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Radcliffe Workshop - Violence against Politicians: Theories, Data and Implications


  • Radcliffe College Cambridge, MA 02138 (map)

Organizers: Mona Lena Krook (Rutgers) and Pippa Norris (Harvard/Sydney)

Location: Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

In recent years, a growing number of parliamentarians, governments, and civil society organizations around the world have drawn attention to what are perceived to be rising levels of violence, abuse, and intimidation directed at political candidates and elected officials. Global practitioners, in particular, have highlighted that women in politics appear to be targeted more often and more viciously than their male colleagues. Responding to these trends, scholars in multiple disciplines – including forensic science, history, economics, and political science – have published studies on this phenomenon. Collectively, they have sought to theorize and operationalize ‘violence against politicians’ and ‘violence against women in politics’; document its forms and prevalence in different contexts around the world; and explore its impact both on politics and on society at large. To date, however, there has been little cross-fertilization across these literatures, undermining opportunities to better understand this phenomenon – as well as the degree to which it is gendered or not.

This exploratory seminar seeks:

(1) to initiate a dialogue among scholars from these different disciplines, sharing theories and approaches to data collection and analysis, and

(2) to bring them together with practitioners currently engaged in developing program and policy responses to this problem in different parts of the world.

Desired outcomes include the publication of an edited volume and the creation of an international network of scholars and practitioners working on violence against politicians, which could continue to collaborate on these issues, both from a scholarly and a policy perspective.

Earlier Event: September 27
Nordic Models in the Age of Populism