84) Why We War


War is an unrelenting undercurrent of human civilization and has always been so. Today, economist and political scientist Chris Blattman, author of Why We Fight, offers an explanation as to the psychological and strategic forces that propel nations to opt for such ruinous violence.

Bio: Chris Blattman is an economist and political scientist who uses field work and statistics to study poverty, political engagement, the causes and consequences of violence, and policy in developing countries. He is a professor in the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago.

Background: Most of my current research is with armed groups, gangs, organized crime, and the people who join violent organizations. This work involves a blend of qualitative interviews, large-scale surveys, statistical analysis, and field experiments.I also want to bring big ideas and research to a general audience, which is why I wrote Why We Fight: The Roots of War and the Paths to Peace.I co-lead the Crime & Violence Initiative for MIT's Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) as well as the Peace and Recovery Program for the research NGO Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA). I'm also a Research Affiliate at UChicago's Crime and Inclusive Economy Labs.Finally, I'm a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER).