Harry Oppenheimer

I am a Ph.D. candidate and Hartley R. Rogers Dissertation Fellow in the Department of Government at Harvard University. My research focuses on the political economy of cybersecurity and internet digital globalization. My dissertation leverages novel data sources, from internet topography measurements to forensic malware analysis, to texts mapping bureaucratic delegation‚ to understand how internet-driven interdependence creates shared regulatory and security challenges, and how states develop digital institutions in response to the global internet environment.

My job market paper investigates how the internet reacted to the Snowden leaks. I develop a digital dependence and risk theory, which I argue creates incentives for balancing in the internet architecture. Using internet topographical measurements, I show how networks in rival states engaged in internal digital balancing to reduce their exposure to weaponized interdependence after the Snowden leaks. Digital retrenchment also made it easier for government censors to exert digital control in these countries. However, the leaks did not cause the internet overall to become less dependent on the U.S. and U.K. I argue this demonstrates the connection between conventional security and digital risk.

I have multiple papers currently under review. One piece evaluates how digital capacity building not only facilitates policy adoption in developing countries but also shapes how states institutionalize cybersecurity capacity. Another paper under review shows how data follows the flag despite digital spying among alliance members. I argue that this is because, while alliances do not prevent spying, they reduce security externalities due to digital trade. My other work under review examines public opinion and responses to cyberattacks.

While at Harvard, I developed and taught my syllabus‚ Technology and Disruption in International Affairs. Before beginning my doctorate, I was a research associate for national security at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Personal Website

conflict  globalization  technology