Postdoctoral researcher at the University of Lausanne, working on the diffusion of social norms and political behavior. My dissertation project was about popular allegiance in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and the former German Democratic Republic. The results show how labeling people for disloyal behavior elicits conformity or intensifies
defection. Generally the behavior of an ingroup member is perceived as disloyal when it benefits an outgroup at the expense of the ingroup. Political authorities often treat spying for their rivals and affiliation with violent insurgent groups as defection. But in many conflict settings, loyalty expectation encompass a
broader range of behavior. Individuals may be labeled as defectors for their political activism, religious activities, ethnic identity, dual citizenship and other criteria that lend credence to claims of
outgroup affiliation. Loyalty trials for affiliation with political rivals are conducted by modern authorities to reproduce political order in a state of exception.
I find that loyalty trials tend to repress minorities, and can lead to polarization and popular resistance.
The research was funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation.
My work draws on archives, experiments, computational modeling, network analysis, interviews and surveys.
I've taught research design and Python.