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Political Science

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Jack Snyder

Robert and Renee Belfer Professor of International Relations

Benjamin Goodrich

Lecturer in the Discipline of Political Science

Strategies of Violence and Changes in War Termination

For many years, the field of international relations neglected the study of war termination relative to studies of the causes or onset of war. Recently, gaps in our knowledge about how, when, and why wars have begun to be filled by new scholarship. Yet virtually all of this scholarship assumes that war termination is a relatively static phenomenon. The conventional wisdom is that wars end, and that the causes and consequences of war termination are constant across time as well as space.

Experimentally testing the roots of poverty and violence: Changing preferences, behaviors, and outcomes

It is widely believed that poor and unemployed young men are more likely to fight, riot and rebel. In poor countries like Liberia, governments are especially fearful of the young, urban poor, who may be especially vulnerable to armed recruitment, rioting, or election violence. In addition to increased security, the most common policy recommendation is cash transfer and employment programs. This study uses a field experiment with high-risk young men in Liberia to answer four questions. First, is there a causal relationship between poverty and violence?

Christopher Blattman

Ramalee E. Pearson Professor of Global Conflict Studies

Using Multilevel Regression and Poststratification to Measure and Study Dynamic Public Opinion

This research project will develop techniques for using national survey data to estimate dynamic measures of public opinion across a variety of types of subnational units such as states, congressional districts, and state legislative districts. These techniques will allow researchers to generate accurate estimates of public opinion over time by fine-grained demographic-geographic-temporal subgroups. National surveys are designed to give good estimates of national public opinion at a particular point in time.

Robert Jervis

Adlai E. Stevenson Professor and Professor of International and Public Affairs

Doctoral Dissertation Research in DRMS: The Psychology of Political Risk in Repressive Regimes

The US government spends billions per year on democracy and governance assistance in foreign countries. Nevertheless, one in five elections in Africa since 1990 has been afflicted by significant levels of violence, which impedes citizens from freely voting for their preferred candidates. Identifying how and when coercive violence influences voters is critical to effectively reducing its impact on the quality of elections. This study uses the case of Zimbabwe to understand how citizens make decisions about politics when faced with the threat of violence.

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