Global Systemic Risk Faculty


Centeno Miguel Centeno is Musgrave Professor of Sociology, and a professor of sociology and international affairs at Princeton University. Centeno is interested in how states work. Much of his research has focused on Latin American cases, including the development of Latin American states in the 19th century. He is also interested in globalization and is working on a project comparing contemporary state capacity, with an emphasis on Brazil, India, and South Africa. A prolific author, Centeno’s most recent books include State and Nation Making in Latin America and Spain: Republics of the Possible, with Agustin Ferraro, (2013), and, with Joseph N. Cohen, Global Capitalism: A Sociological Perspective (2010). Forthcoming books include War and Society (2014) and, with Atul Kohli and Deborah Yashar, an edited volume on state capacity in the developing world. Ph.D. Yale University.


Paul Larcey studied engineering and materials science for both his undergraduate & master’s degrees (Universities of Oxford & Cambridge respectively), and received an MBA in Finance (Imperial College Business School). He worked initially in a corporate research environment, followed by venture capital, before moving into global industrial sectors at board and senior levels closely involved in funding strategies for major projects (public and private) primarily in the engineering sector, M&A, Private Equity and risk analysis in challenging environments. He has also worked in strategic management consulting with a focus on technology and sustainability. His current commercial work is in industrial/technology ventures and assisting to construct an environmental technology Private Equity fund. Academically, Larcey is involved in the risk perception in finance decision making, the understanding of resilience in systems and the fragility of new technologies seeking to develop methodologies, frameworks and cross-disciplinary understanding of systemic risk from academic and practitioner perspectives.

Research Community Members

Cinlar Erhan Çinlar is Norman Sollenberger Professor in Engineering and a professor of operations research and financial engineering. A probabilist, Çinlar has been honored for his contributions to the study of Markov Processes, an important subfield of the mathematical study of probability. At Princeton, he was the first chair of the Department of Operations Research and Financial Engineering, a department he helped to create. He is also one of the founders of the annual Seminar on Stochastic Process. Ph.D. University of Michigan.

Cloud Daniel Cloud is a lecturer in the Council of the Humanities and the University Center for Human Values. He specializes in the philosophy of biology and the social sciences and cocreated, with Adam Elga, a class on the philosophy of randomness. Prior to Princeton, Cloud was a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Biocomplexity and Informatics at the University of Alberta in Calgary, where he helped model the dynamics of gene-regulatory networks in cancer cells. He also is a founding partner of the Firebird Fund, one of the first successful Russia funds, and has been an equity analyst for W. I. Carr in Hong Kong. Ph.D. Columbia University.

Creager Angela Creager is Philip and Beulah Rollins Professor of History. She studies the history of 20th-century biomedical research. Creager’s current project addresses science and regulation from the 1960s through the 1980s, focusing on how researchers conceptualized and developed techniques for detecting environmental carcinogens. Her most recent book, Life Atomic: Radioisotopes in Science and Medicine, was published in 2013. Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley.

Dimaggio Paul DiMaggio is A. Barton Hepburn Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs and founding director of the Center for the Study of Social Organization. He has written widely on organizational analysis, focusing on nonprofit and cultural organizations, patterns of participation in the arts, and cultural conflict in the US, and is currently studying the social implications of new digital technologies.   His publications include The Twenty-First Century Firm (2001). Ph.D. Harvard University.

Dixit Avinash Dixit is John F. Sherred ’52 University Professor of Economics, emeritus, at Princeton University; a Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Economics at Lingnan University, Hong Kong; and a senior research fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford.  His research interests include microeconomic theory, game theory, international trade, industrial organization, growth and development theories, public economics, political economy, and institutional economics. A prolific author, his books include Theory of International Trade (1980, with Victor Norman), The Art of Strategy (2010, with Barry Nalebuff), and Investment under Uncertainty (2012, with Robert Pindyck). Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Elga Adam Elga  is a professor of philosophy. He has taught courses in the theory of knowledge, ethics, logic, decision theory, and the philosophies of physics, randomness and extreme risk, mind, religion, and science, among others. His research interests include probabilistic epistemology (including self-locating beliefs and the epistemology of disagreement), modeling inconsistent states of mind, and probabilistic modeling of systems subject to cascading failures. Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Felten Edward Felten is a professor of computer science and public affairs and director of both the Center for Information Technology Policy and the Program in Information Technology and Society. He was appointed the chief technologist for the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in 2010 and currently serves as a technology consultant to the FTC. Felten’s research interests include computer security, privacy, and public policy issues relating to information technology. Specific topics include software security, electronic voting, cybersecurity policy, technology for government transparency, network neutrality, and Internet policy. He has published widely and, in 2004, was included in Scientific American’s list of 50 worldwide science and technology leaders. Ph.D. University of Washington.

