1. Power Sharing "Discontinuities": Legitimacy, Rivalry, and Credibility (2017). Forthcoming. Journal of Theoretical Politics

Power-sharing arrangements between a leader and a popular outsider can be mutually beneficial and threatening. The literature has focused primarily on the former’s trade-off where a leader gains legitimacy but creates a potential challenger to their rule when sharing power with a respected outsider. Yet, this outsider also faces a simultaneous trade-off where they gain power but lose credibility when they acquiesce to the leadership. I incorporate both coinciding trade-offs in developing a formal model to examine such power-sharing arrangements which have been prevalent historically and currently. I illustrate a “discontinuity” in optimal power-sharing where a leader either shares nothing or shares a specific amount to compensate the rival for their lost credibility. Counterintuitively, I further show that the leader should share more power with less trustworthy rivals to reduce their strong incentive to challenge. I then revisit the Investiture Controversy in Medieval Europe using these insights from the model.


1. Winning Hearts and Minds in Civil Wars: Leadership Change, Governance Perceptions, and Support for Violence in Iraq (with Christoph Mikulaschek) (2016).  Revise and Resubmit [American Journal of Political Science]

The ‘hearts and minds’ model of counterinsurgency holds that civilians are less likely to support an insurgency if the government provides basic public services and security. Building on this model, we argue that a major political event that raises popular expectations of future public service and security provision will increase support for the government and decrease sympathy for the insurgency. To test this argument, we leverage a unique research design opportunity that stems from the unforeseen announcement of the resignation of Iraq’s divisive prime minister in August 2014 while an original survey was being administered across the country. We show that the leadership transition led Iraq’s displeased minorities to shift support away from the insurgency to the government. In line with our argument, this realignment was due to rising optimism among minorities that the new government would provide basic services and public goods - specifically security, electricity, and jobs.

2. Weapon of the Weak? The Use of Non-State Actors in Inter-State Territorial Disputes (2017) (with David Carter) [Under Review]

Works in Progress: 

The Power of Mob Violence (2017)

The Frontier Crimes Regulation and Colonial India: The Local Voices Against the Black Law (2017)

Developing Risky Partnerships: The Relationships Between Militant Groups (2016)