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Robert Blair

Robert Blair

robert_blair@brown.edu
+1 401 863 9728
111 Thayer Street, Room 338

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Robert Blair

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

Biography

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, Côte d'Ivoire, and the US. 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, 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.

Research

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.

Publications

“UN Peacekeeping and the Rule of Law.” 2021. American Political Science Review 115(1): 51-68

“Foreign Aid and State Legitimacy: Evidence on Chinese and US Aid to Africa from Surveys, Survey Experiments, and Behavioral Games” (with Philip Roessler). 2021. World Politics 73(2): 315-357

“Engineering Informal Institutions: Long-Run Impacts of Alternative Dispute Resolution on Violence and Property Rights in Liberia” (with Christopher Blattman and Alexandra Hartman). 2021. Journal of Politics 83(1): 381-389

“Building Credibility and Cooperation in Low-Trust Settings: Persuasion and Source Accountability in Liberia During the 2014–2015 Ebola Crisis” (with Benjamin Morse and Lily Tsai). 2020. Comparative Political Studies 54(10-11): 1582-1618

“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

Teaching

POLS1440: "Security, Governance and Development in Africa"

POLS1820X: "Democratic Erosion"

POLS1824: "Post-Conflict Politics"

POLS 2110: "Proseminar in Comparative Politics"

POLS2590: "Quantitative Research Methods"

News|Recent News

Foreign Aid and State Legitimacy

March 31, 2021

Robert Blair and Philip Roessler recently published, "Foreign Aid and State Legitimacy" which examines evidence on foreign aid from surveys, survey experiments, and behavioral games. 

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Peacekeeping, Policing, and the Rule of Law after Civil War

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. 

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Events

Sep 25, 2020

Voting and Electoral Manipulation

3 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. ET   This virtual event is a cross-university collaboration and is intended for University students and faculty only.  Please use only your University email to register.  Register here to join the webinar, or tune in to the talk live at watson.brown.edu/live

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