I am an Assistant Professor of Politics & Global Studies at the University of Virginia, where I teach classes on global development, state-society relations, local politics, and field methods. Prior to joining UVA, I was an Academy Scholar at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, and an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Boston College. I received a Ph.D. in Political Science and Masters in International Development Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a B.A. in Sociology & Anthropology from Swarthmore College. My research examines citizenship practice and local governance, with a regional focus on India. My first book, Claiming the State: Active Citizenship & Social Welfare in India (Cambridge University Press, 2018), draws on two years of fieldwork in rural Rajasthan, including more than 500 interviews and an original survey of 2210 households, to investigate the conditions under and pathways through which citizens do and do not make claims on the state for essential public goods and welfare services. Claiming the State, was awarded the 2018 Joseph W. Elder Prize for best first book in the Indian Social Sciences by the American Institute for Indian Studies. A related paper, “The Pursuit of Social Welfare: Citizen Claim-Making in Rural India” (World Politics, 2018), was awarded the 2019 Luebbert Article Prize for “best article in comparative politics in past two years” by the American Political Science Association. My current research explores the topics of citizen-state relations, participation, and governance from a variety of perspectives, including projects on grievance redressal; on citizen journalism; and on gender and policing. My work appears or is forthcoming in the journals World Politics, Perspectives on Politics, Comparative Politics, and World Development, as well as in a range of media outlets, and has been supported by the Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), the World Bank Sexual Violence Research Initiative, the MIT GOV/LAB, the American Institute for Indian Studies, the National Science Foundation, the Boren Fellowship, and the Fulbright Program.
“Great Expectations, Great Grievances: The Politics of Citizens’ Complaints in India.” Comparative Politics