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Plays

Playwriting Credits 
  • "THIS LAND IS MINE LAND: Extractive mining institutions and coercive benefits in India,” w/ Aliz Toth. Presented at Inclusive Democracy and Development, Stanford University (2023).

    • ​In this project, we examine the political legacies of mines, an extractive institution. Theory suggests that extraction generates political and economic underdevelopment. Yet, extractive institutions often necessitate population engineering by attracting migrant laborers to settle in unfavorable environments. To determine how the goal of attracting labor affects state investment in new mining villages, we construct a time-varying, all-India dataset on mines and conduct a difference-in-differences analysis of public goods investment. We further collate census data on dominant population groups across villages to test the mechanism that displacement and settlement, or changes in the population groups at each village, leads to greater public goods provision and coercion in the period after a mine opens. We find that when states engage in extractive activities, e.g. opening mines, they also provide new public goods to attract laborers. At the same time, they invest in coercion to settle conflicts between native communities and migrants.

  • POLICING THE PLANTATION: the long-run influence of colonial capital extraction on coercion in the case of Assamese tea plantations.” Presented at SOAS (2022), Centro Cultural Universitario Tlatelolco (2022), Stanford University (2023).

    • Political scientists have long assumed a co-evolving relationship between coercion and capital in the statebuilding process, but little empirical evidence is leveraged to understand the nature of this connection. This paper studies the long-run coercive effects of indenture, a forced labor institution established on tea plantations by the British in northeast India. Specifically, I examine police institutions, police violence, and opinions of police forces among those implicated in the plantation system. Through both digitization and coding of archival records and fieldwork among affected descendants of forced laborers in the present, I provide new estimates into the coercive consequences of colonial labor regimes. This work contributes to a growing literature using causal inference in studies of historical processes and offers an empirical approach to mechanize and test theories regarding the relations between capital extraction and coercion, understanding the political, and not merely economic, effects of forced labor regimes established by the British empire. ​

  • STATES ARE THE EMERGENCY: Diversionary declarations of emergency in insecure democracies.” Presented at Stanford University (2021).

    • When declaring international, rally-around-the-flag wars fell out of style as a diversionary tactic, insecure leaders needed to turn to other tactics to stay in power. This project examines cross-national time-series data to examine the declaration of states of emergency as a new diversionary strategy for overcoming insecurity. It compares the explanatory power of true crises and crises of insecurity for emergency declarations, positing that democracies are likely to rely on such diversionary tactics to retain power and maintain authoritarian enclaves.

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