Laura Paler is an Associate Professor in the Department of Government in the School of Public Affairs at American University and co-director of the Democratic Erosion Consortium. Dr. Paler studies comparative politics and the political economy of development. Her most recent research focuses on understanding ethnic and identity-based polarization and strategies for improving intergroup relations. Dr. Paler conducts large-scale field research projects that employ experiments or quasi-experimental methods for causal inference and that involve the collection of original survey and behavioral data. She has conducted research in a number of countries, including Indonesia, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Uganda, Lebanon, and, most recently, the United States. Dr. Paler has published in a number of leading journals, including The American Political Science Review, the Journal of Politics, and the Quarterly Journal of Political Science. She is also an active member of the Evidence in Governance and Politics (EGAP) network and was formerly a fellow at the Center for Global Development in Washington, DC. Dr. Paler holds a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University, an M.Phil. from the University of Oxford, and a B.A. from The George Washington University.