Nicholas Sambanis is a Presidential Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Director of the Identity & Conflict Lab at the University of Pennsylvania.
He writes on inter-group conflict, ranging from everyday forms of discrimination to violent protests and civil wars. With Michael Doyle, he published Making War and Building Peace (Princeton University Press, 2006), the first quantitative analysis of the effectiveness of United Nations peacekeeping operations after civil war. He is co-author of Breaking the Conflict Trap: Civil War and Development Policy (World Bank, 2003) a book that launched a large research agenda on the economics of political violence. With Paul Collier, he designed and implemented the first multi-country mixed-method (“nested”) research project exploring causes of civil war in a two-volume book, Understanding Civil War: Evidence and Analysis (World Bank, 2005).
His articles have been published in the American Political Science Review, International Organization, American Journal of Political Science, World Politics, Science, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences among other peer-reviewed journals. His recent research explores the politics of immigration and considers ways to reduce native-immigrant conflict.
Sambanis has taught at Yale (2001-2016) and Penn (2016-present). At Penn, he founded the Identity & Conflict Lab (PIC Lab), an inter-disciplinary lab working on a broad range of topics related to inter-group conflict. Topics of current interest are the effects of external intervention on peace-building after ethnic war; the analysis of violent escalation of separatist movements; conflict between native and immigrant populations; strategies to mitigate bias and discrimination against minority groups; and the impact of peer groups on the formation of policy preferences.