Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Program on Energy and Sustainable Development Stanford University


Photo of Dara Cohen

Dara K. Cohen  
CISAC Predoctoral Fellow (former)

not in residence

Research Interests
civil conflict; the logic of wartime violence; gender and international relations; wartime sexual violence

Dara Kay Cohen is an assistant professor of public policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a CISAC affiliate. Her research and teaching interests span the field of international relations, including international security, civil war and the dynamics of violence during conflict, and gender and international relations. Her current book project examines the variation in the use of sexual violence during recent civil conflicts; the research for the book draws on fieldwork in Sierra Leone, East Timor and El Salvador, where she interviewed more than 200 ex-combatants and noncombatants.

Her research has appeared in the Journal of Peace ResearchInternational Security and Stanford Law Review, and has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the United States Institute of Peace and the Peace Research Institute, Oslo, among others. In 2011, Cohen was awarded the American Political Science Association's Award for Best Dissertation in Women and Politics.

Cohen graduated with an A.B. in political science and philosophy with honors from Brown University in 2001, and served as a paralegal in the Outstanding Scholars Program in the Counterterrorism Section of the U.S. Department of Justice from 2001-2003. She was the 2008-2009 Zukerman Fellow at CISAC and received her Ph.D. in political science from Stanford in 2010. Prior to joining the Kennedy School, she was an assistant professor at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.


Last updated August 2012.