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PublicationStrategic Reassurance in Institutional Contests: Explaining China's Creation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank(Taylor and Francis, 2018-07-05) Chen, Zheng; Liu, YanchuanThe Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has been widely conceived as a Chinese effort to promote reforms of global financial governance. While the existing literature of contested multilateralism tends to focus on the problem of threat credibility, this article highlights the necessity of strategic reassurance in institutional contests. To facilitate incremental reforms of the existing order, rising powers like China need not only to pose credible challenge towards established institutions, but also to demonstrate their benign intentions and commitment to future cooperation. Besides revealing strength and resolve, the creation of a new multilateral regime helps rising powers to signal their self-restraints and reassure other powers. Consequently, the institutional configuration of new multilateral organizations involves a trade-off between the dual needs for threats and reassurance. Chinese behaviors in creating the AIIB can be explained through this framework. PublicationUnpacking the Effect of Decentralized Governance on Routine Violence: Lessons from Indonesia(Elsevier, 2016-10-18) Pierskalla, Jan H.; Sacks, AudreyWe study the effect of decentralization on routine violence in Indonesia. We unpack decentralization along multiple dimensions and consider the individual effects of local elections, the creation of new administrative units, fiscal transfers, and local public service delivery. We use comprehensive data from Indonesia’s National Violence Monitoring System (NVMS), a new dataset that records the incidence and impact of violence in Indonesia. We use these data to examine the relationship between the different dimensions of decentralization and different types of local violence in Indonesian districts during 2001–10. Our analyses suggest that there is a positive association between local service delivery and at least some forms of violence. We argue that the positive effect of service delivery on violence is due to newly generated distributive conflicts among local ethnic groups around the control over and access to services. By comparison, district splitting and the introduction of direct elections of district heads are negatively associated with some forms of violence. There is little evidence that fiscal transfers, in general, mitigate conflict.