CONFLICT RESEARCH.
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All images from "Rama and Sita: A Tale from Ancient Java Retold and Illustrated by David Weitzman" 2002.  Reproduced with the author's permission.
 
Ravi Bhavnani is a Professor in the International Relations & Political Science Department at the Graduate Institute. His research explores the micro-foundations of violent conflict by means of agent-based computational modeling and disaggregated empirical analysis. More specifically, his work examines the endogenous relationships among: (i) the characteristics, beliefs, and interests of relevant actors; (ii) social mechanisms and emergent social structures that shape attitudes, decision-making and behavior; and (iii) patterns of conflict and violence. 

 

The challenge of mapping outcomes to precipitating factors in systems characterized by non-linear behavior calls for methodological innovation. Agent-based models (ABM) make it possible to represent heterogeneous agents at different scales and exhibiting diverse decision-making rules or heuristics, to simulate learning and adaptive behavior, and specify spatial and social interaction topologies. These are perhaps some of the fundamental reasons why ABM are capable of replicating emergent phenomena commonly exhibited by complex adaptive systems. By using ABM to link theoretical conjectures to concrete empirical evidence, thereby identifying mechanisms and processes that tend to generate specific outcomes, Bhavnani’s work has defined an original program for studying violence at the micro-level. 

Bhavnani is a member of the Graduate Institute's Centre for Finance and Development and the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy.  He serves as a reviewer for numerous journals, including the African Studies Review, American Journal of Political Science, American Political Science Review, British Journal of Political Science, Complexity, Comparative Politics, International Organisation, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Peace Research, Journal of Politics, Nature, Perspectives on Politics, and World Politics.  He also serves as a reviewer for numerous funding agencies, including the U.S National Science Foundation, Fonds National Suisse de la Recherche Scientifique, Agence Nationale de la Recherche (France), The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and the Swedish Research Council.

( 01 )

ABOUT.
 

( 02 )

RESEARCH AREAS.

Spatio-temporal Variation in Violence

  • Scale, intensity and duration

  • Individual and collective participation

  • Non-linear dynamics

  • Endogeneity

Intergroup Dynamics

  • Spatial segregation

  • Social distance

  • Learning and mimicry

  • Rumors and other forms of (dis)information

Intragroup Dynamics

  • Individual beliefs, preferences and behavior

  • Social identity complexity

  • Group formation, cohesion and fragmentation

Urban Questions

  • Cities as conflict zones, Cities in conflict zones

  • Fractured spaces and crime

  • Urban topography
     

Complex Adaptive Systems

  • Agent-based models

  • Self-organization

  • Emergence

  • Evolutionary algorithms

  • Empirical calibration

 

( 03 )

PUBLICATIONS.

The Morphology of Urban Conflict

2019. Bhavnani, R. and M. Reul

Global Challenges: New Grammars of War: Conflict and Violence in the 21st Century

Issue no. 5 (April).

  [  article  ]

Abbreviated Version Published in:

GLOBE: Graduate Institute Review 23 (Spring): 22-23

  [  article  ]

Notes and Advice for Evidence-Driven Computational Modeling Projects

  2019.  Bhavnani, R., K. Donnay and M. Reul

  In R. Franzese and L. Curini (eds.) Sage Handbook of Research Methods in Political Science & International Relations. Sage

  [  forthcoming  ]

Peace and Conflict 2018

  2018.  Backer, D., R. Bhavnani, and P. Huth (eds.)

  New York: Routledge

  [  forthcoming  ]

Simulation and ABM in Foreign Policy

  2017.  Bhavnani, R. and D. Sylvan

  Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics. Oxford University Press

  [  chapter  ]

​​

Peace and Conflict 2017

  2017. Backer, D., R. Bhavnani, and P. Huth (eds.)

  New York: Routledge

  [  book  ]

Generalizing Findings from Micro-Level Research on Peace and Conflict

  2017.  Donnay, K., A. Linke and R. Bhavnani

  In D. Backer, R. Bhavnani, and P. Huth (eds.) Peace and Conflict. Routledge

  [  chapter  ]

​​

Peace and Conflict 2016

  2016.  Backer, D., R. Bhavnani, and P. Huth (eds.)

  New York: Routledge

  [  book  ]

​​

The Cutting Edge of Research on Peace and Conflict

  2016.  Donnay, K. and R. Bhavnani

  In D. Backer, R. Bhavnani, and P. Huth (eds.) Peace and Conflict. Routledge

  [  chapter  ]

​​​

Voting Intentions in Africa: Ethnic, Economic or Partisan?

