Welcome! I am a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford’s Immigration Policy Lab and a Research Associate at  New York University’s  Social Media and Political Participation Lab (SMaPP). I received my PhD in Political Science from NYU in 2018. My research uses social media data, network analysis, and experiments—in addition to more traditional data sources—to study mass and elite political behavior in the Arab World and other comparative contexts.

My dissertation offers new empirical insights into the drivers and mitigators of intergroup conflict in the post-Arab Spring period. Building off of previous work, the first paper uses Twitter and event data to show how Saudi clerics, royal family members, media outlets, extremist actors, and everyday citizens interact to spread hostile sectarian rhetoric in the aftermath of violent events. The second paper uses a nationally representative survey experiment in Lebanon and an online experiment across the Arab Twittersphere to evaluate what types of anti-bias interventions are most effective in reducing the spread of sectarian hate speech. Exploring the Islamist-Secular divide in post-coup Egypt, the third paper demonstrates that spending an additional year in an ideologically diverse online network is associated with a significant reduction in intolerant behavior over time. This dissertation research has received support from the National Science Foundation.

In related work with Jennifer Pan, I demonstrate how the arrests of key opinion leaders in Saudi Arabia impact their online behavior as well as that of their followers. Focusing on online extremism, my paper in the Journal of Language and Politics with Joshua Tucker empirically evaluates the successes and limitations of ISIS’ online strategy. Studying online extremism outside the MENA region, another project assesses the effect Donald Trump’s 2016 election on the popularity of online hate speech in the American Twittersphere.

New projects include joint work with Megan Metzger exploring Russia’s use of RT to spread propaganda during the Syrian civil war, and a project analyzing the spread of disinformation in the online networks of Syrian refugees.

I am a former Junior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a former CASA Fellow at the American University in Cairo. I hold a Bachelor’s in International Relations and Arabic from Tufts University.

On this website, you will find links to my CV, publications, working papers, and non-academic writing. Please do not hesitate to contact me at aasiegel@gmail.com with any questions or to request copies of my work.