Zachary Steinert-Threlkeld


Assistant Professor of Public Policy

Home Department: Public Policy


Zachary C. Steinert-Threlkeld is an assistant professor of Public Policy at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs.

His research interests are at the border of international and comparative politics, exploiting in particular vast social media data to study subnational conflict.  His current research focuses on the mobilization of mass protest during the Arab Spring and Ukraine’s Euromaidan protests, as well as elite behavior and state repression in authoritarian regimes.

At Luskin, his teaching focuses on subnational conflict, statistics and advanced data analysis of various kinds, including the analysis of “big data.”

Steinert-Threlkeld’s work has appeared in the European Physical Review – Data Science, Political AnalysisWorld Politics and the American Political Science Review. He has also a forthcoming book from Cambridge University Press on using Twitter for social science research.

He received his Ph.D. in political science from UC San Diego in 2016; a master’s degree in political science from UC San Diego in 2012, and a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and economics from Washington University in St. Louis.

Selected Research

Published Papers

  1. Won, Donghyeon, Zachary C. Steinert-Threlkeld, and Jungseock Joo. 2017. Protest Activity Detection and Perceived Violence Estimate from Social Media Images. In Proceedings of ACM Multimedia’17, Mountain View, CA, USA. October
    23-27, 2017.  Media: The Register
  2. Steinert-Threlkeld, Zachary C. 2017. Longitudinal Network Centrality Using In-complete Data. Political Analysis. 25(3): 308-328. DOI:
  3. Steinert-Threlkeld, Zachary C. 2017. Spontaneous Collective Action: Peripheral Mobilization During the Arab Spring. American Political Science Review 111(2): 379-403.
  4. Hafner-Burton, Emilie M., Zachary C. Steinert-Threlkeld, and David G. Victor. 2016. Predictability Versus Flexibility – Secrecy in International Investment Arbitration. World Politics 68(3): 413-453.
  5. Zachary C. Steinert-Threlkeld, Delia Mocanu, Alessandro Vespignani, and
    James Fowler. 2015. Online Social Networks and Offline Protest. EPJ Data Science

Other Publications

  1.  Zachary C. Steinert-Threlkeld and Jesse Driscoll. Can we prevent terrorism by checking immigrants’ social media accounts? No. Monkey Cage: December 29, 2015.
  2.  Zachary C. Steinert-Threlkeld. Advances in Understanding Protest with Big Data Mobilizing Ideas: March 9, 2015.
  3.  Zachary C. Steinert-Threlkeld. Online and Offline Activism in Egypt and Bahrain. Prepared for the United States Agency for International Development: February 28, 2015.
  4. Zachary C. Steinert-Threlkeld. Machine Coded Events Data and Hand-Coded Data. Political Violence at a Glance: March 19, 2014.