Welcome to my website,

I am the Director of the Program on Networked Governance (PNG) at Harvard, and Associate Professor of Public Policy. PNG is an NSF-supported program whose objective is to serve as a focal point for events, training, and research at the intersection of governance, information, technology, and networks (social and hard-wired).

Most of my work is based on the idea that how people and organizations are connected together is critical to understanding the functioning, success and failure of actors and systems. My teaching, research, and institution building have all centered on that theme. I’ve taken that essential idea and, with a variety of collaborators, examined a wide array of domains.

My research covers everything from very micro (social influence processes within groups), to the very macro (the development of global-wide regulatory regimes). Thus, for example, I have looked at how a network of trade treaties abruptly emerged in the Europe of the 1860s, how attitudes and social structures “co-evolve,” and, in more recent work how the pattern of relationships affects how hard people work on teams, and how small world networks can result in system-wide “group think.”

The objective of this website is to provide entrée into my body of research. If you want just to see my papers, you can just click on publications at right and you will see a chronologically arranged list, with pdf’s where possible. If you want a brief guided tour, then go to research overview, and you can choose from among the various domains that I have worked in. There will be a short summary of my work in each of these areas, with relevant papers and links.


David Lazer
Associate Professor for Public Policy

Program on Networked Governance
Complexity and Social Networks Blog
David Lazer's Publications
  My Research Interests
David Lazer teaching on networks.
  David Lazer et al., "Computational Social Science," Science, 6 February 2009: 721-723 is now available online, in print, or by emailing David Fishman. Access the full text online from the Publications page. Please see the Complexity and Social Networks Blog for a preprint version of the paper. Supporting online material is available for free on the Science website.

06/19/08 David Lazer quoted in the Wall Street Journal on DNA and the Criminal Justice System

05/22/08 David Lazer research highlighted in the PBS show, Religion and Ethics Weekly

02/28/08 -
David Lazer Science Magazine article on DNA cited in the Wall Street Journal "The DNA Police."

02/14/08 - Governance and Information Technology referenced in The Economist

12/12/07 -
David Lazer quoted in NPR articles " Legal Limits Murky for Use of 'Discarded' DNA" and "Police Use DNA to Track Suspects Through Family."

10/10/0 - David Lazer quoted in Nature article on computational social science.

6/12/07 - David Lazer quoted in, "Denver Part of DNA Analysis Project Helping to Nab Burglars" Denver Post.

5/7/07 - David Lazer to appear on "Wired with Jim Braude and Leslie Gaydos" next week on NECN to talk about DNA and law enforcement. The show is a live, call-in program from 4-5pm.

4/2/07  "Not So Pefect Match"
CBS News'
60 Minutes
David Lazer's research on familial searching was featured in a story on the award winning CBS investigative magazine. Click here to watch the program.

"Computational Social Science," Science, 6 February 2009: 721-723. (with A. Pentland, L. Adamic, S. Aral, A.-L. Barabási, D. Brewer, N. Christakis, N. Contractor, J. Fowler, M. Gutmann, T. Jebara, G. King, M. Macy, D. Roy, and M. Van Alstyne)

"Parallel Problem Solving: The social structure of exploration and exploitation," Administrative Science Quarterly. (with A. Friedman)

"Structure and tie strengths in mobile communication networks," Proceedings of the National Academy ofSciences, 2007. (with J.-P. Onnela, J. Saramaki, J. Hyvonen, G. Szabo,K. Kaskil, J. Kertesz, A.-L. Barabasi)

From E-Gov to I-Gov: Governance and Information Technology in the 21st Century
, edited with Viktor Mayer-Schoenberger (MIT Press 2007), co-authored chapters: "From Egov to Igov", "The Governing of Government Information", and "It Takes a Network to Build a Network."

"Finding Criminals Through DNA of Their Relatives," Science 312, June 2, 2006

  From E-Gov to I-Gov: Governance and Information Technology in the 21st Century
Edited by David Lazer and Viktor Mayer-Schoenberger

Developments in information and communication technology and networked computing over the past two decades have given rise to the notion of electronic government, most commonly used to refer to the delivery of public services over the Internet. This volume argues for a shift from the narrow focus of "electronic government"...more at MIT Press. Purchase from Amazon, B&N.

  DNA and the Criminal Justice System
The Technology of Justice
Edited by David Lazer

Is DNA technology the ultimate diviner of guilt or the ultimate threat to civil liberties? Over the past decade, DNA has been used to exonerate hundreds and to convict thousands. Its expanded use over...more at MIT Press. Reviews in JCI, JFS and APSA. Purchase from Amazon, B&N.

Concept & Design © Alexander Schellong