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Regular version of the site

Alexander Kustov

Associate Researcher

Address: Princeton, NJ - USA

E-mail: akustov@princeton.edu

CV | Personal Page

Education and academic positions:

  • 2013 - present - Ph.D. in Political Science, Princeton University;
  • 2013 -  M.A. in Political Science (with honors), University of Mannheim;
  • 2011 - B.A. in Sociology (with honors), Higher School of Economics.

Academic interests: ethnicity, inequality, violence, and migration.

Research projects:

"How Ethnic Structure Affects Civil Conflict: A Model of Endogenous Ethnic Grievance"  (completed)

Abstract

Does ethnic structure affect the occurrence of civil conflict and, if so, how? This study develops an agent-based model of endogenous ethnic grievances, which builds on the new constructivist conceptualization of ethnicity and the theories on horizontal inequalities and cross-cuttingness. Specifically, I simulate conflict as a function of the stochastically emerging economic disparities between nominal 'ethnic groups' with no predefined ethnic categories and related antagonism. Then I apply the model to reconsider the effect of (bi-dimensional) ethnic structure on conflict incidence, which has been largely dismissed in the recent scholarship. By varying the parameters of ethnic demography in artificial societies, I conduct a series of replicable experiments revealing that various structural settings yield different patterns of conflict. While there is no 'most hazardous' structure per se, both polarization and cross-cuttingness appear to decrease the likelihood of conflict but increase its potential intensity

 

"Why are Some People More Cosmopolitan than Others: Insights from Political Economy and Modernization Theory" (completed)

Brief review of the project

Globalization has given a renewed impetus to the cosmopolitan discussion, which so far has been empirically limited. Using multilevel modeling and the WVS data from 43 countries, I aim to remedy this omission by exploring universal factors which predict cosmopolitanism. The surveys show that many people have supranational identity and attitudes. Scholars have revealed that some of the individual variation is attributed to socioeconomic characteristics. However, the question of why people can be cosmopolitan given the absence of any global polity has not been clearly answered yet. Here I give new operationalization to the phenomenon and introduce two models: the emancipation, which emphasizes the role of human values in the evolutionary process of expanding freedom of choice; and the utilitarian, which elaborates on globalization winners. Both models explain significantly more variance than ones in the literature. I show that self-expression values have a positive relationship and corroborate that secular-rational values also promote cosmopolitanism, although initially they were linked to nationalism. I also demonstrate that the relationship of values is stronger when they go together. Finally, I confirm the counterintuitive implication of the Stolper–Samuelson theorem that educated people are more cosmopolitan in rich societies and less cosmopolitan in poor societies.

Research Progress:


 

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