Research

My research and teaching spans law, the social sciences and public policy, but I have a particular substantive interest in democratic institutions and governance.

Most projects I have worked on have been collaborative, and they have resulted in the publication of over thirty journal articles and book chapters to date.  More info can be found on my CV and my Google Scholar page.

Below I highlight a few of my larger current research projects. Feel free to contact me about any of the projects below.

Current Projects

∇ Extraterritorial Voting Rights and Restrictions

Over the past forty years, more than one hundred countries have adopted laws allowing non-resident citizens to vote from abroad, possibly the most under-appreciated global expansion of voting rights in recent times. With Nathan Allen and Beth Wellman, I have created of the Extraterritorial Rights and Restrictions Dataset, a global time-series dataset detailing this global change in voting rights. No existing data source simultaneously captures the scale (196 countries), time frame (1950 – 2017), and level of detail concerning extraterritorial voting rights and restrictions (over 20 variables). Incorporating this greater level of detailed knowledge concerning voting rights and restrictions greatly improves our understanding of the determinants and consequences of efforts at migrant political inclusion, and helps tell a much more nuanced story of the global diffusion of these rights than had been previously possible.

The first three pieces from this project (two journal article manuscripts and a book chapter for an edited volume) have been drafted and presented at various conferences and are at various stages in the peer review process.

∇ Communities of Interest in Redistricting

In the US, the release of the decennial census data kicks off a massive redistricting effort, and in more than half of US states, geographic ‘communities of interest’ must be considered in drawing district boundaries. In collaboration with James Syme, the Center for New Data’s ‘Inclusive Redistricting’ project, and a range of other community partners, this project focuses on leveraging big data to provide more systematic evidence of communities of interest and their geographic scope.

A pilot interactive tool for leveraging geographic mobility and demographic data to better understand communities of interest has been developed and is in intensive beta testing. The tool and a white paper will be publicly released soon, followed shortly by a law review article analyzing how we can leverage big data to better understand communities of interest.

∇ Residential Solar Adoption in Los Angeles

This collaborative project, funded by UCLA’s Sustainable LA initiative, examines the determinants of residential solar panel adoption in Los Angeles, as a window into the legal and policy implications of the determinants of environmentally-conscious consumer decision-making. Policy-makers and researchers often focus on traditional utility maximization models of consumer decision-making, however our research shows that heterogeneity in consumer decision-making approaches, and their values and ties to community (above and beyond simple measures of environmental attitudes), can dramatically affect the adoption of residential solar. Our analyses draw empirical data from a detailed survey we designed and conducted of 3000 Los Angeles home owners, and leverages this data to develop agent-based models that demonstrate the relevance of assumptions about consumer choice on the efficacy of policy interventions in promoting solar energy.

The first article manuscript from this project, focusing on how place attachment affects residential solar adoption, is under review. Two additional papers examining how heterogeneity in individual decision-making affects residential solar consideration and adoption are in progress.

∇ Digital Methods for Doctrinal Analysis

I am currently working on a project on how we can combine digital humanities techniques and ‘open science’ approaches to improve systematic case law reviews and doctrinal research. Two papers are being developed in tandem that flesh out these ideas: “The Evolution of Arbitrary and Capricious Review” and “What Harms are Irreparable?” Early-stage thought pieces were presented at the Online Workshop in Computational Approaches to Law (May 2021), the Boyden Grey Center for the Study of the Administrative State (January 2021) and the inaugural Caselaw Access Project Conference (July 2019).