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Conflict and Polarization

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A large body of research has shown the substantial role that violent conflict plays in underdevelopment around the world, particularly in the most vulnerable communities. The Conflict and Polarization initiative fosters an interdisciplinary community of scholars at Stanford from fields including political science, economics, social psychology, and finance who are interested in helping to solve the problems of violent conflict and political polarization by cultivating new ideas about the causes, effects, and prevention of violent conflicts around the world and their impact on global development.

Initiative activities

  • Reading group: A regular, internal, and inclusive reading group on conflict that spans disciplinary lines, where members of different units become acquainted with each other’s work and have a chance to identify frontier opportunities for interdisciplinary research. 
  • Research assistant: Opportunities for Stanford students and predoctoral opportunities more generally. 
  • Policy outreach: We are eager to partner with other research groups and organizations working to reduce polarization and conflict. If you have projects that might be good fits for a project-based class involving faculty and students, in particular, let us know.

Research and working papers

Essential readings

This evolving list of readings introduces some core ideas developed by our group on conflict and polarization that we believe are useful for practitioners and researchers, across disciplines, who are interested in mitigating conflict.

Economics, International Relations, and Political Science

Psychology and Organizational Behavior

Visit the research page for a more complete list of the team's related research.


Project Lead:

  • Saumitra Jha, Graduate School of Business,  Political Economy

Core faculty members:

Initiative fellows:


In the media

Friends of the initiative:

On campus:

Stanford alumni:


Feyadd Allie speaking with a politician and taking notes
Initiative story

Examining the marginalization of Muslims in India

Through qualitative and quantitative research methods, Stanford political science PhD student Feyaad Allie examines the marginalization of Muslims in India, who make up about 15 percent of the country's population.

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