Conflict, War, & Instability

Although researchers typically focus on the individual-level effects of family poverty on opportunities for schooling or employment, it is also important to examine the macro-level effects of poverty on terrorism, war, revolutions, and other forms of instability. It has long been argued, for example, that poverty, emiseration, and the feelings of deprivation they induce can lead to terrorism and conflict. Obversely, we wish to understand whether wars and other forms of conflict may themselves contribute to poverty, either directly via the destruction wrought on the economic infrastructure, or indirectly insofar as returning soldiers find it difficult to reintegrate into the formal labor force.

Terrorism and poverty

Are poverty-stricken people more likely to become terrorists? If not, is the ideology of terrorism one which thrives in an economically disadvantaged environment? How, if at all, should findings on such questions affect our foreign policy?

War and poverty

Do poverty and inequality sometimes lead to war, revolution, or ethnic conflict? In what ways have war and instability led to poverty?

Military service

Who is serving in the military? To what extent are there gender, race, and class differences in military enlistment and service? Has the recent Iraq War affected the size of these differences? What is the effect of military service on subsequent employment opportunities and experiences?

"When the rich wage war it is the poor who die." - Jean-Paul Sartre

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