My research examines the relationship between civil society and democracy through a variety of lenses. I have several projects that explore the ability of civil society to promote citizen participation. In the U.S context, this is examined in my award-winning, Nonprofit & Voluntary Sector Quarterly co-authored piece entitled, “Can Nonprofits Increase Voter Turnout? Evidence From an Agency-Based Mobilization Experiment.” I have also looked at this question from a comparative perspective, with work in International Journal of Public Administration and International Review of Administrative Sciences that explores determinants of local political participation in West Africa, specifically how attitudes and perceptions about local government influence citizen engagement. Most recently, my article in the Journal of Civil Society explores the potential influence of civil society density on local political participation in Liberia.
My work incorporates original field research, including data collected from civil society organizations in Liberia spanning from 2015 to 2022. This data was harnessed in a contribution to a special issue of Voluntas: The International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations that explores the nature of the donor-CSO relationship in Liberia, changes in patterns of donor aid and the implications for civil society in Liberia, and the ability of grassroots organizations to perform a substantive role in post-war redevelopment.
Currently, I am completing an edited volume titled "Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Lives: the Role of Women in Development in West Africa" (Kelly Krawczyk, Bridgett King, and Atta Ceesay, editors). There is a dearth of work that provides empirical evidence about the contributions of women to development in West Africa. This volume helps fill this gap, offering a micro-level, rich, and nuanced view of the contributions of West African women to social, economic, and political development. Furthermore, it does so in a unique way: the contributors to this volume are themselves women who represent both the global North and South, coming together to illuminate and expound on the important social, political, and economic contributions made by women in West Africa. This edited volume is written by women, for women.
I am also working on a book project that explores the role of indigenous civil society during the 2014-2016 Ebola crisis in Liberia. Using content analysis of semi-structured interviews with 50 CSOs that engaged in Ebola relief, as well as social network analysis, I explore the unique contributions of civil society to the cross-sector collaboration formed to fight Ebola. I also examine whether lessons learned during the Ebola crisis were applied during the Covid-19 pandemic.