Iris Malone is a Ph.D. candidate in the Political Science department at Stanford University. Her research examines the role of violent non-state actors at the intersection of domestic and international politics.
Her dissertation, “Insurgency Formation and Civil War Onset,” examines why some militant groups become insurgencies while others do not. In contrast to previous explanations predicated on state power, this project proposes a new mechanism to explain civil war onset. It suggests that informational asymmetries about militant groups can sometimes lead governments to under-estimate these threats and choose inappropriate counterinsurgency responses in response.