I’m a political and comparative-historical sociology doctoral candidate who focuses largely on power, nation-building, and urbanization. I also have interests in social theory, political economy, and the philosophy of the social sciences.
In my dissertation and book project, Mass Clientelism: Urban Growth and Nation-Building in 20th Century Latin America, I draw on extensive archival data to demonstrate that the Latin American region's unprecedented wave of urban population growth profoundly shaped national political arenas. Focusing on Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela, I show that it did so in two main ways. First, urban growth up to a certain point gave rise to clientelist relations, which helped stabilize precarious, nation-building regimes in all three of these cases. In this way, the concentration of the national population in the capital city furthered the concentration of power in the hands of a new political elite. Second, however, excessive urban growth eroded the political elite’s base of support. In Mexico City—where population growth was most extensive—ongoing urban concentration reached a tipping point and thereafter undermined the political elite’s hold on power, eroding the support base of the dominant political party (the PRI) and contributing to its momentous fall after several decades in power.
In other research, I use case-study and mixed-methods approaches with original data to probe the nature of the state and civil society, and grapple with methodological and epistemological problems related to comparative-historical sociology and social theorizing.
I earned my dual B.A. degree in Sociology (Departmental Citation) and History (Departmental Highest Honors) from UC Berkeley in 2011 and my M.A. degree from the University of Michigan in 2014. My research has received financial support from the Social Science Research Council, the National Science Foundation, and Rackham Graduate School, among others. And my articles have been published or are forthcoming in The Sociological Quarterly, Comparative Sociology, Research in Political Sociology, and other venues.
This website has my CV, information about my research, my dissertation/book abstract, and my contact information. You may also like to know that I help run the American Sociological Association's Critical Historical Sociology Blog.