2130C Jenkins-Nanovic Hall

Notre Dame, IN 46556


2011 PhD, Government, Cornell University

2008 MA, Government, Cornell University

2003 BA, Political Science, University of Chicago


2018-Present Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Notre Dame

2011- 2018 Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Notre Dame

2016-Present Senior Research Advisor, Ford Program in Human Development Studies and Solidarity


2018. Electoral Politics in Africa, 1990-2015: Continuity in Change. with Nicolas van de Walle. Cambridge University Press. Forthcoming

2015. Education and Empowered Citizenship in Mali. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press.

Finalist for African Politics Conference Group Book of the Year 2015

Reviewed in Foreign Affairs, The Journal of Modern African Studies, Journal on Education in Emergencies, Political Studies Review, and the Comparative Education Review


2018. “Making North–South Research Collaborations Work.” with Chipo Dendere and and Boukary Sangaré. PS: Political Science & Politics 51.3 (2018): 554-558.

2018. “Is women’s empowerment associated with political knowledge and opinions? Evidence from rural Mali.” with Kristin Michelitch. World Development 106: 299-323

2018. “Weak States and Robust Pluralism: Lessons from Two Poor Democracies,” with Igor Logvinenko, Democratization,1-20.

2017. “Capturing the Airwaves, Capturing the Nation? A Field Experiment on State-Run Media Effects in the Wake of a Coup” with Kristin Michelitch, Journal of Politics, 79 (3): 873-889.

2016. “The Malian Crisis and the Lingering Problem of Good Governance,” with Abdoulaye Dembele, and Sidiki Guindo, Stability: International Journal of Security & Development, 5 (1): 1–18.

2015. “The 2012 Crisis in Mali: Ongoing Empirical State Failure,” with Kristin Michelitch, African Affairs, 114 (457): 598-623.

2013. “Islamic Schooling in Malian Democracy: Disaggregating Parents’ Political Behavior,” Journal of Modern African Studies. 51 (3): 377-408.

2013. “Valence Issues in African Elections: Navigating Uncertainty and the Weight of the Past,” with Nicolas van de Walle, Comparative Political Studies. 46 (11): 1394–1421.

2013. “Education for All? Education for Whom? Education for What?” with Mody Bouboucar Guindo, Development in Practice, 23 (8): 1004–1017.

2011. “Parties and Issues in Francophone West Africa: Towards a Theory of Non-Mobilization,” with Nicolas van de Walle. Democratization. 18 (5): 1125-1145.


I Joined to Save my People”: Children and Non-State Armed Groups in Mali,” with Marc-Andre Boisvert and Boukary Sangare, United Nations University Edited Volume on Children’s Recruitment to Armed Groups: Mali, Nigeria, and Syria, Forthcoming

2015. “This is what citizens say is needed to end Mali’s insecurity,” with Sidiki Guindo and Abdoulaye Dembele, Washington Post, Monkey Cage Blog, November 27, 2015.

2015. “Can Indigenous Associations Foster Trust, Tolerance, and Public Goods? Exploring the Role of Grins in Rebuilding Civil Society and Democracy in Post-Conflict Mali.” With Philippe LeMay-Boucher, Jacopo Bonan, and Bassirou Sarr. USAID Democracy Fellows and Grants Program Final Report.

2015. “Mali: The Mali Crisis,” In Encyclopedia of Modern Ethnic Conflicts. Ed. Joseph R Rudolph. Santa Barbara: ABC LIO Greenwood.

2015. “On the primacy of weak public service provision in rural Africa: Malians redefine ‘state breakdown’ amidst 2012 political crisis ” with Kristin Michelitch, Afrobarometer Working Paper Series 155,

2013. “Voices from Fragile States: The Resilient Problem of Human Development.” with Kristin Michelitch. UN University World Institute for Development Economics Research: WIDER ANGLE MARCH 2013. (Another version appeared on the Monkey Cage Political Science Blog)

2012. “Mali,” In Analysis of Democratic Governance: Countries in the Crossroads 2011, Ed. Jake Dizard, Freedom House: 383-404.


2016. Bargaining for Women’s Rights: Activism in an Aspiring Muslim Democracy by Alice Kang. International Feminist Journal. 18 (3), pp. 511–512.

