Lauren Young

Assistant Professor of Political Science



Lauren Young is a Postdoctoral Fellow at CDDRL. Her research aims to understand how citizens make decisions when faced with the threat of political violence. In her dissertation, which uses a mix of experimental, quasi-experimental, and qualitative methods with more than 2,100 total participants, she investigates how emotions influence decisions to participate in pro-democracy dissent using the case of Zimbabwe. She finds that emotions have a causal effect on how opposition supporters perceive and process information by making them pessimistic about the risk of repression and risk averse. These psychological effects have important implications for understanding why some opposition supporters choose to express their dissent while others remain silent, and for the strategies that activists and autocrats use to mobilize and demobilize citizens. Lauren is currently working on projects that test for similar effects in the context of narco-trafficking, violent crime, and police abuse. Lauren received her PhD in Political Science with distinction from Columbia University in May 2016 and holds a BA from Stanford University with honors in International Security Studies.


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