I am an Associate Professor of Political Science at the City University of New York – City College and a Senior Research Associate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Johannesburg. My research utilizes qualitative methods to examine how democratic states use violence to produce order and why citizens sometimes use violence to challenge that order. Based on approximately twenty months of ethnographic and archival research, my first book, Contradictions of Democracy: Vigilantism and Rights in Post-Apartheid South Africa (Oxford University Press, 2019), explored these themes through the lens of crime, policing, and vigilantism in South Africa. With Erica S. Simmons, I have also written about the intersection of comparative and ethnographic methods, co-editing Rethinking Comparison: Innovative Methods for Qualitative Political Inquiry (Cambridge University Press, 2021), among other publications.
Currently, I am working on two book projects related to these themes. The first examines the politics of police violence in democratic states, focusing on South Africa. The second explores the practice of ethnography. My work has also been published in African Affairs, American Journal of Sociology, Comparative Politics, Perspectives on Politics, Polity, PS: Political Science and Politics, and Qualitative and Multi-Method Research, among other outlets.