  2016.  Bratton, M., R. Bhavnani and T. Chen

  In N. Cheeseman (ed.) African Politics: Critical Concepts in Political Science. Routledge

  [  chapter  ] 

Disaggregating Conflict by Actors, Time and Location

  2014.  Donnay, K., E. Gadjanova and R. Bhavnani

  In D. Backer, J. Wilkenfeld, and P. Huth (eds.) Peace and Conflict. Paradigm Publishers

  [  chapter  ]

Group Segregation and Urban Violence 

  2014.  Bhavnani, R., K. Donnay, D. Miodownik, M. Mor & D. Helbing . 

  American Journal of Political Science  58:1 (January): 226–245

 paper  |  appendix |  award

​​​

Voting Intentions in Africa: Ethnic, Economic or Partisan?

  2013.  Bratton, M., R. Bhavnani and T. Chen

   In M. Bratton (ed.) Voting and Democratic Citizenship in Africa. Lynne Rienner Publishers

  [  chapter  ] 

Modeling Civil Violence in Afghanistan: Ethnic Geography, Control & Collaboration

  2012.  Bhavnani, R. and H. Choi

  Complexity  17:6 (July/August): 42-51 

  [  paper  ]

​​

Here’s Looking at You: The Arab Spring and Violence in Gaza, Israel & the West Bank

  2012.  Bhavnani, R. and K. Donnay

  Swiss Political Science Review  18:1 (March): 124–131

  [  paper  ]

​​

Voting Intentions in Africa: Ethnic, Economic or Partisan?

  2012.  Bratton, M., R. Bhavnani and T. Chen

  Commonwealth and Comparative Politics  50:1 (February): 27-52

  [ paper  |  appendix  ]

​​

Ethnic Minority Rule & Civil War Onset

  2011.  Miodownik, D. and R. Bhavnani

  Conflict Management and Peace Science  28:5 (November): 438-458

  [  paper  ]

​​

Violence and Control in Civil Conflict: Israel, the West Bank & Gaza

  2011.  Bhavnani, R., D. Miodownik and H. Choi

  Comparative Politics  44:1 (October): 61-80 

  [  paper  ]

​​​

Transnational Ethnic Ties and the Incidence of Minority Rule in Rwanda & Burundi

  2011.  Bhavnani, R. and J. Lavery

  Nationalism and Ethnic Politics  17:3 (August): 231-256 

  [  paper  |  appendix  ]

​​​

Three Two Tango: Territorial Control and Selective Violence in Israel, the West Bank & Gaza

  2011.  Bhavnani, R., D. Miodownik and H. Choi

  Journal of Conflict Resolution  55:1 (February): 133-158

  [  paper  |  appendix  ]

​​

Between Replication and Docking

  2010.  Miodownik, D., B. Cartrite and R. Bhavnani

  Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation  13:3 (June)

  [  paper  ]

Macro- and Micro-Level Theories of Violence in Ethnic and Non-Ethnic Civil Wars

  2010.  Bhavnani, R. and D. Miodownik

  In Tor Jacobson (ed.) Causes of War: An Introduction to Theories Behind Warfare and Collective Violence. Nova Science Publishers

  [  chapter  ] 

Computational Models of Ethnic Violence
  2010.  Bhavnani, R., R. Riolo and D. Miodownik

  In A, Kott and G. Citrenbaum (eds.) Estimating Impact. Springer
  [  chapter  ]

Rumor Dynamics in Ethnic Violence  
  2009.  Bhavnani, R., M. Findley and J. Kuklinski

