I am a cultural and comparative-historical sociologist with research on international humanitarian organizations and movements, human rights advocacy, religion, and political culture. My research looks at how global organizations and movements emerge, at their international dynamics, and at their interface with nationally-specific institutions and culture. In addition, I look at how organizations, professions, and groups generate beliefs about the common good, and how those beliefs translate into concrete institutional arrangements. I am currently a lecturer at the Department of Sociology at Harvard University, where I teach courses in the areas of organizations, global and transnational sociology, and cultural sociology. 

My book, Above the Fray: The Red Cross and the Making of the Humanitarian NGO Sector, is forthcoming in January 2020 at the University of Chicago Press. It examines the origins and development of the humanitarian relief NGO field, and draws on archival research at the International Committee of the Red Cross and related repositories. The book is available for preorder on Amazon.

Above the Fray

My work has appeared in journals like Rural Sociology, Sociological Theory and Theory & Society, and received the Altruism, Morality, and Social Solidarity Outstanding Published Article Award, the Global and Transnational Sociology Best Graduate Student Paper Award and an honorable mention for the Theda Skocpol Best Dissertation Award from the American Sociological Association, as well as the Marvin B. Sussman Prize from Yale University.

You can read here about my research and teaching. Contact me at, and follow me at @DromiShai.

Photo credit: Mira Whiting Photography.