February 12, 2023

On February 2 and 3 I attended the Swiss Political Science Association’s annual conference in Basel. I presented the paper “The Consequences of Sexualized Repression: Public Perceptions” co-authored with Ingrid Vik Bakken and Ragnhild Nordås and served as discussant on a great panel on the dynamics of local conflict. From February 6 until February 10, I then completed the virtual course “Python Programming for Social Scientists” at the ECPR Winter School.

January 27, 2023

I have not been very good about posting news the last few months, but here is a summary of what I have been up to. In December 2022, I joined the QUALIFIE network at the European University Institute for an online roundtable on institutional pressures and (wellbeing) challenges during fieldwork. In January 2023, I gave a virtual lecture on “Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict on the M.Sc. course Maternal and Child Health from a Global Perspective at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. Also in January, I was awarded funding from the Political Science department at the University of Oslo to carry out a research project on how western democracies sanction state perpetrators of conflict-related sexual violence, in collaboration with Karin Johansson (Uppsala University).

November 1, 2022

From September 26 until October 31, I was a visiting researcher at the German Institute of Global and Area Studies in Hamburg, based at the Center for Latin American Studies and in the Research Programme on Peace and Security. During my time there, I presented ongoing work, actively participated in discussions about safety and fieldwork, and made some new connections. In addition, I was able to see a bit of Hamburg. An excellent five weeks overall, and I hope to return one day!

October 18, 2022

Mattias Agerberg (University of Gothenburg) and I have a new publication out in the Journal of Peace Research. In “Sexual violence, gendered protection and support for intervention,” we examine the micro-foundations of a trend identified in quantitative studies: that international attention to, and peace operations in, armed conflicts are more likely when there is widespread conflict-related sexual violence, regardless of overall conflict intensity. In survey experiments we carried out on US, UK and Swedish samples, we find that respondents are more likely to support military intervention in conflicts with widespread sexual violence compared to widespread violence generally, widespread ethnic violence and widespread torture. Additional analyses reveal that gendered protection norms based on benevolent sexism (women perceived as in need of masculine protection) play an important role in these patterns, at least in the US and the UK. The article is available open access here:

September 16, 2022

Jointly with Kelebogile Zvobgo, Charmaine N. Willis, Myunghee Lee & Ezgi Irgil, I contributed a chapter on fieldwork to the new APSA guidebook Strategies for Navigating Graduate School and Beyond, edited by. Kevin G. Lorentz II, Dan Mallinson, Julia Marin Hellwege, Davin Phoenix, and J. Cherie Strachan. A free PDF of the entire book is available online!

August 23, 2022

After returning from my much-needed summer break, I presented the paper “Imperfect Victims? Civilian Men, Vulnerability and Policy Preferences,” co-authored with Mattias Agerberg, at the CSS Colloquium at ETH in beautiful Zürich. Many thanks to the ETH colleagues for a very warm welcome and for an excellent discussion.

June 16. 2022

New article published in Social Politics! I examine how patriarchal structures shape individual, social, and institutional responses to conflict-related sexual violence and its victims. The analysis of interviews with Colombian civil society activists illustrates how patriarchal norms and practices normalize sexual violence in society, but also ostracize, stigmatize, and ultimately seek to silence its victims. This risks obliterating conflict-related sexual violence from the political map and severely undermines the pursuit of justice. Civil society organizations play an important role in reclaiming power for the victims, by overcoming disabling silences, making sexual violence visible, and confronting harmful patriarchal practices. Available open access here:

June 1, 2022

New article publication with Philipp Schulz (University of Bremen) in International Studies Quarterly! We take a close look at the mutual constitution of victimhood and political agency in war, in a context of (gendered) vulnerability. Specifically, we use insights from our respective fieldwork in Colombia and Uganda to illustrate the complexity of the political agency of women affected by sexual and gender-based violence. It is not a simple either/ or: when women engage in everyday resistance or in political activism, they do not leave behind their victimhood. Their prior victimization, contextual vulnerability and threat of future victimhood are very much part of their lived experiences and shape the contours of their agency:

May 31, 2022

Tagesanzeiger did a video interview with me about conflict-related sexual violence and what we know about its use as a weapon of war (in German):

May 19, 2022

I was interviewed (in German) for a short podcast with on conflict-related sexual violence and what we know about how this violence is used systematically as a weapon of war:

April 29, 2022

My article “‘This patriarchal, machismo and unequal culture of ours’: Obstacles to confronting conflict-related sexual violence” has been accepted for publication in Social Politics. In this article, I draw on interviews I carried out with civil society activists (and bureaucrats and government representatives) in Colombia in 2018 to illustrate how patriarchal structures, norms and practices shape social and institutional responses to conflict-related sexual violence and its victims.

April 25, 2022

Two new publications!

“Self-Care for Gender-Based Violence Researchers – Moving Beyond Bubble-Baths and Chocolate Pralines” (with Philipp Schulz, Sarah Martin and Heleen Touquet) in Qualitative Research:

We discuss the limitations of individualizing self-care approaches for researchers working on difficult issues like gender-based violence. Instead, we share our experiences with communal approaches to care, including peer support, networks and collaborations. Available open access!

“Do gender patterns in diplomacy disappear over time?” (with Ann Towns and Birgitta Niklasson) in European Journal of Politics and Gender:

We examine ambassador appointments made by Denmark, Sweden, the UK and the U.S. from 1970 until 2015 to identify any patterns in where men and women tend to be placed. We do find gendered patterns in appointments, with male ambassadors more likely to be posted to economically important states and to states affected by inter-state conflict. Contrary to what one might expect, these trends do not markedly diminish over time. Soon available open access!

March 23, 2022

Two pieces of good news: 1) the article “Political Agency, Victimhood and Gender in Contexts of Armed Conflict: Moving beyond Dichotomies,” co-authored with Philipp Schulz has been accepted for publication in International Studies Quarterly; and 2) the article “Accountability for Conflict-Related Sexual Violence” – also co-authored with Philipp Schulz – has been included as a resource on the website of the UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict.

March 22, 2022

I presented and discussed my research at the AFK conference in Konstanz, at swisspeace in Basel and in a graduate seminar at the University of Basel. Beautiful places to visit and very interesting exchanges with colleagues!

March 8, 2022

For International Women’s Day, E-International Relations asked me where I see the most exciting debates on gender in IR and what hopes I have for the future of the discipline. You can read my response here, alongside those of other amazing scholars:

March 4, 2022

The article “Do gender patterns in diplomacy disappear over time?”, co-authored with Birgitta Niklasson and Ann Towns has been accepted for publication in the European Journal of Politics and Gender. We take a look at gendered patterns in where ambassadors from the U.S., the UK, Sweden and Denmark are posted and whether these patterns diminish over time

March 2, 2022

I presented the paper “Imperfect Victims? Civilian Men, Vulnerability and Policy Preferences,” co-authored with Mattias Agerberg at the Violence, Instability and Peace seminar at NTNU in Trondheim. In the paper, we use vignette experiments to examine how U.S. respondents perceive male civilians’ vulnerability and victimization in war, compared to women civilians, and how anti-male biases affect policy preferences relating to refugee acceptance and aid provision.