My research focuses on armed conflict within states. While I wrote my dissertation about the conditions under which civil wars start and spread to neighboring countries, I now increasingly study the use of violence in these wars. I am particularly interested in how violence transforms in response to changes in actors’ strategic environment both during war and in the postwar period, and what impact external interventions (such as peacekeeping) have on the violent tactics of armed actors. To capture relevant shifts in violence I look at a wide range of armed actors beyond the main combatants, such as militia groups, private military and security companies, mercenaries, and communal groups. My work is primarily quantitative-comparative and aims to disentangle the spatial and temporal dynamics of violence: When and where exactly does violence escalate or shift, and what does this tell us about actors’ motivations and constraints?
Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles
Bara, Corinne (2018) Legacies of Violence: Conflict-specific Capital and the Post-conflict Diffusion of Civil War, Journal of Conflict Resolution 62(9)
Bara, Corinne (2014) Incentives and Opportunities: A Complexity-oriented Explanation of Violent Ethnic Conflict, Journal of Peace Research 51(6)
This article won the 2014 Nils Petter Gleditsch JPR Article of the Year Award. Read the Jury Announcement.
Bara, Corinne (forthcoming) Forecasting Civil War and Political Violence, in: Jasper, U., M. Dunn Cavelty & A. Wenger: The Possibilities and Pitfalls of Prediction: Academic Contributions to Future-Oriented Policy-Making. Routledge
In this book chapter I review efforts to predict civil wars and other forms of political violence. A special focus lies on the epistemological foundations, policy impact and ethical implications of forecasting.
Bara, Corinne (2016) The Onset and Diffusion of Civil War: Complexity and Temporal Dynamics (2016). Doctoral Thesis, ETH Zürich.
The dissertation contributes to comparative civil war research by theorizing and modeling aspects of complexity and temporal dynamics so far neglected in research on conflict onset and spread (embargoed until Jan 2020).