About Me


I am a PhD candidate in the political science program at University of California, San Diego. I received my MA in philosophy from San Francisco State University in 2013.

My research lies in the intersection between positive political science and normative political theory. Generally, I am interested in how conceptual engineering can be used to improve explanatory and descriptive research. This kind of inquiry often requires engaging in normative assumptions underlying our practice and questions about what we want our positive research to do for us as political scientists and members of our broader academic and civic communities.

My PhD dissertation focuses on the concept of corruption as it is used in political science and normative political theory. I argue that much of the concept has gone undeveloped. I advance a tripartite schema whose components must be satisfied by any conception of individual political corruption and fill this schema with an associationalist, practice-based conception of corruption which explicitly addresses many of the problems with extant conceptions. Upshots of my account include the following: it broadens the category of corruption beyond public officials, provides an account of private gain motivation, includes informal norms in our conception of corruption, and specifies how we might discover and classify new cases of corruption.

When not doing research or teaching, I can be found reading, playing dungeons and dragons, surfing, running my dog Athena, taking pictures, or romping around with my wife.