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Current Fellows

Fellowships are awarded across core social and behavioral science disciplines, including: anthropology, economics, political science, psychology, and sociology; in addition to humanistic scholars from the fields of education, linguistics, and the biological, natural, and health sciences.


Michael Albertus

Political Science

University of Chicago

Michael Albertus will spend the fellowship year working on a book project on why governments that redistribute property often withhold property rights from beneficiaries, why subsequent governments sometimes extend property rights to those that lack them, and how “property rights gaps” shape economic and social development. Billions of people in the last century alone have spent their lives living and working on property that they receive from a government but that lacks property rights. He will also investigate the related question of how the distribution of property impacts social conflict, drawing on cases from Latin America and Europe. 

Albertus is an associate professor of political science at the University of Chicago. His broader research interests include redistribution, political regime transitions and regime stability, politics under dictatorship, clientelism, and conflict. Albertus’s first book, Autocracy and Redistribution: The Politics of Land Reform (Cambridge University Press, 2015), won the Gregory Luebbert Award for best book in comparative politics and the LASA Bryce Wood Award for best book on Latin America in the social sciences and humanities. His second book, co-authored with Victor Menaldo, Authoritarianism and the Elite Origins of Democracy (Cambridge University Press, 2018), explores the origins of democracy and the impact that autocratic legacies have on the institutional architecture of democracy as well as its representativeness and distributive implications. He has also recently published in journals such as American Journal of Political Science, World Politics, Journal of Conflict Resolution, British Journal of Political Science, and Comparative Political Studies.

For more information, please visit his website:

Rene Almeling


Yale University

During the fellowship year, Rene Almeling will be completing her second book, GUYnecology: The Missing Science of How Men’s Health Matters for Reproduction, a history of medical knowledge-making about men’s reproduction and its consequences for individual men.

In her work, using a range of qualitative, historical, and quantitative methods, she examines questions about how biological bodies and cultural norms interact to influence scientific knowledge, medical markets, and individual experiences. She is the author of Sex Cells: The Medical Market for Eggs and Sperm (University of California Press, 2011), an award-winning book that offers an inside look at the American market for egg donors and sperm donors. Almeling has also conducted two original surveys, the first on Americans’ attitudes toward genetic risk (with Shana Gadarian) and the other on women’s bodily experiences of IVF.

Almeling is an associate professor of sociology at Yale University with research and teaching interests in gender and medicine.   Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and her articles have appeared in American Sociological Review, Annual Review of SociologyJournal of Health and Social Behavior, and Gender & Society. She is a recipient of the Arthur Greer Memorial Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Research, one of Yale’s highest honors. At Yale, she holds courtesy appointments in American Studies, the School of Public Health (Health Policy and Management), and the Yale School of Medicine (History of Medicine). 

More information is available at

Sonja Amadae

Political Science

University of Helsinki

S. M. Amadae will be working on the book project “Neoliberal Seeds of Illberalism:  Nordic Alternatives.”  This research seeks to understand the recent global transition to illiberal hybrid autocratic forms of government and to identify practical interventions consistent with values of participatory governance, a free press, and inclusive economic prosperity.  It draws on previous and ongoing research into late modern capitalist democracy which identifies neoliberal expressions of political economy in contrast to classical liberal forms spanning the right (e.g. Robert Nozick) and the left (John Rawls). It investigates how neoliberal forms of political economy are inherently illiberal.  Amadae draws on current research in Finland and the Nordic countries to put forward a non-utopian alternative based on existing practices of democratic governance, free trade, and the welfare state model.

Amadae is currently a university lecturer in politics at the University of Helsinki, Finland and also holds appointments as associate professor in International Political Economy in Politics at Swansea University, Wales; and research affiliate in Science, Technology, and Society at MIT.  Her publications include Prisoners of Reason:  Game Theory and Neoliberal Political Economy (Cambridge University Press, 2016) and the award winning Rationalizing Capitalist Democracy:  Cold War Origins of Rational Choice Liberalism (University of Chicago Press, 2003).  Amadae recently contributed to The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Strategic Stability and Nuclear Risk  (SIPRI, 2019) from the perspective of reducing existential risk of accidental or inadvertent nuclear war. 

In 2019-20, Amadae is a Berggruen fellow at CASBS.

W. Brian Arthur


Santa Fe Institute

At CASBS Brian Arthur will explore Combinatorial Evolution. This is a mechanism for evolution that occurs particularly in technology. Radically new technologies don’t come into existence by the cumulation of small changes in earlier technologies—the jet engine did not emerge from small changes in air piston engines. Rather, they spring from combining or integrating earlier technologies, and go on to become building blocks for yet further technologies. Arthur will explore this mechanism for evolution, how it works, and how it acts to create a hierarchy of modular forms.

Arthur is currently External Professor at Santa Fe Institute. He earlier led a group at the Santa Fe Institute to develop an alternative approach to economics— “complexity economics.” The standard framework sees behavior in the economy as in an equilibrium steady state, with people in the economy facing well-defined problems and using perfect deductive reasoning to base their actions on. The complexity framework by contrast sees the economy as always in process. People try to make sense of the situations they face using whatever reasoning they have at hand, and together create outcomes they must individually react to anew. The resulting economy is not a well-ordered machine, but a complex evolving system that is imperfect and perpetually constructing itself anew.

Arthur’s website is

Nina Bandelj


University of California, Irvine

Nina Bandelj is an economic sociologist, studying how social structures, culture, power and emotions influence economic and organizational processes, including investment and debt, inequality, globalization, postsocialist transformations, and ideas about economy.

