Ashley Anderson is a Carolina Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill. Her research and teaching interests are in comparative politics, with a focus on the political economy of authoritarian regimes, Middle Eastern political development, and contentious politics. Prior to accepting her position at UNC, she received her Ph.D from Harvard University where she served as graduate affiliate of both Harvard's Weatherhead Center for International Affairs (WCFIA) and the Institute for Quantitative and Qualitative Social Science (IQSS).
Her dissertation project, Going Political?: Labor, Institutions and Democratic Unrest in North Africa, investigates variation in political mobilization among labor unions in North Africa, using the cases of Tunisia and Morocco to answer the question, "Why, in authoritarian settings, do some unions choose to engage in anti-regime protest while others do not?". To answer this question her research draws upon 18 months of field-work as well as an original dataset, MENALC, which catalogues worker protest from 1980-2011 in thirteen Middle Eastern countries. Her work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Homeland Security, the Project on Middle Eastern Political Science (POMEPS), and the Weatherhead Center and IQSS.
Prior to graduate school, Ashley attended Stanford University, where she received her B.A. (with Honors) in International Relations and was inducted as a member of Phi Beta Kappa.