The unifying purpose of my research is to understand the different parts of the American constitutional system in light of the overall health of the American regime. I call this a diagnostic approach to the study of politics, which entails answering both normative and empirical questions: I study American institutions in historical context with a view to uncovering their purposes, and assessing their functionality in light of those purposes.
These questions guide my teaching, as well. At the University of Colorado, I teach undergraduate courses on American institutions, APD, and American political thought. I also lead a seminar for secondary-school teachers on African-American Political Thought.
My first book, Demagogues in American Politics (Oxford University Press), is scheduled to appear in print September 2022. I have authored peer-reviewed articles in multiple journals, including the Journal of Law and Courts and American Political Thought. I have also written widely for the popular press.
I received my PhD in Government from the University of Texas at Austin. The Government Department at UT Austin has nominated my dissertation for the George C. Edwards III, E.E. Schattschneider, and Walter Dean Burnham Dissertation Awards.