Elisabeth Wood

Elisabeth Wood's picture
Professor of Political Science & International and Area Studies


115 Prospect Street, Rosenkranz Hall,  Room 234
1(203) 432-6107


  • Ph.D, Stanford University
  • M.A, University of California, Berkeley
  • B.A, University of Oxford
  • B.A, Cornell University



Elisabeth Jean Wood is Professor of Political Science, International and Area Studies at Yale University and a member of the External Faculty of the Santa Fe Institute. She is currently writing two books, one on sexual violence during war, drawing on field research in several countries, and a second on political violence in Colombia (with Francisco Gutiérrez Sanín). She is the author of Forging Democracy from Below: Insurgent Transitions in South Africa and El Salvador and Insurgent Collective Action and Civil War in El Salvador, and co-editor with Morten Bergsmo and Alf B. Skre of Understanding and Proving International Sex Crimes and with Ian Shapiro, Susan C. Stokes, and Alexander S. Kirshner of Political Representation.

Among her recent articles and book chapters are “Multiple Perpetrator Rape during War,” “Transnational Dynamics of Civil War,” “Rape during War Is Not Inevitable: Variation in Wartime Sexual Violence,” “Armed groups and sexual violence: when is wartime rape rare?” “Sexual Violence during War: Variation and Accountability,” and “The Social Processes of Civil War: The Wartime Transformation of Social Networks.”

Elisabeth serves on the Board of Directors of the Peace Research Endowment and as Coordinator of the International Scientific Committee of the Observatorio de Restitución y la Regulación de Derechos de Propiedad Agraria [The Observatory of Restitution and Regulation of Agrarian Property Rights], and other policy related organizations. She also serves on the Editorial Board of the Contentious Politics series of the Cambridge University Press.

Elisabeth was named a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2010. She has carried out field research in Colombia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, El Salvador, Peru, and Israel/Palestine. At Yale she teaches courses on comparative politics, political violence, collective action, and qualitative research methods. She received the Graduate Mentor Award for the Social Sciences in May 2013.


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