--> University-Led Research (Minerva Initiative)

Minerva Initiative Minerva Initiative

University-Led Research

Funded Minerva research projects and their corresponding institutions and principal investigators are listed below; click each to learn more. All awards from 2013 and earlier are described in greater detail in the Fall 2013 Minerva Research Summaries and Resources book.


Announcing the 2014 Minerva Research Awards

The Minerva Steering Committee is pleased to announce it has selected twelve proposals for the cadre of 2014 awards. As usual, the selection process was extremely competitive. The Department solicited proposals in several topics of strategic importance last fall and received a total of 261 white papers and 63 full proposals. The total funds awarded for this set of projects is expected to be around six million dollars in the first year and $17 million over three years.

Research teams range from single investigators to large multi-university consortia, and all awarded projects are expected to be funded for at least three years (two eligible for an extension to five years). The twelve research efforts will include researchers from 32 academic institutions, including six non-U.S. universities and four industry or non-profit organizations.

Selected 2014 Minerva Awards (Expected 2014-2017)

Australian Nat'l Univ: Thailand's Military, the USA and China: Understanding how the Thai Military Perceives the Great Powers and Implications for the US Rebalance

PI: John Blaxland, Australian National University
Government program manager: Dr. Ivy Estabrooke, Office of Naval Research

The working hypothesis is that the level of great power influence in countries like Thailand today can be correlated largely to the sense of continuing shared interests. This correlation, in turn, is affected by the level of commitment demonstrated to the supported power by the great power. Thailand’s response to the models of influence of China and the United States provides a valuable test case for wider application. The key questions are: to what extent are local military elites and political figures amenable to great power influence over strategic security choices and what are the key determinants of such influence? The project will include interviews with senior Thai military and political leaders, secondary and primary archival research, and a detailed survey of serving and former staff officers and junior to mid-level commanders.

Columbia: Culture in Power Transitions: Sino-American Conflict in the 21st Century

PI: Robert Jervis, Columbia University
With collaborators from: University of Notre Dame; Central European University, Budapest (Hungary)
Government program manager: Dr. Ivy Estabrooke, Office of Naval Research

We will examine how the United States and China use “culture” to advance their security interests and wage their hegemonic competition in the 21st century. The project will employ long-range historical analysis to generate qualitative case studies and a statistical dataset of attempts by both states to use culture to achieve high-level national security ambitions.

Cornell: Tracking Critical-Mass Outbreaks in Social Contagions

PI: Michael Macy, Cornell University
With collaborators from: Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory; Morningside Analytics
Government program manager: Dr. Benjamin Knott, Air Force Office of Scientific Research

This proposal focuses on the analysis and empirical modeling of the dynamics of social movement mobilization and contagions. They will evaluate the critical mass (tipping point) model on four datasets of digital traces of social contagions, which include Twitter posts and conversations around the 2011 Egyptian revolution, the 2011 Russian Duma elections, the 2012 Nigerian fuel subsidy crisis and the 2013 Gazi park protests in Turkey. For each dataset, they propose to use information retrieval and sentiment analysis methods to identify individuals mobilized in a social contagion and when they become mobilized. These methods will enable them to construct an “adoption curve” that tracks the number of individuals mobilized in the contagion at any given point in time and to test that curve for presence of the statistical signature of critical mass.

Texas A&M: Household Formation Systems, Marriage Markets, & Societal Resilience

PI: Valerie Hudson, Texas A&M
With collaborators from: Brigham Young University; Yale University
Government lead: Dr. Lisa Troyer, Army Research Office

This project will investigate how marriage markets affect political and economic organization, and social conflict and resilience, looking at how patrilocality, age at marriage for women, prevalence of polygyny, inequity in family law favoring males, sex ratios, practices in brideprice/dowry, prevalence of cousin marriage, and sanctions for violence against females affect political and economic outcomes for households, as well as inter- and intra-state sociopolitical conflicts. The researchers will draw on national statistics and an in-depth case study in West Africa to test hypotheses from their framework.

