Keynote Speakers & Experts

Our keynote speakers are:

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch | Nils Weidmann | Michael D. Ward


Our experts are:

James Kitts | Fariba Karimi | Bruce EdmondsFabian Flöck | Arnim BleierPeter Holtz | Henrik Dobewall | Nicolas Payette | Davide Natlini | Adam Robert Pah | Sebastian Schutte | Karsten Donnay | Cornelius Puschmann | Luis Gustavo Nardin | Gerd Wagner | Jan Lorenz | Adalbert Wilhelm | Juan Masullo Jiménez

Keynote speakers

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch | University of Essex (UK)

Kristian Skrede Gleditsch is Professor in the Department of Government at the University of Essex (UK), director of the Michael Nicholson Centre for Conflict and Cooperation, and a research associate at the International Peace Research Institute Oslo (Norway). He obtained his PhD in 1999 in Political Science from University of Colorado (USA).

His research interests include conflict and cooperation, democratization, and spatial dimensions of social and political processes. Amongst others, he authored “All International Politics is Local: The Diffusion of Conflict, Integration, and Democratization” (University of Michigan Press, 2002), “Spatial Regression Models” (Sage, 2008, with Michael D. Ward) and “Inequality, Grievances, and Civil War” (Cambridge University Press, 2013, with Lars-Erik Cederman and Halvard Buhaug).


Nils Weidmann | University of Konstanz (Germany)

Nils Weidmann is Professor of Political Science and head of the Communication, Networks and Contention Research Group. Previously, he held research fellowships at the Centre for the Study of Civil War at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (Norway), the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs at Yale University (USA) and the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University (USA). He received a M.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Freiburg (Germany) in 2003, a M.A. in Comparative and International Studies from ETH Zurich (Switzerland) in 2008 and a Ph.D. in Political Science from ETH Zurich in 2009.


Michael D. Ward | Duke University (USA)

Michael Ward is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Duke University (USA). At Duke, he established an innovative research lab of graduate and undergraduate students focusing on conflict prediction. His work began with a study of the links between global and national inequalities (1977), continued with seminal articles on the conflict processes in the Cold War, and have turned to analyses of networks of conflict and cooperation in the contemporary era. One of the first political scientists to focus on the role of prediction in scholarly and policy work, he continues these efforts in his company, Predictive Heuristics, a data analytics firm that provides risk analysis for commercial and institutional clients. Earlier in his career, he was a founding member of the Center for Statistics and the Social Sciences at University of Washington (USA), and served on its executive board for a decade. He also worked with Karl Wolfgang Deutsch on building a global political model at the Science Center Berlin (Germany). He earned his Ph.D. in political science from Northwestern University (USA) in 1977, and was a post-doctoral fellow supervised by Harold Guetzkow.

Lecture: What is the Place of Theory in Conflict Analysis?



James Kitts | Department of Sociology, University of Massachusetts (USA)

James Kitts is Professor of Sociology and director of the Computational Social Science Institute at the University of Massachusetts (USA). His research includes formal theoretical models of social network dynamics and group processes as well as new methods for longitudinal data collection (e.g. wearable sensors) and analysis. He is an editor of the Computational Social Sciences series at Springer, area editor of Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory, and is on the editorial board of Sociological Science and American Sociological Review. His recent work (including an empirical study of inter-organizational exchange published in American Journal of Sociology) illustrates how the fine-grained event data produced in the computational social science community enables new breeds of theory and method in social network analysis. Since 2004 he has managed a web repository of materials for teachers and students in computational modeling of social dynamics:


Fariba Karimi | GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences (Germany)

Fariba Karimi is a postdoctoral researcher at the department of Computational Social Science in the GESIS Leibniz-Institute for the Social Sciences (Germany). She received her PhD in Computational Science and Physics in 2015 from the Umeå University (Sweden). In her research, she mainly uses computational approaches such as network theory, data mining and agent-based modeling to address societal challenges such as algorithmic biases, social inequalities related to minorities and perception biases. Prior to that, she has worked on various projects such as finding cultural borders using Wikipedia edits, spreading models in social and temporal networks, default contagion in financial networks and agent-based modeling of cooperation.

