John Tomasi
Romeo Elton Professor of Natural Philosophy

Professor of Political Science 
[email protected] 

John Tomasi is the Romeo Elton Professor of Natural Philosophy and a Professor of Political Science at Brown University and Director of the Political Theory Project at Brown. He also holds an appointment at the University of Arizona's Center for the Philosophy of Freedom where he is a University Associate and Research Professor.

Tomasi received his B.A. from Colby College, his M.A. from the University of Arizona (1990), and his B. Phil., D. Phil. from Oxford University (1993). He has held previous positions at the University Center for Human Values at Princeton, the Department of Philosophy at Stanford, and the Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard. His specializations are political theory and ethics and public policy.

In addition to numerous scholarly articles, Tomasi is author ofLiberalism Beyond Justice: Citizens Society and the Boundaries of Political Theory (Princeton University Press, 2001) and Free Market Fairness (Princeton University Press, 2012). To learn more about Free Market Fairnes, read the Wall Street Journal review here.


Associate Director
Daniel J. D'Amico
Political Theory Project
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Daniel J. D’Amico is a Lecturer in Economics and the Associate Director of The Political Theory Project at Brown University where he teaches and coordinates student programs dedicated to the study of institutions and ideas that make societies free, prosperous, and fair. Before beginning at Brown University in 2015, Daniel was awarded the level of Associate Professor of economics at Loyola University New Orleans, where he garnered awards for teaching, research, and service.

Daniel completed his Ph.D. in economics from George Mason University in 2008. His dissertation, “The Imprisoner’s Dilemma: The Political Economy of Proportionate Punishment,” was awarded the Israel M. Kirzner Award for best dissertation in Austrian Economics by the Society for the Development of Austrian Economics. In 2011 Daniel's paper, "The Prison in Economics: Private and Public Incarceration in Ancient Greece," was awarded the Gordon Tullock Prize for the best paper published in the journal Public Choice by a scholar under the age of forty.

Daniel’s current research is focused upon the political economy of punishment and incarceration throughout history and around the world. He has been published in a variety of scholarly outlets including Public Choice, the Journal of Comparative Economics, and the Review of Austrian Economics.

Daniel is currently the co-editor of Advances in Austrian Economics, an affiliated scholar with the workshop in Politics, Philosophy and Economics at George Mason University, and a co-founder of the Carl Menger Essay Contest sponsored by the Foundation for Economic Education.

Daniel adheres to the fundamental belief that ideas matter.
Website  |  CV

David Skarbek

Associate Professor,
Political Science 

 [email protected]

David Skarbek is Associate Professor of Political Science at Brown University. His research uses analytical narratives to understand how extralegal governance institutions form, operate, and evolve. He has published extensively on the informal institutions that govern life in prisons in California and around the globe. His work has appeared in leading journals in political science, economics, and criminology, including in the American Political Science Review, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Journal of Law, Economics & Organization, and Journal of Criminal Justice. His book, The Social Order of the Underworld: How Prison Gangs Govern the American Penal System (Oxford University Press), received the American Political Science Association’s 2016 William H. Riker Award for the best book in political economy in the previous three years. It was also awarded the 2014 Best Publication Award from the International Association for the Study of Organized Crime and was shortlisted for the British Sociological Association’s 2014 Ethnography Award. His work has been featured widely in national and international media outlets, such as the Atlantic, BBC, Business Insider, the Economist, Forbes, the Independent, and the Times. He received a Ph.D. in Economics from George Mason University in 2010.



Emily Skarbek

Assistant Professor, Research Political Theory Project [email protected]

Emily Skarbek is Assistant Research Professor in the Political Theory Project at Brown University. She earned her PhD in economics from George Mason University in 2009. Her research examines civil society, governance, and history of economic thought. Her work has been published in academic journals such as Public Choice, Journal of Institutional Economics, and American Journal of Economics and Sociology. In 2014, she was awarded the annual Gordon Tullock prize for best article published in Public Choice by a junior scholar. She is also a contributing author to several books including After Katrina: The Political Economy of Disaster and Community Rebound and Hayek and the Modern World.