UCSD: Deterrence with Proxies

PI: Eli Berman, University of California San Diego
With collaborators from: Stanford University; Princeton University; National Bureau of Economic Research (U.S.) Hebrew University (Israel); London School of Economics (UK); Paris School of Economics (France)
Government program manager: Dr. Ivy Estabrooke, Office of Naval Research

We propose an overarching framework of dynamic deterrence in proxy relationships that builds on recent progress in understanding dynamic principal-agent relationships. In our framework, the proxy has an informational advantage in suppressing terrorism, and so can do so more cheaply than the principal, but does not share the principal’s objectives. Incentives through future rewards or punishments are therefore necessary to induce proxy effort. We will empirically test the framework using new data from two conflicts—Israel’s relationship with Hamas in suppressing terrorism from Gaza and the Indian federal government’s relationship with eight states in combatting the Maoist Naxalite insurgency. This project builds upon the work of the 2009-2014 Minerva project Terrorism, Governance, and Development

U Denver: Taking Development (Im)balance Seriously: Using New Approaches to Measure and Model State Fragility

PI: Jonathan Moyer, University of Denver
Government lead: Dr. Lisa Troyer, Army Research Office

Our team proposes a mixed methods approach for identifying and measuring (im)balances in a country's development, which we will find in existing theory and empirical analysis. We also plan to measure and test the interaction among a broad range of (im)balances, government capacity, and social mobilization capacity, so as to determine what sets of conditions are necessary for popular grievances to spark abrupt socio-political change. We plan to establish these relationships through a combination of statistical and algorithmic analyses of existing data sets, as well as qualitative case studies that will help us bridge the gap between macro-level and micro-level theory.

UMD: Aiding Resilience? The Impact of Foreign Assistance on the Dynamics of Intrastate Armed Conflict

PI: Paul Huth, University of Maryland
With collaborators from: College of William & Mary; Development Gateway (U.S.) Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (Switzerland)
Government program manager: Dr. Benjamin Knott, Air Force Office of Scientific Research

Does development aid affect resilience to intrastate armed conflict—and if so, where, when, and why? The proposed research evaluates the association between development aid and the likelihood, escalation, severity, spread, duration, and recurrence of violence, spanning the phases before, during, and after conflict. The research design combines cross-national, subnational, and micro-level empirical analysis. The results will be integrated into simulations using computational modeling, to further probe aid-conflict dynamics and “what-if” counterfactuals, looking at most of Africa as well as select Asian and Latin American countries.

U Mass Lowell: Preventing the Next Generation: Mapping the Pathways of Child Mobilization into VEOs

PI: Mia Bloom, University of Massachusetts Lowell
With collaborators from: Boston Children's Hospital
Government program manager: Dr. Harold Hawkins, Office of Naval Research

This 3-year program of basic research will identify the specific processes and pathways of children's mobilization into terrorist movements and create a model of children's involvement in violent extremist organizations (VEOs). Specific detailed cases will be developed using primary and secondary data for Afghanistan, Pakistan, Israel/Palestine, Iraq, Syria and Somalia in conjunction with regional partners who will facilitate the collection of interview data by local social workers and therapists. The project will generate an empirically valid model that can explain children's involvement in VEOs and inform practices, policies, training, and further research aimed at developing evidence-based interventions at multiple levels.

U Mass Lowell: Understanding American Muslims Converts in the Contexts of Security and Society

PI: John Horgan, University of Massachusetts Lowell
With collaborators from: University of Melbourne (AU); Queensland University of Technology (AU); Monash University (AU)
Government program manager: Dr. Harold Hawkins, Office of Naval Research

This research primarily seeks to understand the scale of growth, causes and processes of Islamic conversion in America and to contextualize and understand the emerging trend for US converts to be statistically overrepresented for involvement in Islamic extremism and religiously motivated violence relative to those who are born as Muslim. Through such knowledge researchers hope to establish a clearer empirical understanding of Muslim converts in America which may improve social cohesion and interfaith dialogue between non-Muslim and Muslim Americans working together to strengthen global security.

U Memphis: Political Crisis and Language: A Computational Assessment of Social Disequilibrium and Security Threats

PI: Leah Windsor, University of Memphis
Government program manager: Dr. Benjamin Knott, Air Force Office of Scientific Research

Our project will continue work from a previous Minerva grant Modeling Discourse and Social Dynamics in Authoritarian Regimes (NSF #0904909) to analyze the speech of international actors to detect motives, identify threats, and find predictive patterns of language and behavior. Our project has three components: identifying language patterns related to armed political crises; identifying bluffs and threats pertinent to both national and international security; and analyzing the relationship between language and contentious behavior like protests, riots, and rebellions. We want to extend our analysis beyond the existing corpora which focus heavily on China and the Middle East/North Africa regions to encompass Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, where there are growing security threats and ample opportunities to collect and analyze linguistic data.

