Robert Blair

Robert Blair is an Assistant Professor of Political Science and International and Public Affairs at Brown University. He has a PhD from the Department of Political Science at Yale University.

His research focuses on peacebuilding, statebuilding and the dynamics of ethnic and political violence. The questions that motivates his work are:

  • How do governments regain legitimacy in the eyes of civilians after prolonged periods of civil war and state collapse?
  • What role do peacebuilders play in enhancing (or eroding) state legitimacy?
  • How does the rule of law interact with informal institutions where states are weak?
  • How amenable are those informal institutions to reform?
  • Why does violence so often persist at the local-level even after comprehensive peace agreements have been signed?
  • What are the causes and consequences of local-level violence in times of national-level peace?

Robert Blair has conducted fieldwork on these and other questions in Colombia, Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire, with support from the National Science Foundation, USAID, the Folke Bernadotte Academy and the International Growth Centre, among others. He has also worked in various capacities for the UN Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions, Freedom House, and the Small Arms Survey.

Content by Robert Blair