During her fellowship year, Bandelj will be writing a book on economy of parenting. The project dismantles the false divide between cold finance and warm and fuzzy babies to investigate the creation, over the past thirty years, of the “investment child,” or efforts of parents to increasingly express love for their children through monies they invest, expend and borrow to secure kids’ future. The book will also consider the implications this visceral economy of parenting has for deepening economic and racial inequality among families in the United States.

Bandelj’s previous books include, From Communists to Foreign Capitalists: The Social Foundations of Foreign Direct Investment in Postsocialist Europe (Princeton University Press, 2008), Economic Sociology of Work (Emerald Group Publishing, 2009), Economy and State: A Sociological Perspective (Polity, 2010, with E. Sowers), The Cultural Wealth of Nations (Stanford University Press, 2011, with F. Wherry), Socialism Vanquished, Socialism Challenged: Eastern Europe and China, 1989-2009 (Oxford University Press, 2012, with D. Solinger) and Money Talks: Explaining How Money Really Works (Princeton University Press, 2017, with F. Wherry and V. Zelizer).

Bandelj is professor of sociology and associate vice provost for faculty development at the University of California, Irvine, and one of the editors of Socio-Economic Review. She received her PhD from Princeton University. For more, see her website at:

Donald Barr


Stanford University

During his fellowship year, Donald Barr will explore the many ways the recent social and political turbulence in the U.S. is likely to impact the future direction of our health care system. He will give particular emphasis to the potential impacts on vulnerable populations such as the elderly, those in poverty, and children. Barr will use this analysis as the basis of a new edition of his textbook, Introduction to U.S. Health Policy, published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2016.

Barr’s research interests include the study of racial and ethnic disparities in health care, and factors associated with higher rates of attrition from pre-medical studies among under-represented minority students. The third edition of his book, Health Disparities in the United States, will be published by Johns Hopkins Press in fall of 2019.

Barr received his MD from the University of California, San Francisco and his PhD in sociology from Stanford University.  He is professor of pediatrics in the Stanford School of Medicine, and in the Graduate School of Education by courtesy. He teaches courses in U.S. Health Policy and in Health Disparities as part of Stanford’s undergraduate Program in Human Biology. He was awarded the Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for Distinctive Contribution to Undergraduate Education at Stanford, and the university’s Miriam Aaron Roland Volunteer Service Prize for his integration of teaching, scholarship, and service to society.

You can see more about his work at

Kathleen Belew


University of Chicago

Kathleen Belew specializes in the recent history of the United States, examining the long aftermath of warfare.  At CASBS, she will work on the long ramifications of violence, studying mass violence, political and cultural formation, and the history of the 1990s.

Her first book, Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America (Harvard University Press, 2018), explores how white power activists wrought a cohesive social movement through a common story about warfare and its weapons, uniforms, and technologies. By uniting previously disparate Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazi, skinhead, and other groups, the movement carried out escalating acts of violence that reached a crescendo in the 1995 bombing of Oklahoma City.

Belew is assistant professor of U.S. History and the College at the University of Chicago. She has held postdoctoral fellowships from Northwestern University and Rutgers University. Her research has received the support of the Andrew W. Mellon and Jacob K. Javits Foundations, as well as Albert J. Beveridge and John F. Enders grants for research in Mexico and Nicaragua. She holds a doctoral degree in American Studies from Yale University (2011). She earned her undergraduate degree in the Comparative History of Ideas from the University of Washington in 2005, where she was named Dean’s Medalist in the Humanities. Her award-winning teaching centers on the broad themes of race, gender, violence, identity, and the meaning of war.

For more information about her work, please visit

Mario Biagioli

Science and Technology Studies

University of California, Davis

Mario Biagioli is spending this year at CASBS to work on “Metrics, Misconduct, and the Future of Publication” – a book on what the emergence of new forms of fraud and misconduct can teach us about the function and meaning of publication, evaluation, quality, authorship, and credit in the age of metrics and the globalization of academic publishing.  Academic publications have been a long-term research interest of his, from the dedications of early modern scientific texts, to the history of peer review, multiauthorship in science, data ownership, and open access publication regimes.

Biagioli is a Distinguished Professor of Law, Science & Technology Studies at UC Davis.  He previously taught at UCLA, Harvard, and, as a visiting faculty, at Stanford, Chicago, the European University at St. Petersburg, and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Paris).  A former Guggenheim, IAS, and ACLS fellow, he is author of Galileo Courtier (Chicago, 1993) and Galileo's Instruments of Credit (Chicago, 2006), the editor of The Science Studies Reader (Routledge, 1998), and the co-editor of Scientific Authorship: Credit and Intellectual Property in Science (Routledge, 2003), Making and Unmaking Intellectual Property (Chicago, 2011), Nature Engaged (Palgrave, 2012), From Russia with Code (Duke, 2019) and Gaming Metrics: Innovation and Surveillance in Academic Misconduct (MIT Press, 2020).

Michael Brownstein


City University of New York

Michael Brownstein plans to spend his fellowship year starting a book on “epistemic tribalism,” the tendency people have to form their political beliefs by considering what their peers and friends believe. For example, when taking a position on what to do about climate change, political leaders and their constituents often evaluate whether a policy coheres with their own group’s goals and values instead of whether the policy is backed by solid evidence. The project has three parts: (1) why (and when) are we disposed to think tribally in politics? (2) what do historical examples of efforts to “detribalize” politics demonstrate? (3) what are the most effective techniques for combating epistemic tribalism today?

