I am a PhD student in Political Science at Duke University. I received a MSc Economics degree from the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (Popmeu Fabra) and a BS Economics degree from the University of the Philippines-Diliman.


My research examines the political economy and political institutions of weak states. I have a regional focus on Southeast Asia, specifically the Philippines. In particular, I am interested in how social, economic or civil society groups outside of the state (such as the family, the Church, and agricultural elites) provide governance and state functions when the state is unable to do so, and the implications of such arrangements for political and economic outcomes.

Specific examples of my research include:

  • The political family as an informal coordinating organizations which allows politicians from within the family to coordinate over policy when formal organizations such as parties are weak.

  • The colonial Catholic missions as an extension of the colonial state, engaging in colonial state-building in lieu of secular colonizers but given the opportunity to convert natives in return.


I use a variety of quantitative tools, such as interviews and statistical analyses, and various types of data such as survey data, historical documents, and observational data to answer these questions. 

Besides my research, I am interested in teaching courses on the political economy of development, the politics of Southeast Asia, and quantitative methods.