' 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.
 'The Revelation Incentive for Issue Engagement in Campaigns', with Matthew Knowles. Under review.
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.
 'How the Media Matters for the Economic Vote: Evidence from Britain.' Under review.
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.
 '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 integrates both electoral calculations and economic incentives to explain the institutional 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 distributional effects of the franchise: when inequality is higher, policymakers are more reluctant to expand it because it is harder to reconcile the policy demands of existing and new voters. 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. Our results, which are consistent with our theory, show that declining inequality and the First World War were crucial factors in the democratization of Britain in this period.
 'Communicative Power, Inequality and Representation.'
How can we evaluate political inequality and representation if voter preferences, priorities and beliefs are partly shaped by elite political communication? I argue that prevailing approaches to the study of political inequality and representation are incomplete if public opinion both influences and is influenced by elite behavior. I introduce a new measurable criterion for political inequality in such contexts: `communicative representation', or the degree to which speech by elite actors reflects, as well as responds to, the entire distribution of voter preferences. Low (high) communicative representation implies that elite actors with certain opinions have disproportionate (proportionate) presence and influence in public debate, and so disproportionate (proportionate) political power. I illustrate the value and feasibility of this approach by analyzing communicative representation on redistribution and immigration in the United Kingdom between 2010 and 2019, alongside the relative communicative presence of various sub-electorates on this issue.