Welcome to my website! I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Clemson University. Prior to Fall 2022, I worked at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point (2017-2022), where I was jointly appointed in the Dept. of Social Sciences, and the Combating Terrorism Center.
My research explores the multifaceted consequences of international security tools & counterterrorism strategies, examining their interlinkages with political violence, extremism, and the strategic dissemination of disinformation. More specifically, my work explores how security policies, ranging from coercive diplomacy and partner capacity building to militant leadership decapitation shape the political beliefs and behaviors of state and violent non-state actors (VNSAs) globally, in target/partner countries in South/Central Asia, and in the American context.
The Global and South/Central Asian Context
My work examines the survival strategies employed by VNSAs, exploring their inter-group alliances, rivalries, and recruitment strategies. Within this stream of research, I also explore how shifting security environments influence groups’ recruitment of women, and the latter’s incentives and opportunities to engage in political violence. My work extends into examining the intersection of political violence, disinformation, and health security, shedding light on how these dynamics affect societies and governments.
Finally, a significant portion of my research is dedicated to understanding the evolution of Islamic State Khorasan within South and Central Asia, and its implications for regional/global security.
The American Context
The substantial costs and fatigue associated with prolonged U.S. engagements in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan have triggered divisions among American political elites, amidst rising threats of domestic violent extremism.
This has prompted a natural evolution in my research focus towards the American environment, where I explore the intersection of strategic disinformation, elite/societal polarization, and violent extremism. This includes a working book project that delves into the types of U.S. involvement that trigger anti-American sentiment and insurgent violence, and a three-year interdisciplinary project sponsored by the U.S. National Institute of Justice, which examines the linkages between domestic contentious political events, networks of false narratives and violent extremism. Related interests include exploring the intersection of American elite polarization and national security.