Sarah Z. Daly

Sarah Z. Daly

Research Interest


Sarah Zukerman Daly is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Columbia University. She completed her Ph.D. in political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she was awarded the Lucian Pye Award for the Best Dissertation in Political Science, and she holds an M.Sc. (Distinction) in development studies from the London School of Economics and B.A. (Honors, Distinction, Phi Beta Kappa) in international relations from Stanford University. She has been a visiting associate research scholar in Latin American Studies at Princeton University, a pre-doctoral fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University, and a post-doctoral fellow in the Political Science Department and at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University. Before joining the faculty at Columbia, she was Assistant Professor of Political Science and Faculty Fellow at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies and the Kroc Institute for International Peace at the University of Notre Dame.

Her book, Organized Violence after Civil War: The Geography of Recruitment in Latin America, was published by Cambridge University Press in its Comparative Politics series in 2016. The book explores why some violent organizations choose to demilitarize following peace negotiations, whereas others choose to remilitarize and resume violence instead. She argues that the primary driving force behind a return to organized violence is the variation in recruitment patterns within, and between, the warring groups. The book received Honorable Mention for the Conflict Research Society’s 2017 Best Book of the Year Prize.

Forthcoming from Princeton University Press in its International Politics and History series is her second book, Violent Victors: Why Bloodstained Parties Win Postwar Elections. It asks why citizens vote for political actors that used violence against the civilian population and explores the implications of these elections for peace, democracy, and justice. For this project, she was awarded the Minerva-United States Institute of Peace, Peace and Security Early Career Scholar Award and was named a 2018 Andrew Carnegie Fellow.

Her articles on postwar elections, political violence, civil war and peace, organized crime, ethnic politics, transitional justice, and vaccine hesitancy have appeared in World Politics, British Journal of Political Science, International Security, Comparative Politics, Journal of Peace Research, Political Analysis, PS: Political Science and Politics, Conflict Management and Peace ScienceNature Partner Journal – Vaccines, PLOS One, Conflict, Security & Development, and in several edited volumes. Her Journal of Peace Research article received Honorable Mention for the Nils Petter Gleditsch JPR Article of the Year Award.

Her research has been funded by the Andrew Mellon Foundation/American Council of Learned Societies, Social Science Research Council, National Science Foundation, Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, Smith Richardson Foundation, Fulbright Program, United States Institute of Peace, Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Minerva Initiative. She is a permanent member of the Council on Foreign Relations and an affiliate of Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation.

Courses Taught