Eduardo Albrecht

  • Associate Professor, International Relations and Diplomacy
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Dr Albrecht's work seeks to identify recurring patterns of online behavior in order to understand patterns of social unrest. This mixed methodology project uses natural language processing and open-source intelligence software to collect large quantities of online language data, which is then modeled alongside other types of data, including satellite imagery and econometric indicators, to find recurring patterns of unrest and predict future instances of such phenomena as electoral violence, labor action, ethnic clashes, and violent extremism. Simultaneously, ethnographic fieldwork is conducted with the social groups involved to constantly revise the models and better understand events. The main argument is that by co-calibrating algorithmic analyses with ethnographic experience it is possible to considerably expand the field through what he has termed “prosthetic ethnography” and to achieve statistically relevant predictive and explanatory capacity. 

Via this research he has contributed to projects funded by organizations such as the International Peace Institute, the National Research Foundation of Korea, the European Institute for Asian Studies, the World Bank, the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, the Japan International Cooperation Agency, and has presented at organizations such as the United Nations Development Program, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

In the past he has investigated radical left-wing protesters in Europe and conducted fieldwork among North Korean defectors and refugees in South Korea. He is also involved in work that considers the ethics of automation in conflict prevention, and the challenges that rise from the use of emerging algorithmic technologies in state and international organization decision making processes. This situates his research at the crossroads of political anthropology, digital humanities, and international studies.

SOAS, University of London 2010
Ph.D. Department of Anthropology and Sociology

SOAS, University of London 2001
M.A. Department of Anthropology and Sociology

John Cabot University, Rome 1999
B.A. Department of International Affairs

Recent work is focused on Africa, where via a study funded by the LSE-Oxford Commission on State Fragility, Growth and Development that looked at the relationship between influential actors’ language and violence in Kenya, it was found that by using algorithmic analysis to gauge changing emotional tone over time it is possible to predict increases in average violence up to 150 days in advance, with an accuracy of 85%.

Dr. Albrecht teaches both IRDP Capstone 1 & 2, where students work with the instructor to design a capstone project that draws upon knowledge and skills that the students have attained throughout their courses to explore a new topic of their interest. The capstone project provides students with the necessary research, argumentation, and writing/presentation skills for a career related to international relations.

He also teaches World Cultures, which is an introductory course to the anthropological and political aspects of cultural and linguistic difference. A spectrum of issues concerning human origins and expansion, and regional and linguistic differences, are addressed.

Books

  • 2017 Alter-globalization in Southern Europe: Anatomy of a Social Movement, New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Refereed Journal Articles

  • 2017 The Case of a Social Movement that Does Not Move: Alter-globalization in Southern Europe. Mediterranean Review, 9/3: 40-68.
  • 2015 Embodying Progress: Aesthetic Surgery and Socioeconomic Change in South Korea. East Asian Science, Technology and Society (EASTS), Duke University Press, 9/3: 29-49.
  • 2014 Democratization and Good Governance in Myanmar/Burma, with Amit Arora. Journal of Corruption Studies, 19/1: 211-234.
  • 2014 A Review of the Social, Cultural, Political and Economic Dimensions of the Senkaku/Diaoyu Island Dispute, with Betty Chemier. Journal of Northeast Asian Cultures, 39/1: 491-514.
  • 2014 A Review of the Chinese, Russian, US and EU Strategies in the Korean Peninsula from 2006-2012, Journal of Northeast Asian Studies, 71/1: 323-346.
  • 2013 Antonio Gramsci’s Political Philosophy and European Integration: A Review of Competing Perspectives in Contemporary Italy. Mediterranean Review, 6/2: 91-113.
  • 2012 Italian Labor Market Reform: An Appraisal of the 2003 Biagi Law. Mediterranean Review, 5/1: 21-44.
  • 2011 Experiences of State, Family and Body amongst North Korean Defectors Living in Seoul. Journal of Northeast Asian Cultures, 26/1: 579-600.
  • 2011 Aesthetic Surgery and Social Change in South Korea. Korean Cultural Anthropology, 44/2: 359-389.
  • 2011 A Study in Anthropology: The Anti-globalization Movement and the City of Naples. Journal of Mediterranean Studies, 13/1: 121-155.

Policy Publications

  • 2019 The Relationship Between Influential Actors’ Language and Violence: A Kenyan Case Study Using Artificial Intelligence. Background Study, LSE-Oxford Commission on State Fragility, Growth and Development, London 
  • 2013 North Korea & the UN Security Council: Action, Reaction, Trust, and Mistrust. Policy paper, International Peace Institute, New York.
  • 2012 North Korea in the East Asian Puzzle: Anthropological Perspectives for EU policy Developments. Briefing paper, European Institute for Asian Studies, Brussels.

Grants Awarded

  • LSE-Oxford Commission on State Fragility, Government of United Kingdom 2018
  • Korean Research Foundation, Pukyong National University 2010-2014
  • Italian Cultural Association, Rising South Civil Rights Organization 2002-2008