FDI & Civil Conflict

How does globalisation, especially foreign direct investment, influence the risk of intrastate conflict? While several prominent studies have found that globalisation reduces the probability of civil war, we use new data and methods to approach the question. In particular, we test for the possibility that foreign investment is endogenous to conflict risk and appropriately use … Continue reading FDI & Civil Conflict

Don’t Lay Down Your Arms, Aceh Edition

As part of a new paper, I've been doing research on decentralization in Aceh, Indonesia. Bringing to a conclusion an approximately 20-year insurgency, the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) and Indonesian government came together in a spirit of comity following the devastating Indian Ocean Tsunami and signed a peace deal giving the region ample new autonomy. … Continue reading Don’t Lay Down Your Arms, Aceh Edition

This Week in Political Violence

Want to understand the rapidly deteriorating security situation in Iraq? You can do no better than read this masterful account by Kenneth M. Pollock at Brookings. One quote: These [ISIS and other Sunni militants] are Militias First and Foremost, Terrorists only a Distant Second. Here as well, Prime Minister Maliki and his apologists like to … Continue reading This Week in Political Violence

The Risk of Civil War in Ukraine

The government and the opposition in Ukraine have begun to shoot each other, leading to 26 deaths overnight. The Ukrainian army is being mobilized, and protestors have started to storm police stations and arm themselves. Could Ukraine be facing civil war? Several factors point to a high likelihood of civil war. The first is the … Continue reading The Risk of Civil War in Ukraine

Sympathy for the Rebel

I was pleased to read these statements in the textbook I'm using for intro IR (p. 241): [I]deally, we would like to reduce the likelihood that bloody and destructive civil wars will break out in the first place. There are several challenges to this aspiration. . . [T]here are truly repressive regimes that deserve the … Continue reading Sympathy for the Rebel

Secessionism

My first book, Secessionism: Identity, Interest, and Strategy, has been released by McGill-Queen's University Press. Secessionism is the first comprehensive, empirical study of the causes and consequences of contemporary secessionist movements worldwide. It also has a normative component, as I interpret from the empirical results a case for "legalizing secession" in order to reduce the … Continue reading Secessionism

JPR Special Issue on Climate Change and Conflict

Will global climate change increase resource-based conflicts around the world? Journal of Peace Research has a special issue on the topic, looking at how weather variability has already influenced the rate of conflict. The issue is free to the public until the end of February. Most of the studies find that weather variability does not … Continue reading JPR Special Issue on Climate Change and Conflict