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News | June 7, 2021

Leonardo Arriola Publishes "Policing Institutions and Post-Conflict Peace" in the Journal of Conflict Resolution

Minerva researcher Leonardo R. Arriola, along with David A. Dow, Aila M. Matanock, and Michaela Mattes, publish Policing Institutions and Post-Conflict Peace in the Journal of Conflict Resolution. The article asks: how do policing institutions affect the prospects for peace in post-conflict settings? To answer this question, the authors present a principal-agent theoretical framework to explain how the institutional design of policing affects the recurrence of civil conflict. They argue that the fragmentation
of police forces can reignite conflict dynamics by impeding coordinated action, undermining information sharing, and enabling agents to pursue their own interests. The article also tests its predictions with an empirical analysis of the Police Force Organization Dataset (PFOD) on police forces in over 100 developing states, finding that increasing the number of distinct police forces is systematically associated with an increased risk of conflict recurrence in post-conflict states. They also found that a larger
number of police forces is associated with more abuse against civilian populations in post-conflict states, setting the stage for new grievances that may undermine peace.