What happens when government fails? Government failure can be literal, as was the case in Flint, Michigan when the government failed to provide clean drinking water to its residents. My environmental politics research applies this interpretation of government failure within environmental arenas (water policy and land conservation), and empirically examines how this failure affects Americans’ trust in government institutions and manifests as environmental injustices.

Government failure can also be grounded in perception rather than actual performance. In a modern U.S. context, beliefs about government performance are colored by partisanship. My nonprofit research explores the consequences of government failure as a function of perceptions caused by partisan politics on the nonprofit sector. How do people’s perceptions of government performance, driven by their partisanship, affect their support of the nonprofit sector? In turn, what are the implications for our understanding of the function, development, and purpose of the nonprofit sector?

View abstracts of my peer-reviewed publications.

My dissertation, A Political Theory of Nonprofits: Partisanship, Policy, and the Rise of the Nonprofit Sector, positions the U.S. nonprofit sector within the American political economy, and examines the effects of elections, political competition, and social construction on the emergence and distribution of the nonprofit sector.

Book Project
Read a short summary of my current book project.