All posts by Sabrina

About Sabrina

Sabrina Karim is a political science PhD student at Emory University. Her research interests center on the intersection of gender and security. Specifically, she uses quantitative and qualitative methods to understand how the security sector is impacted when women are integrated into it as a means to protect women and children from violence. Most recently, she won the National Science Foundation Graduate Student Fellowship and received a grant from the Folke Bernadotte Academy to study the impact of female peacekeeping. She also sits on the Folke Bernadotte Academy UNSC 1325 Working Group. Her most recent projects examine the distribution patterns of female peacekeeping worldwide, state compliance around UNSC 1325 and gender balancing in UN missions, and the impact of gender integration in the security sector in Liberia. She is also working with New York University on a project that looks at transactional sex among UN peacekeepers. Before starting her PhD at Emory University, Sabrina was a Fulbright Scholar in Lima, Peru, where she conducted research on women in the Peruvian National Police. She also organized women in one of Lima’s poorest communities to create a women’s cooperative. She also has worked as a community organizer in Denver, Colorado for almost two years working with immigrant women. She holds a Master’s Degree in Forced Migration from Oxford University and a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University in Washington D.C.


I am the Hardis Family Faculty Fellow Assistant Professor in the department of Government at Cornell University. My research focuses state building in the aftermath of political violence.  Specifically, I study police violence and reform in a global context, including international police assistance, gender reforms in peacekeeping and domestic security sectors, and the relationship between gender and political violence. I am currently working on a book manuscript entitled, The Politics of Police Change Around the World.  Much of my research has been in sub-Saharan Africa, where I have conducted field experiments, lab experiments, and surveys.

I am the co-author of Equal Opportunity Peacekeeping: Women, Peace, and Security in Post-Conflict Countries (Oxford University Press, 2017).  The book was the winner of the Conflict Research Studies Best Book Prize for 2017 and the American Political Science Association Conflict Processes Best Book Award for 2018.  And, I am co-author of From Gender Equality to the Status of Women: Concepts and Measurement in Conflict and Peace Studies. My work has appeared in the American Political Science ReviewInternational Organization, the British Journal of Political Science, The Journal of Peace Research, International Interactions, World Development, Conflict Management and Peace Science, among others.

In 2018, I received a grant from the Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance to conduct an eight-country assessment of women’s barriers and opportunities to join police, military, and UN peacekeeping missions.  In 2020, this grant turned into the development of the Gender and the Security Sector Lab, which will house the largest dataset of security force personnel in the world.

My research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Folke Bernadotte Academy, the International Growth Centre, and the British Research Council.  I received my PhD from Emory University in 2016.  Prior to that, I received a Fulbright Fellowship and received a master’s degree as a Clarendon Scholar from Oxford University.  My undergraduate degree is from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.

I occasionally write for Huffington Post,  America’s Quarterly, and the Scholars Strategy Network.


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