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Peace and Conflict

This initiative focuses on applying cutting-edge methods to delve into the factors that foster peace in conflict-affected countries. Selected projects include:

  • Understanding the effect of access to tertiary education on hope, and peace and conflict outcomes.

Grants and Projects

Tracking Hope in Nairobi and Karachi (THINK)

Dana Burde, Elisabeth King, Daphna Harel, Jennifer Hill

Large youth populations feature prominently in discussions of threats to social and state stability worldwide. In Sub-Saharan Africa, 43 percent of the population is under fifteen years of age; in Pakistan this figure is 35 percent. Evidence shows this “youth bulge” to be associated with a risk of armed conflict. Additional research suggests that a lack of education and economic opportunities for young people can lead to frustration, disillusionment, violence, and extremist recruitment. This project aims to understand the effect of access to tertiary education on hope, and peace and conflict outcomes by capitalizing on a regression discontinuity design inherent to the admissions processes in Nairobi, Kenya and Karachi, Pakistan.

Reports, Publications, and Findings

Student Youth in Kenya

What Kenyan Youth Want and Why It Matters for Peace

The international aid community presents education and employment programs as the keys to mitigating youth participation in violence. Yet, existing evidence suggests that faith in such programs may be misplaced. This study investigates this disconnect between faith and evidence. It argues that education and employment programs are commonly built on an economically-focused “dominant discourse” that makes presumptions about youth and their interests. Based on qualitative research with youth in Nairobi, Kenya, it further argues that this dominant discourse overlooks self-identity and social connectedness factors that are crucial to youth, as well as the limitations imposed by governance and structural conditions.