Francisco Villamil


PhD in Political Science
International Conflict Research
ETH Zurich

Data & Code
Curriculum Vitae
Other Writing


Starting September 2020, I will be a postdoctoral researcher at the Carlos III - Juan March Institute in Madrid. I defended my dissertation at ETH Zurich in February 2020, as part of the ICR group. Previously, I obtained an MA in Comparative and International Studies (2016) from ETH Zurich and a BA in Sociology (2014) from the University of Salamanca.

My current research focuses on the consequences of political violence, with an emphasis on how social dynamics shape preference formation as a response to shocks. More broadly, I’m interested in the way the social context conditions individuals’ political behavior and preferences. I use quantitative methods extensively, and rely on a variety of data sources and data collection strategies, including digitization of historical archives, web scraping, and geospatial data.

In my dissertation, I explore the long-term legacies of civil wars for political preferences. Contrary to what has been assumed in previous research, I show that wartime violence only has an enduring impact on preferences and behavior when the local social context surrounding the victims facilitates the creation and transmission of collective memories, and their subsequent translation into political behavior. I test this argument using newly-assembled datasets for Spain and Guatemala. To complement the evidence from these two cases, I analyze a global sample of ethnic groups that have experienced a civil conflict since 1989.

In the Data & Code section I share different resources I have developed for my own work in order to facilitate future empirical research, particularly for historical analyses of Spain.