Garon Sheldon Garon is Nissan Professor in Japanese Studies and a professor of history and East Asian studies. He studies modern and contemporary Japan, with research interests in relationships between state and society, the links between culture and popular economic behavior, and locating Japan within a global or transnational history of ideas and institutions.  Garon’s most recent book is Beyond our Means: Why America Spends While the World Saves (2011). His current book project, Fashioning a Culture of Thrift: Promoting Saving in Japan and the World, examines the impact of state-directed moral suasion on popular behavior. He is also coediting a collection of essays, Consumer Culture and Its Discontents, which examines ambivalence toward American-style consumer culture in Northeast and Southeast Asia and Europe.  Ph.D. Yale University.

James Harold James, Claude and Lore Kelly Professor in European Studies, holds a joint appointment as professor of international affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School and Princeton's Department of History, and is director of the Program in Contemporary European Politics and Society. His research focuses on economic and financial history and modern German history. In 2004 he was awarded the Helmut Schmidt Prize for Economic History, and in 2005 the Ludwig Erhard Prize for writing about economics. He is also Marie Curie Visiting Professor at the European University Institute. James regularly teaches courses on the history of financial crises, on 20th-century economic history, and on modern German history. The author of numerous publications, James’ current projects include a history of the corporation in modern Europe, a study of the 1929 crash, and a study of the history of European monetary integration. Ph.D. Cambridge University.

Katz Stanley Katz is a lecturer with the rank of professor in public and international affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School. His current research focuses on recent developments in American philanthropy, the relationship of civil society and constitutionalism to democracy, and the relationship of the US to the international human rights regime. He is a specialist on American legal and constitutional history and on philanthropy and nonprofit institutions. A prolific author and editor, Katz is editor of The International Encyclopedia of Legal History (2009).  Ph.D. Harvard University.

Keohane Robert O. Keohane is a professor of public and international affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School. He has served as editor of International Organization and as president of the International Studies Association and the American Political Science Association and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Much of his recent work has focused on issues involving uncertainty and risk in connection with climate change and how international institutions have been and could be designed to cope with these global issues. Ph.D. Harvard University.

Kulkarni Sanjeev Kulkarni is a professor of electrical engineering and director of the Keller Center at Princeton University. He is also an affiliated faculty member in the departments of philosophy and operations research and financial engineering.  Kulkarni's research interests include statistical pattern recognition, nonparametric estimation, applied probability, machine learning, information theory, networks, and signal processing. Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Leonard Thomas Leonard is a research scholar in the Council of Humanities and lecturer in the Department of Economics. Leonard’s teaching includes courses on Law and Economics and Economic History. His research interests include economic philosophy, economic history, rational choice theory and addiction, and the social and economic theories of the Progressive Era. Ph.D. George Washington University.

Levin Simon Levin is George M. Moffett Professor of Biology and a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology. Levin’s current interests are in the parallels between ecological systems and financial and economic systems, particularly with regard to what makes them collapse and to the evolution and development of structure and organization, and in the management of public goods and common-pool resources. His ecological research is concerned with the evolution of diversification, the mechanisms sustaining biological diversity in natural systems, the implications for ecosystem structure and functioning, and the dynamics of infectious diseases. He has also been involved in issues of sustainable development with emphasis on the linkages between environmental and socioeconomic systems. Ph.D. University of Maryland.

Levy Jonathan Levy is an assistant professor of history and John Maclean Jr., Presidential University Preceptor. He is an historian of American capitalism with interests in business and economic history, cultural and intellectual history, and the histories of slavery and freedom. His book, Freaks of Fortune: The Emerging World of Capitalism and Risk in America (2012), won the Organization of American Historians' Frederick Jackson Turner Award, Ellis W. Hawley Prize, and Avery O. Craven Award. Levy is currently working on two book projects—the first is a history of the American corporation and the second is a synthetic history of American capitalism from English colonial settlement to the present. Ph.D. University of Chicago.

