Ph.D., Politics, Princeton University, 2019
B.A., International Relations and Anthropology, NYU, 2010
I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science. My pronouns are she/her. I study national identity, conflict, and development in the context of migration, particularly within the Global South.
A central focus of my research is to bring evidence to questions, and often misperceptions, within scholarly and public debates about the effects of migrants on host communities. A few questions that I’m thinking about these days: How does the presence of forcibly displaced migrants affect local development and public goods provision, conflict, and voting behavior? For minoritized citizens who share ethnic and cultural ties with migrants, what explains why they are sometimes inclusive and pro-migrant, but other times, they seek to differentiate themselves by excluding or “othering” migrants? And in contexts marked by anti-migrant prejudice and discrimination, can certain types of interventions — like prolonged intergroup contact between locals and migrants — work in reducing tensions? These projects span multiple regions, including East Africa, Central Asia, and South America.
“Navigating ‘Insider’ and ‘Outsider’ Status as Researchers Conducting Field Experiments” (with Eunji Kim, Sumitra Badrinathan, Donghyun Danny Choi, and Sabrina Karim). PS: Political Science & Politics, (May 2022).
“Reexamining the Effect of Refugees on Civil Conflict: A Global Subnational Analysis “(with Andrew Shaver). American Political Science Review, Volume: 115, Issue 4 (November 2021), pp. 1175-1196.
“Team and Nation: Sports, Nationalism, and Attitudes toward Refugees” (with Leah Rosenzweig). Comparative Political Studies, Volume 54, Issue 12 (October 2021), pp. 2123–2154.
“Studying Migrant Exclusion in the Global South.”APSA Comparative Politics Newsletter (Spring 2021), pages 66-75.
“Self-Efficacy and Citizen Engagement in Development: Experimental Evidence from Tanzania” (with Evan Lieberman). Journal of Experimental Political Science, Volume: 9, Issue 1 (January 2021), pp. 46-63.
“Can Economic Assistance Shape Combatant Support in Wartime? Experimental Evidence from Afghanistan” (with Jason Lyall and Kosuke Imai). American Political Science Review, Volume: 114, Issue 1 (February 2020), pages 126-143.
“Design and Analysis of the Randomized Response Technique” (with Graeme Blair and Kosuke Imai). Journal of the American Statistical Association, Volume: 110, Issue: 511 (Sept. 2015).
Innovations for Poverty Action (2022), $10,000 USD
SSHRC Insight Development Grant (2021), $49,600 CAD
National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Grant (2021), $449,767 USD
CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholar Research Funding (2021), $135,000 CAD
DFID-World Bank-UNHCR Building the Evidence on Protracted Forced Displacement (2021), $25,000 USD
Lisa Akinyi May
Executive Committee Member, UBC Centre for Migration Studies
Faculty Affiliate, Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA)
Faculty Affiliate, Harvard Weatherhead Research Cluster on Comparative Inequality and Inclusion
Individual Researcher Member, Evidence in Governance and Politics (EGAP)