Photo of Dr Nils-Christian Bormann

Dr Nils-Christian Bormann



+44 1392 723283

Amory A232A

I am Lecturer of Political Science and study the causes and consequences of ethnic power sharing and civil wars. In my research I ask why political elites in ethnically divided societies decide to cooperate with each other rather than to fight armed conflicts against one another. To answer this question I investigate elite incentives induced by cross-cutting and reinforcing cleavages as well as formal institutions such as electoral rules. In ongoing research I am focusing on the trends and drivers of economic inequality between ethnic groups. I believe that studying the causes of ethnic armed conflicts will lead to a better understanding of preventing civil wars in the first place.


Research group links

Research interests

My research interests focus on ethnic coalitions and power-sharing, civil wars, in particular ethnic conflict, democratization, and spatial methods.

I collected and contributed to several datasets listed below:

  • Democratic Electoral Systems (with Matt Golder):
  • Ethnic Cleavages Data (with Lars-Erik Cederman and Manuel Vogt):
  • Ethnic Power Relations Data Family, specifically GeoEPR and ACD2EPR (with Manuel Vogt, Seraina Ruegger, Lars-Erik Cederman, Philipp Hunziker, and Luc Girardin):
  • Population and GDP per capita Data adjusted for border changes (with Philipp Hunziker): available on request


I am a lecturer in the Department of Politics at the University of Exeter. From 2015 to 2017, I held a Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS) Research Fellowship under the Global Uncertainties theme. In 2016, I was visiting scholar in the Department of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania and I continue to be an affiliated faculty member with the Identity and Conflict Lab led by Nicholas Sambanis at Penn. Previously, I held a post-doctoral position in the International Conflict Research group at ETH Zurich, where I also earned my PhD in 2014, and my master's degree in Comparative and International Studies (2010). As a recipient of the Swiss National Science Foundation's DocMobility Grant, I was a visiting researcher at the University of Pittsburgh's Department of Political Science from January to June 2012 where I studied the effects of post-conflict power-sharing arrangements on domestic conflict diffusion together with Burcu Savun.

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