CE39 - Sécurité Globale et Cybersécurité

Cooperation in Conflict Zones – COOPCONFLICT

Cooperation in conflict zones

The effectiveness of military operations in conflict zones relies crucially on the cooperation of different actors with diverging interests and incentives. These actors include the civilian population, local government officials, as well as foreign and domestic security forces. My research uses new, granular data on violence in Afghanistan and India study the cooperation between these actors in conflict zones.

How do organisational and economic conditions shape the coordination between key actors in conflict zones cooperate?

Our proposal consists of three sub-projects. Each sub-project aims to provide quantitative evidence on how economic interventions and organizational changes can promote effective cooperation in conflict zones. Each sub-project will highlight a different set of actors in the conflict. In a first sub-project, we will study how economic shocks affect civilian cooperation with security forces. Second, we will examine how coordination problems between NATO allies affect security provision. In the third sub-project, we will study the interaction between foreign and domestic security forces, and in particular how Afghanistan’s security transition affected violence outcomes. In addition, we will develop four extension projects. The first one will analyze how Afghanistan’s porous border affects the Taliban’s strategy towards the civilian population. The second one will study the relationship between the identity of Afghan government officials and the population’s attitudes towards the conflict. The third extension project studies how fiscal incentives shape the role of sub-national governments in managing conflicts. The fourth extension project will focus on public support in troop-sending countries for keeping NATO troops in Afghanistan.

A key contribution of this proposal is to study the cooperation between actors in conflict zones using recently declassified or constructed data sources. The granularity of these new data sources allows for the quantification of empirical relationships and formal tests of research hypotheses. While there is an emerging literature in economics and political science using similar statistical tools, it has paid little attention to the interactions that I propose to study.

As for the transition from NATO security to the Afghan national security forces (“Security Transitions,” co-authored with Thiemo Fetzer, Pedro CL Souza, and Austin Wright), our results indicate that the initial phase of the transition was reduces objective measures of violence as well as perceived safety. However, we also see that the final withdrawal of NATO troops has led to an upsurge in violence. These patterns are in line with a Taliban strategy to keep a low profile during the transition period. This underscores the possibility that NATO misinterpreted the trends of violence in Afghanistan during the transition period.

In the subproject on mining taxes in India (“Fiscal Incentives for Conflict”, co-authored with Jacob Shapiro), we show that the sharp increase in a tax on the production of iron ore imposed by the government central, urged the various Indian states (which are responsible for the police on their territory) to step up security operations against the Maoist rebels. This effect is concentrated in districts with iron ore deposits. But, we are also seeing that the scale of illegal mining is increasing in response to this tax.

Work on other sub-projects is still under way, and results will be shared as soon as possible.

Working paper: «Security Transitions«
hal-pse.archives-ouvertes.fr/PSE_WP/halshs-02518234v1
Working paper: «Fiscal incentives for conflict«
halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-02921132/document

International terrorism is often nourished by civil conflicts. This link is one of the main motives for foreign military interventions in distant conflict zones, such as Mali or Afghanistan. The effectiveness of these interventions relies crucially on the cooperation of different actors with diverging interests and incentives. These actors include the civilian population, local government officials, as well as foreign and domestic security forces. My research uses new, granular data on violence in Afghanistan study the cooperation between these actors in conflict zones. As an economist specialized in the study civil conflict and security forces, I will use micro-econometric methods to study these interactions.

My proposal consists of three sub-projects. Each sub-project aims to provide quantitative evidence on how economic interventions and organizational changes can promote effective cooperation in conflict zones. Each sub-project will highlight a different set of actors in the conflict. In a first sub-project, I will study how economic shocks affect civilian cooperation with security forces. Second, I will examine how coordination problems between NATO allies affect security provision. In the third sub-project, I will study the interaction between foreign and domestic security forces, and in particular how Afghanistan’s security transition affected violence outcomes. In addition, I will develop two extension projects. The first one will analyze how Afghanistan’s porous border affects the Taliban’s strategy towards the civilian population. The second one will study the relationship between the identity of Afghan government officials and the population’s attitudes towards the conflict.

The main contribution of this research proposal is to study the cooperation between actors in conflict zones using recently declassified data sources. The granularity of these new data sources allows for the quantification of empirical relationships and formal tests of research hypotheses. While there is an emerging literature in economics and political science using similar statistical tools, it has paid little attention to the interactions that I propose to study. By shedding new light on how different actors in conflict zones cooperate, my research agenda aims to contribute to better decision-making in these challenging environments.

Project coordinator

Monsieur Oliver Vanden Eynde (ECOLE D´ ECONOMIE DE PARIS)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.

Partner

ECOLE D´ ECONOMIE DE PARIS

Help of the ANR 147,781 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: September 2018 - 48 Months

Useful links

Sign up for the latest news:
Subscribe to our newsletter