Peer-Reviewed Publications

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Globally, youth quotas have become increasingly popular, yet, we know little about the impacts of quotas on young people’s behaviour and attitudes. This study runs a series of multilevel regressions predicting attitudes and behaviour, across 35 countries in Africa that have and have not adopted youth quotas. Results show youth quotas do not improve youth voter participation and are circumscribed in their ability to positively impact attitudes. Thus, the implementation of quotas alone is not enough to improve relations between youth and government.

Tunisia is a unique context where youth-led protests in 2011 led to a successful democratic transition followed by elections where voters experienced democracy for the very first time. Despite young people’s involvement in the revolutionary protests, youth participation at the ballot box remained low. This article uses the case of Tunisia to exemplify the intriguing and often contradictory elements of youth voter abstention.  

Countries that undergo a democratic transition often adopt youth quotas to ensure stability and legitimacy in the eyes of a potentially rebellious youth cohort. Tunisia followed this trend by instating a youth quota after undergoing a youth-led democratic revolution in 2011. This subsequently led to youth representing 52% of the candidates (aged 18–35) in the 2018 municipal elections. However, it has yet to be tested whether a candidate’s age matters when evaluating politicians and casting a ballot in elections among Tunisian voters. This article explores the link between age and candidate evaluations which has been largely understudied in the political behaviour literature.

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The democratic transition in Tunisia and free and fair elections that followed offer a unique opportunity to assess whether the experience of participating in successful political efforts translates into subsequent political participation. We consider whether participation in a democratic revolution is associated with greater rates of participation in nascent ‘normal’ democratic processes. Leveraging data from two surveys fielded in the wake of the revolution and the Constituent Assembly elections that followed, we find scant evidence of a relationship between protest participation and subsequent turnout. 

This article examines the evolving foreign policy roles of four sets of civil society actors – youth, women’s, labour and human rights groups – in Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia during the Arab Spring and beyond. Our findings demonstrate that civil society groups initially flourished in the Arab Spring, with the region’s average ‘civil society rights score’ registering positive increases in 2011 and 2012. The period of 2013 to 2018 witnessed a deterioration in this average score, as civil society faced an authoritarian backlash from illiberal (authoritarian) and liberal (democratic) North African regimes. An examination of individual civil society organisations further demonstrates a range of influence on foreign policy.

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This article explores the concept of ‘revolutionary diplomats’ that is central to this guest-edited issue of The Journal of North African Studies. Specifically, we explore whether the political openings associated with the Arab Spring beginning in January 2011 have permitted the emergence and/or re-emergence of state and non-state actors that are capable of challenging the foreign policy supremacy of authoritarian presidents, and therefore playing more important roles in the formulation and implementation of their countries’ foreign policies. We do so by focusing on the North African countries of Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia. 

For decades, academics have faced a call to connect their work to social and political problems. This pressure has intensified specifically on political scientists in recent years. Ongoing conversations about increasing the centrality of engaged research in our discipline was the impetus for the creation of the American Political Science Association's Institute of Civically Engaged Research (ICER). Building on ICER, this symposium explores how CER concepts and practices can serve as scholarly, reflexive, and practical responses to calls for the discipline to be more engaged and relevant to the challenges facing society. 

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This article raises and considers questions central to how scholars can create equitable partnerships with nonacademics for research on improving the governance of social problems. To explore these questions, we compare CER to two common participatory research frameworks: community-based participatory research (CBPR) and research-practice partnerships (RPPs). 

Is darker skin pigmentation associated with less favorable social and political outcomes in Latin America? We leverage data from 18 Latin American countries across multiple survey waves to demonstrate the robust and potent negative relationship between the darkness of skin tone and socio-economic status. Then we examine the relationship between skin color and attitudes toward the political system. In spite of our substantial sample size, we find little support for the expectation that respondents with darker skin are less favorably disposed toward the political system.  Our findings suggest that the socio-economic “pigmentocracy” that pervades the region does not necessarily translate into pronounced differences in attitudes about the political system. 

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Invited Articles 

I was invited by Marc Lynch, the former Chair of the American Political Science Association's Middle East and North Africa Politics Section  to write an article focusing on the youth response to President Kais Saied's suspension of Parliament and firing of the Prime Minister. I argue that looking through the perspective youth, the case of Tunisia calls into question what we measure as democratic "progress" and that government ought to take "street activism" as a legitimate form of communication between traditional political spheres and youth.

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This article examines civil society's evolving role in the development of foreign policy in the Middle East and North Africa, a near-decade after the Arab Spring. By focusing on four sets of civil society actors: youth, women's labour, and human rights groups, I argue that civil society initially flourished in its ability to impact foreign policy after 2011. However, this optimism faded in 2013 as organizations grappled with increasing authoritarian backlash.