I’m a professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University, and the 2019 recipient of the Friedrich Schiedel Prize for Politics and Technology. My and Abraham Newman’s book, Of Privacy and Power: The Transatlantic Fight over Freedom and Security is the winner of the 2019 Chicago-Kent College of Law / Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize.

My first major project focuses on the role of democracy in a complex world.

  • Pursuing Cognitive Democracy, with Cosma Shalizi, examines how democracy can better harness the benefits of diverse perspectives than either markets or hierarchy.

  • Evolutionary Theory and Endogenous Institutional Change, with Danielle Allen and Cosma Shalizi, proposes a new understanding of institutional change, and uses it to compare the relative levels of institutional dynamism in Athenian democracy and Spartan oligarchy during the classical and Hellenic eras.

  • Dewey’s Democratic Account of International Politics with Jack Knight looks at how John Dewey’s arguments about democratic publics can be extended to understand international interdependence.

  • Common-Knowledge Attacks on Democracy, with Bruce Schneier, examines the vulnerability of democracy to attacks that use floods of information to heighten division.

  • The Janus Face of the Liberal Information Order, with Abraham Newman, discusses the historical process through which the liberal information order came to be weaponized against democracies, rather than simply undermining authoritarian regimes as many scholars and policy makers expected.

My second project, with Abraham Newman addresses what we call Weaponized Interdependence, providing a structural theory of how economic networks enable state coercion. A draft version of our major paper (published in International Security) is here, and a New York Times op-ed building on our claims can be found here.

My new book with Abraham Newman, Of Privacy and Power: The Transatlantic Fight over Freedom and Security has just come out. This article which surveys recent work on the ‘new interdependence,’ as well as setting out our own ideas, came out in World Politics in Spring 2014. This Financial Times op-ed gives some flavor of our argument.

My and Abraham Newman’s piece, The Transatlantic Data War, appears in the Jan/Feb 2016 issue of Foreign Affairs. You can find an ungated copy here. My guide to good writing for undergraduate political science students is here.

I blog at Crooked Timber (general political argument, intellectual discussion, and completely non-intellectual discussion) and at The Monkey Cage (political science and its applications), which has moved to the Washington Post. The best part of my career as a blogger was putting together this seminar (made into a beautiful PDF by John Holbo) on Francis Spufford’s wonderful book, Red Plenty. My Twitter handle is @henryfarrell, and my Pinboard feed is henryfarrell. Contact me at myfirstname.mylastname@gmail.com.

I’m a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. I am also co-chair (with Nick Lemann) of the advisory board for the Social Science Research Council’s Digital Culture Initiative, an affiliated scholar at Stanford University Law School’s Center for the Internet and Society, and an international correspondent for Stato e Mercato.

I remember Aaron Swartz.

Selected Recent Academic Articles

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Selected Recent Essays

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