Buena Vista, Colombia

Buena Vista, Colombia

How can the state re-establish control after decades of civil war? What public policies can best reduce levels of lethal and non-lethal violence in the world's most violent cities? What role do ordinary citizens play in peacebuilding? Do legacies of violence shape contemporary outcomes and, if so, how?

To answer these questions -- in Colombia, Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala -- I work with international organizations, national and local governments, and use a combination of primarily experimental and quasi-experimental methods. Links to my published work can be found below. Please contact me if you are interested in reading the working papers listed here. 


Trust in the Executive: Requiring Consensus and Turn-Taking in the Experimental Lab (with T. Clark Durant, Daniel Houser and Shuwen Li). 2018. Journal of Peace Research 55(5): 609-624. PDF and online appendix.

Disappearing Dissent? Repression and State Consolidation in Mexico (with Javier Osorio and Livia Schubiger). 2018. Journal of Peace Research 55(2): 252-266. Part of special issue on archival research, edited by Laia Balcells and Chris Sullivan. PDF and online appendix.

Do All Good Things Go Together? Development Assistance and Violence in Insurgency2016. Journal of Politics 78(4). PDF. Replication materials on Dataverse.

Doctrine and Violence: the Impact of Combatant Training on Civilian Killings (with Ben Oppenheim)2017. Terrorism and Political Violence 29(6): 1126-1148. PDF.

True Believers, Deserters, and Traitors: Who Leaves Insurgent Groups and Why (with Ben OppenheimAbbey Steele and Juan F. Vargas). 2015. Journal of Conflict Resolution 59(5):  794-823. Part of special issue on militias in civil war, edited by Corinna JentzschLivia Schubiger, and Stathis N. KalyvasPDF

Vote Choice and Legacies of Violence: Evidence from the 2014 Colombian Presidential Elections (with Juan F. Vargas and Thomas Flores). 2015. Research & Politics 2(2). PDF.

Bargaining Between Rebel Groups and the Outside Option of Violence (with Håvard Mokleiv Nygård). 2015. Terrorism and Political Violence 27(3): 557-580. PDF.

How to Make Democracy Self-Enforcing After Civil War: Enabling Credible Yet Adaptable Elite Pacts (with T. Clark Durant). 2014. Conflict Management and Peace Science 31(5): 521-540. PDF.

An Institutional Remedy for Ethnic Patronage Politics (with T. Clark Durant). 2014. Journal of Theoretical Politics 26(1): 60-79. PDF.

Altruism, Righteousness, and Myopia (with T. Clark Durant). 2012. Critical Review 23(3): 257-302. PDF.

Revise and Resubmit

Historical Legacies of Conflict: From the Cristero Rebellion to Self-Defense Forces in Mexico (with Javier Osorio and Livia Schubiger). Revise and Resubmit, Comparative Political Studies. Considered for special issue on micro-comparative studies of 20th century conflicts, edited by Stathis N. Kalyvas and Daniel Fedorowycz.

Urban Concentration and Civil War (with Dani Nedal and Megan Stewart). Revise and Resubmit, Journal of Conflict Resolution. PDF.

The Tangible Effects of Ideology on Insurgent Behavior: Evidence from Colombia (with Juan Esteban Ugarriza). Revise and Resubmit, Security Studies.

Working Papers

Police Interactions with Youth at Risk: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Honduras (with Andrés Ham, Javier Osorio and Reynaldo Rojo Mendoza).

Increasing Female Police Recruitment: Evidence from El Salvador (with Andrés Ham, Javier Osorio and Reynaldo Rojo Mendoza).

Territorial Control and Economic Growth: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from the Colombian Insurgency (with Rafael Ch and Juan F. Vargas).

Vigilante Mobilization and Local Order: Evidence from Mexico (with Javier Osorio and Livia Schubiger).

Winner, Midwest Political Science Association (MPSA) Best Paper by an Emerging Scholar Award, 2016.

Civilian Agency in Criminal and Political Conflicts: A Research Agenda (with Cassy Dorff and Jessica Maves Braithwaite).