UT Austin: Complex Emergencies & Political Stability in Asia

PI: Joshua Busby, University of Texas - Austin
With collaborators from: UC Berkeley; Development Gateway; University of Sussex (UK)
Government lead: Dr. Lisa Troyer, Army Research Office

This project builds upon the work of the 2009-2014 Minerva project Climate Change and African Political Stability. Researchers will examine the forces that contribute to disaster vulnerability and complex emergencies in South and Southeast Asia and the implications for local and regional security. They plan to examine how investments in preparedness can build resilience. They will build models of disaster vulnerability, conduct risk assessments and forecasting, map aid flows, and consult to collect primary data via case studies, design mapping and decision tools. The project will leverage and build upon existing research and mapping platforms at CCAPS that share data and tools.

U Washington: Understanding the Origin, Characteristics, and Implications of Mass Political Movements

PI: Stephen Kosack, University of Washington
With collaborators from: Harvard University
Government lead: Dr. Lisa Troyer, Army Research Office

This project seeks to uncover the conditions under which political movements aimed at large-scale political and economic change originate, and what their characteristics and consequences are. The focus is on large-scale movements, involving more than 1,000 participants in enduring activity. It builds upon existing research on 23 countries; the Minerva project would extend the database to 58 countries, mapping movements over time and space across 216 variables.

Note that projects listed are anticipated to be awarded but no award is official until certified by the appropriate contracting representative.

2013 MINERVA AWARDS (Active 2013-2016)

CMU: Multi-Source Assessment of State Stability

PI: Kathleen Carley, Carnegie Mellon University
With collaborators from: Arizona State University; University of Massachusetts Lowell
Project site

Recent events raise a number of questions about how access and usage of social media in comparison to traditional media can be used to promote change: in particular, how these media can be used to: 1) enable the diffusion of new ideas and actions that inhibit or promote violence, 2) support new agendas, 3) maintain or forge new alliances, 4) forge or break trust, 5) stabilize or destabilize situations, 6) alter lines of power, and 7) change an actor’s influentialness. This research lays the groundwork for a media-based state stability modeling system that is reusable, easily instantiable from empirical open source data, and adaptable to different socio-cultural environments.

MIT: METANORM: Norms and Models of Governance for Cyberspace

Full title: METANORM: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Analysis and Evaluation of Norms and Models of Governance for Cyberspace
PI: Howard Shrobe, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
With collaborators from: George Washington University; Temple University; Air Force Research Institute

METANORM will provide a multidisciplinary analysis, reconstruction and evaluation of (a) the development, adoption, coverage, force, institutionalization and efficacy of current and potential norms for regulating international behaviors in cyberspace and (b) current models for Internet and cyberspace governance and the debates and trends regarding their futures. The project leverages methods in legal studies, political science, international relations studies, artificial intelligence and computer science, and draws upon a variety of data in order to represent the potential norms, their intents and coverage. A secondary goal is to analyze how cyber norms can help establish conditions necessary for effective deterrence in an environment of cross-sector and cross domain cyber conflict and cooperation.

New School: Sacred Values and Social Responsibilities in Governance and Conflict Management

Full title: Dynamics of Sacred Values and Social Responsibilities in Governance and Conflict Management: The Interplay between Leaders, Devoted Actor Networks, General Populations, and Time
PI: Lawrence Hirschfeld, The New School for Social Research
With collaborators from: ARTIS; Northwestern University; University of Oxford; Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona

Protected or “sacred” values in many cultures have been found to drive ambitions, policies and actions independently of calculated costs, risks or expected outcomes. We seek to study of the dynamic relationship between deontological (ethics-driven) modes of decision making associated with sacred values and instrumental modes of decision making associated with practical necessities of governance and policy implementation and how political and advocacy groups manage values and responsibilities over time.