Project: The role of homophily in the emergence of social norms within social networks


Bruce Edmonds | Manchester Metropolitan University (UK)

Bruce Edmonds is Professor of Social Simulation and Director of the Centre for Policy Modelling at the Manchester Metropolitan University.  He is expert at the methodology and application of agent-based simulation as applied to issues of policy interest. He was the key modeller of the £2.7m “Social Complexity of Immigration and Diversity” project in the UK, and so has experience in a number of different simulations connected with conflict. In particular he has worked on “tag-based” (emergent groups based on observable characteristics) models of cooperation/conflict with David Hales.


Fabian Flöck | GESIS Leibniz Instiute for the Social Sciences (Germany)

Fabian Flöck is a researcher at the GESIS Leibniz-Institute for the Social Sciences in Cologe (Germany). Before he received his PhD in Computational Social Science/Computer Science in 2016 from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany), he worked as head product manager for a Social Network platform based in Hamburg (Germany) and as a consultant on interface and technical web design in San Francisco (California, USA). His research interests include the social dynamics behind the content creation processes in collaborative platforms, text mining and visualization, as well as Human Computation.

Project: Between Cooperation and Conflict. Modeling Fine-Grained Textual Revision Changes as Social Interactions


Arnim Bleier | GESIS Leibniz Instiute for the Social Sciences (Germany)

Arnim Bleier currently works at the Department of Computational Social Science at the GESIS Leibniz-Institute for the Social Sciences in Cologne (Germany). He is interested in Quantitative Social Research, Qualitative Social Research and Communication and Media. His most recent publication is ‘Truncation-free Hybrid Inference for DPMM.’

Project: Between Cooperation and Conflict. Modeling Fine-Grained Textual Revision Changes as Social Interactions


Peter Holtz | Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (Germany)

Peter Holtz studied psychology, obtained a PhD from the University Erlangen-Nürnberg (Germany). Previously, he held a Postdoc position at the Department of Social and Economic Psychology at Johannes Kepler University Linz (Austria) and several other positions related to computational social sciences research and in science management. Together with Wolfgang Wagner and others, he received the Asian Association of Social Psychology’s (AASP) 2011 ‘Misumi Award‘. Currently, he is a researcher in the ERC funded international interdisciplinary research project ‘Analytics for Everyday Learning‘ in the Knowledge Construction Lab of the Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien [Leibniz-Institute for knowledge media research] in Tübingen (Germany). The project aims at developing and testing socio-cognitive models of media based everyday learning.

Project: Values in everyday language and inter-group conflict


Henrik Dobewall | Institute of Behavioral Sciences, University of Helsinki (Finland)

Henrik Dobewall is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki (Finland). He received a Master’s degree in Social Sciences from the University of Göttingen (Germany) and PhD in psychology from the University of Tartu (Estonia). As an expert in survey research methods, his research focuses on the multi-method assessment of personality, values, and subjective well-being. Henrik’s research interests include, among others, the role of values in intergroup-stereotypes and ethnic conflicts.

Project: Values in everyday language and inter-group conflict


Nicolas Payette | Laboratory for Agent-Based Social Simulation (Italy)

Nicolas Payette is a computer programmer with a background in philosophy. He joined the international research group Laboratory of Agent Based Social Simulation (LABSS) in Rome (Italy) in the beginning of 2017 to work on the simulation of criminal and terrorist networks and the processes of recruitment into these. Nicolas likes to build agent-based models and to build tools for building agent-based models. He has contributed to the development of the NetLogo platform and is the author of many extensions.


Davide Natalini | Global Sustainability Institute, Anglia Ruskin University (UK)

Davide Natalini is Research Fellow at the Global Sustainability Institute at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge (UK). Davide holds a PhD in Environmental Security, an MA in Environmental Economics and Policies and a BA in International Relations. Davide’s research focuses on the study of complex dynamic systems through computer simulation and multi-stakeholder engagement. He applies these methods to different research fields and topics such as energy transitions (with the MEDEAS project), environmental conflict, scarcity and security, socio-ecological resilience and the evaluation of systemic risk.

Project: Socio-ecological tipping points


Adam Robert Pah | Kellog School of Management, Northwestern University (USA)

Adam Pah is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the Kellogg School of Management and Organizations at Northwestern University (USA). He also is the Associate Director of the Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems and a Research Professor there. His research interests include adoption, behavioral contagion, and estimating individual and group performance.

