Committing to War: Political Exclusion and Indiscriminate Violence in Africa

Thursday, February 22, 2007
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Reuben W. Hills Conference Room

Philip Roessler (speaker) is a postdoctoral fellow at CISAC and in 2007 will be the Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in comparative government at the University of Oxford. His PhD dissertation examines the effects of political authority on conflict initiation and escalation in Africa, with a focus on Sudan, where he conducted field research between March 2005 and April 2006. His article, "Donor-Induced Democratization and Privatization of State-Violence in Kenya and Rwanda," was published in Comparative Politics in January 2005 and his article (co-authored with Marc Morjé Howard), "Liberalizing Electoral Outcomes in Competitive Authoritarian Regimes," appeared in the American Journal of Political Science in April 2006. Roessler is a PhD candidate in the department of government and politics at the University of Maryland and he received his BA in political science from Indiana University.

Macartan Humphreys (respondent) is an assistant professor of political science at Columbia University and a visiting professor at CISAC. He is a research scholar at the Center for Globalization and Sustainable Development at the Earth Institute at Columbia and a member of the Millennium Development goals project poverty task force, where he works on conflict and development issues. Overall his research is on African political economy and formal political theory. His dissertation on the politics of factions developed game theoretic models of conflict and cooperation between internally divided groups. More recent research focuses on rebellions in West Africa, where he has undertaken field research in the Casamance, Mali, and Sierra Leone. Ongoing research now includes experimental work on ethnic politics, econometric work on natural resource conflicts, game theoretic work on ethnic politics and large N survey work of ex-combatants in Sierra Leone. Humphreys' work is motivated by concerns over the linkages between politics, conflict and human development. He received his PhD in government from Harvard in 2003 and his MPhil in economics from Oxford in 2000.