Dagaal waa ka-dare, bro. (War is worse, bro.)
-- San Diego youth varient of Somali proverb
Warlords emphasizes that great power unity or disagreement can set scope conditions for the kinds of warlord bargains that are sustainable. Warlords have less room to maneuver if the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council agree on how post-war domestic politics ought to look (Tajikistan) and warlords have more room to maneuver if there is obvious friction between the great powers' visions (Georgia). But how do wars end in places where none of the P-5 are willing to commit substantial resources to facilitate a settlement? To address this question, my second research project was a careful investigation of war termination processes in East Africa (Somalia).
Since arriving in San Diego I have worked closely with the Somali community on a number of projects to responsibly document and represent life in Mogadishu. As security deteriorated, the project eventually turned to a set of methodological questions relevant to the study of political behavior: How to make responsible inferences about non-response and "Refuse to Answer" patterns with telephone data collected amidst ongoing war. Papers for this project are still under review, so results are very preliminary, but if you are curious, drafts of working papers are here. Comments welcome!