Alexei Abrahams

I research civil conflict and statebuilding in the Middle East. I use game theory, econometric techniques, machine learning, natural language parsing, satellite imagery, event data and internet data to analyze conflict between state and non-state actors and the fallout of their actions. While my past work has focused on violence in the Israel-Palestine Conflict, my ongoing projects branch out to address non-violent tactics, including cyber/informational attacks, and are relevant to the broader MENA region, including the Gulf.

I am currently an Open Technology Fund information controls research fellow at Citizen Lab, within the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. I hold a PhD in Economics from Brown University (2015) and am an affiliate of Empirical Studies of Conflict (ESOC)I was previously a research fellow at Princeton University's Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance (Woodrow Wilson School), the Middle East Initiative (Harvard Kennedy School - Belfer Center), and the University of California at San Diego's Institute of Global Conflict and Cooperation. I also consult for the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.

CONTACT/INFO:
Phone: 401-808-9066

RESEARCH INTERESTS:
Conflict / Security, Political Economy, Development, Middle East

PUBLICATIONS:
(This chapter will appear in Proxy Wars: Suppressing Violence through Local Agents, edited by Eli Berman and David A. Lake, forthcoming from Cornell University Press in Spring 2019. It is posted here by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.)

(with Nancy Lozano-Gracia and Christopher Oram; Remote Sensing of Environment, June 2018)

(review essay in Mediterranean Politics, Sept. 2017)

WORKING PAPERS:
Obstacles on the Road to Palestinian Economic Growth
(with Brian Blankespoor, Bob Rijkers, and Roy van der Weide; Submitted)

The Secrecy Gambit: Clandestine Power Shifts and Preventive Conflict 
(with Brandon MerrellSubmitted)
WORKS IN PROGRESS:
Does Violence Self-Perpetuate? An Episodic Analysis of the Israel-Gaza Conflict
(with Eli Berman, Esteban Klor, Prabin Khadka, and John Powell)

Social media manipulation during the Gulf Crisis (2017-present)
(with Andrew Leber)

Bladerunning the GCC: a hashtag-based anomaly detection approach to propaganda bots in the Arabian Gulf (2017-present)
(with Marc Owen Jones)

Monopolies of Violence? A Theory of Civil Conflict and Statebuilding