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

My research is concerned with understanding the causes and consequences of ethnic conflict, and the determinants of good governance and policy-making in low- and middle-income countries. I also write and teach on political methodology, including concept analysis and measurement, and strategies for multi-method causal inference. My research projects have included studies of the politics of state-building, taxation, policy responses to HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and tobacco control, policy preference formation, ethnic violence, multi-level/polycentric governance, and the relationship between information and public accountability. Regionally, I have tended to focus on the politics of Southern Africa, especially South Africa, but I routinely employ comparative analyses with developing countries in other parts of Africa, Latin America and Asia.

I serve on the board of directors of the Southern African Legal Services Foundation; and the international advisory board of the African School of Economics. I recently joined the EGAP (experiments in governance and politics) network.