Hello! I am a researcher and author – and I study the political implications of technology.
I am currently a principal research scientist in the Center for the Study of Demography & Ecology (CSDE) at the University of Washington. My research focuses on the ways in which technology structures and shapes interactions between ordinary people trying to make sense of their world. I currently focus on two major areas: (1) the political implications of interaction in online communities and (2) the cybersecurity and political implications of technology in the built environment. My current projects include:
- A set of collaborative, interdisciplinary projects focused on Internet of Things (IoT) devices and building security. One of these projects is an NSF-sponsored project focused on the cybersecurity risks that disciplinary silos and organizational communication issues create. Another looks at individual privacy and sustainability values in relation to IoT in the built environment.
- A collaborative NSF-sponsored project meant to understand sentiment in response to COVID-19 information on Twitter in Louisiana and Washington.
- A collaborative project examining risk-taking behaviors among young adults engaged in cryptocurrency trading.
- A project to understand the types of policy-significant information that spreads in informal online spaces, particularly parenting groups.
My work has included research that explores political mobilization emerging from highly populated online communities and focuses on actors such as Anonymous and other hacktivists, the Pirate Parties, and digital pirates. I wrote a book called Expect Us: Online Communities and Political Mobilization. Expect Us is published by Oxford University Press in the Digital Politics series. The book is based on my dissertation, which won an award in 2012 from the Association of Internet Researchers.
For more than ten years, I have lead cybersecurity-focused research projects for external clients as part of the Jackson School of International Studies’ Global Research Group program. I am the co-lead of the Jackson School of International Studies’ Cybersecurity Initiative. I teach international cybersecurity courses in the Jackson School. I have a Ph.D. in Political Science from the UW.
Feel free to contact me at jlbeyer [at] gmail dot com. You can also find me on Twitter @jlbeyer.