Research

My research examines judgment and decision-making in the extreme context of war. My main research program examines the problem of "human shields" in war. A second budding research program concerns costly religious behavior in warfare.

My research is interdisciplinary and methodologically pluralistic. My work integrates insights from psychology, anthropology, and law and ethics. It also employs multiple methods, including archival research, interviews (with civilian leaders, military commanders, lawyers, veteran foreign fighters and hostages), and experiments.

My interest in the extremes of war reflects a certain disposition. Darwin's research at the Galapagos was illuminating precisely because every species there was on the margins. Evolutionary processes of general interest were thus glaringly apparent in every odd beak and bone.* War similarly exhibits human judgment at its extremes. The battlefield is a Galapagos where behavioral dynamics of general interest are glaringly apparent.

*This analogy is extended from Diego Gambetta's Codes of the Underworld.

The Problem of Human Shields in War

Religion and Warfare