Machine [Gun] Politics

My dissertation book project investigates the causes and consequences of organized crime's involvement in modern day politics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. My research questions include: 

  • Why and how do relationships form between politicians and organized criminals?

  • Under what conditions will politicians initiate a cooperative relationship with criminal groups?

  • What are the political consequences of these relationships, for both the politicians and the criminals?

  • Is cooperation with criminal organizations an election-winning strategy?

Posters with the phrase, "Who Ordered Marielle's Death?" referring to the assassination of Rio de Janeiro city councillor Marielle Franco. Her death is currently being investigated as a political hit related to organized crime. Taken in 2019.


Criminal Governance

My research on this topic includes how territory matters for criminal groups and the social and economic effects of living under criminal governance. My recent working papers and projects include: 

  • Criminal Corrals and Vote Manipulation (Available upon request)

  • Criminal Political Order in Battleground Neighborhoods


Complexo de Alemão favela, Rio de Janeiro. Taken in 2016.

The Politics of Public Security

My research on this topic includes the militarization of the police, economic and social effects of security interventions, and comparative security policies across Latin America. My recent working papers and projects include: 

  • The World Cup and the Spatial Distribution of Violence (Available upon request)


Soldiers in Rio de Janeiro's federal intervention, Gloria. Taken in 2016.

Geographic Methods

My research combines geospatial and machine learning methodology to measure hard-to-find quantities and their effect through time and space in unique, creative ways. 

I create open source intelligence on criminal activity - wrote a web scraper for blogs on criminal activity in Rio de Janeiro and have created a time series of criminal dominance in the city. See sample data here