"Revisiting Opportunism in Civil Conflict: Natural Resource Extraction and Healthcare Provision"
(with Justin Conrad and Megan A. Stewart - under review)
Previous studies have argued that groups with greater access to funding sources have fewer incentives to treat civilians well. We argue, however, that even wellfunded rebels may have incentives to provide social services to civilians, and that such incentives are particularly evident among rebel groups that extract natural resources. Specifically, rebel groups profiting from the extraction of natural resources should be likely to offer healthcare services to civilians, as a means of ensuring a dependable civilian workforce. To test this expectation, we use new data on both the exploitation of natural resources by rebel groups, as well as their social service provisions. We find strong empirical evidence that rebel groups involved in the extraction of natural resources are subsequently more likely to provide healthcare services - and provide them to wider segments of the civilian population - than groups that do not profit from natural resources in this way.
“Making Peace or Preventing it? un peacekeeping, terrorism, and civil war negotiations”
(with Sara M. T. Polo and Kaisa Hinkainen - under review).
Previous studies have highlighted that United Nations peacekeeping operations are effective at reducing violence in civil wars. But can these operations also change the incentives of the warring parties and lead them to pursue non-violent alternatives? This article provides the first direct test of UN peacekeeping troops' effectiveness at inducing non-violent engagements, specifically negotiations during civil wars. Our analysis of disaggregated monthly data on peace operations, negotiations, and violence in African conflicts (1989-2009) reveals that sizable deployments of UN military troops, by themselves, are insufficient to foster negotiations, even when they reduce battlefield violence. Instead, the effectiveness of peacekeeping is conditional on rebel tactics. When rebels engage in terrorism, peacekeeping troops can inadvertently alter the "power to hurt" of the belligerents in favor of rebel groups and create conditions conducive to negotiations. Our results have important implications for research on the effectiveness of both peacekeeping and terrorism and for policy-making.
“Getting the Law on Your Side: State Legal Frameworks and the Enforcement of Economic SanctionS”
(with T. Clifton Morgan)
Students of economic sanctions typically view sanctions in much the same way that we view uses of military force; that is, they are instruments of foreign policy that one state uses against another. However, while a state authority can order its military into action, implementing sanctions requires the state to enact laws prohibiting individuals and firms from engaging in economic relationships from which they stand to profit and to establish a mechanism through which those laws can be enforced. In this paper, we argue that variations in the legal frameworks under which sanctions are imposed significantly affect the enforcement, and therefore the success, of sanctions. Our theoretical argument focuses on three key variables across which legal frameworks vary: jurisdictional reach, evidentiary burden, and civil vs. criminal law distinctions. We show that variation in these factors can help account for differences in sanctions policies, differences in enforcement strategies and efforts, and differences in the likelihood of sanctions success. We subject some hypotheses derived from the theoretical argument to a case study on the United States. We conclude with implications for future research, including data collection.
*All abstracts above are works in progress. Please contact me directly if you are interested in receiving one of the drafts.*