Jay Benson

Jay Benson
Position: Researcher
Expertise: Human Rights, Security, Trends in Peace and Conflict

Jay Benson is a recent graduate of the Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver, where he earned an M.A. in International Relations with concentrations in Intelligence Analysis, China Studies and Human Rights. Jay’s research interests include foreign and security policy in China, Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, intelligence studies, drivers of intrastate conflict and civilian protection in conflict. During his time at the University of Denver, Jay worked as a Graduate Research Assistant with both the Project on Terrorism and Insurgency Research and the Pardee Center for International Futures. Jay has served as an intern with the Department of State’s Political Section in Beijing, the U.S. Commercial Service and Webster University’s Confucius Institute. After completing his B.A. in International Relations and Political Science from Drake University, Jay served as the Business Manager of a Chinese language camp before spending a year teaching English at Hebei University of Science and Technology. He is also proficient in Mandarin Chinese. In his free time, Jay enjoys hiking, camping, snowshoeing, cross country skiing and cooking.


Publications

2019 Report on Risk of Coup

Annual Risk of Coup Report - 2019

Written by Matthew Frank, Jay Benson, Clayton Besaw, Jonathan Powell on April 26, 2019

The goals of this first ever Annual Risk of Coup Report are two-fold.

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Recent Trends in Civil War Dynamics

Reassessing Rebellion

Written by Jay Benson, Eric Keels, Joshua Lambert on March 15, 2019

Though historically the number of armed conflicts has been declining, there has been a recent surge in ongoing civil wars. Intrastate armed conflicts therefore represent a persistent and dangerous threat to global stability.

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Policy Brief: Diaspora’s Investment in Fragile and Conflict Impacted Economies

Written by Jay Benson, Victor Odundo Owuor on February 12, 2019

Fragile and conflict impacted states often suffer from a severe lack of investment capital for private sector development.

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diaspora investment fragile states

Investing from Abroad

Written by Jay Benson, Victor Odundo Owuor on February 11, 2019

Fragile and conflict impacted states often suffer from a severe lack of investment capital for private sector development.

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The Geography of Violence Against Civilians: Implications for Peace Enforcement

Written by Jay Benson on February 21, 2018

UN peacekeeping operations have evolved in recent years to include more robust missions that pursue peace enforcement in a way not previously seen.

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cover of geography of violence against civilians

Policy Brief: Peace Enforcement and the Geography of Violence Against Civilians

Written by Jay Benson on February 21, 2018

Peace enforcement has become the subject of vigorous debate among both policy makers and academics working in the field of peace operations.

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Somali Investment Survey Report

Somali Diaspora Investment Survey Report

Written by Jay Benson, Lee C. Sorensen, Alexandria E. Wise, Lindsay Heger on June 16, 2016

As the Somali regions continue to emerge from decades of civil war, investment is expanding, banks are opening their doors, and Somali exports are increasingly finding markets.

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United Nations Intervention Good or Bad

The UN Intervention Brigade: Extinguishing Conflict or Adding Fuel to the Flames?

Written by Jay Benson on June 2, 2016

The authorization of the Intervention Brigade (IB) in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has sparked controversy in the international community over the value of such deployments for UN peace operations.

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