Brownstein’s research specialization is in the philosophy of psychology and cognitive science, with a focus on moral psychology and the intersection of science and ethics. In addition to work on topics such as skill, spontaneity, and self-control, Brownstein has published on a range of issues related to implicit bias. He recently published a monograph, The Implicit Mind: Cognitive Architecture, the Self, and Ethics (Oxford, 2018), and previously co-edited a two volume series, Implicit Bias and Philosophy (Oxford, 2016). He has held fellowships at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Council of Learned Societies. 

Brownstein is associate professor of philosophy at John Jay College/CUNY. Having attended Deep Springs College and Columbia University, Brownstein received his PhD from Penn State in 2009. In 2019-20, Brownstein is an ACLS Burkhardt Fellow at CASBS in 2019-20.

Learn more about his work at

Marco Casari


University of Bologna

During his fellowship at CASBS, Marco Casari will be working on research projects studying the foundations of cooperation either among individuals or among different societies. The methodology followed will be laboratory experiments guided by theoretical and behavioral insights. The first line of research will be about uncovering which institutions and strategies enable individuals to improve cooperation levels under conditions of imperfect monitoring. The second line of research wants to identify obstacles in overcoming the social dilemma of global climate change. One challenge for climate change experiments is in overcoming issues of external validity. Additionally, Casari plans to begin writing a textbook to introduce political science students to micro-Economics through historical examples and a problem-oriented approach.


Casari is a professor of political economy at the University of Bologna and an IZA Fellow in Bonn, Germany. He is the director of the Bologna Laboratory for Experiments in the Social Sciences. To learn more about Marco’s work see his website at

R. Alta Charo


University of Wisconsin

R. Alta Charo is interested in use and misuse of biology in law. Concepts of “male” or “female,” “alive” and “dead,” of race and ethnicity, and even “human” and “non-human” are neither as clear nor as useful for legal categories as policymakers often assume.  Many of these issues have been explored in themselves, but they have not been adequately explored across examples.  Clearly biology has failed to capture all the social categories above.  But when policy deviates too far from biological definitions, the result can be public confusion (as with brain death). Biology can also be used to fight redefining entire categories of people as non-people (as with slavery). During the fellowship year, Charo would like to develop a structured approach to when and how biological concepts should be used to constrain legal imagination, versus when and how they should be abandoned in favor of social definitions that better serve the purposes of law.

Charo is the Warren P. Knowles Professor of Law and Bioethics at the University of Wisconsin.  Previously she was a legal analyst for the congressional Office of Technology Assessment and for the U.S. Agency for International Development. She has also been a senior policy advisor at the FDA. She focuses on governance of emerging biotechnologies, including with respect to national security threats.  Charo is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, where she co-chaired its committees on embryonic stem cell research and on genome editing.  Most recently Charo was one of the organizers for the Genome Editing Summit in Hong Kong, and was named to the WHO advisory committee on “Developing Global Standards for Governance and Oversight of Human Genome Editing.” In 2019-20, she is a Berggruen fellow at CASBS.

Wendy K. Tam Cho

Political Science

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Wendy K. Tam Cho’s research is widely interdisciplinary and focuses on the development and application of computational and statistical models in the social sciences.  She has a broad interest in the role of technology in promoting societal well-being.  She has written extensively on the process of redistricting and how technological advances can reshape how we envision, understand, and execute the redrawing of electoral maps.  Her work thus far has focused on technical development of algorithms and statistical models.  During her fellowship year, she will continue to develop the technical underpinnings of her research as well as developing a more substantive focus on the policy front and how, for instance, independent redistricting commissions might adopt the new and developing technology.

Cho is a professor of political science, statistics, mathematics, law, and Asian American studies and Senior Research Scientist at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

For more information, see

David Ciepley

Political Science

Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture

David Ciepley will spend the year writing a book on the two-hundred-year effort of Americans to keep their corporate economy compatible with constitutional democracy.  His central contention is that corporations are not purely private associations, but rather, are little governments created by the state in its own image, then placed in private hands. Corporations are “replicants” of the state, designed to augment the collective power of private parties, originally to advance public ends. The book begins with England chartering merchant guilds to build its first, corporate empire. In North America, colonists ruled by these guilds pushed them in an egalitarian direction, creating corporate republics and, ultimately, a constitutional democracy. In the Indies, the guild was developed in an authoritarian direction, producing the business corporation. The remainder of the book describes the failing effort of Americans to hold these two together. The cautious early American experiment in chartering business corporations for narrow public purposes spun out of control as corporations were reclassified from “bodies politic” serving the public, to private concerns serving their stockholders alone. 

The book is part of a long-term project to develop a new analytical, historical, and normative framework for understanding our corporate civilization, in light of the failure of our canonical social theorists—e.g. Smith, Marx, and Weber—to provide us with analytical concepts and historical narratives adequate to our corporate world, in which productive property is overwhelmingly owned by abstract legal entities rather than natural persons.

Ciepley is a nonresident fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia. He was previously associate professor of political science at the University of Denver. He holds his PhD from the University of Chicago. In 2019-20, he is a Berggruen fellow at CASBS.

Jefferson Cowie


Vanderbilt University

Jefferson Cowie will be spending his fellowship year working on a book titled “The Dark Note of Freedom” (Basic Books), which explores how racialized anti-statism became a core pillar in the ideology of American freedom. The book unfolds through four dramatic episodes of federal intervention in one rural Alabama county: Indian removal (1830s), Reconstruction (1860-1870s), the Age of Reform (1901-1945), and the civil rights era (1954-1970).  In each episode, local resistance to federal authority reveals an enduring but ever-shifting American anti-statism, the racial dimensions of American democracy, and the ways in which American “freedom” contains a form of belligerence: a militant defense of the right to do as one likes to others without restraint.

