My main contribution to peace and conflict research is to investigate how foreign aid going to contested areas influence violence intensity. I have approached this issue from a rational choice perspective but am also interested in systemic approaches. I also have an overall interest in why people fight which I hope to be able to develop further.
In order to investigate the relation between aid and conflict I needed subnational aid data. I initiated an effort to adapt and develop the Uppsala Conflict Data Program‘s geocoding method to cover foreign aid. Together with colleagues we did the first substantial pilot effort to geo-code foreign aid which sparked geo-coding efforts at the World Bank, USAID, African Development Bank, International Aid Transparency Initiative, the AidData Center for Development Policy, and others.
Together with colleagues I have an ongoing interest in mapping warring parties’ territorial dominance, primarily in Africa South of the Sahara. We have so far produced a dataset of warring parties’ battleground control. Battleground control measures the yearly number of locations that a warring party has been able to take control over as a result of battles with rivals in an administrative division (like a province).