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Biography

I have defended my PhD at the Social and Political Sciences Department of the European University Institute in September 2023 and am currently a postdoctoral researcher. While I’m interested in many things, my current research is focused on the interplay between social identity and political behavior. 

I use quantitative text analysis to trace political indoctrination in authoritarian regimes in my book project dissertation. In addition and not always to the liking of my professors, I also work on affective polarization in multiple contexts. 

In a paper published in CPS, Krzysztof Krakowski, Juan Morales and I show that violence against politicians can elicit counter-intuitive reactions from partisan supporters even in one of the most polarized societies in Europe. Using both Twitter and interrupted survey data in a difference-in-differences framework we show that after the assassination of a high-level opposition party leader, voters did not rally around the victim party but instead sanctioned the party’s negative discourse against the government. Among other things, this finding shows that unexpected events, such as violence against a political leader, can have a strong effect on partisan preferences and this effect is driven by how political elites discuss it, even in one of the most polarized European democracies.

In an ongoing project with Costin Ciobanu, we collect a unique 3 wave panel of 8300 responses on polarization from members of a new political party in Romania during the December 2020 parliamentary elections. We plan to use this dataset and additional data to better understand 1. the potential of intergroup contact to reduce AP among party activists during an election; 2. the interplay between AP and IP in party activists; 3. the potential of post-electoral coalitions to impact AP levels among party activists (we also use discourse analysis of party elites); 4. the consequences of AP on intergroup contact with outparty peers. 

I have previously worked for the World Bank Group in the Europe and Central Asia region, particularly on social policy development, marginalized groups and youth studies. I have also worked for the Open Government Partnership, the European Commission, the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and other local and international think-tanks. 

Apart from my research career, I have also been active in the media and think-tank world, mostly written and television, and have delivered public speeches at Die Zeit Stiftung, TEDx Bucharest, Aspen Romania and other national and regional venues. I have also been active in Romanian civil society, being one of the founding members of Romania first fact-checking organization and the first data-illustrating initiative