Michael Weintraub


How can the state re-establish control after decades of civil war? Which public policies best reduce violence in the world's most dangerous cities? What role do ordinary citizens play in peacebuilding? How do legacies of violence shape contemporary outcomes?

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 quantitative methods.


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

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 or Under Review

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.

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

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

Working Papers

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

Reducing Pretrial Detentions: Evidence from a Randomized Policy Intervention in El Salvador (with Javier Osorio, Reynaldo Rojo Mendoza and Andrés Ham).

Alcohol and Violence: A Field Experiment with Bartenders in Bogotá, Colombia (with Andrés Ham, Darío Maldonado, Andrés Felipe Camacho and Daniela Gualtero). American Economic Association RCT Registry page. PDF.

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.

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

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

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

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

Civil War Victimization, Political Engagement, and Attitudes Towards Peace (with Abbey Steele, Håvard Mokleiv Nygård, Marianne Dahl, and Helga Malmin Binningsbø).

Ongoing Research

Field or lab experiments

Militarized Policing to Reduce Homicides and Other Violent Crimes: A Field Experiment in Cali, Colombia (with Rob Blair). Pre-Analysis Plan registered with EGAP.

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).

Promoting Quantitative Analysis Capabilities and Applied Research on Citizen Security in Central America (with Andrés Ham, Javier Osorio and Reynaldo Rojo Mendoza).

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

Surveys or survey experiments

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

Panel Surveys of FARC Ex-Combatants in Colombia (with Ana Arjona, Leopoldo Fergusson and Juana García).

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

Maps to Die For? (with Hein Goemans, Hans Leonard, and Andi Zhou).

Quasi-experimental or observational studies

Micro-Foundations of Conflict Escalation (MiCE) (with Laia Balcells, Christopher Fariss, Gudmund Horn Hermansen, and Håvard Mokleiv Nygård).

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

An Impact Evaluation of Motorcycle Restrictions on Crime in Medellín, Colombia (with Juan Pablo Mesa).