Massey William Massey is Edwin S. Wilsey Professor of Operations Research and Financial Engineering. His research interests include queueing theory, a field of mathematics that is critical to the modeling and design of modern communications systems; operations of communications systems and services; stochastic networks; and applied probability. Ph.D. Stanford University.

AMian Atif Mian is a professor of economics and public policy in the Woodrow Wilson School and codirector of the Julis-Rabinowitz Center for Public Policy and Finance. His research studies links between financial markets and the macro economy. Mian's work emphasizes the role played by political, governance, and organizational constraints in shaping the effectiveness and scope of financial markets and he has published widely.  More recently, his work centers on understanding the origins of the global financial crisis; the political economy of government intervention in financial markets; and the link between asset prices, household borrowing, and consumption. Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

ZMian Zia Mian is a research scientist in the Woodrow Wilson School’s Program on Science and Global Security. His research focuses on technical and policy issues related to nuclear disarmament and nonproliferation with special interests in nuclear weapon materials and in nuclear programs in Pakistan and India.  He is a founder and codeputy chair of the International Panel on Fissile Materials, an independent group of experts from seventeen countries working on initiatives to reduce global stockpiles of highly enriched uranium and plutonium, the key ingredients in nuclear weapons. He is also coeditor of Science & Global Security, the international technical journal of arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament. In addition to his scholarly articles, he is the editor of several books and has made two documentary films on peace and security in South Asia. Ph.D. University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Oppenheimer Michael Oppenheimer is the Albert G. Milbank Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs at Princeton University. He is also the Director of the Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy (STEP) at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School. Oppenheimer is a long-time participant in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. Most recently, he served as coordinating lead author on IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report and on the Core Writing Team for the Fifth Assessment’s Synthesis Report. Oppenheimer is coeditor of the journal Climatic Change. He serves on the New York City Climate Change Panel and is also a science advisor to the Environmental Defense Fund. Oppenheimer is a Heinz Award winner and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His research focuses on the science and policy aspects of climate change and its impacts, particularly sea level rise. Oppenheimer, an atmospheric scientist, has an SB degree from MIT in chemistry and a PhD from the University of Chicago in chemical physics. He joined the Princeton faculty in 2002 after more than two decades with the Environmental Defense Fund, a non-governmental environmental organization, where he served as chief scientist and manager of the Climate and Air Program. Previous to that position, he was an Atomic and Molecular Astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Shafir Eldar Shafir is William Stewart Tod Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs. His main areas of interest include reasoning, judgment, and decision making, and issues related to behavioral economics, with an emphasis on descriptive studies of how people make judgments and decisions in situations of conflict and uncertainty. A central theme is the tension between normative assumptions and behavioral findings. Most recently, the focus has been on decision making in the context of poverty and on the application of behavioral research to policy. His most recent book is The Behavioral Foundations of Public Policy (2013). Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Shapiro Jacob Shapiro is an assistant professor of politics and international affairs and codirector of the Empirical Studies of Conflict Project. His research focuses on political violence, economic development in conflict zones, and security policy. The author or editor of numerous publications, his most recent book, The Terrorist’s Dilemma: Managing Violent Covert Organizations, was published in 2013. Ph.D. Stanford University.

Vertesi Janet Vertesi is an assistant professor of sociology. Her research for the past seven years has focused on NASA's robotic spacecraft teams, and the decision-making dynamics of large, complex, technical organizations. She brings this sensitivity to the discussion of scientific and technological risk, with an interest in organizational practices of risk construction and management and technologies in transnational processes. At Princeton, she teaches courses on the sociology of science and technology and is a Fellow at the Center for Information Technology Policy. Ph.D. Cornell University.

Research Team

Patterson Thayer Patterson is the events coordinator and a founding member of the PIIRS Global Systemic Risk research community. Subsequent to receiving a Master in Finance from Princeton's Bendheim Center for Finance, his research has focused on the causes and consequences of catastrophic systemic risk.


