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I am a Professor of Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). I also direct the Global Diversity Lab and the MIT-Africa Program.

I study how social identities such as race, ethnicity, and nationhood come to be politically salient; and the consequences of identity politics for state-building, conflict, and human development. In recent and ongoing research, I focus on global public health, climate adaptation, and the role of ideas about human rights, including respect for human dignity. Relatedly, I consider the challenges of democratic accountability in diverse societies, especially in Africa and other parts of the Global South. In my work, I use original field work, experiments, comparative-historical analysis, and other empirical approaches, and occasionally write and teach on research methods and strategies. 

If you are interested in taking my online course, “Democracy and Development: Perspectives from Africa,” you can enroll in the archived version now: https://www.edx.org/course/democracy-development-perspectives-mitx-17-571x..