I research how politics shapes education. Harold Lasswell famously defined politics as a fight over ‘who gets what, when, and how’, and my work focuses on where these distributional concerns intersect with education, often determining who gets to study or say what, when, and how, and who gets to succeed. We see evidence for these pitched battles all over recent media headlines. In Hungary, Viktor Orban has waged a long-lasting campaign against the Central European University, attempting to restrict their curriculum and faculty research activities. Here at home, presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis has launched a series of campaigns aimed at undermining academic freedom in Florida, and many argue that Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin won the recent gubernatorial election at least in part because of his disapproving stance on critical race theory and how children are taught in schools. In my research, I try to understand how exclusionary attitudes and policymaking shape the educational environments and outcomes of historically underrepresented students. To do this, I use a range of quantitative methods, from social network analysis to conjoint experiments, develop new measures, and leverage both sub-national data from the United States and cross-national data.
My research has been published or is forthcoming in Sociological Science; International Journal of Comparative Sociology; British Journal of Sociology of Education; Socius; Sociological Perspectives; The Social Science Journal; Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education; Globalisation, Societies and Education; European Education; PLOS One; and the International Journal of Sociology of Education.