Research

 
 

Publications

“A Reanalysis of the Relationship between Indirect Rule, Ethnic Inclusion, and Decolonization”, Accepted at The Journal of Politics.

Abstract: Did indirect rule during the colonial era cause greater ethnic inclusion in the post- independence era? This article replicates a recent study that exploits exogenous variation in British and French colonial rule. Wucherpfennig, Hunziker, and Cederman argue that British and French colonies experienced different levels of post-independence ethnic inclusion, and this was due to the metropolitan blueprints of direct and indi- rect rule. I replicate this study by using a more granular measure of indirect rule– substituting a binary indicator with a continuous variable–and show that the first stage results do not hold and produce opposite effects. I find that ethnic groups that are farther from the coast in British colonies that were ruled more indirectly are less likely to experience ethnic inclusion than in directly rule colonies. I suggest that the differences in ethnic inclusion between the British and French empires can be attributed to policies during the process of decolonization.

“How are Immigration and Terrorism Related? An Analysis of Right and Left Wing Terrorism in Western Europe, 1980-2004”, Journal of Global Security Studies, Forthcoming.

Abstract: This paper argues that, for Western European countries from 1980-2004, an increase in migration is positively related to an increase in terrorism. I find that, for nearly all Western European countries, migration is positively related to terrorism, but only for a specific type: right wing terrorism. Immigration has no effect on left wing terrorism and non-right wing terrorism. I also conduct analyses for the effect of incoming refugees on terrorism, and find similar results. I argue that these population flows increase terrorism in part because it aggravates the grievances of those on the radical right. To provide empirical support for this mechanism, I conduct an subnational analysis on right wing terrorism in Germany. For German states, the percentage of foreign-born immigrants is a bigger predictor of anti-immigrant violence than economic variables such as employment or trade levels. I also show that the flow of immigrants from outside of Europe is positively related with right wing terror, while no relationship exists for intra-European migration. This serves to qualify the study of terrorism as a strategic choice by showing that increased antipathy toward an out-group, rather than the changing strategic environment, helps explain variation in levels of terrorism, at least among liberal democracies.

“Couscous Mussolini: US perceptions of Gamal Abdel Nasser, the 1958 intervention in Lebanon and the origins of the US-Israeli special relationship”, Cold War History, Volume 11, Issue 3, 2011.

Abstract: This article argues that the US print media influenced US foreign policy by crafting a powerful narrative of Gamal Abdel Nasser that characterised Nasser as an expansionistic dictator by comparing him to Hitler and Mussolini. This narrative gained currency when the US public became anxious over Israel's security after the Czech arms deal of 1955. The narrative influenced US policy by strengthening the cultural relationship between Israel and the US by describing Nasser in similar terms, and also by influencing Eisenhower's and Dulles' perceptions of the Middle East immediately prior to the US deployment of troops to Lebanon in 1958.

Working Papers

How do International Borders affect Civil Conflict? Evidence from the End of Mandate Palestine

Abstract: This paper argues that international borders can constrain violence in secessionist conflicts. As a signal of their legitimacy to the international community, secessionist rebels have an incentive to restrain from violating international borders. However, rebels' need for security pressures them to increase their territorial control. Rebels will limit violence within a border area when trying to achieve international recognition, and abandon that aim once recognition is achieved. I test this theory in the context of the 1948 war in Mandate Palestine. I argue that the 1947 UN Partition line between Arab and Jewish territory constituted a natural experiment, and use a regression discontinuity design on original historical data on over 1,000 Palestinian villages to see how the UN border affected the manner and form of violence that occurred during the war. This is a particularly hard test for the theory as the UN Partition plan was never implemented and remained lines on a map. I find that villages in areas that the UN assigned to the future Israeli state as part of the 1947 Partition Plan were conquered by the Israelis earlier and experienced higher levels of violence against civilians.