Welcome! I am a Postdoctoral Fellow in the ETH Fellows Program at ETH Zürich in Switzerland. I hold a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University.
I am interested in whether and why religion matters for engaging in intolerant and extremist behaviors. I study these questions throughout the Islamic world, with a special focus on South Asia. Current and prior projects focus on Kenya, southern Italy, and Turkey.
My dissertation explores how religious elites use scriptural arguments to shape extremism among followers. I investigate the case of extremism among the Sunni and Shia communities of Lucknow, which has the highest Sunni-Shia violence of any Indian city. By drawing on evidence from interviews, experiments, and secondary sources, I argue that anti-violence appeals work less effectively for members of groups that feel victimized. I received support from an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Research Grant; a Jennings Randolph Peace Scholar Fellowship from the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP); and research centers at Columbia.
With graduate student collaborators, I have also published on questions related to religion, tolerance, and extremism. With Anselm Rink, I wrote an article in the Journal of Conflict Resolution (2016) on the determinants of religious extremism using evidence from Kenya. In an article in Political Science Research & Methods (2015), Egor Lazarev and I use a survey experiment to test a theory of prejudice-reduction in the context of Turkish prejudice toward Syrian refugees.
My other research is funded or has received funding from the U.S. Department of State, the Brookings Institution, and USIP-Kabul. My work has received international media coverage, including by Switzerland's leading German daily, the NZZ.