Robert Blair's research focuses on international intervention and the consolidation of state authority after civil war, with an emphasis on the rule of law and security institutions. He is also co-founder and co-director of the Democratic Erosion Consortium, which combines research, teaching, and civic and policy engagement to address threats to democracy in the US and abroad. Blair has conducted fieldwork in Colombia, Liberia, Uganda, Cote d’Ivoire, and the US, with support from the US State Department, the National Science Foundation, the Folke Bernadotte Academy, the International Growth Centre, and the Hewlett Foundation, among other donors. He has also worked in various capacities for USAID, the UN Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions, the Political Instability Task Force, Freedom House, and the Small Arms Survey. His research is published or forthcoming in Science, Nature Human Behaviour, American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, British Journal of Political Science, Quarterly Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, World Politics, International Organization, International Studies Quarterly, and other venues. His book, Peacekeeping, Policing, and the Rule of Law after Civil War, was published in 2020 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 the rule of law and security institutions. He is also co-founder and co-director of the Democratic Erosion Consortium, which combines research, teaching, and civic and policy engagement to address threats to democracy in the US and abroad.
“Little Evidence That Military Policing Reduces Crime or Improves Human Security” (with Michael Weintraub). 2022. Nature Human Behaviour, forthcoming
“UN Peacekeeping and Democratization in Conflict-Affected Countries” (with Jessica Di Salvatore and Hannah Smidt). 2022. American Political Science Review, forthcoming
“Preventing Rebel Resurgence after Civil War: A Field Experiment in Security and Justice Provision in Rural Colombia” (with Manuel Moscoso, Andrés Vargas, and Michael Weintraub). 2022. American Political Science Review 116(4): 1258-1277
“Civil War and Citizens' Demand for the State: An Empirical Test of Hobbesian Theory.” 2022. British Journal of Political Science 52(4): 1748-1768
“The Promise and Pitfalls of Conflict Prediction: Evidence from Colombia and Indonesia” (with Samuel Bazzi, Christopher Blattman, Oeindrila Dube, Matthew Gudgeon, and Richard Peck). 2022. Review of Economics & Statistics 104(4): 764-779
“When Do UN Peacekeeping Operations Implement Their Mandates?” (with Jessica Di Salvatore and Hannah Smidt). 2022. American Journal of Political Science 66(3): 664-680
“Policing Ethnicity: Lab-in-the-Field Evidence on Cooperation, Discrimination, and Ethnic Balancing in the Liberian National Police” (with Kyle Beardsley, Michael Gilligan, and Sabrina Karim). 2022. Quarterly Journal of Political Science 17(2): 141-181
POLS1440: "Security, Governance, and Development in Africa"
POLS1820X: "Democratic Erosion"
POLS1824: "Post-Conflict Politics"
POLS 2110: "Proseminar in Comparative Politics"
POLS2590: "Quantitative Research Methods II"
May 22, 2023
Robert Blair recently co-authored an article published in Nature Human Behaviour titled "Little evidence that military policing reduces crime or improves human security."
March 2, 2023
Professor Robert Blair has been granted a 2023 Seed Award for his social sciences proposal titled, “Understanding and preventing violence against environmental activists in the Amazon.”
August 24, 2022
Numerous Watson scholars participate in the American Political Science Association annual conference.
July 5, 2022
Professor Robert Blair recently authored a paper titled, "Foreign Aid and Soft Power: Great Power Competition in Africa in the Early Twenty-first Century" in the British Journal of Political Science published by Cambridge University Press.
May 10, 2022
Rob Blair comments on activists gathering outside the homes of three conservative Supreme Court justices to protest Roe v. Wade’s potential demise.
April 4, 2022
Rob Blair recently co-authored this article on how states can prevent armed groups from exploiting local governance gaps to (re)establish territorial control during transitions to national peace.
July 23, 2021
This article includes previous commentary from Rob Blair.