Leah R. Rosenzweig
My research centers on topics in comparative politics and the political economy of development. I focus on the micro-foundations of political behavior to gain leverage on macro-political questions. How do autocrats survive? How can citizen-state relations be improved and government accountability strengthened? Can shared identities mitigate out-group animosity? Adopting a multi-method approach, I use lab-in-the-field and online experiments, surveys, and in-depth field research to examine these questions in sub-Saharan Africa and the US. My current book project reexamines the role of elections in authoritarian endurance and explains why citizens vote in elections with foregone conclusions in Tanzania and Uganda. Moving beyond conventional paradigms, my theory describes how a social norm of voting and accompanying social sanctions from peers contribute to high turnout in semi-authoritarian elections. In other ongoing projects, I study how national and pan-African identification stimulated through national sports games influence attitudes toward refugees, the relationship between identity, emotions, and belief in fake news, and how researchers can use Facebook as a tool for social science research.