Brandon Bolte

Office and Contact Information

224 Pond Laboratory

Department of Political Science

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802



I am a PhD candidate in Political Science and Program for Empirical International Relations (PEIR) Pre-doctoral Fellow at Penn State University. My research focuses on the interactions between armed organizations during civil war, the formal and informal cooperative institutions that guide them, and the political dynamics of transitioning from civil war to durable peace. I am also interested in network analysis, split-population “cure” models, and spatial statistics. My work has been published in the Journal of Conflict Resolution, The R Journal, and International Studies Quarterly, with the latter article receiving the College of the Liberal Arts Lombra Outstanding Graduate Research Award at Penn State.

In my dissertation, I explore the various ways in which rebel groups cooperate with one another and the consequences of inter-rebel interactions on post-war peace. As part of this project, I develop a new theory of intra-organizational bargaining between rebel leaders and subcommanders over policy decisions. I argue that the distribution of power within organizations affects a group's ability to credibly commit. This affects the alliance provisions that rebel leaders are ultimately willing to agree to. I find strong empirical support for my argument using original data on inter-rebel alliances in multiparty civil wars around the world from 1970-2016.

Prior to my graduate studies, I attended Truman State University where I graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BA in Political Science and minors in International Studies and Spanish. I received my MA in Political Science at Penn State in 2018 with specializations in International Relations and Political Methodology.

My pronouns are he/his/him. For more information about my research, please visit my Research page or view my current CV.