I am a political scientist who studies the micro-foundations of political behavior in the Arab Gulf states using original public opinion data and survey experiments. Substantively, my work has investigated a wide range of topics, including the rentier state and its reform, voting behavior, the political economy of sectarianism, social movements, youth politics, anti-immigrant sentiment, migrant experience and integration, cultural barriers to female labor force participation, and drivers of honor-based gender violence. I am also interested in the effects of Middle East authoritarianism on public participation in opinion research and popular conceptualizations of public opinion itself. I am an Associate Research Professor at the Social and Economic Survey Research Institute (SESRI) at Qatar University, where I have been based since completing my Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Michigan in 2011. In Fall 2020 and 2021, I am also Visiting Associate Professor at George
I have published a policy piece in Al-Monitor titled " Concerns Over Finances, Not Iran, Will End Qatar Crisis ." It argues, as the title implies, that economic considerations in the blockading countries are likely to be the primary motivator of the (perhaps impending) end to the Qatar embargo, rather than common Arab Gulf fear of an increasingly belligerent Iran. This is because the Qatar blockade has created a split in the GCC fiscal reform agenda, with Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain moving forward with unpopular austerity measures -- especially direct taxation -- while Qatar, Kuwait, and Oman have deferred structural changes to the rentier state. The result is a sort of "good cop/bad cop" dichotomy in the Gulf, where some GCC citizens continue to live under the previous, relatively more generous economic regime while others do not. The close GCC fiscal policy coordination of 2015-2017, which was meant precisely to avoid such discrepancies that could l
The Middle East Journal has published in its Fall 2019 issue an article by myself and a Ph.D. student I am supervising titled " Crisis, State Legitimacy, and Political Participation in a Non-Democracy: How Qatar Withstood the 2017 Blockade ." The article uses rare nationally-representative public opinion data collected just prior to and after June 2017 to assess the effect of the embargo on Qatari views toward the GCC, foreign affairs, and domestic politics. The findings help shed light on the reasons why Qatari public opinion remained supportive of the (non-democratic) political status quo despite concerted efforts by the blockading countries to delegitimize the Qatari leadership and sow internal political discord during the now largely forgotten early stages of the crisis.