This project departs from Cowie’s major research stream in postwar US labor and working class history. His previous publications include: Stayin’ Alive: The 1970s and the Last Days of the Working Class (The New Press, 2010), The Great Exception: The New Deal and the Limits of American Politics (Princeton University Press, 2016), and Capital Moves: RCA’s Seventy-Year Quest for Cheap Labor (The New Press, 2000).

Cowie holds the James G. Stahlman Chair in American History at Vanderbilt University, where he also directs the Economics and History major. More at:

Nicole Ellison


University of Michigan

During her year at CASBS, Nicole Ellison hopes to write a book on the psychological and social implications of social media use, which is a topic she has been thinking about for many years but has explored primarily through empirical, collaborative shorter journal articles and proceedings. With her book, she hopes to synthesize existing scholarship in a way that surfaces elements of the conversation that she believes are not receiving enough attention in contemporary popular discourse. Structured loosely around the question of when, why, and how social media use can benefit and harm individuals in a variety of domains, her book project will include a more robust consideration of the positive outcomes of use, such as social capital and social support, as well as a (hopefully) more measured discussion of the actual harms and areas for concern. From a theory-building perspective, her hope is that this project will translate research in relevant domains (e.g., psychology, communication studies, sociology, political science) and propose a framework that articulates the practices, motivations, and outcomes of social media use, with an eye towards providing guidance for individuals, platforms/designers, and policy-makers.  She is considering a popular book aimed at users, not academics, and hopes to explore the benefits and challenges of single-author, long-form writing among CASBS fellow travelers next year.

Currently, Ellison is the Karl E. Weick Collegiate Professor of Information in the School of Information at the University of Michigan.  She also serves as chair of the Communication and Technology (CAT) division of the International Communication Association (ICA) and an associate editor for the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. She received her PhD in communication theory and research in 1999 from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication.  Over the last twenty years, her research has explored a wide range of issues all loosely concerned with the social and interpersonal aspects of online technologies and computer-mediated communication. Favorite projects include studying self-presentational strategies used by online dating participants; exploring the role of social media in reshaping college access patterns for low-income and first-generation college students; and a broad collaborative project spanning many years that documents the ways in which users employ the communication affordances of Facebook to exchange social and informational support with their network and how the platform is used to maintain relationships with both weak and strong ties. 

Christine Ford

Statistics and Probability

Palo Alto University

During the fellowship year, Christine Ford plans to read correspondence received regarding her testimony before the US Senate and her experience interacting with media over the past year. 

Ford is professor of psychology at Palo Alto University. She is also a research psychologist and biostatistician in the psychiatry department, Stanford School of Medicine. Since 2011, she has been a psychology professor in the Stanford-PGSP Consortium for Clinical Psychology, a collaborative program between Palo Alto University and Stanford University. She received a PhD in psychology from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree from Pepperdine University. In 2009, she earned a master’s degree in epidemiology, with a focus on the subject of biostatistics, from Stanford University School of Medicine.

Sandra Gonzalez-Bailon


University of Pennsylvania

Sandra González-Bailón’s research lies at the intersection of computational social science, network science, and political communication. During her time at CASBS she will work on a book project on how online networks shape exposure to political news and information, and the implications for how we design algorithms affecting the operation of those networks. Digital technologies emerged to democratize the production of news content, but they have also disrupted the way in which news media function, drastically shifting entryways to political information. These changes create unprecedented difficulties to fulfil the normative vision of the informed citizen on which our models of democracy rely. The book will offer a new analytical framework to understand the nature of the challenge using new indicators of exposure to political news that are possible through the analysis of digital traces. This framework relies on a novel combination of computational tools (borrowed from network science, machine learning, natural language processing, and computer vision) applied to the analysis of news exposure across different political contexts. González-Bailón will also work on her NSF-funded project “Digital News and the Consumption of Information Online”, which aims to provide unprecedented comparative evidence of how people consume news online using digital trace data from 23 different countries.

González-Bailón is an associate professor at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania.

You can find more information about her research on her group’s website:

Guy Grossman

Political Science

University of Pennsylvania

During his fellowship year, Guy Grossman plans to write a book about how to use mobile phone innovations to improve political accountability and public services in low-income countries. Drawing on his recent studies of these innovations in Uganda, the book will guide academics and practitioners toward realistic expectations of when mobile phone innovations can (and cannot) improve governance outcomes.  The book project stems from Grossman’s prior work on political accountability and government responsiveness in Sub-Saharan Africa. At CASBS and as a faculty affiliate of Stanford’s Immigration Policy Lab (IPL), Grossman also plans to advance his new research agenda on forced migration and human trafficking.

Grossman is associate professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a member of the Evidence in Governance and Politics (EGAP) network and Penn’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity, Race, and Immigration (CSERI). His work has appeared in the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, International Organization and Journal of Politics, among other journals.  He holds a PhD in political science from Columbia University, as well as MA in political philosophy and LLB in law, both from Tel-Aviv University.

For more information about his work, please visit:

Anita Hardon


University of Amsterdam

Trained as an anthropologist and medical biologist, Anita Hardon has been engaged in ambitious multi-level, multi-sited and often interdisciplinary studies on immunization, new reproductive technologies, and AIDS medicines that have generated ethnographic insights on the appropriation of these technologies in diverse social-cultural settings, their efficacy in everyday life, the role of social movements in their design, and the dynamics of care and policy- making in their provision. The latest multi-sited ethnography, ChemicalYouth was awarded an ERC Advanced Grant. It aims to understand what chemical and pharmaceutical substances, and not only illicit narcotics, ‘do’ for youths, using concepts and theories from medical anthropology, science and technology studies and youth studies. The generous ERC funding, not only resulted in theoretical advancements (see Hardon and Sanabria 2017), it also enabled experimentation with new ways of doing ethnography (involving methods from digital humanities and design).

