David Laitin is the James T. Watkins IV and Elise V. Watkins Professor of Political Science at Stanford University, with an affiliation at Sciences-Po Paris. He received his PhD in Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1974.
His research field is comparative politics, where he has conducted field research on the relationship of culture to political behavior – more specifically, how cultural similarity and/or difference mobilizes people into political action - in Somalia, Nigeria, Catalonia, and Estonia. In the past decade, he has studied the micro-foundations of insurgency and terrorism. He is now working on a project focusing on Muslim migration into Europe and processes leading to (or preventing) their social and economic integration.
He joined IZA as a Research Fellow in February 2009.