David Laitin

David D. Laitin is the James T. Watkins IV and Elise V. Watkins Professor of Political Science at Stanford University. He received his BA from Swarthmore College, and then served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Somalia and Grenada.

Prior to Stanford, Laitin taught UC San Diego (1975−87) and the University of Chicago (1987−1999). Over his career, as a student of comparative politics, he has conducted field research in Somalia, Yorubaland (Nigeria), Catalonia (Spain), Estonia, and France, all the time focusing on issues of language and religion, and how these cultural phenomena link nation to state. 

Over the past decade, mostly in collaboration with James Fearon, he has published several papers on ethnicity, ethnic cooperation, the sources of civil war, and on policies that work to settle civil wars. Laitin has also collaborated with Alan Krueger on international terrorism and with Eli Berman on suicide terrorism.

Laitin received his PhD in political science from UC Berkeley, working under the direction of Ernst Haas and Hanna Pitkin. 

Comparative politics, political culture, ethnic conflict, civil war

Deterrence with Proxies