Staff and Research Team
David Buckley is Associate Professor of Political Science, and Paul Weber Endowed Chair in Politics, Science & Religion at the University of Louisville, where he serves as the Interim Director of the Center for Asian Democracy. His research focuses on the comparative relationship between religion and democracy. His book, Faithful to Secularism: The Religious Politics of Democracy in Ireland, Senegal and the Philippines (Columbia University Press 2017), analyzes the emergence endurance of secular democracy in cases with politically active religious majorities. It received the International Studies Association’s 2018 Book Award for Religion and International Relations. He was a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow (2016-17), serving as Senior Advisor in the Department of State’s Office of Religion in Global Affairs.
David is currently at work on two book manuscripts: one examining the changing place of religion in the U.S. foreign policy bureaucracy, and a second documenting the role of grassroots religious institutions in responding to violence associated with Rodrigo Duterte’s “drug war” in the Philippines. His research has been funded by the Social Science Research Council, APSA Centennial Center, Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, Notre Dame’s Global Religion Research Initiative, and the University of Gothenburg’s Program on Governance and Local Development (GLD). His work has appeared in leading journals of political science including the American Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, and Comparative Politics, as well as media outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal.
Dr. Taha Rauf
Taha Rauf (Ph.D., University of Michigan) serves as the Center for Asian Democracy’s Postdoctoral Fellow. Dr. Rauf studies the divergent implications of historical religious institutions for long-run development and democratic performance. His research involves the use of census-level administrative data from multiple sources across decades to develop large observational village-level datasets for Sufi Khanaqahs in India. This allows for rigorous statistical analysis and causal inference with multiple placebo tests and instrumental variable analysis, illuminating the channels of persistence. In addition to quantitative methods, he employs multi-site and multi-method qualitative fieldwork, including archival research, participant observation, and in-depth interviews, to elaborate on the institutional differences in coordination mechanisms.
Graduate Research Assistant
Toree Doll is a second-year political science MA student, with interests in US foreign policy, economics, and democratic trends in Southeast Asia. Toree is also a UofL undergraduate alumna, where she earned a B.A. in Political Science, a B.A. in Economics, and minored in Chinese language.
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Tristin Black is a senior at the University of Louisville majoring in political science and pan-African studies. Tristin is a Brown Fellow at the University of Louisville, and his research interests include US foreign policy and democracy in Asia. He has recently completed an internship with the United States Department of State.
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Mikaella “Mika” Tañales is a junior at the University of Louisville majoring in Political Science and Finance, with a minor in Chinese. Mika’s research interests include politics in her native country, the Philippines, as well as United States national security. She has recently completed an internship with the United States Department of Justice.