Africa ArXiv interviewed Ömer Özak about his research on the role of borders in conflict, one of the main problems in Africa. He talks about his research that analyzes how societal diversity of traits passed down across generations (e.g., diversity in preferences, abilities, values, knowledge) impacted societal economic outcomes in pre-industrial times. Interestingly, more diverse societies also had greater division of labor which allowed greater economic prosperity. Perhaps even more interesting is that greater diversity was related to greater conflict between different ethnic groups but not among different groups from the same ethnicity. Following up on this idea, Ömer also talks about his research that investigates the impact on modern day conflict due to borders between ethnic groups within the same country. This research finds that historical ethnic borders can increase the probability of conflict by around 30 percentage points. Visit Ömer’s website to learn more about his research!