I am an Assistant Professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver, where I am affiliated with the Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy. I am also the Director of the Inclusive Global Leadership Initiative (IGLI), and the Director of the IGLI Summer Institute, an effort to catalyze research, education, and programming aimed at elevating and amplifying the work that women activists are doing at the grassroots to advance peace and security across the world.
I am a political sociologist with a focus on mass violence, gender, politics, and development. My current research agenda examines the political, economic, and social consequences of armed conflict. My first book, War, Women, and Power: From Violence to Mobilization in Rwanda and Bosnia-Herzegovina (Cambridge University Press 2018), draws from over 260 interviews with women in Rwanda and Bosnia to investigate the impact of violence on women's political mobilization. I define "politics" broadly, seeing women's participation in community organizations and in public spaces as an extension of their political agency. In the project I integrate a feminist, gender-focused perspective into historical institutionalist research on the long-term social and political consequences of war.
Together with Milli Lake (LSE), my current research takes a critical approach to examining women’s empowerment interventions after war. As part of the Women’s Rights After War (WRAW) Project, we are compiling a dataset and series of case studies aimed at evaluating whether, and under what conditions, women’s empowerment interventions can differentially benefit women from different backgrounds, map onto—and even aggravate—existing socio-political cleavages, and be used instrumentally by regimes to consolidate their political control.
My other ongoing major research project, Measuring the Micro-Dynamics of Women’s Mobilization (MicroMob), aims to gather fine-grained, gender disaggregated data on who participates in mass protest events around the world using participant-generated photographs from episodes of contentious politics. In early 2019, I will begin interviews with activists as part of this project in order to better understand how gender shapes the trajectories and successes of these movements.
My work has been published in places like Democratization, Gender & Society, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, New Political Economy, Mobilization, Politics & Gender, Foreign Policy, The Society Pages, and Political Violence @ A Glance, and has received awards from the ASA sections on Human Rights and Peace, War, and Social Conflict, as well as from the Social Science History Association. I completed my Ph.D. in sociology at UCLA in June 2015.