My research includes work on campaign finance, emerging communication technologies, and other facets of political behavior. Below you can find a selection of some of my published work.
Internet Use and Political Participation: Engaging Citizenship Norms Through Online Activities (with Meredith Conroy and Jessica Feezell) Journal of Information Technology and Politics 13 no. 2, 95-107 (2016).
Abstract: Research on the relationship between Internet use and political participation has identified numerous effects that result from various online activities, though the mechanisms of influence often remain unclear. In response, we develop a theory of Internet effects and citizenship norms, wherein specific uses of the Internet influence political participation by fostering dutiful or actualizing norms of citizenship. Using a longitudinal research design comprised of five nationally representative, post-election surveys (2002–2010), we find that people who engage in dutiful uses are more likely to participate in the dutiful act of voting than those who engage in actualizing uses; these findings are most prevalent among those aged 18–30. These results suggest that online activities, which reflect specific norms of citizenship, often predict corresponding forms of political participation.
Terms of Engagement: Online Political Participation and the Impact on Offline Political Participation (with Meredith Conroy and Jessica Feezell) in J. Vaughn and V. Farrah-Myers, eds., Controlling the Message, New York, NY: NYU Press (2015).
Abstract: We are only beginning to understand the effects of online mobilization efforts and personal online political activities. In this chapter, we seek to add to this research by making a clear distinction between online political venues that are non-interactive, such as a candidate’s personal website, and those that are interactive, such as Facebook and Twitter. We argue that this distinction will allow scholars to better understand their unique influence on political participation. We build on previous research that examines the effects of online interactive and individually directed venues. In particular, we examine how the interactive social networking site Facebook affects political participation. In this analysis, we develop a theory of Facebook’s impact on perceptions of citizenship norms and how these perceptions are altering the landscape of political participation in the United States.
Engaging in Office Hours: A Study of Student-Faculty Interaction and Academic Performance (with Alisa Rod) Journal of Political Science Education 9 no. 4, 403-416 (2013).
Abstract: Both students and instructors have somewhat negative perceptions of office hours. Students fail to attend office hours on a regular basis for substantive and intrinsic reasons. Instructors are often discouraged with low attendance in office hours and consequently may fail to invest a significant amount of time in reaching out to students. This study explores the connection between office-hour attendance and academic performance in political science courses. For eight political science courses over four years, we record the number of times students visit office hours and their course grades (N = 406). Our findings indicate that office-hour visits are positively correlated with academic performance. In providing quantitative evidence that office hours can have a real and significant effect on academic performance, we hope this study may encourage instructors to actively invest in office hours. We conclude the study by providing four simple strategies instructors may implement to encourage engagement with students in office hours.
Facebook and Political Engagement: A Study of Online Political Group Membership and Offline Political Engagement (with Meredith Conroy and Jessica Feezell) Computers in Human Behavior 28 no. 5, 1535-1546 (2012).
Abstract: In what ways do online groups help to foster political engagement among citizens? We employ a multi-method design incorporating content analysis of online political group pages and original survey research of university undergraduates (n = 455) to assess the relationship between online political group membership and political engagement—measured through political knowledge and political participation surrounding the 2008 election. We find that participation in online political groups is strongly correlated with offline political participation, as a potential function of engaging members online. However, we fail to confirm that there is a corresponding positive relationship between participation in online political groups and political knowledge, likely due to low quality online group discussion.
Conceptualizing the Civil Military Gap (with Jon Rahbek-Clemmensen, Emerald Archer, Jon Barr, Aaron Belkin, Cameron Hall, and Katie Swain) Armed Forces & Society 38 no. 4, 669-678.
Abstract: The authors suggest that scholars mean very different things when they refer to the civil–military gap. To illustrate the point, the authors conceptualize the gap in terms of four distinct ideal types and show that scholars have referred to each variant as the civil–military gap at different times. Though the authors recognize that the four ideal types—cultural, demographic, policy preference, and institutional—are not always mutually exclusive, the authors suggest that they are divergent enough to warrant consideration as distinct variants and that their specification can enhance the civil–military relations literature by helping scholars identify and untangle the causes and effects of the gap.