Luke N. Condra is Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh and a faculty affiliate of the Matthew B. Ridgway Center for Security Studies.  His research interests are in international security and the micro-dynamics of political violence.  His current work, situated in Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia, focuses on elements of state building in areas characterized by conflict. He is working on a book-length project that develops and tests a theory of African ethnic group involvement in civil war over the past quarter century.  The project uses geographic, political, and economic data collected for hundreds of ethnic groups and their participation in rebel groups fighting in different conflicts against the state.  Other research is forthcoming (with Jacob N. Shapiro) in the American Journal of Political Science.


Selected Projects of Note

  • “Ethnic Group Rebellion in Civil War.” Book project.
  • “Insurgent Math: The Impact of Civilian Casualties in the Afghan Insurgency” (with Joseph H. Felter, Radha K. Iyengar, and Jacob N. Shapiro). NBER Working Paper 16152. Revised June 2011.
  • “Perils of the Periphery: Ethnic Group Rebellion in African Civil Wars, 1980-2006.” Working Paper. Revised August 2011.
  • “Shifting Tactics and Hard Targets: Insurgent Violence in Iraq” (with Eli Berman). Work in progress.
  • “State Building in the Shadow of Insurgency: Determinants of Crime Reporting in Ungoverned Space (with Radha K. Iyengar). Work in progress.
  • “Does Security Near Election Areas Reduce Voter Turn-out? Evidence from Elections in Afghanistan” (with Michael Callen, Radha K. Iyengar, and James Long). Working paper.

Recent Publications

  • “Who Takes the Blame? The Strategic Effects of Collateral Damage” (with Jacob N. Shapiro). Forthcoming. American Journal of Political Science.

Substantive Areas

  • Assessment and Evaluation
  • Conflict Stabilization
  • Decentralization, Subnational Governance, and Civil Society
  • Political Institutions, Processes, and Parties


  • Africa (including N. Africa)
  • Central Asia and the Middle East

Contact Info

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