km_s19-1I’m an Assistant Professor of Behavioral Science at Duke Kunshan University.

My ongoing research agenda focuses on democratic challenges and innovations. I study whether citizen assemblies can help inform and influence the wider electorate; the causes and effects of emotions in politics; the relationship between democratic participation and civic volunteering; ideological formation and issue polarization; and the characteristics of populism. I use various methods and data in my research, both quantitative and qualitative.

Broader topics of interest include motivated reasoning, inter-group conflict, emotions, norms, social identity, public opinion formation, deliberation, alienation, and social cohesion.

My work has been published in journals such as Political Behavior, Public Opinion Quarterly, and Political Psychology.

I mostly teach courses on general social theory and how individual behavior is constrained and enabled by social norms, institutions, and identities. In these courses I train students to critique and evaluate current research. To understand the weaknesses and reliability of studies I help students think through the relationship between theory, evidence, and methods.

I hail from a rock in the middle of the North Atlantic called Iceland. In previous lives I was a team leader at government agency, radio producer and presenter, founder of a non-partisan think-tank, in addition to working with kids and grown-ups with disabilities or drug problems.