  Journal of Politics  71:3 (July): 876-892
  [  paper  |  appendix  ]


Ethnic Polarization, Ethnic Salience and Civil War
 
2009.  Bhavnani, R. and D. Miodownik

  Journal of Conflict Resolution  53:1 (February): 30-49
  [  paper  ]


Scarcity, Abundance, and Conflict: A Complex New World

  2009.  Bhavnani, R

  Whitehead Journal of International Diplomacy  10: 2 (Summer/Fall): 19-34
  [  paper  ]

Simulating Closed Regimes with Agent Based Models
 
2008.  Bhavnani, R., R. Riolo and D. Backer

  Complexity  14:1 (September/October): 36-44
  [  paper  ]​


REsCape: An Agent-Based Framework for Modeling Resources, Ethnicity and Conflict
 
2008.  Bhavnani, R., D. Miodownik and J. Nart

  Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation  11:2 (March)
  [  paper  ]


Ethnic Norms and Interethnic Violence
 
2006.  Bhavnani, R

  Journal of Peace Research  43:6 (November): 651-669
  [  paper  ]​

Agent Based Models in the Study of Ethnic Norms and Interethnic Violence 

  2006.  Bhavnani, R. In Neil Harrison (ed.) 

  Complexity in World Politics: Concepts and Methods of a New Paradigm. SUNY Press 

  [  chapter  ] 

Diamonds, Blood, and Taxes

  2005.  Snyder, R. and R. Bhavnani

  Journal of Conflict Resolution  49:4 (August): 563-597
  [  paper  ]​

Adaptive Agents, Political Institutions and Civic Traditions in Modern Italy
 
2003.  Bhavnani, R

  Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation  6:4 (October)
  [  paper  ]

​​
Announcement, Credibility, and Turnout in Popular Rebellions
 
2003.  Bhavnani, R. and M. Ross

  Journal of Conflict Resolution  47:3 (June): 340-366 
  [  paper  ] 

​​

Localized Ethnic Conflict and Genocide: Accounting for Differences in Rwanda and Burundi
 
2000.  Bhavnani, R. and D. Backer

  Journal of Conflict Resolution  44:3 (June): 283-307
  [  paper  ]

 

( 04 )

WORKING PAPERS.

Voting Intentions in Africa: Ethnic, Economic or Partisan? 

  2011.  Bratton, M., R. Bhavnani and T. Chen.

  Afrobarometer Working Paper  No. 127 

  [  paper  ]​

​Social Capital and Political Violence in Sub-Saharan Africa
  2007.  Bhavnani, R. and D. Backer.

  Afrobarometer Working Paper  No. 90
  [  paper  ]​​​

 

A Hybrid Model of Decision-Making in Closed Political Regimes
 
2002.  Bhavnani, R., R. Riolo and D. Backer.

  Social Agents: Ecology, Exchange, and Evolution. Gleacher Center, University of Chicago, October 11-12
  [  paper  ]


Localized Ethnic Conflict and Genocide: Accounting for Differences
 
1999.  Bhavnani, R. and D. Backer.

  Santa Fe Institute Working Paper  99-07-053
  [  paper  ]

 

( 05 )

PROJECTS.
​​​ MERIAM

​​​Modelling Early Risk Indicators to Anticipate Malnutrition

 

 

Action Against Hunger (ACF)

University of Maryland (UMD)

Graduate Institute of International & Development Studies (IHEID)

Johns Hopkins University (JHU)

IdENTITY CoMPLEXITY 

Exploring Diversity and Symmetry in Intergroup Contact

PI's:

Ravi Bhavnani

Sharon Barnhardt

Pavan Mamadi

The project, currently in the inception phase, is based at

FLAME University/ Nuffield Center for Experimental Social Science. 

MINERVA

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

 

PI's: Paul Huth, David Backer & Kevin Jones, University of Maryland

Center for International Development and Conflict Management UMD

Center for International Security Studies UMD

Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies

College of William & Mary

Award:  $2,549,460.

Peace & Conflict

 

Edited by 

 

David A. Backer

Ravi Bhavnani

Paul K. Huth