Academic Profile

People Feature

Cohen R. Simpson

Non-Stipendiary Research Fellow in Sociology
British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow

Welcome. I am a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) and a Research Fellow here at Nuffield. Prior to returning to the OII, I had the pleasure of serving as a post-doc in the Department of Sociology here at Oxford and the Department of Sociology at the University of Cambridge.

My specialty is the quantitative study of human social networks, focusing in particular on the determinants of network formation. Currently, I am  investigating the relative importance of oft-discussed mechanisms of tie formation (e.g., reciprocity vs. transitivity vs. homophily) with a theoretical focus on how individuals’ preferences for ties under various conditions are shaped by cultural context. Empirically, this work uses a novel assemblage of datasets documenting complete or virtually complete face-to-face friendship networks from five rural communities in India, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Nicaragua.

I also convene the seminar series on social networks here at Nuffield on Tuesdays in the even weeks of each term at 5PM in the Butler Room. The seminar is concerned with the analysis of diverse social networks, for example those representing friendship amongst children, strategic alliances amongst firms, interactions on social media platforms or informal finance and risk sharing in rural communities. Individuals from all disciplines are welcome. And those who are interested in presenting their research (inclusive of empirical applications, methodological advancements and theoretical developments) should send me an expression of interest. For a schedule of talks this term, please see the Nuffield events page.

I received my PhD in Social Research Methods (Applied Social Statistics) from the London School of Economics & Political Science (Department of Methodology). Before joining the LSE, I completed a MSc in Social Science of the Internet at the OII as a Clarendon Scholar. 



Simpson, C. R. (2016). Competition for foundation patronage and the differential effects of prestige on the grant market success of social movement organisations. Social Networks. Issue 46, p. 29-43.

Simpson, C. R. (2015). Multiplexity and strategic alliances: The relational embeddedness of coalitions in social movement organisational fields. Social Networks. Issue 42, p. 42-59.