Jesse Sowell

Jesse Sowell



Stanford University

Encina Hall, C246-1

Stanford, CA 94305-6165

(650) 725 4873 (voice)

Research Interests

Political economy of Internet operations, Internet security and public policy, economics of security, operational epistemic regimes, credible knowledge assessment, economics of Internet infrastructure and interconnection, qualitative methods, fieldwork methods


Jesse is the 2016-2017 Cybersecurity Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation and holds a PhD in Technology, Management, and Policy from MIT.  Jesse focuses on understanding the institutions and political economy of Internet operations vis a vis conventional modes of domestic and inter-state governance mechanisms. This work includes studies on infrastructure resource management and policy, infrastructure security, credible knowledge assessment, and operational epistemic communities’ role informing public policy. Jesse’s dissertation evaluates the common resource management institutions that sustain the integrity and security of the Internet’s numbers and routing system. The dissertation documents how the roles of these institutions, comprising diverse transnational operator communities, managing the complex of physical and information resources supporting the integrity of global Internet connectivity. Concluding analyses narrow the focus from operational authority to the character of political authority in these communities, rooted in the family of consensus processes used to adapt resource policy and institutions apace with Internet growth and development.  Jesse is currently working on a number of papers from his dissertation: reputation and security in the numbers and routing system, contrasting consensus as a decision-making process with conventional mechanisms for credible knowledge assessment, and the challenges in comity between substantive-purposive authority in operational institutions with governments’ conventional, formal-legalistic modes of authority. Ongoing work is developing a theory of epistemic constructivism and case work on developing joint capabilities between operational security regimes and law enforcement/national security actors.