Consultative Group

The SVAC Dataset has relied on the advice and guidance of a Consultative Group, experts with detailed knowledge of sexual violence, violence against civilians and civil wars. The Consultative Group includes the following scholars:

Inger Skjelsbæk is professor in gender studies at the Center for Gender Research and at the Center for Research on Extremism (C-REX) at the University of Oslo (UiO), Norway. She is also Research Professor at the  Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), Norway. She holds a PhD in psychology from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). Her research focuses on gender, peace and conflict, violent extremism, political psychology, international relations, qualitative research methodologies and the Balkans. She has been a visiting senior fellow at the Center for Women, Peace and Security at the London School of Economics (LSE), UK, and at the Human Rights Center at University of California, Berkeley, USA. She is the author of numerous scholarly publications including the monograph “The Political Psychology of War Rape” (Routledge 2012). She is also a frequently used commentator in Norwegian and international media on issues related to gender based violence in armed conflict. She is deputy member of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, which awards the Nobel Peace Prize.

Scott Gates is Research Professor at PRIO and Professor at the University of Oslo. He has published ten books including War and State-Building in Afghanistan (Bloomsbury). He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Peace Research and is the Editor in Chief of the International Area Studies Review. Gates’ current research interests include conflict dynamics, policing and protest, post-conflict governance, sexual violence and conflict, and children and war.

Mia Bloom is Professor of Communication at Georgia State University. Dr. Bloom is the author of Dying to Kill: The Allure of Suicide Terror (2005), Living Together After Ethnic Killing, edited with Roy Licklider (2007), and Bombshell: Women and Terror (2011). Dr. Bloom recently completed a book on children and terrorism called Small Arms (2019) and is completing a book on women and ISIS entitled Veiled Threats: Women and the Global Jihad (for Brookings Press 2020). She is a former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has held research or teaching appointments at Princeton, Cornell, Harvard, and McGill Universities. Bloom has a PhD in political science from Columbia University, a Masters Degree in Arab Studies from Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service, and a Bachelors Degree from McGill University in Islamic, Russian and Middle Eastern Studies and speaks eight languages.

Chris Butler is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of New Mexico. He focuses on understanding political conflict in a variety of domains. His research on sexual violence includes “Security Forces and Sexual Violence: A Cross-National Analysis of a Principal-Agent Argument” (Journal of Peace Research) and “Sexual Violence by Government Security Forces: Can Peacetime Levels of Sexual Violence Predict Levels of Sexual Violence in Civil Conflict?” (International Area Studies Review).

Amelia Hoover Green is Associate Professor in the Department of Politics at Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, and a consultant to the Human Rights Data Analysis Group (San Francisco, CA). Her book The Commander’s Dilemma (Cornell University Press, 2018) examines the role of armed group institutions, particularly for training, socialization, and political education, in restraining violence against civilians. Her methodological research examines the effects of measurement error on conflict research findings.

Michele Leiby is Associate Professor in Political Science at the College of Wooster. Her research rests at the intersection of international relations and comparative politics, and addresses pressing questions concerning gender, political violence, and human rights advocacy. Her two concurrent threads of research focus on: (1) documenting and understanding the patterns of sexual violence in conflict situations, with regional expertise in Latin America; and (2) evaluating the efficacy of nongovernmental human rights organizations’ efforts at grassroots mobilization and norm change. Her work has been published in English and Spanish, appearing in the American Political Science ReviewInternational Studies QuarterlyPolitics and SocietyRevista Memoria, as well as in various edited volumes on international sex crimes. At the College of Wooster, she teaches courses on human rights, comparative politics and social science research methods.

Elisabeth Jean Wood is Crosby Professor of the Human Environment and Professor of Political Science, International and Area Studies at Yale University. She is currently writing a book on sexual violence during war. 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. Among her recent articles are “Rape as a Practice of War: Towards a Typology of Political Violence,” “The Persistence of Sexual Assault within the US Military,” and “The Social Processes of Civil War: The Wartime Transformation of Social Networks,” as well as two articles co-authored with Francisco Gutiérrez Sanín, “What should we mean by ‘pattern of political violence’? Repertoire, targeting, frequency, and technique” and “Ideology and Civil War: Instrumental Adoption and Beyond.” A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, she teaches courses on comparative politics, political violence, collective action, agrarian studies, and qualitative research methods. She has served on editorial boards for the Contentious Politics series (Cambridge University Press) since 2004, World Politics since 2016, for Politics and Society (2003 – 2013) and American Political Science Review (2007-2013). She currently serves on the American Political Science Association’s Ad-hoc Committee on Human Subjects Research.

Robert Ulrich Nagel is postdoctoral fellow at the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security (2020-2022). His research explores the conflict dynamics that contribute to and result from sexual violence, their consequences for international security, conflict resolution, and post-conflict stability. His research using the SVAC dataset has been awarded the Cedric Smith Prize by the Conflict Research Society and the Dina Zinnes Award of the International Studies Association. His articles are published or forthcoming in the Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Peace Research, and Security Studies. In addition to his  research and teaching, he is the journal manager for International Peacekeeping.