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Peacebuilding and Violent Crime in Post-War Kosovo: A Quantitative Analysis

April 1, 2016

Without basic public order, post-war policymaking in the political, social, and economic sectors is extraordinarily difficult. Indeed, reestablishing public order after civil war has been called the sine qua non of post-war recovery. Yet there have been few quantitative analyses of historical attempts to establish public order after civil war. What factors shape the ability of peacebuilders to establish public order after civil war? What are the determinants of institutional effectiveness in the post-war security sector? Are local or international authorities better able to deter and respond to crime and more violent types of public disorder? Using new data gathered during field research in Kosovo, this article conducts a quantitative analysis of the economic, geographic, social, and security factors that contributed to patterns of violent crime in that disputed territory. These analyses are informed by qualitative field research, including interviews with security sector actors in Kosovo. The findings are striking. Poverty, rough terrain, and ethnic heterogeneity were not good predictors of violent crime in post-war Kosovo. Instead, international police and local police deployments are highly correlated with violent crime rates. Most importantly, the new local police authorities were very effective at reducing crime rates: Kosovo Police Service (KPS) deployments had a significant and large downward effect on murder rates and explosives attack rates in Kosovo. For each additional KPS officer per 1,000 residents, a region recorded on average .016 to .019 fewer murders per 1,000 residents. This effect translated to between three and nine fewer murders annually in a region. Kosovo regions recorded between six and 18 fewer IED attacks annually, for each additional KPS officer per 1,000 residents. These findings indicate the lasting effectiveness of well-resourced, intensive peacebuilding efforts focused on establishing local, professional security sector institutions.

Political order in post-war Libya: Armed groups, weak institutions, jihadist spoilers, and incentives for de-escalation

March 15, 2016

UNDER SUBMISSION

Libya after Qadhafi provides an interesting case study for how the structure of post-war environments shape the decisions of political factions with varied resources and organizational capacities. In Libya, the structure created incentives for de-escalation during the dozens of violent skirmishes that took place from 2011 to 2014 that, in other contexts, could easily have tipped into civil war. Only in early 2014 did incentives favouring de-escalation shift, leading the main groups to fracture the transition and pursue military strategies to achieve their aims. This article provides an analytic narrative for the stalemate in post-war Libya and its collapse.

Who am I?

March 12, 2016

POLITICAL SCIENTIST

International Relations / International Security / African, Middle Eastern & Balkan Politics

Highly-motivated, professional, and creative social scientist, policy analyst, and political risk consultant. Experienced at organizing long-term political research projects, including organizing and presenting at conferences.

Political methodologist highly skilled in quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-method approaches to political and social science. Analyst of political trends and demographics.

Subject matter expert on international political, economic, social, military, and security issues. Skilled evaluator of academic literatures, foreign electronic and print media, expert reports, non-governmental organization sources, US and foreign government documents, personal interviews, and electronic databases.

Highly proficient at ferreting out data from unusual and unconventional sources, applying new social science methodologies, and developing insights from these data for political analysis.

Excellent written and oral communications skills. Able to present complex concepts, policies, data, and research to a wide variety of technical and non-technical audiences, including senior-level officials and the general public. Able to write timely, policy-relevant reports in a variety of long and short formats.

Experience supervising and managing research teams, organizing meetings, training employees, and teaching students. Able to liaison across the policy, security, and intelligence communities.

Experience providing advice, guidance, and consultation based on results from the analysis of complex, cross-sector issues and data.

Trends and Impacts Issue No. 4 Protracted Conflict and Development in the Arab Region

November 15, 2015

LINK AT UNITED NATIONS – ESCWA

The Arab region is presently beset by armed civil conflict, one of the most profoundly devastating social phenomena in the modern world. This study examines the relationships between conflict and development. Today, at least half of the Arab States are affected directly or indirectly by armed conflicts of varying intensity, yet little is known about the effects of conflict on household behaviour and poverty.

The study examines the mounting evidence from conflict-affected countries, which suggests that conflicts seriously undermine citizens’ health and welfare, economic growth, political systems, and respect for human rights. Furthermore, it highlights a number of significant development challenges facing the Arab region, including an ever-increasing refugee population and a youth bulge. The study advocates that these factors could prove particularly problematic for Governments that are increasingly unable to generate employment and dignified livelihoods for youth. While, in general, there is no statistical effect of unemployment rates on conflict, this study confirms the significant relationship between unemployment, lack of opportunities for youth and conflict intensity in the Arab region. Growing conflict intensity is inseparably linked to increasing levels of unemployment.

Dissertation: Peacebuilding, Political Order, and Post-War Risks

August 31, 2015

Abstract:

Since 1945, violent conflict has occurred primarily within sovereign states rather than among them. These internal conflicts have far surpassed international conflicts in lethality, economic destruction, and social upheaval. Intense violent conflicts often leave core state institutions debilitated, fragmented, or, in some cases, totally destroyed. For these societies, the central tasks for ending conflict and beginning post-war recovery involve reinvigorating or reestablishing legitimate state authority. These post-war states must both win the acquiescence of the governed and develop the infrastructural power to implement state policy. The immediate post-war environment is therefore particularly critical for determining the political, economic, and social trajectories of conflict-affected countries. The right combination of policies can help determine whether a country recovers quickly and secures any available peace dividend, or whether it relapses and slides into a conflict trap. This dissertation explains how societies that have managed to end their civil wars are able or unable to rebuild political order in the their post-war period.

The Crisis in North Africa: Implications for Europe and Options for EU Policymakers

April 1, 2015

LINK AT CLINGENDAEL

The Arab Spring dramatically transformed the strategic environment on Europe’s southern border. Long-tenured autocrats in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia – brutal as they may have been to their own citizens – had brought a measure of stability and predictability to the Mediterranean. But tumultuous political developments since the leaders of all three countries fell in 2011 have created a range of new threats that European policymakers will be forced to address in the years to come.

In Beirut

March 15, 2015

I’ve taken a job at the UN Office in Beirut. The blog will be on hiatus for the time being!