Associate Professor of Political Science




About Me

I am an associate professor and the Director of Graduate Studies in the political science department at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. I received my PhD in political science at Emory University in 2010. Before joining the faculty at Vanderbilt, I was an assistant professor at the University of Alabama for three years and then an assistant professor at the University of California, Merced for five years.

My research centers on the effects of international legal institutions on the strategic relationship between government repression and dissent activities, with particular attention to the methodological implications for causal inference that stem from strategic conflict behavior. Different projects contribute to scholarship on international human rights institutions, law, and practice; domestic conflict between national governments and groups from the population; international governance and legal institutions; institutional solutions to bargaining and cooperation problems, and political methodology. Game theory and quantitative statistical analysis are the primary methods I use to approach inference.

[Here’s a comic that explains it better.]

I have published articles in the American Political Science Review, the Journal of Politics, the Journal of Peace Research, the Journal of Conflict Resolution, International Studies Quarterly, the Review of International Organizations, and the Journal of Theoretical Politics. My first book, co-authored with Courtenay R. Conrad, is published with Oxford University Press.


My Social Scientific Community

Recent Activity

Research trip to Israel and the Palestinian Territories with Academic Exchange

“Oil Discoveries, Civil War, and Preventive State Repression” conditionally accepted for publication at the Journal of Peace Research, co-authored with Peter Carey, Curtis Bell, and Scott Wolford

A press release about Contentious Compliance:

Contentious Compliance with Courtenay Conrad is now available in print!! Oxford University Press or Amazon

Sequential Potential illustrated a comic about my research agenda and public service goals.

Created and launched the Vanderbilt Undergraduate Research on Conflict and Collective Action (ROCCA) Lab, and received an Immersion Scholar Grant to fund the Lab for 2019-2021

Research presentation for the IR Workshop at George Washington University, February 26, 2019.

Research presentation for the Political Science Department at the University of South Carolina, February 8, 2019

Contentious Compliance with Courtenay Conrad is now available for pre-order!

Launched the Vanderbilt University Undergraduate Research on Conflict and Collective Action (ROCCA) Lab, January 2019

Segregation By Design by Jessica Trounstine released, featuring cover art and comic prologue by Darick Ritter


Director of Graduate Studies, Political Science Department, Vanderbilt University, as of August 2019.

Director of the Vanderbilt Undergraduate Research on Conflict and Collective Action (ROCCA) Lab, January 2019 to present

International Relations editor at the newly created Journal of Political Institutions and Political Economy (JPIPE), September 2019

Lecturer at the EITM Summer Institute at Emory University (2019) and University of Michigan (2018)

Councilor for the Peace Science Society (International)

Councilor for the Conflict Processes Section of the American Political Science Association

Member of the editorial boards for the Journal of Theoretical Politics and Political Research Quarterly

Foreign Policy Program Chair for the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association

Conflict Processes Program Co-Chair for the 2018 Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association

Coordinator of Online Speaker Series for the Peace Science Society (International)

Conference Selection Committee Member for Visions in Methodology



Vanderbilt Political Science
My home department

Visions in Methodology
Organization to help women advance in the field of political methodology

Peace Science Society (International)
Professional organization for scholars of peace and conflict

Women in Conflict Studies
Network of women studying peace and conflict

Conflict Processes Section
American Political Science Association

Journeys in World Politics
Workshop to assist female political scientists matriculate, land tenure-track jobs, and achieve tenure in the field of international relations


My twitter feed


Science can only ascertain what is,
but not what should be,
and outside of its domain
value judgements of all kinds remain necessary.
— Albert Einstein, Out of My Later Years, 1936