Hardon is Full Professor in Anthropology of Care and Health at the University of Amsterdam. At CASBS she intends to conduct a comparative analysis of the ChemicalYouth ethnographies (63 subproject conducted by over 30 young researchers from the USA, the Netherlands, France, Indonesia, the Philippines and Ethiopia) and write a paper reflecting on the multi-modal and collaborative ethnography that they conducted.

For more information about her work, please visit:

Mai Hassan

Political Science

University of Michigan

During her fellowship year, Mai Hassan will work on new projects on Sudan’s autocracy and recent revolution. Her past scholarship has been on regime change and the state, especially the politicization of the public sector in Africa. Her first book, Regime Threats and State Solutions: Bureaucratic Loyalty and Embeddedness in Kenya, (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming), examines how the management of bureaucrats in Kenya affects their willingness and ability to comply with politicized orders across both autocratic and electoral regimes. In doing so, the book shows that variation in state capacity across a country is purposeful, and dependent on the interests and abilities of local bureaucrats.

Hassan has been an assistant professor in the political science department at the University of Michigan since 2016 and earned her PhD in government at Harvard University.

Michael Hiscox

Political Science

Harvard University

Michael J. Hiscox will be working on the “Future of Capitalism” Initiative. He plans to spend the year examining the ways businesses are responding to new and growing pressures to do good (by improving environmental and social outcomes) at the same time as they do well (by making profits and increasing shareholder value). Firms are now expected to earn a “social license to operate” and play a role in helping communities address issues as diverse as climate change, human rights, poverty, discrimination, and privacy in ways not required by formal government regulations. Many leading companies and new social enterprises are targeting a “triple bottom line” and building sustainability and accountability into their core business models. The research at CASBS will examine when and how firms that do good can also do well.

Hiscox is the Clarence Dillon Professor of International Affairs in the department of government, Harvard University. At Harvard he is the founding director of the Sustainability, Transparency, Accountability Research (STAR) Lab and a faculty member of the Behavioral Insights Group at Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership. He is also a faculty associate at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science, the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, and the Harvard University Center for the Environment.  While on leave from Harvard between 2015 and 2017, Hiscox was the founding director of the Behavioural Economics Team (BETA) in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Australian Government. He continues to serve as an adviser to BETA.

His past research has examined international trade and immigration policy, economic development, global supply chains, corporate responsibility and sustainability initiatives, and policies addressing economic, social, and public health issues in several countries. In recent years, working with governments, non-profit organizations, and corporations, he has designed and implemented randomized trials to evaluate a wide range of government policies, company initiatives, and programs administered by non-profit organizations in the United States, Australia, Singapore, Indonesia, Ghana, and Cote d’Ivoire.

Hiscox is a 2019-20 Berggruen fellow at CASBS.

Robert Jackson

Earth Sciences

Stanford University

Robert Jackson is an Earth and environmental scientist ( At CASBS, he plans to analyze relationships of energy use with environmental, economic, and health-related outcomes, including life expectancy, infant mortality, pollution, happiness, diet, and more.

Jackson is the Douglas Provostial Professor at Stanford University. He and his lab study the many ways people affect the Earth. They are currently examining the effects of climate change and droughts on forest mortality and grassland ecosystems. They are also working to measure and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the Global Carbon Project (, which Jackson chairs. Examples of new include establishing a global network of methane tower measurements at more than 60 sites worldwide and measuring and reducing methane emissions from oil and gas wells, city streets, and homes and buildings.

As an author and photographer, Jackson has published a trade book about the environment (The Earth Remains Forever, University of Texas Press, 2002), two books of children’s poems, Animal Mischief (Boyds Mills Press, 2006)and Weekend Mischief (Highlights Magazine, 2010), and recent poems in the literary journals such as Southwest Review, Cortland Review, Cold Mountain Review, Atlanta Review, and LitHub. He hopes to complete a new poetry volume about the environment during his time at CASBS. His photographs have appeared in many media outlets, including the NY Times, Washington Post, USA Today, and National Geographic News.

Ruth Levine

Development Economics

William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

During her year at CASBS as a policy fellow, Ruth Levine will be working on a series of essays focused on how global institutions, including multilateral and bilateral agencies, non-governmental organizations, and philanthropies, can reorient themselves to better address current and future problems in global development. The essays, targeted toward a range of audiences and drawing on bodies of research in political science, economics, sociology, demography, and anthropology, will outline the nature of contemporary problems, with a focus on three types:  those that connect countries and can be solved only through mutual action; those that appear in one form or another in every country and can best be addressed through particular types of knowledge-sharing and solidarity among affected communities; and those that result from weak institutions in conflict-affected states and require particular forms of international and regional action.  She will argue for a reconceptualization of the field of global development as a project of mutual support, exchange, and negotiation among all regions of the world.

Most recently, Levine was director of the global development and population program at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Earlier, she held senior positions at the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Center for Global Development; she also worked for the World Bank and the InterAmerican Development Bank.

