I study the effect of identity (ethnicity, religion, gender) on contentious political outcomes (elections and violence), and I have done extensive fieldwork in the Andes, South-East Europe and Indonesia. Below you can find some more information about my published work and work in progress.


Alternatives in Mobilization: Ethnicity, Religion and Political Conflict. 2022. Cambridge University Press (with Nil Satana) examines the relationship between identity (ethnicity and religion) and minorityviolent and peaceful political mobilization.

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Ethnic Electoral Politics. 2007. Cambridge University Press examines the relationship between political access and minority strategic choice of peaceful electoral participation, protest or violence against the state.

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Edited Volumes

Ethnic Politics and Conflict/Violence: State of the Field and New Directions. 2018. Routledge. (with Forsberg and Davenport) synthesizes what the field does and does not know with regard to ethnic conflict, and outlines some research directions for the future.


The Challenger’s Winning Coalition: Mobilization of Religion in Ethnic Civil War. 2023. (With Satana) The Journal of Politics.

Locking Down Violence: The COVID-19 Pandemic’s Impact on Non-State Actor Violence. 2023. (With Brancati and Idlbi) The American Political Science Review.

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The Politics of Co-optation: Ethnopolitical Minority Organizations and Authoritarian Elections in the Middle East. 2021. (With Hultquist and Asal). Ethnopolitics. 20(2): 216-243.

Cultural Imprinting, Institutions, and the Organization of New Firms.. 2018. (With Waguespack and Dunford). Strategy Science.

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Voting in the Shadow of Violence: Violence and Electoral Politics in Peru. 2018. (With Anita Gohdes). Journal of Global Security Studies. 3(2): 181–197.

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Introducing the AMAR (All Minorities at Risk Data. 2018. (With Laitin; Wilkenfeld; Waguespack; Hultquist; Gurr). Journal of Conflict Resolution. 62(1):203-226.

Ethnicity and Conflict. 2017.(Guest editor special issue on the state of the field with Forsberg and Davenport), Ethnopolitics. 16(1).

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Socially Relevant Ethnic Groups, Ethnic Structure and AMAR. 2015. (with Wilkenfeld, Fearon, Laitin, Gurr, Saideman, Brancati, Pate and Hultquist.) Journal of Peace Research. 52:105-109.

A Voice in the Process: A Cross-national Look at Ethnic Inclusion and Economic Growth in the World. 2014. (with Dunford). Development. 57(2):55-64.

Religion and Coalition Politics. 2013 (With Şatana.) Comparative Political Studies. 46(1):3-30.

Religion, Government Coalitions and Terrorism. 2013. (With Şatana and Inman). Special Issue on Violence, Elections, and Party Politics. Terrorism and Political Violence. 25(1):29-52.

Economic Policy and Relevant Ethnic Groups. 2011 (With Waguespack). Party Politics. 17(2): 243-260.

Where are the Disgruntled Voters? Testing the Voter-Parties Relationship Implication of the Cartel Party Model. 2010 Party Politics. Vol. 16(1): 29-49.

Divergence in Diversity? The Dissimilar Effects of Cleavages on Electoral Politics in New Democracies. 2007. American Journal of Political Science. 51(3):602-619.

Disunity in Diversity: Party System Fragmentation and the Dynamic Effect of Ethnic Heterogeneity on Latin American Legislatures. 2007. (With Van Cott). Latin American Research Review. Vol. 42(1):97-123.

Public Venture Capital and Party Institutionalization. 2005. Comparative Political Studies. 38(8):915-938.

Technological Development and Political Stability: Patenting In Latin America and the Caribbean. 2005. (with Waguespack and Schroeder). Research Policy. 34(10):1570-1590.

Foreignness and the Diffusion of Ideas. 2005. (With Waguespack). Journal of Engineering and Technology Management. 22(1-2):31-50.

Stabilizing Party Systems and Excluding Segments of Society? The Effects of Formation Costs on Representation in Latin America. 2004. Studies in Comparative International Development. 39(3):3-28.

Work in progress

Book ms

Intersectional identity: Ethnicity, religion and gender.


“Gender effects in online interactions: Results from a large-scale natural experiment.” (with Tristan Botelho and David Waguespack) Under review.

AMAR and the Machine: Assisted Text Analysis for Coding of Cross-Sectional Time Series Data. (with Henry Overos, Roman Hlatky, Ojashwi Pathak, Jordan Dewar, Keith Padraic Chew, Amy H. Liu, and Ernesto Calvo.) ilcss working paper. Under review.

“Gender and violence in a virtual world.” (with David Waguespack and Eric Dunford). ilcss working paper.

“Geo-AMAR and ethnic group territorial concentration.” (with Pavel CoronadoCastellanos). Working paper.

“Gender across the world: Indonesia” (with David Waguespack and Henry Overos). Data collection in progress.

Funding proposals

“Studies in Comparative Anti-Racism (SCAR)”. With CoPIs: Marcus Johnson (U. of Maryland), David Waguespack (U. of Maryland). Christian Davenport (U. of Michigan), Amy Liu (UT. Austin), Eric McDaniel (UT. Austin), Clarence Lusane (Howard U.).

. © 2023 Jóhanna K Birnir.

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