' Bridging Spatial and Saliency Theory: Party Size and Issue Selection in Campaigns.' 2020. Political Science Research and Methods 8(3): 444-458.
I propose a unified explanation for parties' joint policy and emphasis decisions which bridges saliency theory and spatial analyses of party campaigns. Party platforms are anchored by the policy preferences of activists, core supporters and target voters, leading parties to disproportionately emphasize issues where their policies are popular with all key constituencies. However, which voters a party targets relates to its historical electoral performance (“party size”). Traditionally successful (“major”) parties emphasize issues where the policies preferred by activists and core supporters are generally popular, but smaller (“minor”) parties emphasize issues where their preferred policies may be unpopular but are distinctive. Using recent European data and various empirical strategies, I show that this account has significant explanatory power beyond existing party typologies and theories of issue selection.
 'How the Media Matters for the Economic Vote: Evidence from Britain.' Invited to revise and resubmit to Electoral Studies.
Existing research finds that the tone of economic news can influence citizens' evaluations of their governments, but the relative importance of different channels through which this effect arises remains unclear. I argue that, during an economic crisis, we should observe larger media effects on citizens' evaluations of governing parties’ responsibility for, and handling of, the economic situation, than on their assessments of the state of the economy. Moreover, these effects should be stronger among existing supporters of those parties. Analysis of British public opinion following the 2007-8 global financial crisis provides empirical support for this theory. Various empirical strategies provide confidence that the estimated effects are produced by a genuine causal effect of newspaper exposure on voter opinion. These findings have implications for our understanding of how the media matters for the economic vote, as well as the ability of voters to use elections as instruments of accountability during crises.
 'The Revelation Incentive for Issue Engagement in Campaigns', with Matthew Knowles.
Empirical studies have found that although parties focus disproportionately on favorable issues, they also address the same issues - especially, salient issues - through much of the 'short campaign'. We present a model of multiparty competition with endogenous issue salience where parties behave in line with these patterns in equilibrium. In our model, parties' issue emphases have two effects: influencing voter priorities, and informing voters about their issue positions. Thus, parties trade off two incentives when choosing issues to emphasize: increasing the importance of favorable issues ('the salience incentive'), and revealing positions on salient issues to sympathetic voters ('the revelation incentive'). The relative strength of these two incentives determines how far elections constrain parties to respond to voters' initial issue priorities.
 'Democratizing from Within: British Elites and the Expansion of the Franchise', with Carles Boix, Sonia Giurumescu and Paulo Serodio.
Awarded the 2019 James B. Christoph prize for best conference paper presented by a junior faculty member in the British Politics Group section of the American Political Science Association.
We develop a theory of democratization that relies on political and electoral calculations to explain the franchise choices of political actors. Left-leaning (liberal) politicians, who, given their location in the policy space, are more likely to receive the support of newly enfranchised voters, favor a broader franchise than conservative ones. Their preferences are conditional on the interests of both enfranchised and disenfranchised electors. As those interests become more heterogeneous, policymakers are more reluctant to expand the franchise because it may be harder to attract new voters while keeping their current supporters. We evaluate this theory by estimating the franchise preferences of British MPs based on their votes on franchise-related parliamentary divisions between 1830 and 1918, and linking these preferences to their personal and constituency characteristics. In line with our theory, we find that partisanship, declining inequality and World War I were crucial factors in the democratization of Britain.
 'Communicative Power, Inequality and Representation.'
How can we evaluate the distribution of political power and the quality of democratic representation when public opinion is influenced by elite communication? I argue that, in such contexts, a key component of political power is 'communicative power', or the power to influence public opinion. Correspondingly, an equal distribution of communicative power is a necessary condition for political equality. The extent of inequalities in communicative power is well-captured by the degree of 'communicative representation' -- or how much, across issues, elite speech proportionately reflects and responds to citizen opinion. I introduce an empirical strategy for measuring how far communicative representation actually obtains. To illustrate its feasibility, I use this approach to analyze communicative representation on redistribution and immigration in the United Kingdom (UK) between 2010 and 2019. Cumulatively, this study breaks new ground in theoretical and empirical research on political representation and inequality, and joins efforts to bridge the two.
 'The Unequal Representation of Social Groups in Democracies', with Helena Heberer.
How well are different social groups represented by political elites in democracies? We propose a new measure of group-specific ideological representation, which we term the 'relative opinion presence' of a social group, with several attractive properties. We employ this measure to compare the extent of unequal representation on three separate cleavages: gender, urban-rural location, and education. We find that, first, there are significant inequalities in ideological representation across all three cleavages we consider, but the largest inequalities occur based on education. Second, we find that the opinions of marginalized citizens are consistently and substantially better represented by in-group candidates. Third, we find that these inequalities are smaller under proportional representation. Our findings suggest that improvements in descriptive representation are likely to have a significant impact on the quality of substantive representation as well.