You are here
Lauren E. Young
I am a Ph.D. candidate at Columbia University studying electoral coercion, inequality, and autocracy. In 2016-2017, I will be a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Center for Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) at Stanford, and a Non-Resident Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Global Development (CGD).
My dissertation focuses on how emotions, particularly anger and fear, shape how citizens make decisions about participation in pro-democracy dissent in autocratic regimes. I argue that fear enhances the effectiveness of repression by making citizens more pessimistic about the potential costs of dissent and more risk averse, while anger increases dissent. I test this theory in Zimbabwe using two lab-in-the-field experiments with a total of 1,200 opposition supporters, a field experiment carried out with an opposition party, and a new historical dataset that links demographics, voting history, and pre-election violence.
My past fieldwork has covered countries in Africa, Eastern Europe, and the Caribbean, and has been funded by organizations including the National Science Foundation, United States Institute for Peace, and CEPR-DfID’s Public Enterprise Development in Low-Income Countries (PEDL) initiative. I have also done policy-focused research for international organizations including UN OCHA, USAID, and Freedom House, and worked on evaluations of governance and conflict programs in Haiti, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, and Zimbabwe.