See more about Levine’s work at

Lianjiang Li

Political Science

Chinese University of Hong Kong

During his year as a CUHK-CASBS Fellow, Lianjiang Li will work on a monograph entitled Political Trust in China. The book examines patterns, sources, significance and dynamics of change of trust in government in the People’s Republic of China. It will elaborate on several preliminary findings. First, many people sound confident about the central government while only trust the top echelon of the central leadership or even only the supreme leader. Second, many people sound fully confident about the top leader while only having trust in his commitment to serving the public interest. Third, trust in the top leader’s commitment is a faith in that many people believe that it is in his self-interest as the master of the country to prevent his local agents from driving the people into rebellion. Lastly, younger generations who manage to obtain uncensored information about critical historical events and corruption scandals involving senior leaders are more likely to develop distrust in the central government’s commitment to serving the public interest, which in turn fosters rights consciousness and preference for a more democratic political system. 

Li is a professor in the department of government and public administration at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His research focuses on rural elections, popular protest and political trust in China.

For more information, visit

Paula M. L. Moya

Language and Literature

Stanford University

Paula M. L. Moya is working with a team of interdisciplinary scholars and researchers on a “Reading Race” online toolkit hosted by SPARQ (Social Psychological Answers to Real-world Questions) and CCSRE (Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity) at Stanford University. This website-based digital toolkit is designed to promote racial literacy through critical engagement with multicultural literature. The project builds on interdisciplinary research and the premise that race is not a thing that people have or are, but rather actions that people do as they interact with one another and the world. Together with the “Reading Race” team, Moya aims to help teachers and students uncover, examine, and question race and power in the classroom in interesting and effective ways.

Moya’s teaching and research focus on twentieth-century and early twenty-first century literary studies, feminist theory, critical theory, narrative theory, American cultural studies, interdisciplinary approaches to race and ethnicity, and Chicanx and Latinx studies.

She is the Danily C. and Laura Louise Bell Professor of the Humanities and Professor of English, as well as the Burton J. and Deedee McMurtry University Fellow in Undergraduate Education. Moya is the author of The Social Imperative: Race, Close Reading, and Contemporary Literary Criticism (Stanford UP, 2016) and Learning from Experience: Minority Identities, Multicultural Struggles (UC Press, 2002). She has co-edited three collections of original essays; Doing Race:21 Essays for the 21st Century (W.W. Norton, Inc., 2010), Identity Politics Reconsidered (Palgrave, 2006), and Reclaiming Identity: Realist Theory and the Predicament of Postmodernism (UC Press, 2000).

At Stanford, she has served as the director of the Research Institute of Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, director of the Program of Modern Thought and Literature, vice chair and also director of graduate studies of the department of English, and the director of the undergraduate program of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. She is a recipient of several fellowships and awards including the 2019 Woman of the Year in Education from the 100 Black Women-Silicon Valley and a Ford Foundation postdoctoral fellowship. At Stanford she has received the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching, the Outstanding Chicana/o Faculty Member award, a Brown Faculty fellowship, and several faculty fellowships from the Clayman Institute and the Research Institute of Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity.

Noah Nathan

Political Science

University of Michigan

Noah Nathan will work on an on-going project exploring the relationships between long-run state building, micro-level economic inequality, and the elite capture of democratic power in rural Africa. This projects draws on archival data on colonial policies towards traditional chieftaincy and education, contemporary large-n administrative datasets, and original fieldwork conducted in Northern Ghana.

Nathan’s other scholarship focuses on political behavior, clientelism, and the development of political parties in new democracies in Africa. His first book, Electoral Politics and Africa’s Urban Transition: Class and Ethnicity in Ghana (Cambridge University Press, 2019), explores the behavior of voters and politicians in Accra, Ghana. The book challenges standard assumptions about urbanization’s potential for transformative effects on politics in the developing world and instead documents how modes of electoral competition can become highly varied within rapidly growing cities from neighborhood to neighborhood.

Nathan has been an assistant professor of political science at the University of Michigan since 2016. He earned his AB, AM, and PhD degrees in government at Harvard University. For more about his work, see

Jennifer Pan


Stanford University

During her year at CASBS, Jennifer Pan will focus on how government propaganda works in the era of digital technology. How is the production and dissemination of propaganda changing? What are governments, in particular non-democratic governments, trying to accomplish through propaganda? How does propaganda influence public beliefs, preferences, and behaviors? She will examine these question by focusing on how the Chinese government engages in propaganda within and beyond its borders and by combining online experiments with large-scale observational data.

This project builds on Pan’s work showing how authoritarian governments constrain collective action through online censorship, propaganda, and responsiveness. Pan studies the effects of new media technologies on autocrats’ ability to manipulate information, and how public preferences are arranged and formed as a result. Her work has appeared in peer reviewed publications such as the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, Journal of Politics, and Science. After receiving her AB from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, she completed her PhD in government at Harvard University.

Pan is an assistant professor of communication, and an assistant professor, by courtesy, of political science and sociology at Stanford University.

Camilo Perez-Bustillo


University of Texas at El Paso

While at CASBS, Camilo Pérez-Bustillo will deepen his work in defense of human rights at the U.S-Mexico border and beyond (see: This includes accountability for mass human rights crimes against migrants and indigenous peoples (e.g family separation, the detention and deterrence of asylum seekers, and the persecution and death of migrants due to U.S policies). Central to this is universal recognition of the right to a dignified life, and to migrate, within the context of processes of transitional justice in the US, Mexico, and Central America.

