Images above: People and public spaces, Brazil, 2008-2009.

Photo credit: McClanahan Studios, Ames, IA

I am an associate professor of political science and Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean’s Professor at Iowa State University. My research examines politics at the citizen level. I investigate how people around the world understand, interact with, and shape their democratic and authoritarian regimes — and how civic and religious groups and ideas mobilize them. Regionally, my primary expertise is in Latin America, and particularly Brazil. Over the past few years, I have also been engaged in two projects studying the intersection of gender and academia.

My two books include Religion and Brazilian Democracy: Mobilizing the People of God (2019, Cambridge University Press), and my articles have appeared or are forthcoming in a number of peer-reviewed outlets, including the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, the British Journal of Political Science, and Comparative Political Studies. I am on the editorial board of Politics & Religion and an Associate Editor of the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Religion and Politics.

Recently, I’ve been been getting a big kick out of writing for public audiences and talking with journalists. Among the venues for which I’ve written, I’m part of the in-house blogging teams of Vox Mischiefs of Faction and Religion in Public.

My work has been funded by Fulbright, the National Science Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Mellon, Luce, and Templeton Foundations; I have been a Visiting Fellow at Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies (2016-2017 academic year); and I am a proud member of the Latin American Public Opinion Project family. In September 2016, I received the Award for Early Achievement in Research from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State.

In the 2019-2020 academic year, I will be a Luce/ACLS Fellow in Journalism, Religion, and International Affairs as well as a Wilson Center Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.