Legacies of Lynching: Racial Killings in the American South and Contemporary Violence.

Restricting Motorcycles in Medellín, Colombia: Effects on Crime (with Juan Pablo Mesa).

Ongoing Research

Explaining Civilian Support for Political and Criminal Armed Groups (with Erica De Bruin and Livia Schubiger).

Restoring the Rule of Law After Civil War: A Field Experiment in Security and Justice Provision in Rural Colombia (with Rob Blair, Manuel Moscoso, and Andrés Vargas).

Monitoring Attitudes, Perceptions, and Support for the Peace Process in Colombia (MAPS) (with Marianne Dahl, Helga Malmin Binningsbø, and Håvard Mokleiv Nygård).

Moderating Alcohol Consumption to Reduce Violent Brawls: A Randomized Controlled Trial with Bartenders in Bogotá (with Andrés Felipe Camacho, Andrés Ham and Darío Maldonado). American Economic Association RCT Registry page.

The Effect of Motorcycle Restrictions on Crime in Colombia (with Leonardo Bonilla and Eduard Martínez).

Humanizing the Enemy: Experimental Evidence from Ex-Combatants in Colombia (with Sebastián BitarDevin Finn, and Angelika Rettberg).

Policy Reports and Analyses

Attitudes Towards the Implementation of the Colombian Peace Agreement in Mesetas (with Marianne Dahl, Helga Malmin Binningsbø, and Håvard Mokleiv Nygård). Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) Paper. January 2018.

Attitudes Towards the Implementation of the Colombian Peace Agreement in Tumaco (with Marianne Dahl, Helga Malmin Binningsbø, and Håvard Mokleiv Nygård). Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) Paper. December 2017.

Cuando el Descabezamiento del Crimen Organizado Funciona: el Caso del Clan del Golfo en Colombia (with Juan David Gelvez Ferreira). London School of Economics Latin America and Caribbean Centre. October 2017. 

Institutional Failure in the World’s Most Violent Country: Prison Conditions in El Salvador (with Viveca Pavon). August 2017.

Data4Peace (with Viviana Arias, César Caballero, Michael G. Findley, Oliver Kaplan, Ana Marrugo, Billy Matthias, Alejandro Ponce de León, María Paula Rojas, Angelika Rettberg, and Joe Young). Documento de Trabajo #47, Escuela de Gobierno Alberto Lleras Camargo, Universidad de los Andes. 

Rejecting Peace? Legacies of Violence in Colombia (with Håvard Mokleiv Nygård). Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) Conflict Trends. 

¿Qué Pasó, Colombia? Foco Económico. October 4, 2016.

Colombia's Peace Plebiscite: the Case for Yes and the Case for No. The Conversation Global. September 30, 2016.

¿Qué Vendrá Después de la Paz? Futurología desde la Ciencia Política. Tribuna: Revista de Asuntos Políticos. Escuela de Gobierno Alberto Lleras Camargo, Universidad de los Andes. August 2016.

Insurgent Defection in Civil War: Lessons from Colombia for Combating ISIS," (with Benjamin A. OppenheimAbbey Steele and Juan F. Vargas). Political Violence at a Glance. September 28, 2015.

To Be By Your Side: Unarmed Protection and Accompaniment in Colombia (with John Lindsay-Poland).

How Did Guerrilla Violence Shape the 2014 Presidential Election in Colombia? Political Violence at a Glance. March 25, 2015.

A Progress Report on Peace Talks in ColombiaEarly Warning Project. November 4, 2014.

Don't Hold Up Colombia as a COIN Model to EmulateCicero Magazine. August 13, 2014.

How Legacies of Violence Affected the Colombian ElectionsThe Monkey Cage. June 6, 2014.

The Colombian Elections and Prospects for PeaceEarly Warning Project. May 30, 2014.

Michael Weintraub
Associate Professor
Escuela de Gobierno Alberto Lleras Camargo
Universidad de los Andes
Bogotá, Colombia

Office location: Carrera 1 #19-27, Bloque Aulas AU

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