The main thrust of my research is adoption and use of information and communication technologies in diverse cultural, economic, and political contexts, mainly authoritarian post-Soviet states. The adoption side, I look at barriers to use – often socioeconomic, but sometimes political or cultural. On the outcome of ICT use side, I study outcomes like decreasing or increasing inequality due to ICTs, cosmopolitanism, capital enhancement, civic engagement, demand for democracy, and social activism.
Methodologically, most of my work is quantitative modeling, although I do some qualitative work especially for the purpose of triangulating. I mostly using public opinion surveys.
Digital Divide: I study inequality – both as an antecedent to and an outcome of technology ownership and use. This is both an individual and a national level issue in my research.
Technology as capital enhancing: An important research question for me is the impact of information and communication technologies on capital – economic, social, political, cultural.
Diffusion of Innovation: This theory of how, why, and at what rate new ideas spread or are rejected through social systems centers on conditions that increase or decrease the likelihood that something new will be adopted.
Media and Device Convergence, Mobile Technologies: A primary concept underlying some of my research is convergence, the integration of multiple sources of digitized content across devices and into single devices with multiple functions.
ICT4D: Information and Communication Technology for Development is an area in which I have professional experience and is an academic interest of mine.
Democratization and civic engagement: The relationship between democratization and civic engagement with information and communication technologies is something that I am currently exploring.
Political Trust: Political and institutional trust in a post-Soviet context as well as how technology use influences trust is a secondary research track.
Cross-Cultural and Mixed Methods Research: While I am primarily a quantitative scholar, a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods, i.e., mixed methods research, provides for a better understanding of research problems, especially in cross-cultural research, than either method alone.
I frequently use the Caucasus Barometer as a quantitative data source.
Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia are considered lower middle income states with national and household economies in transition, although the 3 neighbors have taken different trajectories. [Armenia still struggles with economic development for a variety of reasons AM economic overview; Azerbaijan has oil wealth AZ economic overview; Georgia democratized after a revolution in the early 2000s and has seen significant economic development since GE economic overview.
Despite their economic challenges, all 3 states have high levels of literacy and education. With nearly the entire populations being literate, I can control for the effect of literacy on technology adoption and use.
Culturally, people in this region are known for their love of life, strong ties to their family and friends, and a strong culture of hospitality. While there is variance within the countries and this manifests in different ways in the 3 different cultures, these old nations have long entangled histories.