Virginia Page Fortna

Virginia Page Fortna

Research Interest

Page Fortna (PhD Harvard, 1998) is the Harold Brown Professor of U.S. Foreign and Security Policy in the Department of Political Science. Her research focuses on terrorism, the durability of peace in the aftermath of both civil and interstate wars, and war termination. She is the author of two books: Does Peacekeeping Work? Shaping Belligerents Choices after Civil War (Princeton University Press, 2008) and Peace Time: Cease-Fire Agreements and the Durability of Peace (Princeton University Press, 2004). She has published articles in journals such as International Organization, World Politics, International Studies Quarterly, and International Studies Review. She is currently working on a project on terrorism in civil wars. Her research combines quantitative and qualitative methods, draws on diverse theoretical approaches, and focuses on policy-relevant questions.

Fortna is a member of the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University. She received the Karl Deutsch Award from the International Studies Association in 2010. She has held fellowships at the Olin Institute at Harvard, the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Hoover Institution. She received her BA from Wesleyan University.

Professor Fortna teaches courses on international politics, war termination and the durability of peace, terrorism, cooperation and security, and research methods.

Professor Fortna's article "Do Terrorists Win? Rebels' Use of Terrorism and Civil War Outcomes" (International Organization, Summer 2015) was highlighted in The Atlantic; Slateand Die Zeit. She talks about her research with Dan Riendreau of the Corus Radio Network here (aired May 28, 2015).

She lives in New York (and in Portland, Oregon during summers and leaves) with her husband, Pete Beeman; her daughters, Rosie and Linden; and their dog, Tosca.

“Do Terrorists Win? The Use of Terrorism and Civil War Outcomes 1989-2009.” International Organization. Vol 69, No. 3. 2015, pp. 519-556.

“Is Peacekeeping ‘Winning the War on War’?” Symposium: “Has Violence Declined in World Politics? A Discussion of  on Joshua S. Goldstein’s Winning the War on War: the Decline of Armed Conflict Worldwide.” Perspectives on Politics Vol. 11, No. 2, June 2013, pp. 566-570.

With Reyko Huang. “Democratization after Civil War: A Brush-Clearing Exercise.” International Studies Quarterly. Vol. 56, No. 4, December 2012.

With Lise Morjé Howard. “Pitfalls and Prospects in the Peacekeeping Literature.” Annual Review of Political Science. Vol. 11. 2008, pp. 283-901.
Reproduced in Graham Brown and Arnim Langer, eds Elgar Handbook of Civil War and Fragile States Elgar 2012.
And in Levi, Margaret, ed. Domestic Political Violence and Civil War: An Introduction ARPS 2013.

“Interstate Peacekeeping: Causal Mechanisms and Empirical Effects.” World Politics, Vol. 56, No. 4, July 2004, pp. 481-519.

“Does Peacekeeping Keep Peace? International Intervention and the Duration of Peace after Civil War.” International Studies Quarterly, Vol. 48, No. 2, June 2004, pp. 269-92.
Reprinted in Rajat Ganguly, ed. Ethnic Conflict. Sage Publications, 2009.

“Inside and Out: Peacekeeping and the Duration of Peace after Civil and Interstate Wars.” International Studies Review, Vol. 5, No. 4, December 2003, pp. 97-114.
Reprinted in Suzanne Werner, David Davis, and Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, eds. Dissolving Boundaries: the Nexus between Comparative Politics and International Relations. Blackwell Publishing, 2003.

“Scraps of Paper? Agreements and the Durability of Peace.” International Organization, Vol. 57, No. 2, Spring 2003, pp.337-72.
Condensed version reprinted in International Law and International Relations, Beth Simmons and Richard Steinberg, eds. Cambridge University Press, 2006. Full version reprinted in International Law, Beth Simmons, ed. Sage Publications, 2008.

“A Lost Chance for Peace: The Bicesse Accords in Angola.” Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 4, No. 1, Winter/Spring 2003, pp. 73-9.

With Lisa Martin. “Peacekeepers as Signals: the Demand for International Peacekeeping in Civil Wars,” in Helen V. Milner and Andrew Moravcsik, eds. Power, Interdependence, and Nonstate Actors in World Politics: Research Frontiers. Princeton University Press, 2009.

“Peacekeeping and Democratization” in Anna Jarstad and Tim Sisk, eds. From War to Democracy: Dilemmas of Peacebuilding. Cambridge University Press, 2008.

“Success and Failure in Southern Africa: Peacekeeping in Namibia and Angola,” in Donald Daniels and Bradd Hayes, eds. Beyond Traditional Peacekeeping, London: Macmillan, 1995.

“United Nations Transition Assistance Group in Namibia,” “United Nations Angola Verification Mission I,” and “United Nations Angola Verification Mission II,” in William Durch, ed. The Evolution of UN Peacekeeping: Case Studies and Comparative Analysis, New York: St. Martin's Press, 1993.

“Peace Enforcement: The United Nations Experience in Congo, Somalia, and Bosnia” by Jane Boulden (Westport: Praeger, 2001) in Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 117, No. 1, Spring 2002, pp. 163-4.

“Is Terrorism Really a Weapon of the Weak? Testing the Conventional Wisdom”

With Tanisha Fazal. “Guerrillas in the Mist: Insurgency, Guerrilla Warfare, and Rebellion 1800-2010.”

“Choosing Terror: Rebels’ Use of Terrorism in Civil Wars”

“Where Have all the Victories Gone? War Outcomes in Historical Perspective”

How Can Permanent Cessation of Civil Wars Be Achieved? Lessons from international conflict and a look at some African cases. Center for International Studies, MIT, May 1997.

Regional Organizations and Peacekeeping. Occ. Paper 11, The Henry L. Stimson Center, October 1992.

Course Syllabi

Causes and Consequences of Terrorism
Advanced graduate level course examining new and classic literature on the causes and effects of terrorism.

Colloquium on Cooperation and Security
Advanced graduate level course on theories of cooperation and applications in security studies.

Methods of Inquiry and Research Design
Graduate/undergraduate level course on research methods.

Ending Wars and Keeping Peace
Upper level undergraduate research and writing seminar.  

War Termination and the Stability of Peace
SIPA seminar for policy students.

International Politics
Undergraduate introduction to the field.



How to Write a Research Paper

Courses Taught