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Armed Group Institutions in Africa, 1992-Present

Project: 9
Name: Amelia Hoover Green, PhD (aah92@drexel.edu; 510.219.0270)
Department: Politics

Description

What kinds of armed groups are more likely to harm civilians in war, and why? The Armed Group Institutions Database (AGID) addresses this question by collecting rigorously comparable information on the internal policies and practices of military and rebel groups. AGID researchers examine secondary literature and news accounts in multiple languages in order to provide information about armed groups' recruitment, training, indoctrination and discipline. The dataset both collects these accounts as qualitative data and codes them to support quantitative analyses. Where existing research on groups' dynamics is thin or nonexistent, the project locates conflict experts and interviews them for their impressions. This summer, the AGID research team's goal is to collect systematic data about all major armed conflicts in Africa after the close of the Cold War, in order to examine how (whether) armed group institutions are associated with patterns of violence against civilians, particularly sexual violence. Ultimately, the AGID will become an open data project underpinning multiple qualitative and quantitative investigations. Undergraduate researchers with interests in peace and conflict studies, civil wars, military history, military sociology, African politics and related fields are great candidates for our team.

Associated Independent Study

Students whose work supports the AGID have the option to complete an independent study by turning in an article-length paper that draws on their work for the project. Exceptional undergraduate researchers may be invited to co-author an academic article.

Gained Experience

Undergraduate researchers on the AGID will improve their ability to find and synthesize information. They will have the opportunity to network with scholars of conflict across several disciplines. For students interested in graduate school in international affairs or any social science, this is a strong CV builder, particularly if the student's research results in co-authorship.

Outcome

The AGID will become a public resource for scholars in several disciplines. Work from summer 2018 in particular is expected to serve as the basis for at least 2 peer-reviewed scholarly articles in top political science journals.

Tasks

Students will be engaged in library research (from scholarly books and articles as well as news archives) both at Drexel and at Penn. For each armed group investigated, students will need to write a very short research paper that assesses the quality of the available information and describes key armed group institutions.

Location

On most days, this work could happen anywhere with a connection to Drexel's library system (e.g., via VPN). Occasionally, the work will require actually going to either Drexel or Penn libraries. I prefer that students who work on the project remain in Philadelphia for most of the summer in order to meet with me 1-2 times per week.

Meetings

About two meetings per week, 30-90 minutes per meeting.

Interview Availability

April 10, April 11, April 12