Core faculty

Robert Axelrod

William D. Hamilton Distinguished University Professor Emeritus

Robert Axelrod is the William D. Hamilton Distinguished University Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan, having held appointments at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and Department of Political Science. His areas of specialization include international security, formal models, and complex adaptive systems. Axelrod's books include Harnessing Complexity (with Michael D. Cohen), Conflict of InterestThe Structure of DecisionThe Evolution of Cooperation, and The Complexity of Cooperation. His work focuses on questions of how patterns of social behavior emerge. He draws on the current research in a wide range of disciplines, including biology, psychology, and computer science.

He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and former president of the American Political Science Association. He is also the winner of several national awards: in 2014 he was awarded the National Medal of Science, "the nation's highest honor for scientific achievement and leadership," and in 2015 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by Harvard University. Previously, Axelrod was named a MacArthur Prize Fellow. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago and received his PhD from Yale University.