Saumitra Jha does research on economic, financial and organizational approaches to mitigating political polarization and violent conflict. An economist by training, his work combines formal theory, qualitative fieldwork, natural experiments in history and contemporary field experiments. He is currently working on three research themes. These include examining how financial innovations and trading opportunities mitigate or exacerbate conflict; how the strategy of nonviolent protest works and why it often also fails; and studying how networks of influential individuals, forged from war-time experiences, can undermine or rebuild democratic freedoms.
Jha is an associate professor of political economy at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, a senior fellow at the Freeman-Spogli Institute for International Affairs and convenes the Stanford Conflict and Polarization Lab.
Jha’s research has been published in leading journals in both economics and political science, including Econometrica, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the American Political Science Review and the Journal of Development Economics. His research on ethnic tolerance has been recognized with the Michael Wallerstein Award for best published article in political economy from the American Political Science Association and his co-authored work on heroic networks received the Oliver Williamson Award for best paper by the Society for Institutional and Organizational Economics. Jha was also honored to receive the Teacher of the Year Award, voted by the students of the Stanford GSB Sloan Fellows Program. He was a fellow in 2020-21 and is a current faculty fellow, participating in the Center’s Causal Inference for Social Impact Lab.
For more information, please visit his website: https://saumitra.people.stanford.edu/