from Politics, Power, and Preventive Action and Center for Preventive Action

Understanding Atrocities: A Conversation with Dara Kay Cohen

October 31, 2016

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Blog posts represent the views of CFR fellows and staff and not those of CFR, which takes no institutional positions.

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Conflict Prevention

I spoke with Dara Kay Cohen, assistant professor of public policy at Harvard Kennedy School, about her book, Rape During Civil War. To better understand this underexamined wartime atrocity, Dara built an original dataset and conducted extensive interviews in Sierra Leone, Timor-Leste, and El Salvador, including with perpetrators and victims. We discuss Dara’s research and her counterintuitive findings, which indicate that rape is often used as a tactic by some groups in civil wars to bond militants. We also talk about the role of academic research in informing policy, and Dara gives advice to young scholars considering a career in academia. A fascinating conversation with a thoughtful and brilliant scholar.

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Conflict Prevention

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