[Belonging・Position] Current Affairs Studies Group, Area Studies Center
[Research Field] Comparative politics, civil conflict studies, Philippine politics
[email] Aya_Watanabe E-mail
Profile Information (Research history, education, papers & publications)

Previous research

I have been studying the relationship between domestic political actors and conflict duration and its outcomes. Many civil conflict studies have revealed that military factors (e.g., relative military strength and the configuration of rebel groups) affect when and how civil conflict is likely to end. In contrast, there are few studies that have systematically examined  impacts of domestic political actors on conflict dynamics. Building on the “veto player” framework, I argued that political actors who have a veto power over conflict-ending policy and consider supporting the policy as detrimental to their electoral prospects have impacts on how and when civil conflict ends. Statistical results and case studies on the civil conflict in the Philippines and Sri Lanka provide support for my arguments.

Current research projects

My current research interest lies in exploring factors that affect attitudes of domestic political actors toward political settlement of civil conflicts. If conflicting parties (the government and rebel groups) are to pursue a negotiated settlement, a law-making process must follow after they agree on a peace agreement. In other words, the legislature must also approve what has been approved by the conflicting parties in order to implement the peace agreement. Thus, it is important to expand our understanding of conditions under which legislators support/oppose a negotiated settlement of civil conflict to account for civil duration and outcomes..

The Philippines had the decades-long civil conflict with Islamic insurgencies and brought an end to the conflict through peace negotiations. Legislators came into play after legislative proposals on implementing the peace agreement were submitted to the legislature. They exhibited varying responses in the legislative deliberation. I am currently working on quantitative text analyses of legislative speeches in the House of Representatives of the Philippines to explore factors that affect legislators’ response to conflict-ending attempts.