Affiliated Scholars

Affiliated Scholars are professors or graduate students who have made consistent or integral contributions to the Political Violence Lab. We owe significant gratitude to these individuals and hope to continue working with them in the future.


alex K.bollfrass

Dr. Bollfrass is an associate and the senior designer of the immersive wargaming project at Harvard University's Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies. He was previously a Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center, specializing in nuclear weapons policy and proliferation. His research compares how well intelligence agencies perform in assessing other countries' nuclear programs. Its main focus is on the foreign intelligence branch of the Stasi, the former East German intelligence service. In parallel, Bollfrass pursues research interests on how climate affects civil wars and the ethical dilemmas of serving the security state. He was a nuclear weapons policy researcher at the Washington-based Arms Control Association and Stimson Center, where he remains a nonresident fellow, before earning a Ph.D. in security studies from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Bollfrass also holds an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of California, Berkeley.

Ethan Bueno de Mesquita

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jim fearon

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chris price

Chris Price is a graduate student at Yale University. His research focuses on civil war, insurgency, and state-building. Prior to Yale University, he worked for the U.S. Department of State and served in the U.S. Army.


nico ravanilla

Nico is an Assistant Professor at UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy. He received his Joint Ph.D. in Political Science & Public Policy from the University of Michigan. Nico’s current research uses natural and field experiments to evaluate policies that improve accountability and governance in developing democracies. 

Personal Website


renard sexton

Renard’s research uses fieldwork and quantitative methods, including natural and randomized experiments, to explore the causes and effects of conflict in the developing world. This includes the implications of aid, democracy promotion and military action. Although global in scope, much of his work is in Southeast Asia, Latin America and Afghanistan.

Renard also works on policy issues related to security and development, including through collaborations with the International Crisis Group, the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, the UN Foundation, the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, USIP and the Heinrich Boell Foundation.

Renard received my Ph.D. from the Department of Politics at New York University. Before graduate school, he worked for the United Nations and NGOs in Switzerland, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and Ecuador, as well as contributing to journalistic outlets.

Get in touch: rsexton (at) princeton (dot) edu

Personal Website


austin wright

Austin L. Wright is an assistant professor of public policy at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. He is a faculty affiliate of The Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts, the Empirical Studies of Conflict Project, and non-resident fellow of the Liechtenstein Institute. His research leverages microlevel data to study the political economy of conflict and crime in Afghanistan, Colombia, Indonesia, and Iraq. His work is supported by the National Science Foundation, Niehaus Center for Global Governance, The Asia Foundation, and World Bank. He received his BA in Government and Sociology and BS in Communication Sciences from The University of Texas at Austin and his MA and PhD in Politics from Princeton University.


yang-yang zhou

Yang-Yang is a doctoral candidate in the Politics Department at Princeton University, specializing in migration and the comparative politics of the developing world. Beginning in fall 2019, she will be an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of British Columbia. Her research challenges misperceptions about the political and economic effects of displaced populations on host communities, particularly within the understudied Global South. Yang-Yang’s book project explores how the presence of refugees reshapes the social and political identities and behaviors of nearby citizens in sub-Saharan Africa. She also designs and experimentally evaluates aid interventions and develops statistical methods for asking sensitive survey questions.

Personal Website