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. He also directs the Democratic Erosion project, a multi-university consortium that addresses the causes and consequences of democratic deconsolidation through a combination of teaching, research and civic and policy engagement. He has conducted fieldwork on these and related topics in Colombia, Liberia, Uganda and Côte d'Ivoire. He 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, USAID, 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 is published or forthcoming in the American Political Science Review, Journal of Politics, International Organization, International Studies Quarterly and other venues. His book, Peacekeeping, Policing and the Rule of Law after Civil War, is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press.
Robert Blair's research focuses on international intervention and the consolidation of state authority after civil war, with an emphasis on rule of law and security institutions. He also directs the Democratic Erosion project, a multi-university consortium that addresses the causes and consequences of democratic deconsolidation through a combination of teaching, research and civic and policy engagement.
"Establishing the Rule of Law in Weak and War-torn States: Evidence from a Field Experiment with the Liberian National Police" (with Sabrina Karim and Benjamin Morse). 2019. American Political Science Review 113(3): 641-657
"International Intervention and the Rule of Law after Civil War: Evidence from Liberia." 2019. International Organization 73(2): 365-398
"The Impact of International Interventions to Empower Women in Post-Conflict Countries: Lab-in-the-Field Evidence from the Liberian National Police" (with Kyle Beardsley, Michael Gilligan and Sabrina Karim). 2018. International Studies Quarterly 62(3): 618-631
"Predicting Local Violence: Evidence from a Panel Survey in Liberia" (with Christopher Blattman and Alexandra Hartman). 2017. Journal of Peace Research 54(2): 298-312
"Public Health and Public Trust: Survey Evidence from the Ebola Virus Disease Epidemic in Liberia" (with Benjamin Morse and Lily Tsai). 2017. Social Science & Medicine 172: 89-97
"On the Rights of Warlords: Legitimate Authority and Basic Protection in War-Torn Societies" (with Pablo Kalmanovitz). 2016. American Political Science Review 110(3): 428-440
"How to Promote Order and Property Rights under Weak Rule of Law? An Experiment in Changing Dispute Resolution Behavior through Community Education" (with Christopher Blattman and Alexandra Hartman). 2014. American Political Science Review 108(1): 100- 120
POLS1440: "Security, Governance and Development in Africa"
POLS1820X: "Democratic Erosion"
POLS1824: "Post-Conflict Politics"
POLS2590: "Quantitative Research Methods"
November 30, 2020
Robert Blair is the author of, "Peacekeeping, Policing, and the Rule of Law after Civil War." In it, Blair proposes a new theory to explain how the international community can help establish the rule of law in the world's weakest and most war-torn states, focusing on the crucial but often underappreciated role of the United Nations.
November 18, 2020
In this article, Rob Blair offers commentary on the coronavirus vaccine.
November 13, 2020
In this opinion piece, Rob Blair writes "The good news is that Trump’s efforts are unlikely to succeed in changing the outcome of the election. Still, his refusal to accept defeat can do serious lasting harm."
November 4, 2020
In this interview, Rob Blair discusses his recent writing for the Boston Globe and why Democrats should have a plan for how to respond if President Trump loses the election and contests the results.
October 26, 2020
Robert Blair in the Boston Globe, "All you really have to do is listen to the president’s words, and it should be very clear that, barring an absolutely indisputable landslide on November 3, Trump is almost certainly going to contest the results of the election."
October 21, 2020
Rob Blair co-authored this column urging people to make a plan to vote — and protest, if necessary.
August 21, 2020
Rob Blair in The Verge, "What we have is inconsistent messaging, sometimes from the same source."