My full CV is available here.
I was born in Palo Alto, California but grew up in Kent in the United
Kingdom. I studied History at Manchester University, where I was awarded
the Thomas Brown Memorial Prize. I then took a Masters in History also
at Manchester. In 2000, I left the UK to head back to California, where
I enrolled at UC Berkeley in political science, earning a Masters degree.
I then moved to
Harvard University, where I completed my PhD general exams and wrote
my dissertation: From the Ballot to the Blackboard,
a study of the impact of politics on education spending, which won the
Senator Charles A. Sumner Dissertation Prize. The dissertation was the basis for my 2010 book of the same title, available at Cambridge University Press,
and winner of the 2011 William Riker prize for best book awarded by the
Political Economy section of the American Political Science Association.
2006 to 2013 I taught Political
Science at the University of Minnesota. In July 2013 I joined the
University of Oxford as Professor in Comparative Democratic
Institutions at Nuffield College.
I have written
a variety of papers in the area of political economy, available on my
My academic interests currently focus on the politics of education
policy, the relationship between inequality and democracy, and on the
effects of asset price inflation on political preferences. Since my
work captures insights from both comparative and international
political economy, I hold a strong research interest across a variety
of sub-fields in political science. My most recent book, coauthored
with David Samuels is Inequality and Democratization: An Elite-Competition Approach,
published in 2014 with Cambridge University Press and winner of the
2015 Woodrow Wilson prize for the best book on government, politics or
international affairs and the 2015 William Riker prize for the best
book in political economy.
I have also worked
academic consultant to HM Treasury in the UK and for the Leitch Review
of Skills, which advised the UK government on long-term education
policy. Since that time I have written several policy pieces for
European audiences. These works are available on my policy page.