About Me

BIO: I work on the political economy of development and formal political theory. Ongoing research focuses on post-conflict development, ethnic politics, political authority and leadership, and democratic development with a current focus on the use of field experiments to study democratic decision-making in post-conflict and developing areas. I have worked in Chad, Ghana, Haiti, Indonesia, Liberia, Mali, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Uganda, and elsewhere. Recent work has appeared in the American Political Science Review, World Politics, the Economic Journal, and elsewhere. I have written or coauthored books on ethnic politics, natural resource management, and game theory and politics. I am a former Trudeau fellow and scholar of the Harvard Academy, fellow at the WZB Berlin, Professor of Political Science at Columbia University.

My biggest methodological interest right now is understanding when and how knowledge cumulates. This touches on questions about when individual findings are to be believed or not and when and how one can start making broader inferences from individual cases to understand populations and broader processes. A lot of our current approaches to inference do not address these questions well but understanding cumulation seems critical if our work is to have any broader impact. My work with Alan Jacobs goes in this direction as does the metaketa work with Thad Dunning and others at egap.

My biggest substantive interest has been in understanding patterns of political inequality. Under what conditions can marginalized populations get their voices heard in local or national politics? To what extent is political inequality driven by institutional features or more fundamental economic structures? My work on governance in Liberia and Congo examines these questions as does my work on political communication in Uganda. My work on discrimination against minorities and women focuses on interventions by states that seek to address different types of inequalities.

AFFILIATIONS: I am a Professor of Political Science at Columbia University and a Research Fellow at the WZB in Berlin.

CONTACT INFORMATION: Best by email: mh2245 at columbia.edu


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