Naval Postgraduate School: Public Service Provision as Peace-building

Full title: Public Service Provision as Peace-building: How do Autonomous Efforts Compare to Internationally Aided Interventions?
PI: Naazneen Barma, Naval Postgraduate School
With collaborators from: Santa Clara University

The proposed project seeks to improve both the theory and practice of how peace is achieved in post-conflict countries by disentangling the related goals of peace- and state-building. It also seeks to understand how externally led peace-building interventions compare with more autonomous and domestically motivated peace processes in achieving sustainable peace and improvements in state capacity. To these ends, our study varies the “degree of aidedness” of peace- and state-building initiatives, selecting country cases that enable both a cross-national comparison (Cambodia and Laos) and an intertemporal comparison (Uganda in two distinct time periods).

Naval Postgraduate School: Who Does Not Become a Terrorist, and Why?

Full title: Who Does Not Become a Terrorist, and Why? Towards an Empirically Grounded Understanding of Individual Motivation in Terrorism
PI: Maria Rasmussen, Naval Postgraduate School
With collaborators from: University of St. Andrews (UK); King Juan Carlos University (Spain)

This project is not about terrorists, but about supporters of political violence. Our goal is twofold. First, we propose to study supporters of armed militancy, in order to describe the panoply of activities they are willing to undertake short of violence, and the determinants of those actions. At the same time, we aim to contribute to theory building in the field of individual radicalization by looking at a control group that has, so far, never been studied.

UCLA: Neural Bases of Persuasion and Social Influence in the U.S. and the Middle East

PI: Matthew Lieberman, University of California at Los Angeles
With collaborators from: University of Michigan; Defense Group Inc.

We will examine the neural bases of successful persuasion and social influence in both the U.S. and Egypt . We will also examine how neural assessments of individuals in the U.S. can be used to predict social media trends in Cairo and to effectively insert persuasive messages into their social media. Finally, we will assess the utility of functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) as a relatively inexpensive and portable replacement for fMRI that can be shipped around the world to conduct operational neuroscience investigations in key places around the world.

UCSD: Deterring Complex Threats: Asymmetry, Interdependence, and Multi-polarity

Full title: Deterring Complex Threats: The Effects of Asymmetry, Interdependence, and Multi-polarity on International Strategy
PI: Erik Gartzke, University of California in San Diego
With collaborators from: UC Berkeley; Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; Los Alamos National Laboratory
Project site

“Cross domain deterrence” (CDD) seeks to counter threats in one arena (such as space or cyber warfare) by relying on different types of capabilities (such as sea power or nuclear weapons, or even non-military tools such as access to markets or normative regimes) where deterrence may be more effective. The increasing complexity of CDD poses both opportunities and challenges that necessitate, and will benefit from, a major evolution in thinking (and practice) about how deterrence operates. We develop rigorous and empirically grounded causal theory drawing from and building on the global political system categories asymmetry, interdependence, and multipolarity, and then subject the resulting theory of cross domain deterrence to computational analysis and quantitative tests.

U Iowa: Moral Schemas, Cultural Conflict, and Socio-Political Action

PI: Steven Hitlin, University of Iowa

Our project will employ a cross-cultural empirical strategy combining social scientific survey methodology with neuroscientific brain imaging techniques to reveal the role of values in social mobilization.

U Kansas: Land Rights and Political Stability in Latin American Indigenous Societies

Full title: The Human Geography of Resilience and Change: Land Rights and Political Stability in Latin American Indigenous Societies
PI: Jerome Dobson, University of Kansas
With collaborators from: American Geographical Society
[abstract] [resumen en Español]

We propose to advance the study, modeling, and understanding of land tenure, land use, and political stability – including the role of property rights, with associated natural resources access and use, in economic growth, governance, resource management, and conflict resolution – in indigenous societies of Latin America. This project will provide a new geospatial way of researching and understanding land tenure in Central America using participatory research mapping (PRM) in conjunction with geographic information systems (GIS).

UMD: The Strength of Social Norms Across Cultures

Full title: The Strength of Social Norms Across Cultures: Implications for Intercultural Conflict and Cooperation
PI: Michele Gelfand, University of Maryland
With collaborators from: Jacobs University Bremen (Germany)

We know little about how vast cultural differences underlying reactions to norm violations are realized at the level of brain mechanisms. This lack of any cultural neuroscience research on social norms represents a large limitation on our current understanding of group identities, cultural norms, and belief systems. Using EEG technology, this research will address this deficit by investigating questions such as how neurobiological processes underlying social norms violations are related to behavioral processes, including implicit and explicit attitudes, self-control, cooperation, and other behaviors.

