I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and Director of the Marquette Democracy Lab. My research explores the intersections between politics and inequality, including class biases in turnout, money in electoral campaigns, and how public policy affects societal inequalities. My book, The Economic Other: Inequality in the American Political Imagination (joint with Meghan Condon, Loyola University Chicago), will be published by the University of Chicago Press in late spring 2020. In this book, we examine how Americans use social comparisons to make sense of income inequality and how such frames of reference affect attitudes about redistribution and feelings of political power.
Meghan and I are currently extending the research from our book in two projects. The first looks at how economic insecurity combines with racial inequality to limit demands for economic redistribution. The second explores how gender differences in economic evaluations have changed in the Trump era.
I am on sabbatical during the 2019-2020 academic year. In Milwaukee, I am working with local partners to explore whether information communication technologies can help close socioeconomic gaps in local civic engagement; another project looks at how community organizers engage their neighbors to deepen political interest and how those experiences inform organizers’ own political sensibilities. With my Marquette colleagues from education, biology, law, and computer and data sciences, I have also begun a new project that examines how communities and regulators are responding to concerns about groundwater contamination in Wisconsin.
I received my Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was a Postdoctoral Associate at Yale University’s Center for the Study of American Politics. I previously worked at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget in Washington, DC.
My research has appeared in American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, Political Behavior, Legislative Studies Quarterly, and Urban Affairs Review, among others. You can read about some of my work and other commentary featured here:
“Red-Hot Economy? Women Aren’t Convinced,” New York Times
“Sanders shouldn’t drop out for Clinton’s sake,” FiveThirtyEight
“20 years on, here’s how welfare reform held back immigrants’ children — in some states,” Washington Post, MonkeyCage
“Excluding Latino Immigrant Families from the Social Safety Net Hurts Their Children’s Educational Outcomes,” United States Policy and Politics Blog, London School of Economics
“Why We Should Care About Dark Money Ads,” Wesleyan Media Project
“Wisconsin Supreme Court Election Raises Concerns About Partisanship,” New York Times