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I am currently a Research Fellow with the Lab on Institutional Corruption at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University (2011-2013). Previously I was a Postdoctoral Research Associate with the Political Theory Project at Brown University (2010-2011). I received my PhD in Political Science from Duke University in 2010.

More information about my current appointment can be found on my Harvard page

My general fields of interest include:
Political Economy, Public Policy, Political Theory, Experimental Social Science, and Behavioral Genomics. 

Special topics:
Ethical Persuasion, Incentive Design, Trust, New Institutionalism, Statistical Methods, Philosophy of Social Science, Biological Foundations of Social Behavior, Organizational Behavior/Strategy, American Political Development, and the History of Political Thought.

Research Trajectory:
In my dissertation, I engaged wide ranging debates concerning the methodological foundations of social science, with a particular focus on the nature of ethical convictions and the phenomenon of persuasion. I showed how and why ethical persuasion is crucially important for resolving many social problems that have proved intractable within conventional frameworks of social science analysis, such as negotiating multicultural difference in liberal democracies and developing the political-economy of the third world. The interests animating my dissertation led to a number of further projects, including experimental field work on "trust" in Southeast Asia, laboratory investigations of economic preferences, and philosophical and statistical appraisals of biological-behavioral research, particularly in behavioral genomics. As a Research Fellow at Harvard's Ethics Center I am currently working on a series of theoretical and empirical studies aimed at better characterizing diverse rationales for corruption and distrust in political, financial, and medical institutions. The results will help inform a further set of investigations that examine strategies for eliciting ethical behavior in institutional settings where straightforward incentive design is infeasible. 

News and Updates

  • The Ethics of Competition My most recent Ethics Center Blog post is up:
    Posted Sep 2, 2012, 5:41 PM by William English
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