Steven Weber

Steven Weber
Professor (I School and Dept. of Political Science)
Focus: International politics, international business, and the information economy; Cybersecurity; Behavioral economics within Information Systems

Current Research

Employment effects of Information Technology and Data

Global Economic Geography in the aftermath of the 2009 Financial Crisis

Long Term evolution of cybersecurity:  theory, practice and behaviors.


Steven Weber works at the intersection of technology markets, intellectual property regimes, and international politics. His research, teaching, and advisory work focus on the political economy of knowledge intensive industries, with special attention to health care, information technology, software, and global political economy issues relating to competitiveness. He is also a frequent contributor to scholarly and public debates on international politics and US foreign policy. One of the world’s most expert practitioners of scenario planning,Weber has worked with over a hundred companies and government organizations to develop this discipline as a strategy planning tool.

Steve went to medical school at Stanford then did his Ph.D. in the political science department also at Stanford. He served as special consultant to the president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and has held academic fellowships with the Council on Foreign Relations and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and was Director of the Institute of International Studies at UC Berkeley from 2003 to 2009.

His books include The Success of Open Source and most recently The End of Arrogance: America in the Global Competition of Ideas (with Bruce Jentleson) and Deviant Globalization: Black Market Economy in the 21st Century (with Jesse Goldhammer and Nils Gilman). He is currently working on a new book, Beyond the Globally Integrated Enterprise, that explains how economic geography is evolving and the consequences for multinational organizations in the post financial crisis world.  

Steve is the faculty director for the Berkeley Center for Long Term Cybersecurity (CLTC). 

What brought you to the I School?
I came to the I School because of my substantive interests in political economy of information-intensive production, but also because I am learning to build prototypes and experiments as a way to evaluate and test theory in this fast-evolving space. As the data 'revolution' evolves, I've become increasingly interested in how decision-makers, particularly inside complex organizations, will (and should) use data products to inform strategic decision making.

What information issues interest you most?
I’ve had a long-standing interest in the open source software community that hasn’t ebbed; but these days, I’m particularly interested in the economic models that support the production and delivery of information services — a problem that some people think has been solved.  I strongly disagree, and I think it’s going to blow up in our collective faces at some point soon.   And we need to be ready to fix it.

You've been on the Berkeley faculty (in the department of political science) since 1989; how have your academic interests evolved during that time?
My theoretical interests haven’t really changed that much.  I’ve always studied large scale systems of non-hierarchical cooperation, and I’ve tended to follow that puzzle into different substantive areas — from international regimes to open source software communities.  I suspect some version of that problem will keep me busy for another couple decades at least.

A Web site you recommend? Make your own word clouds!  A very compelling and memorable way to make a point, when used in the right circumstances.

Something few people know about you?
I’d rather be on my road bike than just about anything else.

What keeps you up at night? 
The ‘other side’ of the acute phase of the 2008–9 financial crisis.  We haven’t really begun to see the full range of political-economic-social fallout from this series of events, and a sense of complacency has snuck back in.  The world is going to look very different in 2020, but most Americans (including much of the educated elite) is now acting as if the crisis was just a blip on the screen and we’re back to 'trend'.  We’re not, and that’s going to become evident on a number of different dimensions -- some of which are central to the data and information economies we study at the ischool.

How to Reach Me

Office: 203B South Hall
Office Hours: Normally Tuesday 4-6, but even better by appointment
Telephone: (510) 643-3755