Elisabeth Wood named the Crosby Professor of the Human Environment

Photo of Professor Elisabeth Wood.
Elisabeth Wood

Elisabeth Jean Wood, newly named as the Franklin Muzzy Crosby Professor of the Human Environment, focuses her research on political violence, particularly sexual violence during war; the emergence and resolution of civil wars; collective action and social movements; transitions to democracy; distributive politics, especially agrarian; and the politics of Latin America and Africa.

Wood 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.” She co-edited “Understanding and Proving International Sex Crimes” and “Political Representation,” and is a prolific contributor of articles and chapters to journals and edited volumes.

Wood earned undergraduate degrees from Cornell University and the University of Oxford. After receiving her Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University, she held faculty positions at New York University. Wood came to Yale in 2004 as a professor of political science. She has also served as a member of the faculty of the Santa Fe Institute.

The Yale professor is a member of the board of directors of the Peace Research Endowment and 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, a research network in Colombia), and other policy-related organizations. She also serves on the editorial board of the “Contentious Politics” series of the Cambridge University Press.

Wood 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. In 2013, she received the Yale Graduate Mentor Award for the Social Sciences.

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