My background and research are highly interdisciplinary. In addition to my doctoral degree in anthropology, I have advanced graduate training in cognitive science, human rights, and philosophy. Drawing from these disciplines, I attempt to combine the rigors of philosophical analysis with the experimental and ethnographic methods of anthropology. My research broadly focuses on cooperation/peace and conflict/war. To explore problems and scholarly debates in these areas, I have conducted experiments and undertaken post-conflict fieldwork.
For my dissertation, I examined the causes of collective violence and the role of propaganda during periods of social unrest and military campaigns targeting recognizable civilian populations. My focus was the Yugoslav Wars and included extensive interview and survey data with ex-fighters and survivors of the three major conflicts, which I collected in former combat regions of the Balkans.
After receiving my Ph.D., I became a postdoctoral fellow and remain a research associate on the Geography of Philosophy Project, an international study on the diversity of people's conceptions of knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. Some of the ongoing projects include cross-cultural studies of wisdom, mental state attributions, variations in views on strict liability, lying, knowledge and its implication in situations of cooperation and conflict, and sources of knowledge.
My current work centers on three active research programs. The first is understanding religion’s role in causing, motivating, and facilitating collective violence. The second is comprehending and diminishing violence incited by propaganda and hate speech. And the third is evaluating the effects of human rights reporting on popular support for human rights.
Having published and conducted research on domestic violence and post-conflict reconciliation, I am also interested in the political lives and health of persons and communities after violence.