Jess is a political sociologist studying global norm diffusion, globalization, and development from a comparative, cross-national perspective. Using a combination of advanced quantitative research methodologies, Jess explores how development outcomes are transformed, contested, and resisted by nations, organizations, and individuals. Substantively, her research explores a variety of topics, including democracy, gender, and the environment and climate change.More broadly, her work offers key insights into nascent global sociopolitical trends, namely: the decline of the liberal international order amidst rising illiberal alternatives.
Jess is currently a Post Doctoral Researcher working at the WZB Social Science Research Center in the Global Sociology Unitas part of WZB's International Politics and Law research group and Freie University's Contestation of the Liberal Script (SCRIPTS) Cluster of Excellence, where she explores the diffusion and contestation of global cultural scripts. She received her undergraduate degree in Sociology and Political Science from SUNY Geneseo and her Masters and PhD in Sociology from Stony Brook University. She also spent a summer doing development fieldwork in Uganda promoting women's empowerment, food security, and health and wellbeing. She has published papers in several interdisciplinary social science journals, including Politics and Gender, Sociology of Development, and Human Rights Quarterly, and her research on democracy promotion has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).