Watson Institute at Brown University
Development Studies
Robert Blair

Robert Blair

Robert Blair

Joukowsky Family Assistant Professor of Political Science and International and Public Affairs

Robert Blair is an Assistant Professor of Political Science and International and Public Affairs at Brown University. His research focuses on international intervention and the consolidation of state authority after civil war, with an emphasis on rule of law and security institutions. Professor Blair's research aims to examine questions such as: How to restore citizens’ trust and cooperation with newly-reformed security institutions in the wake of civil war?; How to establish the rule of law after years of state absence or predation?; How (and whether) to promote compliance with state laws when they conflict with local norms, rules and customs? He has conducted fieldwork on these and related topics in Colombia, Liberia and Côte d'Ivoire.

Professor Blair has also worked in various capacities for the UN Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions, the US Central Intelligence Agency’s Political Instability Task Force, Freedom House and the Small Arms Survey. He holds a B.A. from Brown and a Ph.D in political science from Yale University. His research has been published in the American Political Science Review and other venues.


  1. Blair, RA., Christopher Blattman, and Alexandra Hartman. "Predicting local violence: Evidence from a panel survey in Liberia." Journal of Peace Research 54.2 (2017): 298-312
  2. Blair, RA., and Pablo Kalmanovitz. "On the Rights of Warlords: Legitimate Authority and Basic Protection in War-Torn Societies." American Political Science Review 110.3 (2016): 428-440
  3. Blarin RA, Morse B, Tsai L. "Public health and public trust: Survey evidence from the Ebola Virus Disease epidemic in Liberia." Social Science and Medicine 172 (2017) 89-97.
  4. Morse B, Grépin KA, Blair RA, Tsai L. “Patterns of Demand for Non-Ebola Health Services During and After the Ebola Outbreak: Panel Survey Evidence from Monrovia, Liberia.” BMJ Global Health, 2016; 1:e000007
  5. Blair RA, Blattman C, Hartman A. “How to Promote Order and Property Rights under Weak Rule of Law? An Experiment in Changing Dispute Resolution Behavior through Community Education.” American Political Science Review 108:1 (2014): 100-120

For working papers and policy reports see http://robblair.net/writing/.


POLS1824B: “Post-Conflict Politics.” Undergraduate seminar. (Fall 2016)

POLS1440: "Security, Governance and Development in Africa." Undergraduate lecture. (Fall 2016)