About Us

The Empirical Studies of Conflict Project (ESOC) identifies, compiles, and analyzes micro-level conflict data and information on insurgency, civil war, and other sources of politically motivated violence worldwide. ESOC empowers the nation’s best minds with the quality of data and information needed to address some of the most enduring and pressing challenges to international security. Ultimately, ESOC is committed to providing war fighters and policy makers with greater expert analyses and recommendations for responding to security threats.

Research Highlights

Participating in insurgency is almost always physically risky, raising questions about what motivates people to do so.

Most interpretations of prevalent counterinsurgency theory imply that increasing government services will reduce rebel violence. Empirically, however, development programs and economic activity sometimes yield increased violence.

We investigate the relationship between violence and economic risk preferences in Afghanistan combining: (i) a two-part experimental procedure identifying risk preferences, violations of Expected Utility, and specific preferences for certainty; (ii) controlled recollection of fear based on establ