Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute for Politics and Strategy
Daniel is a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Politics and Strategy at Carnegie Mellon University. His work focuses on violent conflict, public opinion, and the politics of the Middle East and Islamic world. He is particularly interested in people’s attitudes and beliefs in — and toward — war. Daniel's ongoing book project explores the depths and limits of lies, misinformation, and “fake news” in war. From Syria to Colombia to Ukraine, misinformation is an endemic feature of modern war. But when is it actually believed by those living in the warzones, and when is it not? This question is key, as the spread of false beliefs can initiate, exacerbate, and extend violent conflicts. In the book, Daniel develops a new and surprising argument about factual beliefs in war, arguing that their accuracy hinges critically on people's exposure and proximity to the events in question. While war is full of lies, those close enough to the action have the means and motives to see through them. Focusing on recent disputes in Pakistan and Iraq, he supports this argument with original surveys and experiments, a range of violent event data, and the pairing of the two in new and powerful ways. The results significantly enhance our understanding of both the dynamics of armed conflict and the role of facts in contemporary politics.
In addition to this book project, Daniel has other research projects on Islam and politics, US foreign policy attitudes, non-state resistance leaders, and popular support for conspiracy theories. To date, his work is published in academic journals such as the Journal of Conflict Resolution, Political Research Quarterly, and Studies in Conflict & Terrorism. Before arriving at CMU, he earned his PhD in political science at the Ohio State University and BA in political science at the University of Pennsylvania. More detailed information is available on his website.
Silverman, Daniel. "What Shapes Civilian Beliefs about Violent Events? Experimental Evidence from Pakistan." Journal of Conflict Resolution, 2018.
Kaltenthaler, Karl, Daniel Silverman, and Munqith Dagher. "Identity, Ideology, and Information: The Sources of Iraqi Support for the Islamic State." Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 2018.