I am broadly interested in issues of nonviolent resistance, conflict, and political violence; particularly how violence affects civilians and, in turn, how civilians impact the broader processes within conflict. I use a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods in my research, with a focus on "big data" and "text-as-data," as well as in-depth qualitative interviews, archival and survey research, statistical analysis, network approaches and online ethnography. I have conducted research on militant and terrorist groups, peacekeeping and peace agreements, child soldiers, and non-combatants in conflict zones.
My postdoctoral project focuses on interrogating what constitutes “radical” in the United States, how that has shifted across time and the impacts of how that concept is understood and applied. I interrogate “militancy” in the U.S. context, using the .GOV domain, newspaper APIs and articles housed on Google Scholar. I use these data sources to track attention paid to terms such as “radicalization,” “extremism” and “militancy,” as well as the topics with which they co-occur and the manner in which they are used (using a word-vector approach). I couple this with an evaluation of definitions from those same sources as well as a multi-method (online ethnographic and “text as data”/social network analysis) study of US based ISIS supporters on Twitter.
My postdoctoral project found its theoretical roots in my dissertation, which evaluates how and why some civilians form preferences for militancy, while others eschew it. Using predominantly qualitative methods – 71 life-story style interviews I conducted in the West Bank and Israel in 2015 and 2016, augmented with secondary source materials – I argue that state-sponsored violence disrupting community connections (e.g., checkpoints) can lead to greater levels of social isolation and increase civilians’ support for militant action.
Publications and Commentary in Peer Reviewed Journals: