I am a Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Oslo, where I teach in the Master’s Program Peace and Conflict Studies (PECOS). My research focuses on civilian agency and civilian protection in communal conflicts and civil wars; local peacebuilding and social resilience; and the gender dimensions of peacebuilding. I have conducted extensive field research on these issues in Indonesia and Nigeria, and more recently in Kenya, South Sudan, and Myanmar. I direct the ERC Starting Grant project ‘ResilienceBuilding: Social Resilience, Gendered Dynamics, and Local Peace in Protracted Conflicts’ (2020-2025).
Previously, I taught in the Department of Political Science at the University of Amsterdam (2016-2020). In 2019/20, I was a Fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIAS). I was a Visiting Scholar in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London (2013-2016) and at the Program on Order, Conflict and Violence (OCV) at Yale University (2011), Co-Investigator of a project on gender and peacebuilding at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva (2014-2016), and post-doctoral researcher at the German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA) in 2013. I completed my PhD in International Relations/Political Science (2013) at the Graduate Institute in Geneva.
My book, Resilient Communities: Non-Violence and Civilian Agency in Communal War (Cambridge University Press 2018), focuses on civilian agency and mobilization ‘from below’ and explains violence and non-violence in communal wars in Indonesia and Nigeria. It won the 2019 Lee Ann Fujii Award for Innovation in the Interpretive Study of Political Violence by the Interpretive Methodologies and Methods (IMM) Conference Group of the American Political Science Association, and was runner-up for the 2019 Conflict Research Society Book of the Year Award. My recent article, Restrained or Constrained? Election, Communal Conflicts, and Variation in Sexual Violence, which compares high and low levels of sexual violence in election-related communal violence in Kenya and Nigeria, won the 2020 Nils Petter Gleditsch Article of the Year Award from the Journal of Peace Research.
My work has been published in African Affairs, Comparative Political Studies, Ethnopolitics, Global Governance, International Feminist Journal of Politics, International Interactions, and the Journal of Peace Research. My research has been supported by the European Research Council, the Swiss National Science Foundation, the German Academic Exchange Service, the Folke Bernadotte Academy, and the International Dvelopment Research Center.