2013. Multi-ethnic Coalitions in Africa: Business Financing of Opposition Election Campaigns by Leonardo Arriola. Journal of Modern African Studies 51 (3): 533-534.


2014-2015 American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship

2012 Lynne Rienner Best Dissertation Award in African Politics 2011

2010 Houston I. Flournoy Graduate Fellow

2009 APSA Africa Workshop Fellow

Boren Fellow, National Security Education Program

Cornell Peace Studies Fellow, Institute for Social Science Fellow


2018 Kellogg Institute: Youth and Migration in Mali and Spain ($9,900)

2017 Provost’s Insider Project, University of Notre Dame ($15,000)

2016 Notre Dame Keough School Goal 16 Grant ($5,000)

2015 Notre Dame Kellogg Institute Research Grant ($8,143)

2014 Notre Dame ISLA Subvention Grant ($5,000)

USAID DRG Innovation Grant ($90,000)

Notre Dame Kellogg Institute Research Grant ($19,860)

2013 Notre Dame Kellogg Institute Research Grant ($9,880)

2012 National Science Foundation Seed Grant ($24,999)

Spencer Foundation Research Grant ($39,999)

Honorable Mention 2011 Carrie Chapman Catt Prize for Research on Women and Politics ($500)

USAID contribution of equipment for Good Morning Timbuktu Research Project ($4,500)

ISLA Large Biennial Grant ($8,375.00)

ISLA Small Research Grant ($2,500)

2011 Notre Dame Kellogg Institute Research Grant ($9992)

ISLA Small Research Grant ($2,500)

APSA Study of Women and Politics Research Grant ($1,114)

2010 LaFeber Grant for Co-authored Paper with Nicolas van de Walle

2009 Cornell Einaudi Institute Summer Travel Grant

Cornell Graduate School Travel Grant

APSA Africa Workshop Fellow Research Grant

2008 LaFeber Grant for Africa and Central Asia Conference

2007 Contentious Politics Pre-Dissertation Research Grant


Education and the Malian Political Crisis,” with Marc-Andre Boisvert and Boukary Sangare, Preparing for submission to Special Issue of Compare

Drinking Tea with the Neighbors: Social Capital and Social Trust in Mali,” with Jacopo Bonan, Philippe LeMay-Boucher, and Bassirou Sarr, Preparing for submission

Campaign Images and Citizen-Politician Linkages: Exploring Visual Appeals in Presidential Campaigns in Sub Saharan Africa and Latin America,” with Nara Pavao and Pilar Giannini

Indigenous Associations and Public Goods Provision: Experimental Evidence from Grins in Mali,” with Jacopo Bonan, Philippe LeMay-Boucher, and Bassirou Sarr

Social Interaction and Technology Adoption: Experimental Evidence from Improved Cookstoves in Mali,” with Jacopo Bonan, Pietro Battison, Philippe LeMay-Boucher, Stefano Pareglio, Bassirou Sarr, and Massimo Tavoni

Exploring the Rally Effect in a Weak States: Citizens’ Attitudes Towards Leaders and Foreign Interveners in Mali,” with Lauren Honig, Sidiki Guindo and Andrea Pena-Vasquez

Dressing for Success: An Evaluation of a Local Governance Training and Uniform Distribution in Malawi,” with Tushi Baul, Emily Maiden, Juan Valdez, and Boniface Dulani

Out of Africa: Electoral failure and the future of political Islam in West Africa” with David Siddhartha Patel


MPSA Program Committee, Comparative Politics Poster Chair 2014

Education Section Chair, African Studies Association 2012

African Politics Conference Group Best Article Committee 2012

Conference Co-organizer, Research Frontiers in African Politics, University of Florida, 2010

Conference Co-organizer, The Politics of Africa and Central Asia, Cornell, Fall 2008

Reviewer: British Journal of Political Science, The Canadian Journal of African Studies, Lynne Rienner Press, World Development, National Science Foundation, Comparative Political Studies, Electoral Studies, the Journal of Modern African Studies, American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science


Social Clubs as Social Capital? Exploring Trust and Tolerance in Mali,” with Jacopo Bonan, Philippe LeMay-Boucher, and Bassirou Sarr, Northwestern Conference on the Sahel, May 2017

The role of education in the wake of the Malian Political Crisis,” October 29, 2015 at George Arnold Symposium for Education, Conflict, and the State in Sub Saharan Africa, the New School, New York.