Pérez-Bustillo is also engaged with translations of work by Mexican/Argentine philosopher Enrique Dussel, Nicaraguan poet Ernesto Cardenal, and US anthropologist Christine Eber, and with a biography of Camilo Torres Restrepo, Colombia’s revolutionary priest. Pérez-Bustillo is former director of research and advocacy at Hope Border Institute; research fellow (University of Dayton School of Law); fellow, Comparative Research Programme on Poverty (CROP) of the University of Bergen (Norway); adjunct professor, University of Texas-El Paso and New Mexico State University, and co-author with Karla Hernández Mares of Human Rights, Hegemony and Utopia in Latin America: Poverty, Forced Migration and Resistance in Mexico and Colombia (Brill 2016/Haymarket Books, 2017). Pérez-Bustillo has both U.S and Colombian nationality, and his family lives in Mexico City.

Bruno Perreau

Global Studies and Languages

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

At CASBS, Bruno Perreau will work on a manuscript that aims to develop a new minoritarian theory of citizenship. Minority experience is indeed characterized by the acknowledgement of the presence of others within us. Drawing from a comparative study of affirmative action in France and in the US, he will ask if this type of relationship to others could become, rather than the exception, the very principle on which political representation and civic engagement could function.

Perreau is the Cynthia L. Reed Professor of French Studies at MIT. He is a faculty associate at the Center for European Studies, Harvard, and at the University of Lausanne. Perreau started his career in France where he taught for ten years at Sciences Po Paris. He was a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, a Newton Fellow at the University of Cambridge, and a fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center.

Perreau is the author of ten books in French and English. He has recently published The Politics of Adoption (MIT Press, 2014); Queer Theory: The French Response (Stanford University Press, 2016); Les Défis de la République (coedited with Joan W. Scott, Presses de Sciences Po, 2017), and Qui a peur de la théorie queer? (Presses de Sciences Po, 2018).

Perreau is a 2019-20 ACLS Burkhardt Fellow at CASBS.

Catherine Ramirez

American Studies

University of California, Santa Cruz

Catherine S. Ramírez will spend the year working on two related projects: Assimilation: An Alternative History and Denizenship or Democracy? By excavating the history of the concept of assimilation in the United States, Assimilation offers a broader theory of assimilation, one that reckons with legacies of settler colonialism, slavery, and an immigration apparatus that ranks mobile subjects. A policy-oriented project, Denizenship or Democracy? confronts the problem of denizenship. Denizens are people who are present in the nation-state, but who are not recognized as full or legitimate members of society. By comparing integration policies in migrant-receiving countries, Ramírez hopes to work toward more meaningful immigrant integration and, by extension, more egalitarian democracies.  

An associate professor of Latin American and Latino Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Ramírez is a scholar of migration, citizenship, and race. As director of UC Santa Cruz’s Research Center for the Americas, she was the principal investigator of Non-citizenship, an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation John E. Sawyer Seminar on the Comparative Study of Culture. She is the author of The Woman in the Zoot Suit: Gender, Nationalism, and the Cultural Politics of Memory (Duke University Press, 2009) and several essays on race, gender, and science fiction. For more information, visit her website:

Laura Richman


Duke University

During her fellowship year, Laura Richman will develop a book manuscript that examines the limits of medical approaches to reducing socially driven health disparities and the untapped potential of community resources and partnerships. She will examine factors that contribute to a narrow view of health disparities, including the moralization of illness and cognitive biases in how we tend to think about our own versus other’s behaviors.

Her project will analyze the divisive conventional debate over personal versus social responsibility for health. Richman contends that our biases toward medicalizing social problems leads to a prioritization of the clinical encounter and individual responsibility to improve health. In doing so, we draw attention and resources away from more sustainable, evidence-based solutions to reduce health disparities. The book will highlight strategies that have shown to be successful in addressing social determinants. Insights from several sources will inform her analysis: interviews with policy experts, healthcare professionals, and patient narratives; historical and current perspectives on health and illness, and data-driven analyses of policy solutions.

In addition to her focus on the book, Richman will continue her current research on the health effects of gentrification and eviction and the evaluation of social programs that aim to reduce opioid addiction.

Richman is an associate professor in the department of population health sciences at Duke University and is a faculty affiliate at the Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research at the Duke Global Health Institute. She holds a PhD in psychology from the University of Virginia.

Ramon Saldivar

Comparative Literature

Stanford University

Ramón Saldívar is currently working on a new project, tentatively titled “The Racial Imaginary: Speculative Realism and Historical Fantasy in Contemporary American Fiction.”  During his year as a fellow, the focus of his work is a consideration of the fate of the philosophical and formal term “realism” in contemporary ethnic fiction by following its history from the early twentieth to early twenty-first centuries in the modes of social realism, surrealism, magical realism, post-positive realism, weird realism, and speculative realism.

Saldívar, professor of English and comparative literature and the Hoagland Family Professor of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University, was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama in 2012. From 2012-2019, Saldívar served as the Burke Family Director of the Bing Overseas Studies Program at Stanford.  His teaching and research focus on the areas of literary criticism and literary theory, the history of the novel, 19th, 20th and 21st century literary studies, cultural studies, comparative race/ethnic studies, transnationalism and globalization, and U.S. LatinX Studies.

He is the author and editor of four books and numerous other scholarly publications. In 2006, he was awarded the Modern Language Association Prize in US Latina and Latino and Chicana and Chicano Literary and Cultural Studies for his book, The Borderlands of Culture: Américo Paredes and the Transnational Imaginary (Duke, 2006). 

Elizabeth Shermer


Loyola University Chicago

During her fellowship year, Elizabeth Tandy Shermer will be researching the politics and economics of American higher education. Shermer’s research highlights that, since the 1930s, political fights over federal authority, desegregation, gender equality, and free enterprise always stopped lawmakers from providing enough local, state, or federal funding to make higher education genuinely accessible. As a result, schools have remain cash-strapped and dependent on tuition revenue increasingly financed through student loan programs that have left more than 45 million Americans owing more than $1.5 trillion. 

