Publications

We investigate how local ethnic demography affects strategies of favoritism in Africa.

New historical data show that the British ruled more indirectly than the French, in particular in precolonially centralized regions.

New data on the ethnic and religious composition of local populations in 47 low- and middle-income countries.

Working Papers

Indirect colonial rule through precolonial institutions improved the developmental impact of cash crop agriculture.

We interlink 11 ethnic datasets from Africa via the language tree.

I find positive effects of increases in state reach measured through travel times to administrative capitals on local development.

We find that roads decrease conflict risk in connecting ethnic groups to capitals, but increase it in connecting groups internally.

Provides evidence that local ethno-political polarization increases violence before majoritarian but not PR elections in Africa.

Ongoing Projects

How did administrative geographies (trans-)form ethnic identities in Africa?

We analyze the interplay of strong traditional institutions, public service provision, and electoral outcomes in 35 African countries.

New model to analyze the endogenous clustering of space into units.

We investigate in how far today’s traditional institutions in Africa mirror their precolonial predecessors.

We investigate in how far today’s traditional institutions in Africa mirror their precolonial predecessors.

I analyze the effecs of local agricultural and mineral resources on local colonial state building.

Dissertation

Spatial analyses of local state building and its effects on development and conflict.

Data Projects

Linking Ethnic Data from Africa (LEDA)

We interlink 11 ethnic datasets from Africa via the language tree.

Spatially Interpolated Data on Ethnicity

Collection of 253 near-continuous maps of local ethno-linguistic, religious, and ethno-religious settlement patterns in 47 countries.

Regions in independent Africa

Collection of GIS data on 1st level administrative units, independence - today.

African road network data

Time-varying GIS data on road networks from the Michelin map corpus 1966-2017.

Teaching

Teaching

  • Teaching Statement (pdf)

  • Political Economy of Development and Conflict in Africa (Fall 2019).
    Master of Comparative and Internation Studies, ETH Zurich
    Co-taught with Yannick Pengl. Syllabus

  • Ethnic Conflict from a Political Science Perspective (2017).
    Summer School of the German National Academic Foundation
    Co-taught with Yannick Pengl. Syllabus: English | German

As a Teaching Assistant:

  • Quantitative Methods, Master level, 2015
  • Introduction to Political Economy, Undergraduate level, 2014-2015