UMD: Forecasting civil conflict under different climate change scenarios

PI: Elisabeth Gilmore, University of Maryland
With collaborators from: Peace Research Institute in Oslo; Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

While it is unlikely that the physical impacts of climate change will have a direct effect on conflict, there are a number of plausible causal mechanisms that run through intermediate variables, such as population exposure and human health, economic growth, institutional capacity and governance, and other known conflict predictors. We are developing an integrated model to forecast the onset and duration of intrastate conflict under different climate change and socioeconomic trajectories. We will then employ the model to evaluate how different policies for development, climate mitigation and adaptation can alter the global and regional burdens of conflict.

UNC Charlotte: Natural Resources and Armed Conflict

PI: James Walsh, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
With collaborators from: University of Albany; University of Texas at Austin; Pennsylvania State University

How do natural resources such as oil reserves, mineral deposits, and alluvial gemstones influence the likelihood, type, and duration of armed conflict in the developing world? Most existing work has not investigated how variation in the degree and type of control that rebel groups exercise over resources influences their strategies of violence. Our project addresses this deficit by developing (1) a comprehensive, global, geocoded dataset of natural resource locations, and (2) measuring if and precisely how rebel groups control exploit such resources.

U Tennessee: Political Reach, State Fragility, and the Incidence of Maritime Piracy

Full title: Political Reach, State Fragility, and the Incidence of Maritime Piracy: Explaining Piracy and Pirate Organization, 1993-2012
PI: Brandon Prins, University of Tennessee at Knoxville
With collaborators from: University of Amsterdam
Project site

This project pursues four objectives to alleviate the above shortcomings. The first goal is to provide a comprehensive and novel theoretical explanation of piracy. Second, to evaluate these expectations systematically, the authors propose the creation of a comprehensive database on piracy incidents that combines information from all four organizations currently engaged in data collection. Finally, we intend to use geo-spatial and causal modeling methods to forecast piracy events into the future, which we believe will benefit policymakers interested in identifying at-risk states and other maritime areas.

U Wisconsin: Homeownership and Societal Stability: Assessing Causal Effects in Central Eurasia

Title: Homeownership and Societal Stability: Assessing Causal Effects in Central Eurasia
PI: Ted Gerber, University of Wisconsin – Madison
With collaborators from: University of Arizona

The project examines whether, how, and why homeownership and other aspects of housing affect societal stability in semi-authoritarian contexts. We have developed core hypotheses specifying how different aspects of ownership might affect the proximate causes of instability: political grievances, social grievances, civic norms, and ideology. We will test our hypotheses empirically using original survey and focus group data that we will collect in four semi-authoritarian countries: Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia , and Ukraine.

2012 MINERVA AWARDS (Active 2012-2015)

Brown: China's Emerging Capabilities in Energy Technology Innovation and Development

Title: China's Emerging Capabilities in Energy Technology Innovation and Development
PI: Edward Steinfeld, Brown University

This study seeks to understand the exact nature of Chinese capabilities in the commercial energy technology development domain, as well as the relationship of those capabilities to technology innovation efforts conducted beyond China’s borders. The study focuses primarily on four technology areas: wind turbine manufacturing, solar photovoltaics production, civilian nuclear power production, and clean coal technology.

Duke: A Global Value Chain Analysis of Food Security in the Middle East and North Africa

Full title: A Global Value Chain Analysis of Food Security and Food Staples for Major Energy-Exporting Nations in the Middle East and North Africa
PI: Lincoln Pratson, Duke University
Project site

Our goal is to identify the energy-exporting countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) whose grain imports including rice, wheat and corn are at most risk to insecurity. We are identifying and quantifying the supply chains for these staples to determine their structure, size and scope, the players involved in them, and the drivers governing their operation, including market forces, environmental change, internal politics, and external geopolitics with other nations. The analysis includes the development of a database that is integrated with GIS so that spatial information on the supply chains can be mapped and analyzed geographically.

Harvard: Identifying risk factors for violent extremism among Somali refugee communities

Full title: Identifying and countering early risk factors for violent extremism among Somali refugee communities resettled in North America
PI: Heidi Ellis, Harvard Children’s Hospital
With collaborators from: University of Massachusetts, Lowell

Building on social control theory and our preliminary data with Somali youth, our central hypothesis is that structural disadvantage factors and weakened social bonds/social identity contribute to risk for radicalization. Our research builds on past research by conducting a longitudinal mixed-methods study of Somali young adults and examining how changes in structural disadvantage and social bonds/social identity lead to changes in openness to the use of violence in support of a political cause over the course of one year.

