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Headshot of Risa Kitagawa

Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs

Risa Kitagawa’s research interests include the politics of transitional justice, state violence, post-conflict processes, and human rights, with a regional focus on Central America and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Her current book project uses econometric and experimental methods to investigate transitional justice policymaking in post-conflict states and its impact on political reconciliation. Other current projects explore the impact of criminal justice on political legitimacy in Central America; the effects of policy rhetoric on citizen attitudes toward government; and state apologies for historical injustices. In prior work, she examined the role of new information and communication technologies (ICT) in urban informal settlements of Kenya.

Prior to joining Northeastern, she was postdoctoral research scholar in the Department of Political Science at Columbia University.

  • Education

    PhD, Political Science
    Stanford University

    BA, International Relations and French
    New York University

  • Contact

  • Address

    927 Renaissance Park
    360 Huntington Avenue
    Boston, MA 02115

  • Office Hours

    Spring 2021: By appointment

Courses

Course catalog
  • Globalization and International Affairs

    INTL 1101

    Offers an interdisciplinary approach to analyzing global/international affairs. Examines the politics, economics, culture, and history of current international issues through lectures, guest lectures, film, case studies, and readings across the disciplines.

  • Explores various types of conflict settlements and their implications for peace and reconciliation. Why do civil wars break out in some places but not others? What does it take to start a revolution? Why do some conflicts last decades, and what can be done to mitigate their costs? Examines why civil conflicts begin, how they are fought, and how they end. Substantive topics include strategies of insurgency and counterinsurgency; the role of ethnicity, religion, and gender; and the relationship between economic factors and conflict. Students leverage fundamental concepts and theories in comparative politics to analyze civil conflicts in a wide range of country contexts.

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