Research

My current research is focussed on two main areas:

  • Comparative political economy of voter turnout under competitive authoritarianism
  • Network analysis and digital methods in political science

A summary of the themes along with relevant papers are included below. For a complete list of my publications, please see my CV.

Political Economy of Turnout in Hybrid Regimes

Papers:

  • Economic Hardship as a Mobilizer in Autocracies? Unemployment and Voter Turnout in Authoritarian Elections, Evidence from Russia
  • Socioeconomic Modernization and Voter Turnout in Authoritarian Elections: The White Revolution and Elections to the Iranian National Assembly
  • Voter Turnout and Public Goods Provision in the Face of Ethnic Diversity: Evidence from Turkey under AKP
  • Industrial Development versus Agrarian Constituency: The Russian Constituent Assembly Elections in 1917
Network Collective Action

Book: Leading from the Periphery and Network Collective Action

Papers:

  • [Political Communication January 2014 – 31(1) ] “Media Disruption and Revolutionary Unrest: Evidence from Mubarak’s Quasi-Experiment,” Link
    • Description: This paper argues that sudden and ubiquitous interruption of mass communication can facilitate revolutionary mobilization and proliferate decentralized contention. A dynamic threshold model for participation in network collective action is used to demonstrate that full connectivity in a social network can hinder revolutionary action. I exploit a decision by Mubarak’s regime to disrupt the Internet and mobile communication during the 2011 Egyptian uprising to provide an empirical test for the hypothesis.
        • This study was featured in the NYTimes Link
  • Political Ideology and Network Distance Metrics, Methods and Validation
Other

Papers:

  • [PS: Political Science & Politics April 2013 – 46(2)] “Tracking the Semantics of Politics: A Case for Online Data Research in Political Science” Link
    • Description: Using four case studies, I demonstrate the utility of word search dynamics in shedding light on the evolution of long-debated political phenomena. A triad of etymological explorations by historian Richard Koebner motivates the case studies: Despotism in relation to Tyranny, and the evolution of Empire as a concept.

     

  • “Mapping Twitter Conversation Networks: Iran Presidential Election 2013,”
    • Description: This study links political salience of a topic or the prospects of an electoral candidate to the structure of discussion network relevant to the topic or the candidate. For the case of the Iranian presidential election of 2013 using Twitter API we capture tweets based on a query of keywords, extract and map the discussion networks, and link electoral dynamics of the race to the structure of conversation networks.
  • “The Strategy of Perception in Third Party Interventions,” Link
    • Description: While the importance of perception in triadic conflicts is well understood, there is little scholarship on the strategy of images on the side of the conflictual dyad. We outline the mechanism, emphasize the importance of ideational considerations in foreign interventions, and single out an equilibrium in which warring parties aim at creating ambiguous images. We provide empirical evidence from the Russian and Iranian Revolutions, as well as interventions during the Cold War and after.
  • “Transparency and Repression: An Explanation for the Democratic Civil Peace,” Link
    • Description: In the face of popular opposition, democracies often exert lower levels of repression compared to autocracies. For such a democratic civil peace this paper provides an explanation based on transparency. When the opposition see the level of repression they expect, atrocities are limited and the military does not engage in reprisals. I use statistics of missing data entries from reports on military expenditure as a measure of transparency and confirm its negative relation with political violence.