Philip Howard (150x200)Ph.D., Northwestern University, 2002

Office: CMU 141

Philip N. Howard is a professor and writer. He has written numerous empirical research articles, published in a number of disciplines, on the use of digital media for social control in both democracies and authoritarian regimes. He holds faculty appointments at the University of Washington and Oxford University, and is a fellow at Columbia University’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism.

He investigates the impact of digital media on political life around the world, and he is a frequent commentator on global media and political affairs. Howard’s research has demonstrated the ways digital media is used in social control and political activism in countries around the world. His projects on bots, digital activism, global information access, and political Islam have been supported by the European Research CouncilNational Science FoundationUS Institutes of Peace, and Intel’s People and Practices Group.

He has published eight books and over 100 academic articles, book chapters, conference papers, and commentary essays. His articles examine the role of new information and communication technologies in politics and social development, and he has published in peer review journals such as the American Behavioral Scientist, the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and The Journal of Communication. His book on information technology and elections in the United States is called New Media Campaigns and the Managed Citizen (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006). It is one of the few books to ever win simultaneous “best book” prizes from the professional associations of multiple disciplines, with awards from the American Political Science Association, the American Sociological Association, and the International Communication Association. His most recent books include Democracy’s Fourth Wave? Digital Media and the Arab Spring (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2012), Castells and the Media (London, UK: Polity, 2011) and The Digital Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2010). He has edited Society Online: The Internet in Context(Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2004, with Steve Jones), the Handbook of Internet Politics (London, UK: Routledge, 2008, with Andrew Chadwick) and State Power 2.0: Authoritarian Entrenchment and Political Engagement Worldwide (Farnham, UK: Ashgate, 2013, with Muzammil Hussain).

Howard has guest lectured at leading universities around the world, and taught at the Central European University, Columbia University, Northwestern University, University of Oslo, and the University of Washington. He has had residential fellowships at the Pew Internet & American Life Project in Washington D.C., the LSE’s Stanhope Centre for Communications Policy Research, Stanford University’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and Princeton University’s Center for Information Technology Policy.

He has written opinion pieces for a variety of newspapers, magazines and digital outlets, and his research has been featured by a diverse range of news organizations. Howard is the author, most recently, of Pax Technica: How the Internet of Things May Set Us Free or Lock Us Up. His BA is in political science from Innis College at the University of Toronto, his MSc is in economics from the London School of Economics, and his PhD is in sociology from Northwestern University. His website is, and he tweets from@pnhoward.

Selected Publications

Howard, Philip N. Pax Technica: How the Internet of Things May Set Us Free, Or Lock Us Up. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2015.

Forelle, Michelle C. and Philip N. Howard, Andres Monroy-Hernandez, and Saiph Savage. “Political Bots and the Manipulation of Public Opinion in Venezuela.” (July 25, 2015). Available at SSRN: or

Howard, Philip N. “Participation, Civics and Your Next Coffee Maker.” Policy & Internet 6, no. 2 (2014): 199–201, DOI: 10.1002/1944-2866.POI356

Howard, Philip N. and Muzammil Hussain, “What Best Explains Successful Protest Cascades? ICTs and the Fuzzy Causes of the Arab Spring.” International Studies Review 15, no. 1 (2013):  48-66.

Howard, Philip N., Muzammil Hussain, and Sheetal Agarwal. “When Do States Disconnect Their Digital Networks?The Communication Review 14, no. 2 (2011):  216-232.

Massanari, Adrienne, and Philip N. Howard.  “Information Technologies and Omnivorous News Diets Over Three U.S. Presidential Elections.” Journal of Information Technology and Politics 8, no. 2,  (2011): 177-198.