Robert Blair is the Joukowsky Family Associate Professor of Political Science and International and Public Affairs at Brown University. His research focuses on international intervention and the consolidation of state authority after civil war, with an emphasis on rule of law and security institutions. He also directs the Democratic Erosion project, a multi-university consortium that addresses the causes and consequences of democratic deconsolidation through a combination of teaching, research, and civic and policy engagement. He has conducted fieldwork on these and related topics in Colombia, Liberia, Uganda, Côte d'Ivoire, and the US. He has also worked in various capacities for the UN Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions, the US Central Intelligence Agency’s Political Instability Task Force, USAID, Freedom House, and the Small Arms Survey. He holds a B.A. from Brown and a Ph.D. in political science from Yale University. His research is published or forthcoming in the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, British Journal of Political Science, Quarterly Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, World Politics, International Organization, International Studies Quarterly, and other venues. His book, "Peacekeeping, Policing, and the Rule of Law after Civil War," was published in 2020 by Cambridge University Press.
Robert Blair's research focuses on international intervention and the consolidation of state authority after civil war, with an emphasis on the rule of law and security institutions. He is also co-founder and co-director of the Democratic Erosion Consortium, which combines research, teaching, and civic and policy engagement to address threats to democracy in the US and abroad.
“UN Peacekeeping and the Rule of Law.” 2021. American Political Science Review 115(1): 51-68
“Foreign Aid and State Legitimacy: Evidence on Chinese and US Aid to Africa from Surveys, Survey Experiments, and Behavioral Games” (with Philip Roessler). 2021. World Politics 73(2): 315-357
“Engineering Informal Institutions: Long-Run Impacts of Alternative Dispute Resolution on Violence and Property Rights in Liberia” (with Christopher Blattman and Alexandra Hartman). 2021. Journal of Politics 83(1): 381-389
“Building Credibility and Cooperation in Low-Trust Settings: Persuasion and Source Accountability in Liberia During the 2014–2015 Ebola Crisis” (with Benjamin Morse and Lily Tsai). 2020. Comparative Political Studies 54(10-11): 1582-1618
“Establishing the Rule of Law in Weak and War-torn States: Evidence from a Field Experiment with the Liberian National Police” (with Sabrina Karim and Benjamin Morse). 2019. American Political Science Review 113(3): 641-657
“International Intervention and the Rule of Law after Civil War: Evidence from Liberia.” 2019. International Organization 73(2): 365-398
POLS1440: "Security, Governance, and Development in Africa"
POLS1820X: "Democratic Erosion"
POLS1824: "Post-Conflict Politics"
POLS 2110: "Proseminar in Comparative Politics"
POLS2590: "Quantitative Research Methods II"