My research and teaching offer new perspectives on conflict, state-building, and development, with a focus on the region of sub-Saharan Africa, where I have conducted extensive field research.
I have written two books. The first, Ethnic Politics and State Power in Africa: The Logic of the Coup-Civil War Trap (Cambridge University Press 2016), received best book award from the American Political Science Association’s African Politics Conference Group as well as the best book award from the International Studies Association’s International Security Studies Section, and was selected as a 2017 Choice Outstanding Academic Title and a finalist for the African Studies Association’s Melville J. Herskovits Prize. (For book overview and highlights.)
The second book, co-authored with Harry Verhoeven of Georgetown University-SFSQ, Why Comrades Go To War: Liberation Politics and the Outbreak of Africa’s Deadliest Conflict, is published by Hurst Publishers and Oxford University Press. (For book overview and highlights.)
Existing research projects address other big questions in the study of development, conflict and state-building, including: the causes and consequences of spatial inequality in Africa; the mobile phone revolution, digital inequality and development; and the impact of Chinese aid in Africa.
My research has been funded by Innovations for Poverty Action; the National Science Foundation Political Science Program; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; the British Academy; the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation; the Institute of International Education; the United States Agency for International Development and the United States Department of Agriculture; and been published in International Organization, World Politics, Journal of Politics, the American Journal of Political Science, Comparative Politics and other outlets.