In the News

How to Encourage Shiites and Sunnis to Get Along? Lessons from a Study in Lebanon.
The overall conclusion of the study is that at least some forms of sectarianism—those that are not built around distrust, but perhaps habit or casual prejudice—can be overcome. In this, top-down interventions—such as pro-cooperation appeals by authority figures—might be more effective than bottom-up ones like discussions across sectarian lines.
Political Violence at a Glance | November 01, 2018

When does Russian propaganda work -- and when does it backfire? Here's what we found.
When does propaganda work — and when does it backfire? After examining Russia’s 2014 disinformation campaign in Ukraine, we found that Russian propaganda has very uneven effects. Whether it sways individuals to vote for pro-Russian candidates — or backfires, and makes them less likely to do so — depends on the political predispositions of the target audience.
Washington Post | April 03, 2018

Crimea, cuatro años después de la anexión
La ambigua situación de Crimea puede percibirse desde que uno entra en ella: si se coge el ferry que atraviesa el estrecho de Kerch y une la Rusia continental con la península, los procedimientos con los pasaportes y el equipaje son los mismos que al cruzar cualquier frontera entre naciones, a pesar de que Moscú asegura que Crimea es parte de Rusia desde 2014.
Proceso Magazine, Mexico | March 15, 2018

Why are Crimean Tatars So Hostile to Russia?
The Crimean Tatars remain notably hostile to Russia's annexation of Crimea. We argue that part of the reason for this hostility is the enduring legacy of events that took place more than 70 years ago.
Washington Post | September 05, 2017

This is What Russian Propaganda Really Does to People
While both Ukraine and the West have sought to directly counter falsified and biased Russian coverage of the Ukraine crisis, Assistant Professor of Politics at New York University- Abu Dhabi Leonid Peisakhin argues that such an approach might be counter-productive. According to Peisakhin's research, heavily biased news coverage tends to entrench already existing political divides rather than convince viewers of a particular viewpoint. For example, Russian media tends to increase the pro-Russian political tendencies of viewers who already have pro-Russian sympathies, while the same news coverage tends to push pro-European viewers farther away from the Russian position.
Hromadske TV, Ukraine | May 19, 2015

Euromaidan Revisited: Causes of Regime Change in Ukraine One Year On
A year has passed since mass protests on the Maidan in Ukraine’s capital Kiev culminated in bloodshed and president Viktor Yanukovych unexpectedly ed to Russia. Since then, Ukraine has plunged into a bloody civil conflict and a war by proxy with Russia. Relations between Russia and the West are continuing to worsen, and Europe has come to the brink of a large-scale interstate war for the first time since World War II. The Maidan protests have already catalyzed one of the most momentous geopolitical crises of the edgling 21st century. Despite their importance, there are more questions than answers about what happened over the course of these protests.
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars | February 01, 2015

Russia's Local Elections: A Sign of Things to Come?
On Sept. 14, Russia held a spate of local elections. Thirty of 85 Russian regions held gubernatorial elections, residents of Crimea elected a new regional legislature, and Muscovites voted in municipal elections. These elections are interesting because they provide a bellwether for current protest sentiment levels and perhaps even an early preview of parliamentary elections that are due to take place in 2016.
Washington Post | October 01, 2014

Why Are People Protesting in Ukraine? Providing Historical Context.
Much of the recent news coverage of Ukrainian protests has painted a picture of a nation that almost universally aspires to closer links with Europe and is at loggerheads with a political leadership that is attempting to drag Ukraine back into the Soviet past by fostering closer relations with Russia. This picture is at best an inadequate caricature of political dynamics, and at worst a dangerous misconception that can only harm Ukraine in the long term by delaying a much-needed national dialogue about Ukraine’s political, economic and cultural aspirations.
Washington Post | December 19, 2013

In India, Whistle-Blowers Pay with Their Lives
According to 2008 field experiments by Leonid Peisakhin and Paul Pinto, then doctoral candidates at Yale University, filing an RTI request is almost as effective for slum dwellers as paying a bribe to get a new ration card sooner for food and cooking supplies.
Bloomberg | October 21, 2011

Right-to-information request found nearly as effective as bribing in India
Using India's populist Right to Information process gives citizens about as good a chance of receiving basic services as paying a bribe does, providing a new, and surprising weapon in the war against corruption.
Globe and Mail, Canada | June 02, 2011

Don't pay a bribe, file an RTI application
Transparency measures like the Right To Information Act are intended to reduce levels of corruption, but is there any proof that this actually happens? Two field experiments in Delhi by Yale University researchers suggest that this might be true; transparency measures are as effective as bribes in ensuring service delivery and, furthermore, may even erase class differences.
The Times of India | May 02, 2011