I study the social origins of violence and how individuals, communities and states construct order. Some questions I investigate are:
- Why are some land disputes easily resolved while others escalate into conflict and violence? What do patterns in dispute dynamics reveal about governance and stability?
- How do individuals and communities experience international norms around equal access to formal justice?
- Why does informal dispute resolution successfully mitigate conflict in weak states?
- How does enshrining community property rights in statutory law shape development, governance and conflict?
- How does violence affect individual and group identity?
I conduct field research on these questions in Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, and Jordan and I am grateful for the support of the World Bank, the National Science Foundation, USAID, the International Development Research Centre, and Yale University.