Peter Callahan is a graduate of Princeton University and went on to earn his M.S. in Geography and Environmental Studies from the University of New Mexico. He joined the research team in 2015, and his interests include the study of socio-ecological systems, historical systemic risks, sustainable development, and renewable energy policy and technology.

lrade Luca Rade recieved his bachelor's degree at Princeton University in Complex Adaptive Systems, an independently created major. His faculty advisors were Simon Levin of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Miguel Centeno of the Department of Sociology. Luca was an Undergraduate Fellow at the Julis Rabinowitz Center for Public Policy and Finance at Princeton and is affiliated with the Complexity Science Hub in Vienna, Austria.

He is broadly interested in the forces driving the aggregation of interacting individual units into cohesive systems, and the mechanisms determining the properties and dynamics of those systems, using the tools of network theory, control theory, and dynamical systems.



Benoit Pelopidas is Professor at Sciences Po (Paris) where he holds the junior chair of excellence in security studies and is the scientific director of the Masters program in International Security. He also remains an affiliate of the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) at Stanford University. Since September 2015, he has been a visiting fellow at the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, working with their global systemic risk research cluster. Since September 2016, he has been a visiting fellow at Princeton’s Program on Science and Global Security.

He has been awarded two international prizes for his research and a British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award in 2016.

He focuses on the construction of knowledge about nuclear weapons, their past and their future and its ethical and political implications. Empirically, Benoit’s focus is on nuclear “close calls” and French nuclear history. He edited a volume on the experience of the so called ‘Cuban missile crisis’ worldwide and lessons learned from it, expected to be published in 2017. His latest essay on self-censorship in nuclear security studies will be published in the Journal of Global Security Studies.

Over the last six years, he has been engaging with policy making elites in the US and Europe as well as civil society groups to advocate innovative nuclear disarmament and arms control policies.

Affiliated Faculty

Stein Scott Pauls is a professor of mathematics at Dartmouth College. His research focuses on the study and analysis of complex systems using tools from geometry and network theory. His work has a broad array of applications across several fields including sociology, political science, economics, neuroscience, psychology, and genetics. His recent investigations focus on robustness and fragility in trade relationships, mathematical models of ideology, dynamic models of the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), and measures of social support in virtual social networks. Prior to Dartmouth, he held a G.C. Evans postdoctoral instructorship at Rice University. Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania.

Vaughan Diane Vaughan is a professor of sociology at Columbia University.  Her interests are the sociology of organizations, sociology of culture, deviance and social control, field methods, research design, and science, knowledge, and technology.  The prime theoretical focus of her research is how the social -- history, institutions, organizations -- affect individual meanings, decisions, and action. Since 1980, she has been working on analogical theorizing: developing theory from qualitative data based on cross-case analysis.  The goal is to compare cases of similar events, activities, or phenomena across different organizational forms in order to elaborate general theory or concepts.  This project has focused on the "dark side" of organizations:  mistake, misconduct, and disaster.  Vaughan's books include, Controlling Unlawful Organizational Behavior (1985), Uncoupling (1990), and The Challenger Launch Decision (1997).  The product of this work is a book in progress, Theorizing:  Analogy, Cases, and Comparative Social Organization. Ph.D. Ohio State University.

Past Members

Carole Carole Dalin was a doctoral student in water resources in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and a Princeton Environmental Institute-Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy (PEI-STEP) fellow at the Woodrow Wilson School. Her research focuses on water resource use for agriculture and the global virtual water trade network associated with international food trade. Dalin is currently studying virtual water trade between Chinese provinces. Ph.D. candidate, Princeton University.


Andrew Shaver was a doctoral student in security studies in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and a member of the Empirical Studies of Conflict Project. His research focuses on the causes of terrorism and insurgency, the role of territory in nonstate violence, and risk. Ph.D. candidate, Princeton University.

Stein Serena Stein was a doctoral student in the Department of Anthropology and is also earning a certificate in health and health policy at the Woodrow Wilson School. She previously earned a master's degree in international development from University of Oxford. Her research interests focus on food and nutrition security, the urban food system, food technology, nutrition-related non-communicable diseases, and social inequality. She is currently pursuing dissertation work in the United States, Brazil, and Mozambique.

Anwar Jason Windawi, Department of Sociology. Ph.D. candidate, Princeton University.

Manish Nag, Department of Sociology. Ph.D. candidate, Princeton University.

Keng Sum Alex Tham, Department of Sociology. Ph.D. candidate, Princeton University.

Contact Us

For more information about the Global Systemic Risk Research Community, please email the group's events coordinator, Thayer Patterson, at