Penn State: Autocratic Stability During Regime Crises

PI: Joseph Wright, Pennsylvania State University
With collaborators from: Harvard University
Project site

This research will answer two questions: Does foreign engagement of authoritarian governments decrease governments’ willingness to use force against their citizens during times of crisis? And if so, which foreign policy tools are most effective in accomplishing this end? Researchers will gather global data on all authoritarian regimes from 1990-2012 to examine how foreign policy influences two outcomes in the context of domestic protest in dictatorships: state-led violence and regime instability.

Santa Fe: Energy and environmental drivers of stress and conflict in multi-scale models of behavior

Title: Energy and environmental drivers of stress and conflict in multi-scale models of human social behavior
PI: Luis Bettencourt, Santa Fe Institute

The problem of understanding the link between human social behavior and energy supply across scales is a pervasive concern of many disciplines, from anthropology to economics, and from physics to engineering. To make progress we use new approaches, based on ideas of complex adaptive systems, that incorporate and further ideas from many disciplines, test them empirically and formulate mathematical models and theory.

UCSD: The Impact of the Military-Scientific-Industrial Complex in Brazil

Full title: Brazil as a Major Power: The Impact of its Military-Scientific-Industrial Complex on its Foreign and Defense Policy
PI: David Mares, University of California, San Diego
With collaborators from: Naval Postgraduate School; Brookings Institution

Our goal is to examine the conditions under which states are able to benefit from the interaction of science, technology, and military innovation to emerge as important powers in the international system. We use innovative social science to determine what domestic political, social, economic and organizational configurations support research, development and implementation of key technologies (nuclear and ballistic missile technology, remote sensing/precision strike/unmanned vehicles, nanotechnology, cyberwarfare, and biological/genetic) in potential powers that may provide states with greater influence in the international system.

UCSD: Quantifying Structural Transformation in China

Title: Quantifying Structural Transformation in China
PI: David Meyer, University of California at San Diego

The procedures for leadership transitions in China seem to be increasingly institutionalized, but they are still far from transparent. Our first goal is to develop methods to quantify changes in (partially) ranked data that apply to the dynamics of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China. As correlations between factional strength and political rank have already been observed, our second goal is to develop novel quantitative methods to measure changes in such (multi-mode) social networks. These will support construction of more precise models for political change in China, and thus better insight into/anticipation of regime in/stability.

U Florida: Political Reform, Socio-Religious Change, and Stability in the African Sahel

Title: Political Reform, Socio-Religious Change, and Stability in the African Sahel
PI: Leonardo Villalón, University of Florida
Project site

This project seeks answers to questions about the factors affecting stability and instability in a set of six African countries—Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Chad—stretching across the arid Sahelian region. We focus comparatively on factors influencing the capacity of these states to manage pressures such as radical jihadi movements, endemic underdevelopment and significant demographic changes, and hence to maintain stability and ensure the social order and effective governance that serves as a bulwark against radical movements.

UMD: Motivational, Cognitive, and Social Elements of Radicalization and Deradicalization

Full title: Uncovering the Motivational, Cognitive, and Social Elements of Radicalization and Deradicalization
PI: Arie Kruglanski, University of Maryland
With collaborators from: Centre National de Recherche Scientifique; ARTIS; George Mason University; University of Warsaw (Poland)
Project site

We seek to understand the nature of radicalization and radicalization as social, cultural, and psychological processes. The research project involves three major thrusts: (1) field research in Morocco, Northern Ireland, the Philippines, Indonesia & Sri Lanka, (2) computational modeling of radicalization and (3) derivation of suggestions for best practices on the level of policy.

U Michigan: Terrorist Alliances: Causes, Dynamics, and Consequences

PI: Philip Potter, University of Michigan
With collaborators from: University of Denver; University of Pennsylvania

When and how do terrorist groups ally with one another, states, and other non-state actors? This project will construct comprehensive, time series data on terrorist alliances, in addition to systematic academic work addressing their causes and consequences.

U Vermont: Strategic Response to Energy-related Security Threats

PI: Saleem Ali, University of Vermont

Dependence on fossil fuels and a changing global climate are increasingly seen as security problems. The proposed research is designed to examine changes in US national security strategy relating to energy as the threat environment has grown more complex.

