I am an Assistant Professor in Political Science at Trinity College Dublin.

My research looks at the effect of institutions on development, and especially at the relationship between democratization and state-building. I conduct research on both contemporary developing countries and European states in historical context. You can read in detail about my current research interests here.

My current projects include a project funded by the Swedish Research Council on the impact of institutional sequencing. In this project we ask the question: does democratization in weak states lead to the same outcomes as democratization in strong ones? You can read more about our answer to this question here. To test our ideas we have collected new data on historical state capacity in 141 countries from around the world.

A second project I am working on looks at the effect of devolution on governance and development in Kenya. As part of this project, funded by the Swedish International Centre for Local Democracy, we have written a number of papers and organized a conference in Nairobi for over fifty Kenyan academics, politicians and practitioners. The conference proceedings are available here

I have previously worked as a researcher at the Quality of Government Institute at the University of Gothenburg. I hold a PhD in Political Science from University College Dublin, an MSc from the London School of Economics and a BA from the University of Cambridge. You can read more about me here.