David D. Laitin
David D. Laitin is the James T. Watkins IV and Elise V. Watkins Professor of Political Science at Stanford University. He received his B.A. from Swarthmore College and then served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Somalia and Grenada. He received his Ph.D. in political science from UC Berkeley, working under the direction of Ernst Haas and Hanna Pitkin. Over his career, as a student of comparative politics, he has conducted field research in Somalia, Yorubaland (Nigeria), Catalonia (Spain), and Estonia, focusing on issues of language and religion, and how these cultural phenomena link nation to state. His books include Politics, Language, and Thought: The Somali Experience; Hegemony and Culture: Politics and Religious Change among the Yoruba; Language Repertoires and State Construction in Africa; Identity in Formation: The 2 October 2011 Russian-Speaking Populations in the Near Abroad; and Nations, States and Violence. 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. In 2008–2009, with support from the National Science Foundation, and with a visiting appointment at Sciences-Po Paris, Laitin conducted survey and experimental research on Muslim integration into France. He has been a recipient of fellowships from the Howard Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Russell Sage Foundation. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.