I am a Ph.D. candidate at the Center for Doctoral Studies in Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Mannheim. I am also affiliated with the University of Barcelona and teach at ESADE business school. During my studies, I have been a visiting PhD student at UC Berkeley and a pre-doctoral fellow at CESS-Nuffield Flame University in Pune. I hold a master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Mannheim and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Public Administration from the University of Barcelona.
I carry out research in the areas of comparative politics and political psychology, with a focus on identity politics and a regional interest in Europe and India. In my main research agenda, I study different mechanisms through which hierarchies of national belonging constrain marginalized group members’ political aspirations. I am motivated by questions such as: How do changes in textbook content, street names and public symbols honoring different heroes affect minorities’ sense of belonging? And does a social group’s perceived centrality to the nation condition group members ability to speak and be heard in the public sphere? To answer these questions, I employ various causal research designs involving surveys, lab experiments and natural experiments.
In my dissertation, I focus on the case of India and trace how Hindu nationalist identity entrepreneurs seek to anchor and lend authority to their preferred version of national identity through a range of strategies such as rewriting history textbooks, renaming cities and streets and erecting new statues. I then explore how exposure to these policies and measures affect behavior among members of India’s Muslim minority, including their social identity choices, ingroup commitment, preferences for resistance and willingness to assume leadership positions. I am particularly interested in the role of history in justifying and legitimising versions of national identity, and in some of my research, I employ experimental designs to study how exposure to different representations of history affect attitudes and behaviour among ethnic minorities and majorities.
In addition to my primary research agenda, I have also carried out work on national identities and immigration attitudes in Germany, support for ethno-nationalist parties across European regions, as well as political behaviour in multi-level settings. My work is published in the British Journal of Political Science, Electoral Studies and the Journal of Political Institutions and Political Economy.