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..