research includes work on the effects of West German television and radio on regime legitimacy and the diffusion of collective action in East Germany, voting behavior in Germany and Great Britain, the specification of regression-discontinuity designs, estimators and research designs that address non-compliance and missing outcome data in randomized trials, treatment effect heterogeneity and generalizability in randomized experiments, and the use of electromagnetic signal propagation models in social science research.
With Charles Crabtree, I organize a yearly conference-within-a-conference during the annual SPSA meeting on the Politics of Authoritarian Regimes. Program for the upcoming 2020 conference. Past programs: 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016.
Here's some more information about my background and research: