Publications

  • 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
    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
    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

    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

    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.

  • 2021
    Modern War Institute

    Aviation has played an important role in irregular warfare, from its use by the British against rebellious tribesmen in Iraq and Transjordan in the interwar period to the era of the unblinking eye and precision strike in Afghanistan. Our guests discuss this evolution in the use of airpower to support ground forces, illustrating that although rapid advances in technology have brought to the point of near perfection the various procedures recently employed in Afghanistan and Iraq, the role of aviation in war—irregular or otherwise—has not significantly changed to this point. 

  • 2021
    ESOC Working Paper Series

    Conflict forces millions of individuals from their homes each year. Using a simple structural model and new refugee data, we produce the first set…

  • 2021
    International Crisis Group

    Africa is especially vulnerable to climate change, as millions are already experiencing record heat, extreme precipitation and rising sea levels.…

  • 2021
    Empirical Studies of Conflict Project

    These data summarize 82 studies published since 1995 related to the effects of influence operations. We included studies that meet three inclusion criteria: (1) a treatment, or source of variation in exposure to influence operation-like content; (2) a clearly measured outcome of interest; and (3) credibly evaluable insight on the potential of influence operations to affect real-world outcomes and behaviors.

  • 2021
    Empirical Studies of Conflict Project

    These data summarize 221 studies published since 1978 related to countermeasures designed to combat influence operations. We include studies which met four inclusion criteria: (1) a source of variation in exposure to the countermeasure; (2) a clearly defined outcome of interest for some specified population; (3) relevance to thinking about the potential of an intervention to impact real-world behavior; and (4) enough detail to evaluate the credibility of the findings.

  • 2021
    Harvard Kennedy School Misinformation Review

    Did fact-checking organizations scale up efforts to debunk misinformation in 2020? Did Twitter users engage more with fact-checking in 2020 than in previous years? Did engagement with coronavirus-related content drive overall engagement with fact-checking content?

     

  • 2021
    ESOC Working Paper Series

    This paper provides evidence that adverse economic conditions contributed to the rise of anti-democratic extremism in the United States. A state-level analysis shows that increases in the unemployment rate during the Great Recession led to a large increase in the number of anti democratic extremist groups.

  • 2021
    Modern War Institute

    Irregular warfare practitioners have played a major role in nearly every war over the past 250 years, according to the guests on this episode. The masters of irregular warfare carry distinct characteristics that have allowed them to achieve strategic effects, even while losing tactical level engagements.

    This episode explores the capabilities that irregular warfare practitioners bring to bear. Our guests discuss how irregular warfare integrates into—and often plays a pivotal supporting role in—broader conventional conflict. The conversation ends with recommendations for how to prepare and employ irregular warfare capabilities to address the major threats to US national security, to include great power rivals, rogue regional powers, and violent nonstate actors.