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Project Citation: 

Fetzer, Thiemo, Souza, Pedro, Vanden Eynde, Oliver, and Wright, Austin. Data and Code for: Security Transitions. Nashville, TN: American Economic Association [publisher], 2021. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2021-06-23.

Project Description

Summary:  View help for Summary How do foreign powers disengage from a conflict? We study this issue by examining the recent, large-scale security transition from international troops to local forces in the ongoing civil conflict in Afghanistan. We construct a new dataset that combines information on this transition process with declassified conflict outcomes and previously unreleased quarterly survey data of residents' perceptions of local security. Our empirical design leverages the staggered roll-out of the transition, and employs a novel instrumental variables approach to estimate the impact. We find a significant, sharp, and timely decline of insurgent violence in the initial phase -- the security transfer to Afghan forces; we find that this is followed by a significant surge in violence  in the second phase -- the actual physical withdrawal of foreign troops. We argue that this pattern is consistent with a signaling model, in which the insurgents reduce violence strategically to facilitate the foreign military withdrawal to capitalize on the reduced foreign military presence afterwards. Our findings clarify the destabilizing consequences of withdrawal in one of the costliest conflicts in modern history, and yield potentially actionable insights for designing future security transitions.
Funding Sources:  View help for Funding Sources Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflict; ANR (coopconflict); EUR (ANR-17-EURE-001)

Scope of Project

Subject Terms:  View help for Subject Terms counterinsurgency; civil conflict; public goods provision
JEL Classification:  View help for JEL Classification
      D72 Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
      D74 Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
      L23 Organization of Production
Geographic Coverage:  View help for Geographic Coverage afghanistan
Time Period(s):  View help for Time Period(s) 2008 – 2016
Data Type(s):  View help for Data Type(s) administrative records data; aggregate data; event/transaction data; geographic information system (GIS) data; images: photographs, drawings, graphical representations; observational data; survey data
Collection Notes:  View help for Collection Notes See README/readme.pdf for details about data collection and processing.

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