I am a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Princeton's Program in Latin American Studies. I was previously a PhD candidate in comparative politics and international relations in the Yale Department of Political Science and a United States Institute of Peace (USIP) Peace Scholar. I study violence, ideology, and socialization with a focus on qualitative methods.
My first book project, entitled the "Ideological Socialization of Civilians During Civil War" examines the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia's (FARC) socialization of civilians up until the group's 2016 peace accord with the government. Drawing on literature on ideological domination, rebel governance, and the legacies of war, I ask under what conditions this socialization changed civilians' political ideas. I draw on months of ethnographic work in former FARC areas, interviews with experts and ex-combatants, and surveys of Colombian civilians to identify variation in FARC socialization practices and their subsequent effects on civilian political ideas. My theory identifies the conditions under which socialization is most likely to happen in the first place and then the conditions that lead to socialization success. I submitted my dissertation in June 2023, and you can see the dissertation's front matter, including the acknowledgements, here.
I have one solo-authored published paper, which compares India's Naxalites and Peru's Shining Path, asking under what conditions armed groups are likely to socialize civilians. The article appears in Civil Wars. A second paper, co-authored with Andrés Aponte and Andres Uribe, constructs a novel dataset of armed group territorial control in Colombia from 2000-2016, and inductively examines the relationship between territorial control and violence against civilians. It was published online at the Journal of Conflict Resolution in 2023.
I also have three working papers. Two address the main question of my dissertation but from different angles, one employing ethnographic research within a single Colombian municipality, and a second analyzing the statistical relationship between historical FARC territorial control and civilian political beliefs across Colombia. A third paper, co-authored with Deepika Padmanabhan, studies the political dynamics of Tamil film, asking both how audiences interact with political messages in film, and then experimentally tests each of our theorized causal pathways.
I hold a B.A. from Swarthmore College in Peace and Conflict Studies, an M.A./MPhil from the Yale Political Science Department, and I will formally receive my PhD in December 2023. I have previously been a visiting researcher at the Centro de Investigación y Educación Popular/Programa por la Paz in Bogotá, Colombia.
I can be reached at dh4476 at princeton dot edu. I'm on Twitter under the handle @DHirschelBurns