I am an assistant professor of sociology at New York University Abu Dhabi. Previously, I have been a Fung Global Fellow at Princeton University's Institute for International and Regional Studies, a visiting research scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, and a postdoctoral researcher at NYU Abu Dhabi. 


Curriculum vitae

daniel [dot] karell [at] nyu [dot] edu

My current research agenda focuses on the dynamics of social contention. This contention might be violent, such as insurgent attacks in contemporary Afghanistan, or more subtle, as when aspiring labor migrants and recruitment brokers negotiate contract terms under information asymmetries. I am especially interested in the relational aspects of contention, ranging from the construction of exclusionary discourses to how networks can endogenously motivate acrimonious social relationships. My research is based on insights gained during fieldwork in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but it currently draws on network and computational textual analyses, as well as networked digital field experiments. I teach courses on research design and computational textual analysis for the social sciences.




What is radicalism and how does it affect the lives of radicals? My research takes initial steps towards a theory of radical discourse, then uses this theory to shed new light on the everyday lives -- and deaths -- of radicals. It also helps distinguish between political radicalism and related discourses.

Papers and book manuscript in progress



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NETworks and text

How can social scientists study the joint evolution of social life and culture without collapsing one domain into the other? I synthesize two rapidly developing, and, up to now, unrelated methodologies -- computational textual analysis and longitudinal network models -- into a novel analytic approach. This approach offers unique theoretical and empirical opportunities for studying socio-semantic networks and the sociology of culture.

Relevant publications

“Socio-Semantic Network Evolution: Linking Topic- and Longitudinal Network Models”, by Daniel Karell and Michael Freedman. Under review.

“Local Peace and Contemporary Conflict: Constructing Commonality and Exclusion during War in Afghanistan”, 2017, by Daniel Karell. Social Science Research 61(1):75-97.

“Narrative Networks”, 2015, by Katherine Stovel and Daniel Karell. International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, Vol. 16.





How does the recruitment of labor migrants work? To better understand the process of recruitment -- particularly for labor migrants working in Gulf states -- I am conducting research in Pakistan to uncover the actors and series of relationships that make up labor recruitment.

The project is supported by funding from the Research & Empirical Analysis of Labor Migration Program.