My research intersects the study of political mobilization, rebellion, moral economy, and ideological structures both in a historical context and the contemporary world. My academic career has been focused from the beginning on the intersection of comparative politics and political theory through the study of non-hegemonic ideologies, contentious politics, and the spread of both through informal institutions.
In my current work “The New Peasant: Moral Economy and Ideology in Post-Industrial States” I will be attempting to study both the rise in the use of contentious politics and anti-establishment ideologies in the context of post-industrial states. I am interested in studying the spread of ideology within local institutions, and in pursuing a comparative study of how local institutions in industrializing and postindustrial economies perform the role of spreading ideologies. This is not merely an examination of local power structures, but also disruptions to these structures and norms, and the ideologies that spread when they are disrupted. My theoretical assumptions rest on the idea that local institutions behave fundamentally differently in the spreading of ideology between industrializing and post-industrial states. In order to accomplish this goal, I will be approaching my research from multiple methodological directions; using a comparative study of the transformation of these institutions and norms in postindustrial economies. I also will make use of thick description, structured interviews, narrative analysis, and ethnographies in order to enhance my explanations of both the causal mechanisms and the effects on political outcomes.
I make use of James Scott’s Moral Economy concept, in order to understand the dynamics of rebellion and the spread of ideologies, hegemonic and local, in sub-national units. My knowledge of the literature in the field suggests that I will find that the local institutions in postindustrial nation-states are conduits through which new non-hegemonic ideologies spread. I also expect to find that disruption of these institutions leads to resistance against central state structures in the forms of strikes, rioting, disruption of infrastructure projects, and support for political programs of the radical left and nationalist or populist right. It is my belief that this would add to the knowledge of the field by allowing the discipline to better understand local institutions, market disruptions, and the gestation of ideologies within disrupted communities, both in the global south and in the postindustrial global north.