2009 DOD MINERVA AWARDS (Active 2009-2014)

Arizona State: The Diffusion and Influence of Counter-Radical Muslim Discourse

Full title: Finding Allies for the War of Words: Mapping the Diffusion and Influence of Counter-Radical Muslim Discourse
PI: Mark Woodward, Arizona State University
With collaborators from: University of South Florida; Sciences Po (France); Ahmadu Bello University (Nigeria)
Project completion: May 2014
Project site

Our purpose is to enhance understanding the structure of counter-radical networks, the ideas on which they are based, social locations of their leaders and followers, and the ways in which radical and counter-radical discourse intersect. We explore the social, religious, and political characteristics of these networks. Specific issues addressed include: the social location and political environments of discourse producers and consumers; institutions and affiliations (local to transnational) that disseminate counter-radical messages; media used; the roles of local and global conflicts in their formulation; and Islamic sources on which counter-radical discourse is based.

MIT: Explorations in Cyber International Relations

PI: Nazli Choucri, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
With collaborators from: Harvard Kennedy School
Expected project completion: September 2014
MIT ECIR site, Harvard ECIR site

Distinct features of cyberspace—such as time, scope, space, permeation, ubiquity, participation and attribution—challenge traditional modes of inquiry in international relations and create limits to their utility. ECIR explores various facets of cyber international relations, including its implications for power and politics, conflict and competition, and violence and war.

MIIS: Iraq's Wars with the US from the Iraqi Perspective

Full title: Iraq's Wars with the US from the Iraqi Perspective: State Security, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Civil-Military Relations, Ethnic Conflict and Political Communication in Baathist Iraq
PI: Leonard Spector, Monterey Institute of International Studies
With collaborators from: California State University San Marcos
Project completion: April 2013

The purpose of the research is to gain insight into the Ba‘athist Iraqi security network and Middle Eastern security structures as a whole, including WMD proliferation. We draw on original Iraqi documents (from the Conflict Records Research Center database) to produce an analysis from the internal perspective of the Iraqi leadership comparing underlying frameworks: fear; enticement and intimidation (targhib and tarhib); patronage; decision-making at the time of war; constructivism; and structuralism and the connection to decisions made on WMD programs.

Princeton: Terrorism, Governance, and Development

PI: Jacob Shapiro, Princeton University
With collaborators from: University of California at San Diego; Yale University; Stanford University
Expected project completion: September 2014
Project site

The Minerva TGD Team’s goal is to enhance the understanding of how to implement governance and development policies to more efficiently (re)build social and economic order in conflict and post-conflict areas. We use new data from a range of locations to extend and test current theories and provide empirically-based findings to inform policy decisions about terrorism, governance, and development.

SFSU: Emotion and Intergroup Relations

PI: David Matsumoto, San Francisco State University
With collaborators from: University at Buffalo, State University of New York

This project examines the role of intergroup emotions, and specifically anger, contempt, and disgust, in facilitating the build up to aggression and violence. We test a theory of the role of specific emotions in the motivation of groups that transform angry or fearful groups into organizations of violence and hostility.

UCSD: Innovation, Defense Transformation, and China's Place in the Global Technology Order

Full title: The Evolving Relationship Between Technology and National Security in China: Innovation, Defense Transformation, and China's Place in the Global Technology Order
PI: Tai Ming Cheung, University of California, San Diego
With collaborators from: East-West Center; University of Sydney United States Study Centre; Stanford University and the Hoover Institution
Project site

This project examines China’s drive to become a world-class technological power, especially in the defense and dual-use sectors, and understanding the implications for the United States and the rest of the world. Research examines the roles and relationship between the state and market, China’s place in the global technology order, governance regimes and incentive mechanisms, the different elements of the innovation eco-system, and the inter-relationship of the civilian and defense economies.

UT Austin: Climate Change and African Political Stability

PI: Robert Chesney, University of Texas at Austin
With collaborators from: University of Sussex; University of Denver; University of North Texas; College of William and Mary; Brown University
Expected project completion: September 2014
Project site

The Climate Change and African Political Stability (CCAPS) program analyzes how climate change, conflict, governance, and aid intersect to impact African and international security. The program conducts quantitative analysis, GIS mapping, case studies, and field interviews to identify where and how climate change could pose threats to state stability, to define strategies for building accountable and effective governance, and to assess global development aid responses in Africa.

