Davenport Seeks Solutions to Violence, State Repression

Author: kroc.nd.edu

Christian Davenport is the Kroc Institute’s new Professor of Peace Studies, Political Science, and Sociology. His research interests include political conflict — from genocide and crimes against humanity to domestic spying — with a particular focus on state repression and violence.

“Worldwide, the greatest threats to human life are from governments and government agents,” Davenport said. “State-sponsored mass killings, execution, torture, disappearances, beatings, and the like affect more people around the world than terrorism and war.”

Davenport earned his Ph.D. in political science from Binghamton University in 1992. Between 1999 and 2008, he was on the faculty of the University of Maryland, where he directed the Minorities at Risk Data Project, which monitors the persecution and mobilization of 283 minority groups — including indigenous people, religious sects, and ethno-nationalist groups — around the world.

He continues to direct two statistical research projects. The Radical Information Project documents political conflict worldwide, most recently “the troubles” in Northern Ireland, the “untouchables” of India, and the crises in Darfur and Congo. Stop Our States documents human rights abuses by governments worldwide, in an effort to understand how to reduce them or lessen their severity.

“I spent many years trying to understand conflict,” he said. “Then I realized that what I’m really interested in is stopping it. Now my research asks, ‘What are the most important factors in bringing about the end to violence?’ This question is best answered in a setting like the Kroc Institute, where all the academic disciplines have a home and the desire to work for peace runs through everything.”

Davenport is involved with a number of humanitarian organizations and social movements that aim to stop ongoing conflicts in Darfur, Congo, and other hotspots. His work has included fact-finding missions, documentation of past abuses, and involvement with truth commissions and international criminal tribunals.

He is the author of State Repression and the Domestic Democratic Peace, the editor of Repression and Mobilization with Carol Mueller and Hank Johnston, and the editor of Paths to State Repression: Human Rights Violations and Contentious Politics. His new book, Media Bias, Perspective and State Repression: The Black Panther Party will be published later this year.

Davenport’s articles have appeared in the American Political Science Review, American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Political Research Quarterly, Comparative Political Studies, and Monthly Review. He has held visiting appointments at the Transitional Justice Institute at the University of Ulster, Ireland; the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Studies at Stanford University; and the Peace Research Institute in Oslo, Norway.

Contact: Christian Davenport, (574) 631-0361, cdavenp1@nd.edu