Xiran Chen is a PhD candidate at the School of Government and Public Policy (SGPP), University of Arizona. His research interests center on political violence and political institutions. He has a particular regional interest in Sub-Saharan Africa. His dissertation “Chiefs, Elections, and Violence” seeks to understand how traditional institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa (and in Ghana particularly) affect the risk of pre-election violence at subnational level. He argues that robust traditional institutions effectively reduce the risk of pre-election violence. His project adopts a mixed-methods approach, and draws from a variety of data sources, including original data collected through archival research and interviews in Ghana.
Prior to his doctoral studies, Xiran received his undergraduate degree from Beijing Foreign Studies University, and an MA degree from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.