Michael Weaver (PhD Yale) examines the politics of violence, in particular, contests over the legitimacy of state and non-state violence, how changes in these public norms constrain and enable violence, as well as the causes and consequences of ethnic violence.
His current project, a book on the public acceptability of lynching, argues that changes in the reach and inclusivity of publicity enable and constrain both criticism and justification of violence. This work draws on extensive historiography of lynching and novel historical newspaper data to trace both the emergence and rise to dominance of white supremacist narratives that justified lynching in the wake of Reconstruction as well as the proliferation of critiques levelled by both African Americans and white opponents of lynching.
In addition to his work on lynching, Weaver’s other work examines the effects of electing ethnic political parties and violence in India and Indonesia, the effects of military service in the American Civil War on racial attitudes, and the effects of inflammatory political rhetoric on violence. His research has been published in the American Political Science Review and the Quarterly Journal of Political Science.
Prior to joining our Department, Weaver was a Collegiate Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago (2016-2017), and a Statistical Consultant at Yale University StatLab. He earned his BA at the University of Chicago.