My research interests are in democratization, corruption and corruption prosecution, and the judiciary. I am also interested in transitional justice and its effects on the democratic life of the new regime.


"Can Transitional Justice Improve Representation in New Democracies?" (with Monika Nalepa). Forthcoming, World Politics.

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Can transitional justice enhance democratic representation in countries recovering from authoritarian rule? We argue that lustration, a policy that reveals secret collaboration with the authoritarian regime, can prevent former authoritarian elites from extorting policy concessions from past collaborators who have been elected as politicians in the new regime. Absent lustration, former elites can threaten to reveal information about past collaboration unless the politicians implement policies these elites desire. In this way, lustration policies enable politicians to avoid blackmail and to be responsive to their constituents, improving the quality of representation. We show that whether lustration enhances representation depends on its severity and the extent to which dissidents-turned-politicians would suffer if the skeletons in their closets were revealed. We also find that the potential to blackmail politicians increases as the ideological distance between authoritarian elites and politicians decreases. They test this theory with original data from the Global Transitional Justice Dataset, which spans eighty-four countries that transitioned to democracy since 1946.

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"Towards a Comparative Account of Corruption Prosecution"

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“Short-Circuiting Democratization: Bureaucratic Logics and Spurious Criminal Charges in Mexico” (with Yuna Blajer de la Garza)

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“Ruling through Scandal: Authoritarian Motives and Democratic Accountability”

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"“Identifying the Effect of Personnel Transitional Justice on the Quality of Democratic Representation” (with Monika Nalepa and Genevieve Bates)"

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