Shermer is broadly interested in twentieth-century political-economy in order to understand the persistence and then expansion of inequality and political paralysis. As such, her research explores US politics; urban and regional development; law and public policy; the relationship between capital, management, and labor; ideas and ideology; and America’s changing place in the world.

Shermer is an associate professor of history at Loyola University of Chicago. She is also a scholar-in-residence at the Newberry Library, where she co-organizes several research seminars and co-ordinates the Newberry Library Undergraduate Seminar for Loyola undergraduates.

Learn more about Shermer’s work at:

Yukiko Uchida


Kyoto University

During her fellowship year, Yukiko Uchida plans to evaluate the current global ranking systems of well-being from a cultural psychological point of view. Special attention will be paid to how the current trend of market globalization changes local cultures, and consequently, the psychological functions of people in such cultures. For instance, our recent studies have suggested that due to globalization, people around the world have started to adopt “universal rules” to facilitate “fair trading markets”. Subsequently, she would like to examine how people understand and re-construct their psychological realities as a consequence of globalization. For example, has the culturally dependent way of seeking happiness changed with globalization? These are very important research questions in the context of both local communities and local companies, which are facing conflict between global and local value systems, especially in the context of employee’s motivation.

Uchida is currently a professor of social and cultural psychology at the Kokoro Research Center, Kyoto University. Upon receiving her PhD in social psychology from Kyoto University in 2003, she started her academic career as a visiting researcher at the University of Michigan and Stanford University. Since 2008, she has been based at the Kokoro Research Center. As a cultural psychologist, she studies the psychological mechanisms behind the experience of emotions like happiness. Her cross-cultural studies also examine how a participation in meaningful cultural practices fosters these psychological processes. Uchida is a 2019-20 Berggruen fellow at CASBS.

Learn more about her work at

Mark R. Warren


University of Massachusetts Boston

During his fellowship year, Mark Warren will be writing a book on the grassroots movement to end the school-to-prison pipeline. Based upon his research on this movement, he is developing a new theory of national social movements that work to strengthen and expand local organizing as much as target federal policy.

Warren studies and works with community and youth organizing groups in low-income communities of color seeking to promote equity and justice in education, community development and American democratic life. Warren is committed to developing a new approach to scholarly work that is engaged and collaborative with community organizers and education activists. He is the author of several books including his most recent Lift Us Up, Don’t Push Us Out! Voices from the Front Lines of the Educational Justice Movement (Beacon, 2018), which features essays by parent, student and community leaders discussing their experiences working for educational equity and building an intersectional movement for educational justice in alliance with other social movements.

Warren has worked to build several networks promoting activist scholarship, community organizing and movement-building. He is a co-founder of the People’s Think Tank on educational justice, the Urban Research Based Action Network, and the Special Interest Group on Community and Youth Organizing in the American Educational Research Association.

Warren is a professor of public policy and public affairs at the University of Massachusetts Boston. He has won many awards including a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship and the College Board Fellowship to Advance Educational Excellence for Young Men of Color at the Hutchins Center at Harvard University.

You can learn more about Warren by visiting his personal website.

Leif Wenar


King's College London

Our sense of what is right and just is based on what we judge to be intrinsically valuable. For centuries the leading theories of value have centered on self-interest (utility). Yet our judgments of value are structured by a different concept, unity, and along three dimensions: unity with the world, unity with others, and unity within ourselves. Leif Wenar will be writing on how morality and justice can be newly understood with unity theory as their foundation.

He will also be doing follow-up research on his recent book Blood Oil and Beyond Blood Oil (Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, 2018). Consumers are forced to empower violent, coercive, and corrupt men abroad when they purchase products like gasoline, jewelry, and electronics. The countries that export the raw materials for these products are more likely to suffer repressive governance and conflict—and they have also been the sources of most of the West’s major foreign threats and crises for 40 years. Wenar will continue to research peaceful and feasible reforms of this destructive aspect of global trade.

Wenar received his AB from Stanford, where he worked with Stuart Hampshire and, briefly, Karl Popper. He went to Harvard to work with John Rawls and wrote his doctoral dissertation with Robert Nozick and TM Scanlon. He has been a visiting professor at Stanford and Princeton, and now holds the Chair of Philosophy and Law at King’s College London. 

Su-Ling Yeh


National Taiwan University

During her fellowship year, Su-Ling Yeh plans to explore age differences in processing statistical regularity and develop an evidence-based framework explaining that cognitive aging is partly the reflection of cumulative experiences rather than general cognitive decline, in the hope to overturn the commonly held (usually negative) view of aging.

Yeh’s research interests include consciousness and its related issues, and converging evidence using multiple paradigms from her lab indicating that meaning (a high-level property) can be accessed unconsciously, but not temporal integration of sequences of single words. These findings shed light on the nature of consciousness and its role in different levels of processing. Based on her previous work, she also plans to explore what characterizes meta awareness through which conscious experience can be monitored and enhanced that involves higher-order (or meta) awareness of perception, cognition, emotion, and physical status. This, hopefully, will lead to a better understanding of what is unique about human being, especially in the booming AI era.

Yeh receives her PhD in psychology from University of California, Berkeley. She is a professor of psychology at the National Taiwan University. In 2019-20, she is the Stanford-Taiwan Social Science fellow at CASBS.

Read more about NTU Yeh Lab at