Sabrina Monuza Karim

Assistant Professor of Government, Cornell University

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About Sabrina

Karim is an assistant professor of Government at Cornell University. Her research interests include gender reforms in the post-conflict security sector and in peacekeeping, the effect of security sector reform on peace and security, third party involvement in peace processes, and the relationship between conflict-related violence and post-conflict sexual violence.  She is the co-author of a forthcoming book with Oxford University Press entitled Equal Opportunity Peacekeeping.  She has published work related to security, peacekeeping, and gender in International OrganizationThe Journal of Peace ResearchInternational Interactions, and International Peacekeeping.

During 2016-2017, she is a Dartmouth Fellow in U.S. Foreign Policy and International Security.  She is a recipient of both the Fulbright Fellowship and the National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship and has received grants from the International Growth Centre, the Folke Bernadotte Academy and the National Science Foundation to conduct her research.   She received her master’s degree as a Clarendon Scholar from Oxford University and her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University.  

In the News

"Is There a ‘Feminine’ Response to Terrorism?," Sabrina Monuza Karim (with Mona Krewel), The Conversation, April 29, 2019.
Sabrina Monuza Karim quoted on peacekeeping missions in Bangladesh, "Rohingya Children Live in Fear of Human Trafficking and Sexual Assault: Report" SBS News, February 25, 2018.
"Liberia Has a New President. Here are 3 Things to Watch for in His First 100 Days.," Sabrina Monuza Karim, Washington Post, January 29, 2018.
"I Visited the Rohingya Refugee Camps and Here is What Bangladesh is Doing Right," Sabrina Monuza Karim, The Conversation, January 25, 2018.
Interview on women in peacekeeping efforts Sabrina Monuza Karim, Global Peace Operations Review, April 27, 2017.
"Celebrating International Women Day: Women in the Changing World of Peacekeeping," Sabrina Monuza Karim (with Kyle Beardsley), Oxford University Press Blog, March 8, 2017.
"What Can U.S. Police Officers Learn from the Liberian National Police?," Sabrina Monuza Karim, Huffington Post, October 16, 2015.
"Who Fired Live Rounds in West Point? The Answer Matters for Liberians," Sabrina Monuza Karim, Huffington Post, August 26, 2014.
"Does the Ebola Epidemic Threaten Liberia's Peace?," Sabrina Monuza Karim, Huffington Post, August 11, 2014.
"Recent Ebola Media Attention May Help Curb Epidemic in Liberia," Sabrina Monuza Karim, Huffington Post, August 5, 2014.
Regular contributions by Sabrina Monuza Karim to America's Quarterly Blog.


Equal Opportunity Peacekeeping: Women, Peace, and Security in Post-Conflict States (with Kyle Beardsley) (Oxford University Press, 2017).

Discusses to what extent UN peacekeeping operations have achieved gender equality within peacekeeping missions and have been vehicles for promoting gender equality in post-conflict states.  

"Re-Evaluating Peacekeeping Effectiveness: Does Gender Neutrality Inhibit Progress?" International Interactions (2016).

Uses the UN Mission in Liberia as a case study and finds that there is an “access gap” that prevents female peacekeepers from fully contributing to the mission’s operations and therefore prevents the peacekeeping mission from reaching its full potential.

"Peacekeeping, Compliance with International Norms, and Transactional Sex in Monrovia, Liberia" (with Bernd Beber, Michael J. Gilligan, and Jenny Guardado Rodriguez). International Organization (2016).

Randomly selected 1,381 households using satellite imagery and GPS locators and randomly sampled 475 women between the ages of eighteen and thirty. Finds that more than half of them had engaged in transactional sex, a large majority of them (more than 75 percent) with UN personnel. Further estimates that each additional battalion of UN peacekeepers caused a significant increase in a woman’s probability of engaging in her first transactional sex. 

"Explaining Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in Peacekeeping Missions: The Role of Female Peacekeepers and Gender Equality in Contributing Countries" (with Kyle Beardsley). Journal of Peace Research 53, no. 1 (2016): 100-115.

Examines if the composition of peacekeeping forces along two dimensions – the proportion of women and the records of gender (in)equality in the contributing countries – helps explain variation in sexual exploitation and abuse allegations in peacekeeping missions. Indicates that including higher proportions of both female peacekeepers and personnel from countries with better records of gender equality is associated with lower levels of SEA allegations reported against military contingents. 

"Female Peacekeepers and Gender Balancing: Token Gestures or Informed Policymaking?" (with Kyle Beardsley). International Interactions 39, no. 4 (2013).
Examines the UN’s peacekeeping forces process of gender balancing. Proposes and presents evidence that female military personnel tend to deploy to areas where there is least risk and not to where they may be most needed—where sexual violence and gender equity has been a major problem.
"Madame Officer" Americas Quarterly 5, no. 3 (2011).
Discusses Peru’s new approach to policing. Examines the belief that women are less corruptible than men and whether or not using women officers is an effective effort to revive confidence in law enforcement.