I am a Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Oslo (UiO), where I teach in the MA Peace and Conflict Studies (PECOS). Previously, I was an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Amsterdam. In 2019/20, I was a fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Before that, I was a Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London, at the German Institute for Global and Area Studies in Hamburg, and at the Program on Order, Conflict, and Violence at the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University. I studied political science and international relations at the Humboldt University of Berlin, the Free University of Berlin, and the University of Potsdam. I hold a PhD from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.
Over the past fifteen years, I have conducted hundreds of interviews in conflict zones about how civilians protect themselves and build peace locally. I have conducted extensive field research in Indonesia and Nigeria, and more recently in Kenya, South Sudan, and Myanmar. I am the author of ‘Resilient Communities: Non-Violence and Civilian Agency in Communal War’ (Cambridge University Press 2018). My current research focuses on the complexity of communal conflicts, civil wars, and peace processes in East and West Africa, and on UN and local peacebuilding. I direct the ERC Starting Grant project ‘ResilienceBuilding: Social Resilience, Gendered Dynamics, and Local Peace in Protracted Conflicts’ (2020-2026).
My research has won several awards, including the 2019 Lee Ann Fujii Award from the APSA Interpretive Methodologies and Methods Section for my book ‘Resilient Communities‘. I also received the 2020 Nils Petter Gleditsch Article of the Year Award from the Journal of Peace Research for my article ‘Restrained or Constrained? Election, Communal Conflicts, and Variation in Sexual Violence‘. My work has been funded by the German Academic Exchange Service, the Swiss National Science Foundation, the Folke Bernadotte Academy in Sweden, and the European Research Council.
Originally from Berlin, I have lived in Geneva, London, and Amsterdam, and now I live with my husband and daughter in Oslo, Norway.