Welcome to my academic website. I am PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at Rutgers University. I received my BA from Indiana University in Political Science and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures in 2007.
I recently joined the faculty of the School of International Service at American University where I teach courses on research methods and the Middle East. I am also a Fellow in the Middle East Program at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. For the 2013-14 academic year, I was doing fieldwork in the Middle East with a Fulbright Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Fellowship. This work follows field research in Jordan and the West Bank conducted from August 2012 through August 2013 with Fulbright IIE and NSEP Boren fellowships.
My research consists of both global comparative studies and an area studies focus on the the Arab world, primarily in the Levant. My dissertation examines the effect of leadership succession on political activism globally since 1950 with in-depth case studies of Jordan and Syria. In general, I am interested in leadership succession, mobilization and repression, contentious politics, conflict processes, authoritarian regimes, elections in non-democracies, and U.S. foreign policy toward the Middle East.
My teaching interests are in comparative politics, Middle East politics and society, authoritarianism, Model United Nations, international relations, and research methods. Current (and former) Students: click on the “Teaching” Link at the top of the page for your course webpages.drew Spath