I am a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Politics at the University of Virginia, where I study the origins and development of American political institutions.
My scholarly work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Perspectives on Politics, Publius: The Journal of Federalism, Studies in American Political Development, Journal of Policy History, Presidential Studies Quarterly, Political Research Quarterly, Education and Urban Society, and The Forum.
My dissertation is about one source of the American presidency’s vast power: its ability to pursue policy and political objectives within state and local governing institutions. I use archival materials to trace how presidents, governors, and mayors have used the enhanced administrative capacities of the national executive branch to augment their power and pursue their programmatic objectives. Most scholars consider federalism to be a bulwark against enhanced presidential power. I argue the contrary: federalism was, and remains, an essential opportunity structure in the exercise of presidential power.
In addition to my dissertation, I am currently completing a book manuscript with Sidney Milkis on the transformation of the Democratic and Republican parties since the 1960s - the demise of America's "vital center." This work complements my more behaviorally-oriented scholarship, which seeks to better understand through experimental and survey-based methods how geography, place, and distance matter for political attitudes.
You can find working papers and an extended discussion of my current research under the "research" tab. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions about my work or my classes.