Additional Academic Training

I undertook the following further academic training:

  • 2019 Empirical Implications of Theoretical Models (EITM) Summer Institute at the Hobby School of Public Affairs, University of Houston, USA
  • Scientific Programming with Python at the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Data Science Institute (HPE DSI), University of Houston, USA

Teaching

Graduate:

  • Text as Data: Computational Text Analysis
    Course Convener
    Department of Politics and International Relations
    University of Oxford
    Trinity Term (Spring Term) 2021
    [Syllabus]

  • Applied Statistics for Political Scientists - Lab Sessions
    Department of Politics and International Relations
    University of Oxford
    Michaelmas Term (Fall Term) 2020&2021

  • Computational Text Analysis for Political Science
    Department of Political Science
    University of Houston
    [Syllabus]

Undergraduate:

  • 211: Politics of the Middle East
    PPE (Politics, Philosophy, Economics) Degree
    Pembroke, St. Hilda’s, and Somerville Colleges
    University of Oxford
    Trinity Term - April - June 2020

  • 201: Comparative Government
    PPE (Politics, Philosophy, Economics) Degree
    University of Oxford
    Trinity Term Revisions- April - June 2020

  • Tutorial: Empirical Political Research in Political Science
    Lecture by: Dr. Sean Carey
    University of Mannheim, Germany
    Winter Semester 2017 & 2018 - October 2017 - January 2018

My Dissertation Project

More information on my dissertation project will be updated soon.

Photo: Alexandria Map - Bibliothèque nationale de France

Photo: Archival Photo - صوره ارشيفيه

Published Work

Perspectives on Politics
Populist discourse - which tends to benefit anti-systemic parties - has been on the rise in the world’s …

Historical maps contain a wealth of information. They enable us to access rare data and reveal information …

Accepted at Journal of Peace Reseach
Existing datasets of economic sanctions do not tend to take full advantage of government …

Working Papers

International relations research is animated by the notion that leaders matter. Existing approaches rely on proxies such as regime type to infer the importance of individuals. We propose a new measure, one based on leader mentions relative to country mentions in the relevant text. We construct the measure by scraping speeches made on the floor of U.S. Congress. We demonstrate the promise of our proposal by testing propositions developed in the study of election interventions. We show that policy divergence between the positions of candidates running in elections abroad gets them more noticed by Congress. We also show that leader mentions contain words associated with candidate interventions and concern with democracy. We demonstrate that as democracy matures, individual leader salience dims and opposition leaders catch up on visibility with incumbents. We make our software available to be used by researchers. Our method and measure can help advance research on the importance of leaders - and individuals - in politics more broadly.

Though centralized enforcement of global human rights standards is weak, powerful states can act unilaterally to punish rights violations. Focusing on the United States, which is the most frequent ‘sender’ of sanctions for human rights, we theorize how the incentives for sanctions differ across the legislative and executive branches of government, as well as how the legal foundation for sanctions vary across issue area. Employing a new fine-grained dataset of US economic coercion, we examine the conditions under which and the consistency with which the United States employs sanctions for human rights. We show that certain human rights issues, characterized by interbranch agreement and domestic policy externalities, give rise to systems of ‘dedicated’ enforcement where violations are systematically monitored and punishment is more likely. In other more politically-contentious areas, US human rights enforcement is more ad hoc, but nevertheless responds at the margins to international legal commitments: when countries ratify certain certain global human rights treaties, they are more likely to be targeted by US sanctions in the event of rights violations.

In this paper, we study how Congress makes its voice heard in American foreign policy in the area of economic statecraft. Unlike the President, who can alter sanctions policy with the stroke of a pen, Congress cannot change legislation easily in the face of difficulty to anticipate future contingencies. Congress may be able to craft detailed legislation. Congress can also try to allow the President more discretion on the final decision on sanctions. We would predict that when legislation involves more future uncertainty, Congress is more likely to build-in clauses allowing the President flexibility. We also predict that in cases Congress wants to deter future challenges to policy, and to send a signal to governments contemplating some behavior, it will be less likely to offer discretion to the President. Finally, where undermining Presidential bargaining powers can have grave consequences, such as in issues of terrorism, Congress is more likely to defer to the President. We use web-scraping and text-analysis techniques to identify cases where the U.S. Congress or President discussed or imposed sanctions on foreign nations or entities. We use this dataset to study how Congress designs economic sanctions.

We probe whether foreign elections held close to US ones feature more bias. We use a game to demonstrate that greater monitoring costs - due to US distractions - result in more cheating by foreign incumbents in equilibrium. Foreign incumbents, however, have no incentive to adjust their election cycle to match the US one. This suggests we can identify the relationship empirically. We proceed to develop a novel measure of monitoring. To that end, we scrape texts from Congress and the Presidency. We demonstrate that there is less attention to foreign elections when American polls are close. Next, we evaluate empirically the equilibrium prediction of more biased elections abroad as a result of less attention. We examine the universe of all 4,200 contests since 1945. We use an index of bias to show the prediction holds - for Presidential, and not midterm elections. We conclude that international pressure helps keep cheating incumbents in check.

Completed Data Collection Projects

Data Collection Project of US Sanctions using Text-Analysis and Machine Learning Techniques

Recent and Upcoming Conferences and Presentations

Illiberal Communication and Election Intervention During the Refugee Crisis in Germany

International relations research is animated by the notion that leaders matter. Existing approaches rely on proxies such as regime type …

We use this the crisis set off by the arrival of asylum-seekers in Germany to test a theory of the use of propaganda as a strategy by a …

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