+ Power Sharing "Discontinuities": Legitimacy, Rivalry, and Credibility. Forthcoming. Journal of Theoretical Politics (2017)

Power-sharing arrangements between a leader and a popular outsider can be mutually beneficial and threatening. The literature has focused primarily on the former’s trade-off where a leader gains legitimacy but creates a potential challenger to their rule when sharing power with a respected outsider. Yet, this outsider also faces a simultaneous trade-off where they gain power but lose credibility when they acquiesce to the leadership. I incorporate both coinciding trade-offs in developing a formal model to examine such power-sharing arrangements which have been prevalent historically and currently. I illustrate a “discontinuity” in optimal power-sharing where a leader either shares nothing or shares a specific amount to compensate the rival for their lost credibility. Counterintuitively, I further show that the leader should share more power with less trustworthy rivals to reduce their strong incentive to challenge. I then revisit the Investiture Controversy in Medieval Europe using these insights from the model.
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+ Winning Hearts and Minds in Civil Wars: Leadership Change, Governance Perceptions, and Support for Violence in Iraq (with Christoph Mikulaschek) (2017). [Revise and Resubmit at American Journal of Political Science]

The ‘hearts and minds’ model of counterinsurgency holds that civilians are less likely to support an insurgency if the government provides basic public services and security. Building on this model, we argue that a major political event that raises popular expectations of future public service and security provision will increase support for the government and decrease sympathy for the insurgency. To test this argument, we leverage a unique research design opportunity that stems from the unforeseen announcement of the resignation of Iraq’s divisive prime minister in August 2014 while an original survey was being administered across the country. We show that the leadership transition led Iraq’s displeased minorities to shift support away from the insurgency to the government. In line with our argument, this realignment was due to rising optimism among minorities that the new government would provide basic services and public goods - specifically security, electricity, and jobs.
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+ The Frontier Crimes Regulation and Colonial India: The Local Voices Against the Black Law (2017)

Institutions can have perverse long-lasting impacts. This paper focuses on one particular institution in the British Raj: The Frontier Crimes Regulation. Often, the literature focuses on the rationale for institutional choices from the perspective of the colonizers and refers to the long-term consequences in hindsight thereby ignoring local voices. However, I show with regards to this legal instrument, the local colonized population foresaw the potentially long-lasting pernicious effects stemming from this system and voiced their concerns. I further show that these past local voices could help us understand the roots of the problems in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas today.
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+ Weapon of the Weak? The Use of Non-State Actors in Inter-State Territorial Disputes (2017) (with David Carter)

The state sponsorship of terrorist groups poses a significant risk to international security. Accordingly, a growing body of scholarship focuses on understanding different aspects of the relationship between the patron state, the beneficiary terrorist group, and the target state. This chapter first reviews the findings and arguments in this literature, exploring both the theoretical and empirical work over the strategic dynamics of and the effects of state support. This work contains numerous insights and provides some counterintuitive advances to our understanding of the different manifestations of sponsorship, the rationale for sponsorship, and the impact of sponsorship on both the terrorist group and the target state. Yet, there is much more work that remains to be done in this field. Specifically, we propose that further study on the connection between sponsorship and other important security issues in world politics is necessary to better understand the broader role that sponsorship plays in international relations. To promote this end we empirically demonstrate the connection between territorial disputes, the state sponsorship of militant groups, and the onset of interstate conflict. This evidence is preliminary but opens a potentially promising new avenue for research on the effects of state sponsorship of terrorist groups.
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+ Mob Violence and Militancy: The Case of Indian Muslims

When do members of marginalized minorities engage in militancy? In India, the minority Muslim population faces substantial, wide-ranging marginalization. Yet, militant groups, who exploit such grievances, have only been able to create relatively little militancy amongst Indian Muslims. This is especially puzzling given that marginalized minority Muslim populations in other parts of the world do not exhibit this same reluctance towards militancy. As existing explanations cannot effectively account for this “underrepresentation” puzzle, I instead posit a novel group-level theoretical framework which highlights a key factor influencing the extent of militant mobilization across aggrieved minority groups: the group’s perception of protection. Using this framework, I argue that minority Indian Muslims would want to prevent militancy within their community due to the fear of retaliatory indiscriminate mob violence and a lack of confidence in the state to definitively protect the Muslim minority from the mob. I develop a formal model to understand the relationship between confidence in the state, mob violence, and militant mobilization and illustrate an unfortunate trade-off where reducing the threat of mob violence can result in increasing militancy. These insights are then used to understand minority militant mobilization (or lack thereof) in the current cases of Indian and British Muslims, and the historical cases of Catholics in Northern Ireland and African Americans in the South.
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+ Developing Risky Partnerships: The Relationships Between Militant Groups