Connect with Hollie
Brehm’s research is motivated by the fundamental questions of why and how atrocity crimes occur and who commits them. She also studies the process of transitional justice after atrocities, including how societies rebuild, how international actors respond to the violence, and the lasting effects of mass violence. Brehm co-founded and served as chair of the Board of Directors of a Minneapolis public school that serves refugee students. She is also a quantitative mentor for the Center for Victims of Torture and a core team member of I-Activism, which empowers communities and governments to act on behalf of those affected by genocide and other mass atrocities.
In the News
Focuses Hutu who did not participate in the genocidal violence in 1994 Rwanda and instead risked their lives to rescue Tutsi. Draws from 45 in-depth interviews, we examine how these deviant heroes invoke religion to narrate their actions. Finds that interviewees often neutralize their acts of rescue by attributing responsibility to God.
Demonstrates that religion is tied to rescue efforts in at least three ways: 1) through the creation of cognitive safety nets that enabled high-risk actions; 2) through religious practices that isolated individuals from the social networks of those committing the violence; and 3) through religious social networks where individuals encountered opportunities and accessed resources to rescue.