Aila Matanock is a pre-doctoral fellow at CISAC. She is also a Ph.D. Candidate in Stanford's Political Science Department (degree expected in June 2012). Her dissertation focuses on the role of electoral competition between militant groups and governments, especially as a component of negotiated settlements. In contrast to broadly pessimistic views of elections as a conflict resolution tool, her research finds that, when these inclusive elections are part of an agreement, the duration of peace between the signatories is longer. Specifically, international actors are able to engage in monitoring and sanctioning violations of the deal through the transparency that elections provide. The project draws on evidence from field interviews with former militant group, government, and civic leaders and on a newly collected cross-national dataset.
Her other projects focus on the role of international actors and armed non-state actors in governing weak and post-conflict states. She has designed and run several survey experiments in Colombia and Mexico that explore the levels of social support for armed non-state actors, as well as their strategies for gaining more support. Her research and teaching interests include conflict, especially terrorism and civil war; international intervention and assistance in post-conflict states; post-conflict peace-building and development; democratization; and, governance by and social support for militant groups and international actors. She is also interested in survey experiments and multi-method research design.