I'm the SNF Agora Professor of International Affairs at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and the 2019 recipient of the Friedrich Schiedel Prize for Politics and Technology.

My and Abraham Newman's book, Underground Empire: How America Weaponized the World Economy, is published by Henry Holt in the US and Allen Lane/Penguin in the UK. See Foreign Affairs review, Washington Post review, Times Literary Supplement review, National Review review, Washington Monthly review, Financial Times review, Los Angeles Review of Books review, Irish Times review, Pluralistic review, Publisher's Weekly starred review, Chatham House review.

Our previous book,  Of Privacy and Power: The Transatlantic Fight over Freedom and Security was the winner of the 2019 Chicago-Kent College of Law / Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize, the 2020 ISA-ICOMM Award, and one of Foreign Affairs' Best Books of 2019. I used to be the Editor-in-Chief of the Monkey Cage blog at the Washington Post.

I co-author a lot, (I enjoy writing with others), but here are three single authored pieces that I'm especially happy with.

Shaun Tan - storyb

My first major area of interest (with various co-authors) is how machine learning works as a machinery for social information processing. The picture is by Shaun Tan (it's one of the preparatory storyboards for The Lost Thing) and was used for the inside cover of the Daedalus issue on the new moral political economy, which includes The Moral Economy of High Tech Modernism, with Marion Fourcade. This short piece compares 21st century machine learning to 19th and 20th century bureaucracy - we hope to write more.

Behold the AI Shoggoth, with Cosma Shalizi, is a first cut at the relationship between LLMs, democracy, markets and bureaucracy. A longer and baggier essay expanding on this question (with no paywall) can be found here.

My second major interest is the relationship between democracy and information in a complex world (the picture is Shaun Tan's "Thank You for Voting").

My third are of interest, with Abraham Newman, is what we call Weaponized Interdependence, starting with our article providing a structural theory of how information and economic networks enable state coercion. It's been a bit startling to see how this notion has spread.

My book with Abraham NewmanOf Privacy and Power: The Transatlantic Fight over Freedom and Security examines EU-US disputes over privacy and surveillance. 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.

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).

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 a research associate at Stanford CASBS, 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

Selected Recent Essays