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

In a recent New York Times opinion piece, “Where Terrorism Research Goes Wrong,” social psychologist Anthony Biglan argues that, given the importance of antiterrorism programs and the huge resources devoted to them, far too few are subjected to randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating their

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 estimate the causal effect of a large development program on conflict in the Philippines through a regression discontinuity design that exploits an arbitrary poverty threshold used to assign eligibility for the program.