I am an assistant professor at the University of Rochester Department of Political Science. I study civil and ethnic conflict, especially disputes over territorial autonomy and migration. My first book, Rival Claims: Ethnic Violence and Territorial Autonomy under Indian Federalism, is available from the University of Michigan.

I am also interested in public support for war, particularly counterinsurgency. I cataloged the costs of war through work with the PRIO Battle Deaths Data project.


Petronas Towers

Nativism and Economic Integration: Two Forces on a Collision Course in the Developing World

With Rikhil Bhavnani. Under contract at Cambridge University Press.

Proposal (pdf)


Great Wall, China

Ethnic territorial conflict

When does regional autonomy prevent separatist conflict? pdf

Opposition to ethnic territorial autonomy in the Indian parliament pdf

Periphery versus periphery: The stakes of separatist war. Journal of Politics, 2015. pdf | data at JOP Dataverse

How governments shape the risk of civil violence: India's federal reorganization, 1950-56. American Journal of Political Science, 2014. pdf | data at AJPS Dataverse

Penedo, Brazil

Migration and sons of the soil politics

Shared territory, regime alignment, and forced migration. With Karen Albert and Emily VanMeter. pdf

Fiscal federalism at work? Central responses to internal migration in India. With Rikhil Bhavnani. World Development, 2017. pdf | data

The effects of weather-induced migration on sons of the soil violence in India. With Rikhil Bhavnani. World Politics, 2015. pdf | data

Darjeeling, India

Northeast India

India’s stabilizing segment states. Ethnopolitics, 2014. pdf

The problem of political stability in Northeast India: Local ethnic autocracy and the rule of law. Asian Survey, 2009. pdf

Does counterinsurgency theory apply in Northeast India? India Review, 2007. pdf

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Public support for war

Military losses and public support for domestic counterinsurgency. pdf

Culture clash or democratic peace? Results of a survey experiment on the effect of religious culture and regime type on foreign policy opinion formation. With Charlotte Lee. Foreign Policy Analysis, 2013. pdf | data

Plain of Jars, Laos

Conflict severity

The waning of war is real: A response to Gohdes and Price. With Nils Petter Gleditsch. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 2013. pdf | data

Explaining the severity of civil wars. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 2006. pdf | data

The declining risk of death in battle. With Bruce Russett and Nils Petter Gleditsch. International Studies Quarterly, 2006. pdf | data at ISQ Dataverse

Monitoring trends in global combat: A new dataset of battle deaths. With Nils Petter Gleditsch. European Journal of Population, 2005. pdf | data on PRIO website

Cape Coast, Ghana

Other research

Conflicts over shared rivers: Resource wars or fuzzy boundaries? With Nils Petter Gleditsch, Kathryn Furlong, Håvard Hegre, and Taylor Owen. Political Geography, 2006. pdf | data on PRIO website

From side show to centre stage: Civil conflict after the Cold War. Security Dialogue, 2004. pdf


Contact information

  • Address

    Bethany Lacina
    University of Rochester
    322 Harkness Hall
    PO Box 270146
    Rochester, NY 14627-0146
  • Email