University College Dublin
I work as Associate Professor in Research Methods for the Social Sciences at the School of Politics and International Relations of University College Dublin, teaching primarily modules on statistics and research methodology. My research focuses on three different strands, all involving the application or development of statistical methods to the study of political science. The main research agenda concerns the development of techniques for spatial econometric analysis of political phenomena, building on my PhD thesis on the international diffusion of democracy. Work with Raffaella Calabrese and Thomas Grund, concentrates on the estimation of spatial econometric models with discrete dependent variables. While spatial correlations are common in studies of policy diffusion, regime transitions, voting behaviour, etc., little attention has thus far been paid to the resulting complications in statistical estimation, in particular when the dependent variable is dichotomous in nature. The second strand is concerned with the application of recent advances in statistical analysis to the study of political elites in Russia, in collaboration with Alexander Baturo, with a focus on understanding institutionalisation, personalisation, and patronage networks in the Kremlin. This project is now being expanded by collecting similar data on the Chinese political regime. The third strand involves the study of voting behaviour in particular in referendums and elections in Ireland, building on previous collaboration with Richard Sinnott.