Geopolitics and the Aiding of Political Violence

Event Date: 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - 11:30am

Event Location: 

  • The Lane Room (Ellison 3824)

Extant studies of civil conflict overwhelmingly attribute its incidence to domestic factors (e.g., economic growth, ethnicity). However, in the period surrounding the end of the Cold War the incidence of civil conflict rose substantially, especially in countries that had been repressive during the Cold War. This paper presents causal evidence linking geopolitics, foreign aid, and political institutions for this uptick in conflict in the 1990s. The empirical strategy leverages both a differences-in-differences strategy and instrumental variables to demonstrate that U.S. foreign aid increased the relative likelihood of conflict in the post-Cold War period in countries with the “most repressive Cold War regimes.” On balance, the paper shows that geopolitics and foreign aid can affect political violence in developing countries.

Faisal Z. Ahmed is an Assistant Professor of politics at Princeton University. He is on-leave during the 2016-17 academic year as a W. Glenn Campbell and Rita Ricardo-Campbell National Fellow at the Hoover Institute. His research focuses on political economy and international economics, in particular international finance, law, and political violence. Ahmed holds a PhD from the University of Chicago and a BA in Math and in Economics from Northwestern University. Before transitioning to academia, he worked as an international and macroeconomist at the White House Council of Economic Advisers and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

Aiding Political Violence - article to accompany Professor Ahmed's talk

PS 595 Event.