On the Issues Episode 83: Nicholas Sambanis
Today’s guest is Nicholas Sambanis, Professor of Political Science and Director of the Identity and Conflict Lab at the University of Pennsylvania. He writes on conflict processes with a focus on civil wars and other forms of inter-group conflict, and founded the Identity and Conflict Lab at Penn, which works on a broad range of topics related to inter-group conflict, both violent and non-violent forms of conflict.
In today’s episode, Alon and Nicholas discuss his latest book which will be published later this year, coauthored with Danny Choi and Mathias Poertner, examining bias and discrimination against immigrants, using Germany as a case study.
Nicholas Sambanis is a Presidential Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Director of the Identity & Conflict Lab at the University of Pennsylvania. He writes on conflict processes with a focus on civil wars and other forms of inter-group conflict. Published work in these research areas has appeared in several journals, including the American Political Science Review, International Organization, American Journal of Political Science, World Politics, Science, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. With Michael Doyle, he co-authored Making War and Building Peace (Princeton University Press, 2006), the first book to analyze the impact of United Nations peace operations in post-conflict transitions; with Paul Collier and other colleagues, he co-authored Breaking the Conflict Trap: Civil War and Development Policy, one of the first quantitative studies of the causes of civil war around the world. In a two-volume book project, Understanding Civil War: Evidence and Analysis, he developed a nested, mixed-methods research design for the analysis of causes of civil war onset in a systematic comparative analysis of over 20 cases of civil war.
Sambanis has taught at Yale and Penn. At Penn, he founded the Identity & Conflict Lab (PIC Lab), an inter-disciplinary lab working on a broad range of topics related to inter-group conflict. PIC Lab covers topics ranging from violent to non-violent forms of conflict in different regions of the world. Topics of current interest are the effects of external intervention on peace-building after ethnic war; the analysis of violent escalation of separatist movements; conflict between native and immigrant populations; and strategies to mitigate bias and discrimination against minority groups. He studies these questions with a focus on the connection between identity politics and conflict processes drawing on social psychology, behavioral economics, and the comparative politics and international relations literatures in political science. Ongoing projects include research on the long-term legacies of violence exposure; the sources of ethnic and national identification among minority groups; the effects of integrative institutions in overcoming ethnic conflict; and on strategies to reduce bias and discrimination toward immigrants and refugees.