Howley Hall 118
David’s research examines why illiberal democracies treat seemingly benign forms of pluralism, particularly religious pluralism, as a threat to national sovereignty. His research shows how religious policy in post-Soviet Central Asia excludes dissident attitudes from public life, bolstering regimes’ monopoly over public authority. Drawing from these cases, David develops a comparative model of illiberal and authoritarian politics that focuses on regime claims to represent an essential popular will that transcends mundane political and social divisions – a sacrosanct will which must be “defended” from pluralism. His research thus addresses the recent growth in populist, nationalist, and anti-globalist movements across diverse political contexts. His fields of interest include comparative politics, theory, sociology of religion, nationalism, civil society, and global development.