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Patrick Rafail

Staff Full Name

Patrick Rafail, Ph.D.

Specialty Areas:

Social Movements and Collective Behavior, Applied Statistics, Political Sociology, Social Control, Complex Organizations, Urban Policing

VPI Core Areas

VPI Core Areas: #Community Violence #Gun Violence

Angles of Approach

#Societal Structural


Dr. Rafail is a computational social scientist with substantive research interests in social movements/collective behavior, policing, social control, and complex organizations. Methodologically, he works on problems using Bayesian methods, semiparametric analysis, natural language processing, and machine learning.


Currently he is working on projects tracing the rise, evolution, and decline of the Tea Party, fatal police shootings, and the spatio-temporal dynamics of crime in New Orleans.


Selected Publications

  • Rafail, Patrick, Sarah A. Soule, and John D. McCarthy. 2012. “Describing and Accounting for the Trends in U.S. Protest Policing, 1960-1995.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 56(4): 733-762.
  • Matthews, Stephen A., John D. McCarthy, and Patrick Rafail. 2011. “Using ZIP Code Business Patterns Data to Measure Alcohol Outlet Density.” Addictive Behaviors 36(7): 777-780.
  • Rafail, Patrick. 2010. “Asymmetry in Protest Control? Comparing Protest Policing in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver.” Mobilization 15(4): 489-509.
  • Hefflin, Colleen, John F. Sandberg and Patrick Rafail. 2009. “The Structure of Material Hardship in U.S. Households: An Examination of the Structural Coherence Behind Common Measures of Well-Being.” Social Problems 56(4): 746-764.
  • McCarthy, John D., Larissa Titarenko, Clark McPhail, Patrick Rafail, and Boguslaw Augustyn. 2008. “Assessing Stability in the Patterns of Selection Bias in News Coverage: The Transition from Communism in Belarus.” Mobilization 13(2): 127-146