Dana El Kurd is a PhD candidate in the Department of Government at The University of Texas at Austin, specializing in Comparative Politics and International Relations (IR). She is interested in how authoritarian regimes try to implement policies and how external intervention may affect their success. Her research lies at the intersection of comparative and IR research, particularly with regards to international influence on domestic institutions. Her dissertation addresses the effect of international (particularly U.S.) involvement on the Palestinian Authority, and how this has facilitated authoritarian trends over time. She also uses the Palestine case to explore how authoritarian practices affect polarization, and the implications this has for collective action and political mobilization.