Invited Mali Briefings: Governance and Security in the Sahelian States Roundtable, July 2014; Johns Hopkins SAIS, April 2013; Institute for Defense Analysis, March 2013; USAID, April 2012; “Malian Elections Roundtable,” Columbia University Institute for African Studies, April 2012; The World Bank, May 2012; The State Department, October 2011 and October 2012.

Is Women’s Empowerment Associated with Political Knowledge and Opinions?

Evidence from Rural Mali,” Presented at the Midwest Political Science Association, April 2017, Chicago

Social Clubs as Social Capital? Exploring Trust and Tolerance in Mali,” with Jacopo Bonan, Philippe LeMay-Boucher, and Bassirou Sarr, Midwest Political Science Association Conference, Chicago, April 2016; African Studies Association Conference, Washington DC, November 2016;

Out of Africa: Electoral failure and the future of political Islam in West Africa” with David Siddhartha Patel. Presented at the Yale Democracy with Edge Conference July 2012, Midwestern Political Science Association April 2012 and the American Political Science Association Annual Conference in August 2011.

Gooood Morning Timbuktu: The Impact of Access to Radio on Political Mobilization,” with Kristin Michelitch. Presented at Western Political Science Association (WPSA) March 2013; Presented at Midwestern Political Science Association (MPSA) April 2013; Mid West Group in African Political Economy at Northwestern University in December 2011; Contemporary African Political Economy Research Seminar, Columbia, November 2011 (Co-author Presented); Yale Experimental Research Working Group, October 2011 (Co-author Presented)

The “gravitational” pull of procedural democracy in low-income countries, with evidence from Kyrgyzstan and Mali,” with Igor Logvinenko. Presented at Association for the Study of Nationalities, Columbia University, May 2013.

Education, Citizenship, and Democracy in Mali.” Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Washington, DC, September 2010, NYU/Columbia Contemporary African Political Economy Research Seminar (CAPERS), May 2010, and Cornell Institute for African Development March 2010.


Field Research Methods (grad) Spring 2012, Spring 2016, Spring 2018

Globalization in Africa (undergrad) Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Spring 2017, Fall 2017

Democracy and Citizenship in Africa (undergrad) Fall 2011

Education, Citizenship, and Democracy (undergrad) Fall 2012, Fall 2013

Field Research Methods (undergrad), Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2016, Fall 2016

African Elections (undergrad), Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2016


Pilar Giannini

Tahir Kilavuz

Emily Maiden (Co-chair)

Andrea Peña-Vasquez

Paul Friesen


2012: Adam Cowden, Selected for Gates Cambridge Scholarship

2013: Tara Lucian

2014: Will Miller and Robert “Beau” Dolan

2016: Meghan Gallagher

2019: Nicole Waddick


Consultant, The World Bank, 2013-2014

  • Writing a methodological guide for their fragile states analysis
  • Advising data collection on study of social service provision in Northern Mali

Sahel Analyst, Freedom House, 2009-20110

  • Researched and wrote country evaluations for five countries for 2010 Report
  • Writing country evaluations for six countries for the 2011 Report

Monitoring and Evaluation, Winrock International, 2011, Mali and Nigeria

  • Conducted monitoring and evaluation surveys for USAID’s Farmer to Farmer Program in 10 States in Nigeria and 3 regions in Mali

Consultant, Care International, 2008, 2013-2014

  • Wrote literature review to guide CARE’s Planned Governance Initiative
  • Advised CARE staff on how to undertake Good Governance Project Review
  • Advising on Research Methodology for endline and baseline studies for women’s empowerment program

Consultant, Winrock International, December 2007-January 2008, Juba, Sudan

  • Worked with local NGO, Sudan Women’s Action Network, to build their mentoring and administrative capacity.


Language: Highly Proficient in French; Proficient in Bambara; Competent in Portuguese

Computer: Stata, Excel, Powerpoint, LaTeX


Angola, Congo (Brazzaville), Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, and Uganda