My research broadly focuses on the politics of authoritarianism and regime transformation. I am particularly interested in how domestic institutions and actors interact with international concerns to shape the behavior of authoritarian regimes. I have conducted fieldwork in D.R. Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, and Uganda.

My current book project – Women, Quotas, & Autocracy – offers the first book-length investigation into the causes and consequences of gender quotas in authoritarian regimes. It leverages cross-national analysis and in-depth case studies of Uganda and Kenya in a multimethod research design. The book starts by examining why autocrats decide to adopt gender quotas. Afterward, it investigates the multifaceted roles women play once quotas are implemented. The findings challenge commonly held notions about women under autocracy, revealing them as important actors in the story of regime survival. In doing so, the book broadens our understanding of the logics behind institutional adaptation and the roles women play in authoritarian settings.

My work has appeared in African Studies Review, the British Journal of Political Science, Democratization, the European Journal of Political Research, Human Rights Quarterly, Political Science Research & Methods, and Social Science & Medicine. I also co-edited the book Why Democracies Develop and Decline (Cambridge University Press, 2022).

You can find out more about some of my research on Episodes of Regime Transformation, Pandemic Backsliding, and Why Democracies Develop and Decline by following the links above.

Campaign posters in Uganda during the 2016 elections. Photo Credit: Amanda B. Edgell