Publications

  • 2021
    ESOC Working Paper Series

    We consider how the U.S. news media reports on international affairs. Analyzing ≈40 million
    news articles published between 2010 and 2020, we explore whether the American news media
    report differently on various international affairs topics based on partisan leanings. We then
    analyze ≈25 million articles published by top online news sites to determine whether collective
    reporting shows disparities between the level of attention afforded major global issues and
    objective measures of their human costs (e.g. numbers of individuals killed).

  • 2021
    Modern War Institute

    The US military and its allies are faced with the challenges of shifting focus toward great power competition while still maintaining the ability to counter threats on the fringes. Where does irregular warfare fit in this new strategic landscape?

  • 2021
    Modern War Institute

    US Army Special Forces units continued to quietly operate in Afghanistan when conventional troops withdrew around 2015. These soldiers have worked closely with Afghan commandos and government partners to hold the hard-won and fragile stability. What happens when they leave the country this summer? How has this war continued unnoticed by the American people and what was the role of the media, the military, and policymakers in building a better public awareness of ongoing operations in Afghanistan?

  • 2021
    ESOC Working Paper Series

    Among its many deleterious effects on social well-being, violent conflict can undermine the economies of the countries in which it is ongoing. From a macroeconomic perspective, internal conflict can lead to reduced investment, output, and growth.

  • 2021
    Empirical Studies of Conflict Project

    Combating influence operations is a critical concern for civil society, governments, and social media platforms around the world. Empirical research on how influence operations can affect people and societies—by, for example, altering beliefs, changing voting behavior, or inspiring political violence—is limited.

  • 2021
    Nature Medicine

    Widespread acceptance of COVID-19 vaccines is crucial for achieving sufficient immunization coverage to end the global pandemic, yet few studies have investigated COVID-19 vaccination attitudes in lower-income countries, where large-scale vaccination is just beginning. We analyze COVID-19 vaccine acceptance across 15 survey samples covering 10 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in Asia, Africa and South America, Russia (an upper-middle-income country) and the United States, including a total of 44,260 individuals. We find considerably higher willingness to take a COVID-19 vaccine in our LMIC samples (mean 80.3%; median 78%; range 30.1 percentage points) compared with the United States (mean 64.6%) and Russia (mean 30.4%). Vaccine acceptance in LMICs is primarily explained by an interest in personal protection against COVID-19, while concern about side effects is the most common reason for hesitancy. Health workers are the most trusted sources of guidance about COVID-19 vaccines. Evidence from this sample of LMICs suggests that prioritizing vaccine distribution to the Global South should yield high returns in advancing global immunization coverage. Vaccination campaigns should focus on translating the high levels of stated acceptance into actual uptake. Messages highlighting vaccine efficacy and safety, delivered by healthcare workers, could be effective for addressing any remaining hesitancy in the analyzed LMICs.

  • 2021
    Bridging Divides Initiative

    This document is a compilation of relevant links and resources; last updated January 13, 2021

    Compiled by: …

  • 2021
    Bridging Divides Initiative

    Key Trends:

    • ACLED recorded over 953 incidents involving armed groups, unlawful paramilitary groups, or armed…
  • 2021
    Bridging Divides Initiative

    Key Trends:

    ● At least 360 demonstrations at homes occurred persistently throughout the past 8 months (May - December…

  • 2021
    Bridging Divides Initiative

    Executive Summary

    The post-election to inauguration period—the 11 weeks from Wednesday November 4, 2020 to Wednesday…

  • 2021
    Modern War Institute

    How is breaching—a tactical task engineers specialize in—uniquely challenged by the complexity of cities? And why is it important that US Army units have this specialized capability within their formations? This episode of MWI’s Urban Warfare Project Podcast tackles those questions and more, as John Spencer is joined by Staff Sgt. Nicholas Garner, an instructor for the US Army Engineer School’s Urban Mobility Breacher Course.

  • 2021
    Modern War Institute

    Special operations forces have been a favorite national security tool in the post-9/11 era; wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have consumed their attention and kept the special operations community focused on counterterrorism and counterinsurgency missions. However, the release of the 2017 National Security Strategy pivoted the United States’ strategic focus from terrorism to near-peer competitors China and Russia. What will be the role of special operations forces (SOF) in this era of great power competition? Where is SOF falling short in the shift to meet this new focus area?

  • 2021
    Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

    Influence operations can have measurable effects on people’s beliefs and behavior, but empirical research does not yet adequately answer the most pressing questions facing policymakers.

  • 2021
    American Political Science Review

    A large literature suggests that the presence of refugees is associated with greater risk of conflict. We argue that the positive effects of…

  • 2021
    Modern War Institute

    The United States appears to have reached an inflection point in its relationship with the rest of the world. On the one hand, a new administration is eager to reengage with both allies and competitors, reasserting the role of global leader that the United States has claimed since World War II. On the other hand, something has changed. Former partners, made wary by indications of US withdrawal from the global stage, no longer look to the United States for leadership. Current adversaries, emboldened by apparent US apathy toward their breaching of international norms, are no longer cowed into restraint.

  • 2021
    Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

    Five days after the World Health Organization classified COVID-19 as a pandemic, the Empirical Studies of Conflict Project at Princeton University began cataloging misinformation efforts surrounding the spread of the coronavirus in collaboration with Microsoft Research. Our initial goal was to support industry efforts to limit the spread of false narratives about the pandemic, and we realized that categorizing the stories we found in a systematic way and making the data public could contribute to a much broader understanding of trends in COVID-19 misinformation.

  • 2021
    Modern War Institute

    How did the United States leverage local partners in the fight against the Islamic State? What were the unique dynamics of partnering with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, particularly the Women’s Protection Units? What can this case teach us about warfare, will, and relationships?

  • 2021
    Modern War Institute

    What would a conflict with China look like? How will irregular warfare fit into a conflict before and during large-scale combat operations? Retired Admiral James Stavridis and Elliot Ackerman join this episode of the Irregular Warfare Podcast to discuss the theme of escalation to large-scale conflict, which they explore in their New York Times best seller 2034: A Novel of the Next World War. In answering those questions, they emphasize the nature of human behavior in conflict and how escalation can get out of control.

  • 2021
    Modern War Institute

    In episode 26 of the Irregular Warfare Podcast, we discuss US counterinsurgency efforts in Anbar province, Iraq from the 2006 surge through the rise of the Islamic State in 2013–2014 with two guests who both experienced the US COIN fight firsthand—one as the operational commander of Marine Corps forces in the province and the other as a civilian advisor to Marine leadership on Anbari culture and tribal dynamics.

     

  • 2021
    Modern War Institute

    How can the military and civilians work together to prevent or manage conflict? Two seminal policy initiatives, the Stabilization Assistance Review (SAR) and the Global Fragility Act (GFA), provide important answers by emphasizing an alignment of defense, development, and diplomatic efforts and delineating clear roles for respective actors in addressing violence and instability.