I am a Professor of Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where I conduct research and teach on the politics of development. I hold the Total Chair in contemporary African politics.

My research and teaching focus on the following questions:

  • What are the driversĀ of good governance and policy-making?
  • Why do some citizens, and not others, attempt to hold governments accountable for providing good services?
  • How and why do policy-makers and citizens perceive certain dangers as important risks and/or take action to protect themselves?
  • What are the causes and consequences of ethnic conflict?
  • What are the social and political factors that advance / impede the diffusion of new technologies?
  • What are the best ways to think about, measure, and design research to answer such questions?

I am a problem-driven researcher and carry out field work, experiments, interviews, case studies, historical analysis, and various forms of observational data analysis. I conduct most of my research in Southern and Eastern Africa, and I frequently work with students who specialize in other parts of the developing world.