Parallel session
Ethnicity, inequality and inclusion

Both ethnicity and inequality have been two of the most debated factors for driving and shaping conflict. Why do people fight? When and how does inequality matter? What role do political and legal institutions play in driving conflict? Which policies can promote inclusion and peaceful co-existence in multi-ethnic societies? This session will take a close look at some of the most pressing questions in Social Sciences and bring together insights from scholars with different regional expertise. 


Marijke Verpoorten | Rinchan Mirza | Omar McDoom | Tugba Bozcaga | Discussant and Q&A


Lars-Erik Cederman | Chair

Lars-Erik Cederman is editor of Constructing Europe's Identity: The External Dimension (Lynne Rienner, 2001) and the author of Emergent Actors in World Politics: How States and Nations Develop and Dissolve (Princeton University Press, 1997), which received the 1998 Edgar S. Furniss Book Award. He is also the author and co-author of articles in scholarly journals such as the American Political Science Review, European Journal of International Relations, International Organization, International Studies Quarterly, Journal of Conflict Resolution, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 

Marijke Verpoorten | Presenter

Marijke Verpoorten is Professor at the Institute of Development Policy, University of Antwerp. She is affiliated with the African School of Economics in Benin, and also teaches at the Catholic University of Bukavu in DR Congo. Marijke conducts research on armed conflict, natural resources and, more broadly, on the economic and institutional development of Sub-Saharan Africa, with a specific focus on Africa’s Great Lakes Region and Benin.

Rinchan Mirza | Presenter

Rinchan Mirza is currently a Lecturer in Economics at the Department of Economics, University of Kent. His primary research interests are in political economy, economic history, economic development, migration and cultural economics. Each one of his papers examines the relationship between a 'historical institution' or 'event' and current development outcomes. He employs empirical methods based on a clear identification strategy and a variety of robustness tests to assign a causal interpretation to the relationships he examines. In addition to establishing a causal link between history and contemporary economic development, his papers also investigate the potential pathways through which the influence of historical institutions or events persist and affect current development. In particular, he makes extensive use of historical and anthropological sources for constructing an informed narrative around the pathways he investigates. Thus far, his research has focused on the following outcomes of contemporary economic development: public goods, literacy, urbanization, occupational structure, agricultural productivity, infant mortality, and political competition. He links these outcomes to historical institutions such as 'religious shrines' and 'tribal networks' and to momentous historic events such as the 'partition of colonial India', the 'introduction and extension of franchise in colonial India', and the 'advent of the Green Revolution in India'. In terms of time and space, his research focuses on South Asian economic history from the start of the East India Company rule in 1757 up to the present.

Omar McDoom | Presenter

Omar Shahabudin McDoom is a comparative political scientist and Associate Professor in the Department of Government at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His research interests lie in peace and security. He specializes in the study of conflicts and violence framed along ethnic and religious boundaries, and in strategies that promote co-existence and cooperation between social groups in plural societies. He has field expertise in sub-Saharan Africa — primarily Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Uganda — and in South-East Asia, notably the Philippines.

Tugba Bozcaga | Presenter

Tugba Bozcaga is a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Politics & Political Methodology at King's College London and a Fellow at Harvard University's Middle East Initiative. Previously, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Middle East Initiative at Harvard University’s Kennedy School. She completed her PhD in 2020 in the Department of Political Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research interests lie in comparative political economy and political economy of development, with a substantive focus on local governance, bureaucracy, distributive politics, social welfare, and migration. She studies her research questions in the Middle East context by triangulating quasi-experimental statistical designs, novel data sources, and hypotheses and research designs informed by fieldwork and archival research. 

Arnim Langer | Discussant

Professor Arnim Langer is Director of the Centre for Research on Peace and Development (CRPD) and Chair Holder of the UNESCO Chair in Building Sustainable Peace at the University of Leuven (KU Leuven). CRPD is a multi-disciplinary research centre at the Faculty of Social Sciences which aims to conduct conceptual, empirical and applied research with the aim of improving understanding of the causes of violent conflicts and the challenges of sustainable peace building (for more information, please visit: Arnim Langer is a Research Associate at the Oxford Department of International Development (ODID) at the University of Oxford and a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Development Studies (CDS) at the University of Bath, UK.