About

I study subnational conflict, with a focus on the dynamics of mass protest.  My research takes advantage of social media data to understand individual-level behavior at a daily level; these data can illuminate dynamics of mobilization, elite behavior, and state repression, among others.  I am currently a professor of public policy at the University of California – Los Angeles’ Luskin School of Public Affairs.

My earliest research focuses on the Arab Spring.  In it, I develop a theory of protest tactics that explains how activists substitute between online media and offline activity; use millions of tweets to show that protest mobilization can occur spontaneously, without organized leadership; and show how to harness new data sources to understand emergent conflict narratives, changes in social network structure, and identify transnational social networks.

I also have written about Ukraine’s Euromaidan protests and subsequent civil conflict and am starting projects on protest in other countries.  I am at various stages of completion on projects involving measuring the size of protests, predicting protest dynamics, and measuring protest dynamics using images shared at protests.

I am from Connecticut, with time spent in Texas, St. Louis, Minneapolis, and San Diego, where I spent more time living than anywhere else.  Traveling, the scenery of Southern California, good coffee, good books with good coffee, and exercising provide me pleasure.  I have no shame having been a fan of the Miami Heat, and now Cleveland Cavaliers, solely because of LeBron James (though on the court I am closer to Matthew Dellavedova).  If LeBron comes to LA, I will join my wife in becoming a Lakers fan.

– Zachary C. Steinert-Threlkeld

zst [@] luskin [dot] ucla [dot] edu

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