Political Theory Project


Who We Are

The PTP is comprised of a core group of four faculty and two staff members. Each year we welcome a select group of postdoctoral fellows-in-residence as we proudly watch the graduating postdocs move on to the next phase of their careers. 

Interim Director

  • Professor David Skarbek

    David Skarbek

    Associate Professor, Political Science

    David Skarbek is Associate Professor of Political Science at Brown University. His research seeks to understand how extralegal governance institutions form, operate, and evolve. He has published extensively on the informal institutions that govern life in prisons in California and around the globe. His work has appeared in leading journals in political science, economics, and criminology, including in the American Political Science Review, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Journal of Law, Economics & Organization, and Journal of Criminal Justice. His book, The Social Order of the Underworld: How Prison Gangs Govern the American Penal System (Oxford University Press), received the American Political Science Association’s 2016 William H. Riker Award for the best book in political economy in the previous three years. It was also awarded the 2014 Best Publication Award from the International Association for the Study of Organized Crime and was shortlisted for the British Sociological Association’s 2014 Ethnography Award. His work has been featured widely in national and international media outlets, such as the Atlantic, BBC, Business Insider, the Economist, Forbes, the Independent, and the Times. He received a Ph.D. in Economics from George Mason University in 2010.

Associate Director

  • Professor Daniel J. D'Amico

    Daniel J. D'Amico

    Daniel J. D’Amico is the Associate Director of The Political Theory Project and a Lecturer in Economics at Brown University where he teaches and coordinates student programs dedicated to the study of institutions and ideas that make societies free, prosperous, and fair. Before beginning at Brown University in 2015, Daniel was awarded the level of Associate Professor of economics at Loyola University New Orleans, where he garnered awards for teaching, research, and service.

    Daniel’s current research is focused upon the political economy of punishment and incarceration throughout history and around the world. He has been published in a variety of scholarly outlets including Public Choice, the Journal of Comparative Economics, and the Review of Austrian Economics.

    Daniel is currently the co-editor of Advances in Austrian Economics, an affiliated scholar with the workshop in Politics, Philosophy and Economics at George Mason University, and a co-founder of the Carl Menger Essay Contest sponsored by the Foundation for Economic Education.

    Daniel adheres to the fundamental belief that ideas matter.

    Curriculum Vitae

PTP Professors

  • Professor Emily Skarbek

    Emily Skarbek

    Associate Professor, Research, Director of the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics Research Seminar

    Emily Skarbek is Associate Research Professor in the Political Theory Project at Brown University. She earned her Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University in 2009. Her research examines civil society, governance, and history of economic thought. Her work has been published in academic journals such as Public Choice, Journal of Institutional Economics, and American Journal of Economics and Sociology. In 2014, she was awarded the annual Gordon Tullock prize for best article published in Public Choice by a junior scholar. She is also a contributing author to several books including After Katrina: The Political Economy of Disaster and Community Rebound and Hayek and the Modern World.

  • Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Brown University Ryan Doody

    Ryan Doody

    Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Brown University


    Ryan Doody is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Brown University. Previously he held positions at the University of San Diego, UNC Chapel Hill, the University of Groningen, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Ryan received his PhD in philosophy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His work deals with questions of rationality and value. He has a specialism in decision theory. Ryan's current research focuses on incommensurability, social risk, and public policy. 

PTP Postdoctoral Research Associates

  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Samuel Director

    Samuel Director

    Postdoctoral Research Associate, Ph.D., Philosophy, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Anthony Gregory

    Anthony Gregory

    Postdoctoral Research Associate, Ph.D., History, University of California, Berkeley
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Lowry Pressly

    Lowry Pressly

    Postdoctoral Research Associate, Ph.D., Political Theory, Harvard University
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate, Emelie Sartre, Ph.D., Economics, CREST

    Emilie Sartre

Program Staff