Bio

Harry Oppenheimer is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Government at Harvard University with a focus on international relations, technology, and conflict. His research explores the relationship between technology diffusion and cybersecurity. As more individuals gain access to the global ICT infrastructure, how do actors compel one another to enforce order in cyberspace, and how do they prevent one another from weaponizing cyberspace in the process? His dissertation addresses the relationship between cyber-capacity, legal and policy diffusion, and technology development around the world. This begins by applying machine learning and text-as-data methods to a new corpus of information technology security documents to understand how states adopt laws and norms to signal commitments to ICT neutrality. He combines this with analyses of cross-national polling, technical administrative data, and network analysis to understand how the politics of ICT development assistance and how private actors manage the process of technology development.

His other projects deal with different aspects of technology and politics. A paper co-authored with Joshua Kertzer and Thomas Zeitzoff uses existing theories of domestic politics and threat to understand the novel political and psychological context of cyber attacks. In another project he examines the impact of mandatory disclosure laws on cybersecurity news coverage and public attitudes towards privacy and computer security. The project also addresses how the security discourse is likely to shift as more individuals learn about data thefts. Harry is also studying how private and civil society actors pursue agenda setting in international policy forums, the tension between threats to individuals and groups in cyberspace, the empirical challenges of cyber conflict, and how elites reflect the political environment as they respond to terrorist attacks on social media.

Prior to beginning his doctorate, he was a research associate for national security at the Council on Foreign Relations, where he worked for Max Boot and Richard K. Betts. Harry has published opinion pieces on counterterrorism and cybersecurity featured in Newsweek.com, DefenseOne, The Hill, and CFR blogs Politics, Power, and Preventive Action, and Net Politics. While at Harvard he has worked with Alastair Iain Johnston on US-China cybersecurity issues and the implications of social media for international conflict, and with Stephen Ansolabehere as a research assistant for the Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll. Additionally, Harry is an affiliate of the Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Science (IQSS) and the Research Cluster on International Security at the Harvard Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.

Harry received his B.A. Summa Cum Laude with High Honors in International Relations from New York University in 2014. He earned his A.M. in Government from Harvard University in 2018, where he tested in international relations and political methodology.