Project: The timing and execution of terrorist attacks


Sebastian Schutte | Zukunftskolleg, University of Konstanz (Germany)

Sebastian Schutte is a political scientist currently employed as a Marie Curie Fellow at the Zukuftskolleg at the University of Konstanz (Germany). He studied Anthropology, Computer Science, and Cognitive Science at the University of Freiburg (Germany), as well as Political Science at ETH Zurich (Switzerland). His research is mostly focused on conflict processes in civil wars and sometimes methodological problems.

Project: Analyzing conflict dynamics at the event-level


Karsten Donnay | Center for Data and Methods, Department of Politics and Public Administration, University of Konstanz (Germany)

Karsten Donnay is an Assistant Professor of Computational Social Science at the Center for Data and Methods in the Department of Politics and Public Administration at the University of Konstanz (Germany). Previously, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of International Relations & Political Science at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva (Switzerland), and the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland (USA). In his research, he combines a substantive interest in political science – studying social processes such as urban violence and crime, conflict and terrorism, or social influence through traditional and new media – with the development and refinement of quantitative methodologies for social science research.

Project: Analyzing conflict dynamics at the event-level


Cornelius Puschmann | Hans-Bredow-Institute, University of Hamburg (Germany)

Cornelius Puschmann is a senior researcher at the Hans Bredow Institute for Media Research in Hamburg (Germany) where he coordinates the international research network Algorithmed Public Spheres, as well as an associate at the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG) in Berlin (Germany). His research interests include online hate speech, the role of algorithms for the selection of media content, and methodological aspects of computational social science.


Luis Gustavo Nardin | Computer Science Department, Brandenburg University of Technology (Germany)

Luis Gustavo Nardin is a faculty member of Computer Science at the Brandenburg University of Technology (Germany). He has a PhD in Computer Engineering and experience in applying computation methods and technologies to understand different social phenomena like organized crime and epidemiology. His research interests include agent-based modeling, simulation engineering, and application of statistics for simulation output data analysis.

Project: Simulating the Economic Impacts of Mafia


Gerd Wagner | Chair of Internet Technology, Brandenburg University of Technology (Germany)

Gerd Wagner is Professor of Internet Technology at Brandenburg University of Technology (Germany). He has studied Mathematics, Philosophy and Informatics in Heidelberg, San Francisco and Berlin. His research interests include modeling and simulation, foundational ontologies, and web engineering. He is the co-founder of the website and the web-based simulation platform

Project: Simulating the Economic Impacts of Mafia


Jan Lorenz | Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (Germany)

Jan Lorenz is a postdoctoral fellow in Psychology and Methods at Jacobs University and faculty member of the Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (Germany). He obtained a PhD in Mathematics from University of Bremen and was a postdoc at ETH Zürich (Switzerland) and at Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg (Germany). He is interested in opinion dynamics and collective decisions as well as agent-based and data driven dynamical modeling.


Adalbert Wilhelm | Jacobs University & Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (Germany)

Adalbert Wilhelm is Professor of Statistics at the Commerzbank Chair of Information Management at Jacobs University (Germany) and a faculty member of the Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (Germany). He was a visiting Professor at the University of Cagliari (Italy) and the George Mason University in Fairfax (USA). He received his PhD in Statistics (1993) and his Venia Legendi (2000) in Mathematics from University of Augsburg (Germany). His research interests include information and knowledge management, statistical visualization, data mining, exploratory data analysis and computational statistics.


Juan Masullo Jiménez | Jacobs University & Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (Germany)

Juan Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Bremen International Graduate School of the Social Sciences, BIGSSS (Germany) and holds a Phd in Social and Political Sciences from the European University Institute in Florence (Italy). His substantive research interests include civil wars, collective action and, more broadly, contentious politics. Juan’s research focuses on the individual and collective behavior of civilians (noncombatants) in the context of armed conflicts. He is particularly interested in understanding the drivers behind the choices they make and how these choices are related to their protection prospects. Moreover, he is interested in identifying the legacies that this choices leave in terms of community cohesion, social fabric, collective identities and cleavages and how these are related to obstacles and opportunities for post-conflict reconstruction and peace building. In tackling these questions, he combines multiple types of evidence and rely extensively on immersive fieldwork in conflict-affected areas.