2009 DOD/NSF MINERVA AWARDS (Active 2010-2013)

Columbia: Strategies of Violence, Tools of Peace, and Changes in War Termination

Title: Strategies of Violence, Tools of Peace, and Changes in War Termination
PI: Virginia Fortna, Columbia University
Co-PI: Tanisha Fazal, Columbia University
Project site

College of William and Mary: Terror, Conflict Processes, Organizations, and Ideologies

Full title: Terror, Conflict Processes, Organizations, and Ideologies: Completing the Picture
PI: Stephen Shellman, College of William and Mary
With collaborators from: UNC-Charlotte; University of Georgia; Southern Illinois University–Carbondale; Brigham Young University
Project site

Cornell: Modeling Discourse and Social Dynamics in Authoritarian Regimes

Title: Modeling Discourse and Social Dynamics in Authoritarian Regimes
PI: Jeff Hancock, Cornell University
With collaborators from: University of Memphis; UT Austin
Project site

Ohio State: Deciphering Civil Conflict in the Middle East

Title: Deciphering Civil Conflict in the Middle East
PI: J. Craig Jenkins, Ohio State University
With collaborators from: University of Memphis; UT Austin
Project site

Rutgers: Merging Competing Military Forces after Civil Wars [workshop]

Full workshop title: New Armies from Old: Merging Competing Military Forces after Civil Wars
PI: Roy Licklider, Rutgers University

Stanford: Mapping Terrorist Organizations

Title: Mapping Terrorist Organizations
PI: Martha Crenshaw, Stanford University
Project site

Texas A&M: Behavioral Insights into National Security Issues

Title: Behavioral Insights into National Security Issues
PI: Catherine Eckel, Texas A&M University
With collaborators from: University of Virginia

UC Berkeley: Fighting and Bargaining over Political Power in Weak States

Full title: Fighting and Bargaining over Political Power in Weak States
PI: Robert Powell (UC Berkeley)

UCLA: How Politics Inside Dictatorships Affects Regime Stability and International Conflict

Title: How Politics Inside Dictatorships Affects Regime Stability and International Conflict
PI: Barbara Geddes (University of California - Los Angeles)
With collaborators from: Pennsylvania State University
Project site

UCSD: Political Economy of Terrorism and Insurgency [workshop]

Workshop title: Political Economy of Terrorism and Insurgency
PI: Eli Berman (University of California - San Diego)

U Georgia: Avoiding Water Wars: Environmental Security Through River Treaty Institutionalization

Full title: Avoiding Water Wars: Environmental Security Through River Treaty Institutionalization
PI: Jaroslav Tir (University of Georgia)
Project site

Univ. of Guelph (Ca): Status, Manipulating Group Threats, and Conflict Within and Between Groups

Full title: Status, Manipulating Group Threats, and Conflict Within and Between Groups
Co-PIs: Patrick Barclay (University of Guelph) and Stephen Bernard (Indiana University)

USC: Engaging Intensely Adversarial States: Strategic Limits and Potential of Public Diplomacy

Full title: Engaging Intensely Adversarial States: The Strategic Limits and Potential of Public Diplomacy in U.S. National Security Policy
PI: Geoffrey Wiseman (University of Southern California)

UT Austin: People, Power, and Conflict in the Eurasian Migration System

Title: People, Power, and Conflict in the Eurasian Migration System
PI: Cynthia Buckley (University of Texas - Austin)
With collaborators from: Pennsylvania State University
Project site

UT Dallas: Behavioral Foundations of Terrorism [workshop]

Full workshop title: Substantive Expertise, Strategic Analysis and Behavioral Foundations of Terrorism
PI: Rachel Croson (University of Texas - Dallas)

UVA: Experimental Analysis of Alternative Models of Conflict Bargaining

Full title: Experimental Analysis of Alternative Models of Conflict Bargaining
PI: Charles Holt (University of Virginia)
With collaborators from: University of Mississippi; State University of New York – Binghamton

Virginia Commonwealth Univ: Predicting the Nature of Conflict - An Evolutionary Analysis

Full title: Predicting the Nature of Conflict - An Evolutionary Analysis of the Tactical Choice
PI: Laura Razzolini (Virginia Commonwealth University)
Co-PI: Atin Basuchoudhary (Virginia Military Institute)