Miller Center

Aila Matanock

Political Science, Stanford University

International Insurance: Explaining Why Militant Groups Participate in Elections as Part of a Peace Agreement

Matanock photo

Aila Matanock is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley.

Matanock was previously a visiting Scholar at the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) and a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation (IGCC) at the University of California, San Diego.  Her research interests include international engagement during and after civil conflict, post-conflict peace-building, state-building, and development. 

Matanock's dissertation focused on the role of electoral competition between militant groups and governments, especially as a component of negotiated settlements.  In contrast to broadly pessimistic views of elections as a conflict resolution tool, her research finds that, when these inclusive elections are part of an agreement, the duration of peace between the signatories is longer. Specifically, international actors are able to engage in monitoring and sanctioning violations of the deal through the transparency that elections provide.  The project draws on evidence from field interviews with former militant group, government, and civic leaders and on a newly collected cross-national dataset.  Her other projects focus on the role of international actors and armed non-state actors in governing weak and post-conflict states.  She has designed and run several survey experiments in Colombia and Mexico that explore the levels of social support for armed non-state actors, as well as their strategies for gaining more support.

Fellowship year: 2012

Mentor: Susan Hyde, University of California, Berkeley

Selected Recent Publications

"The Empiricists’ Insurgency.” with Eli Berman, Annual Review of Political Science vol. 18, no 1 (2015)

Governance Delegation Agreements: Shared Sovereignty as a Substitute for Limited Statehood.Governance (2014)

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