David Laitin

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David Laitin, PhD

  • James T. Watkins IV and Elise V. Watkins Professor of Political Science
  • Affiliated faculty at the Center for International Security and Cooperation
  • Affiliated faculty at The Europe Center
Department of Political Science Stanford University Encina Hall, W423 Stanford, CA 94305-6044
(650) 725-9556 (voice)
(650) 723-1808 (fax)


David Laitin is the James T. Watkins IV and Elise V. Watkins Professor of Political Science and a co-director of the Immigration Policy Lab at Stanford. He has conducted field research in Somalia, Nigeria, Spain, Estonia and France. His principal research interest is on how culture – specifically, language and religion – guides political behavior. He is the author of “Why Muslim Integration Fails in Christian-heritage Societies” and a series of articles on immigrant integration, civil war and terrorism. Laitin received his BA from Swarthmore College and his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley.

In The News

Encina Hall and its front lawn

The Europe Center Featured Faculty Research

The Europe Center serves as a research hub bringing together Stanford faculty members, students

Encina Hall and its front lawn

"Misunderestimating" terrorism

As the war on terrorism continues, statistics on terrorist attacks are becoming as important as the unemployment rate or the GDP. Yet the terrorism reports produced by the U.S. government do not have nearly as much credibility as its economic statistics, because there are no safeguards to ensure that the data are as accurate as possible and free from political manipulation. Alan B. Kreuger and David Laitin outline a solution.
Encina Hall and its front lawn

State Department doubles calculation of terrorism deaths, after flaws found by Laitin

The State Department has doubled its calculation of the number of people wounded or killed by global terrorism in 2003, after methodological flaws in the department's annual "Patterns of Global Terrorism" report were uncovered by CISAC affiliated faculty member David Laitin and Princeton University's Alan Krueger.