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
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 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
In this three-part series of posts, I will be blogging my new SSRN working paper, "Designing a Constitutional Right of Secession: Applying Normative Principles and Empirical Findings." The paper defends a right of unilateral secession for any country in which the possibility of secessionist violence is non-negligible, or where central governments are already unwilling to … Continue reading For a Right of Unilateral Secession: Part One
The South Sudan Liberation Army, apparently armed by the Sudanese government, has been attacking the government of the newly independent South Sudan. Some observations about these stories: No one thought it would be rainbows and leprechauns for South Sudan after independence. It's extremely poor, highly oil-dependent, ethnically diverse, adjacent to countries that are all in … Continue reading South Sudan: Archaic Nescience Unleashed*
Tensions are rising in Sudan ahead of January's scheduled vote in South Sudan over independence. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has accused members of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement, the primary political party in the South, of violating the terms of the peace deal, and Sudan's government is dragging its feet on referendum preparations. Moreover, al-Bashir … Continue reading Sudan on the Brink of an Abyss
The "resource curse" refers to a set of cross-national relationships between resource dependence on the one hand and economic growth and civil conflict on the other. Sachs and Warner were the first to document the negative relationship between resources and growth. The notion that countries blessed with abundant mineral resources tend to suffer slow economic … Continue reading Resource Curse: Fact or Myth?