Sarah Lischer

Associate Professor

Office: Kirby 304
Phone: 758-3545

Areas of expertise: International Security, International Conflict Resolution, Human Rights, Refugees and Migration, African Politics


Sarah Kenyon Lischer is an associate professor in the department of Politics and International Affairs at Wake Forest University. She is the author of Dangerous Sanctuaries: Refugee Camps, Civil War, and the Dilemmas of Humanitarian Aid (Cornell University Press, 2005). She has published widely on the topics of humanitarian crises, human rights, military intervention, African politics, and forced migration in journals such as International Security, Global Governance, the Harvard International Review, Civil Wars, and The American Scholar. Lischer has been awarded fellowships and grants by, among others, the Berghof Foundation, the Peace Research Institute of Oslo, Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation. She is writing a book on atrocity narratives and reconciliation after genocide.

BSFS       Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service
MPP        Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
PhD         Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Academic Appointments
Associate Professor,  Wake Forest University, 2005-present.
Assistant Professor,  Sweet Briar College, Department of Government, 2003-2005.




POL 116 Introduction to International Politics
Surveys the forces that shape relations among states and some of the major problems of contemporary international politics.

POL 251 Politics of Forced Migration
Addresses major questions about forced migration in international politics, such as: What causes people to flee their home? What are the effects of forced displacement on the host communities? How should considerations of human rights and international law affect our understanding of forced migration? How to prevent human trafficking and child soldier recruitment?

POL 266 Civil Wars: Causes and Consequences
Examines and assesses competing theories of civil war, including economic, ethnic, religious, and ideological explanations. Addresses dilemmas raised by civil war such as the spread of pandemics, child soldiers, the proliferation of private security companies, and the abuse of humanitarian aid.

POL 268 International Conflict Resolution
Explores various approaches to conflict resolution through readings, case studies, and simulations. Issues include negotiation and mediation, dealing with war criminals, tradeoffs between justice and peace, and the role of the international community in intractable conflicts.

POL 300 Senior Seminar in International Politics
This course examines the political dynamics of the relationship between memory and power in post-genocide countries. In doing so, the course draws on numerous case studies of genocide and human rights atrocities including: the Rwandan genocide, Apartheid South Africa, the Holocaust, the Chinese Tiananmen Square massacres, and the legacy of slavery in American universities.

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