Eduard van der Merwe is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Economics at Rice University. His research interest lies within the field of development economics. He has a passion for expanding knowledge on issues of poverty, ethnicity, religion, refugees, and conflict. One of his ongoing research projects analyzes how a government's preference for religion can provoke within-country conflict through religious discrimination and victimization. Eduard originally hails from South Africa where he completed both his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Econometrics at the University of Pretoria.