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, and Director of the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies. Her research focuses on terrorism, the international politics of climate change, 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, Perspectives on Politics, the Journal of Conflict Resolution, World Politics, International Studies Quarterly, and International Studies Review. She is currently working on projects on terrorism in civil wars and international power in the anthropocene. Her research combines quantitative and qualitative methods, draws on diverse theoretical approaches, and focuses on policy-relevant questions.

Fortna was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2021.  She received the Lenfest Distinguished Columbia Faculty Award in 2014, and the Karl Deutsch Award from the International Studies Association in 2010. She has held fellowships at the International Centre for Ethnic Studies in Colombo, Sri Lanka, the Dickey Center at Dartmouth, 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, climate change, war termination and the durability of peace, terrorism, cooperation and security, and research methods.

She lives in New York (and sometimes in Portland, Oregon) with her husband, Pete Beeman; her daughters, Rosina and Linden; and their dog, Amba.

“Extremism and Terrorism: Rebel Goals and the Use of Terrorism in Civil Wars.” Perspectives on Politics Forthcoming. With Renanah Miles Joyce.

“Is Terrorism Really a Weapon of the Weak? Debunking the Conventional Wisdom.” Journal of Conflict Resolution Vol. 67, No. 4, 2023, pp. 642–71.  

“Terrorism in Armed Conflict: New Data Attributing Terrorism to Rebel Organizations.” Conflict Management and Peace Science Vol. 39, No. 2, 2022, pp. 214–36. With Nicholas Lotito and Michael Rubin. 

“The Astonishing Success of Peacekeeping” with Barbara F. Walter and Lise Morjé Howard. Foreign Affairs. November 29, 2021.  

“The Extraordinary Relationship between Peacekeeping and Peace.” The British Journal of Political Science. With Barbara F. Walter and Lise Morjé Howard. 2020.  

“Don’t Bite the Hand that Feeds: Rebel Funding Sources and the Use of Terrorism.” International Studies Quarterly. Vol. 62, No. 4. 2018, pp. 782-794.  With Nicholas Lotito and Michael Rubin. 

“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.

Terrorism in Armed Conflict (TAC).  With Nicholas Lotito and Michael Rubin.  Data on terrorist incidents for all dyads in the UCDP Armed Conflict Data set (1970-2013) 

Rebel Extremism Data (RED). With Renanah Miles.  Data on the extremism of rebel goals (1970 - 2013)

Interstate War Initiation and Termination.  With Tanisha Fazal.  Data on declarations of war, and the military and political outcome of interstate and civil wars (1816 - 2010). 

Peacekeeping and the Peacekept Data Set: Data on cease-fires and peacekeeping in civil wars (1989-1999)  

Cease-Fires Data Set.  Comprehensive data on cease-fires, cease-fire agreements, and the durability of peace in interstate wars (1946 - 1998).  Time-constant and time-varying covariate versions   links forthcoming


Courses Taught