I’m an associate professor of political communication at Louisiana State University in the Manship School of Mass Communication and Department of Political Science, where I’m proud to be an award-winning teacher.
I study mass political behavior and democracy with psychology, communication, and history—especially partisanship, ideology, and violence. I’ve written three books and 20+ academic articles in that direction, and that work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Atlantic, Vox, Politico, and other popular outlets.
My 1st book, Neither Liberal nor Conservative (2017, w/ Don Kinder), shows the scarcity & contingency of mass ideology in the electorate. My award-winning 2nd book, With Ballots & Bullets (2020), shows the reciprocal links between partisan voting & violence in the American Civil War. My 3rd book, Radical American Partisanship (2022, w/ Lily Mason), investigates violent partisanship today.
Current projects use experiments, surveys, & unobtrusive measures to test effective messaging for pro-democracy candidates, democratizing reforms, rebalancing local spending in policed communities, & removing Confederate symbols. Other work seeks to understand the nature of social media conflict over racial justice, threats against women in politics, & many extensions of the radical partisanship project. In sum, I investigate fractious roots of public opinion and action in a developing democracy as mobilized by communication, with an aim to advance democracy.