Conflict and Polarization
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 solving 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.
Please contact us if you are interested in any of these 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 inter-disciplinary research. Please check out the reading group page for upcoming meetings.
- Lab experiment grants: In the first year, members of this reading group will be able to submit grant requests to fund lab or online experiments relevant to conflict and depolarization.
- Collaboration seed money: We will also provide some funds to facilitate student and alumni involved in practical ventures that wish to adapt their business plans to facilitate social science research in the area of depolarization or conflict mitigation.
- Data collection grants: In the first year, we also envisage the initiative providing funding for faculty projects aimed at collecting data from archives, hiring overseas RAs, and supporting data entry.
- Graduate student research grants: we will provide grants for graduate students interested in pursuing research related to conflict alleviation. The awardees will be deemed Initiative Fellows and be expected to join the reading group and present at the conference.
- Conference: The culmination of the year’s activities will be a major academic conference, bringing together academics from across the university and elsewhere to campus, as well as policymakers involved in conflict mediation and mitigation. The objective will be both to foster discussion, to employ `design-thinking’ to find the major challenges facing policymakers, and disseminate the lessons of the conflict and polarization research being done at Stanford.
- Policy outreach: along with the conference, three members of our group will be training European Union diplomats on multi-disciplinary approaches to mitigating violent conflict in Syria, Colombia and Ukraine this December as part of the European Union’s new School of Transnational Governance. We will actively examine other opportunities for policy outreach on campus and beyond.
This evolving list of readings introduce some core ideas developed by our group on conflict, polarization and its mitigation that we believe are useful to know for practitioners and researchers, across disciplines, that are interested in mitigating conflict.
Economics, International Relations and Political Science
- Jha and Shayo (2019) Valuing Peace: The Effects of Financial Market Exposure on Votes and Political Attitudes, forthcoming, Econometrica
- Jha (2018) Trading for Peace, Economic Policy
- Acharya, Laitin and Zhang (2017) "Sons of the Soil" A Model of Assimilation and Population Control, forthcoming, Journal of Theoretical Politics
- Fearon (2017) Civil War and the Current International System, Daedalus
- Bhavnani and Jha (2014) Gandhi's Gift: Lessons for Peaceful Reform from India's Struggle for Democracy Economics of Peace and Security Journal
- Fearon and Laitin (2014) Does contemporary armed conflict have "deep historical roots"?, ungated working paper version
- Jha and Wilkinson (2012) Does Combat Experience Foster Organizational Skill? Evidence from Ethnic Cleansing During the Partition of South Asia, American Political Science Review
- Fearon and Laitin (2011) Sons of the Soil, Migrants, and Civil War, ungated working paper version
- Fearon and Laitin (2003) Ethnicity, Insurgency, and Civil War, American Political Science Review
Psychology and Organizational Behavior
- Van Bunderen, Greer and Van Knippenberg (2018) When interteam conflict spirals into intrateam power struggles: the pivotal role of team power structures, Academy of Management Journal
- Nakashima, Halali and Halevy (2016) Third parties promote cooperative norms in repeated interactions, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
- Sinha, Janardhanan, Greer, Conlon and Edwards (2016) Skewed task conflicts in teams: what happens when a few members see more conflict than the rest, Journal of Applied Psychology
- Halevy, Chou and Murnigham (2012) Mind Games: The Mental Representation of Conflict, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
- de Wit and Greer (2012) The Paradox of Intragroup Conflict: A Meta-Analysis, Journal of Applied Psychology
- Halevy, Bornstein and Sagiv (2008) "In-Group Love" and "Out-Group Hate" as Motives for Individual Participation in Intergroup Conflict, Psychological Science
Visit the research page for a more complete list of the team's related research.
You can find out more about each member of the Conflict and Polarization Initiative on the team page.
Core faculty members:
Friends of the initiative: