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Schwartz’s academic research focuses on institution-building and corruption, with a regional focus on Central America. She has also worked on U.S.-Latin American relations, managing programs on security and migration in Central America and Mexico and Congressional outreach at the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington-based policy forum.
In the News
Examines how international assistance for transitional justice efforts in Guatemala has influenced civil society and peacebuilding. Argues that international donor funding has had mixed effects, both strengthening civil society cooperation and forcing local groups to reshape their objectives to align with the priorities of the international community.
Identifies and explicates four plausible mechanisms that explain why armed groups would target, for strategic purposes, civilians in war. Finds that state actors most commonly described the civilian population as loyal to rebel forces; violence against civilians was a means to weaken the insurgency.Illustrates how a mechanism-centered approach based on process tracing of conflict archives can help uncover logics underlying civilian killing
Uses declassified military plans and communications to examine what accounts for the dramatic escalation and de-escalation of violence within Guatemala’s armed conflict (1960-1996).