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How my understanding of participating in violence changed: Reflections from research and practice - 3 March 2021

Please note that this event has passed.

Speaker: Dr Rebecca Wolfe, Assistant Instructional Professor, Harris School for Public Policy, University of Chicago

Chair: Pauline Zerla, PhD student, Department of War Studies 

In the early 2000s, economic models of why people participate in violence dominated both international development and security research and practice. In this talk, Dr Wolfe will provide insights about the shortcomings of these models, and how they evolved over the last 20 years. She will discuss her research on this topic from sub-Saharan Africa, Afghanistan and the Middle East, as well as others. Additionally, she'll discuss how she used these insights to inform programs in Kenya, Yemen and Guatemala, as well as how this work shifted US and UN policy regarding youth participation in violence.


Dr. Rebecca J Wolfe is a leading expert on political violence, conflict and violent extremism. She is an Assistant Instructional Professor at the Harris School for Public Policy at the University of Chicago, where she also is an associate at the Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts.

Prior to joining the faculty at Chicago, she led research and program development related to conflict and fragility at Mercy Corps, an international development and humanitarian agency.

Over her career, she has developed conflict prevention and violence reduction programs globally, including Kenya’s largest youth development program, gang violence prevention in Guatemala City, countering violent extremism programs in Nigeria and Yemen, and community-based conflict management interventions in Iraq, Syria, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Tajikistan.

She was a Fellow at Yale University’s Political Violence Field Lab and currently is an affiliate at NYU’s Steinhardt School. Dr. Wolfe has taught at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs and at the Wagner School for Public Service at New York University. She received her PhD in Social Psychology from Harvard University.

Please register via Zoom, all registered attendees will receive an email with access information.

This event will be recorded.

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Event details

3 March 2021

Online event