Sarah Parkinson

Sarah Parkinson

Aronson Assistant Professor, Political Science and International Studies
Middle East Studies


  • Iraq
  • Lebanon
  • Palestine
  • The Levant
  • Civil War and Political Violence
  • Comparative Politics
  • Forced Migration
  • Research Methods & Ethics
  • Organizational Politics
  • Arabic
  • English
  • French

Background and Education

Sarah E. Parkinson received her PhD from the University of Chicago in 2013 and joined the faculty of Johns Hopkins University in 2016. Her research examines organizational behavior and social change during and following war. Focusing predominantly on the Middle East and North Africa, she uses social network analysis and ethnographic methods to study the ways that actors such as militant organizations, political parties, and humanitarian groups cope with crisis, disruption, and fragmentation. Parkinson has conducted extensive fieldwork among Palestinian and Syrian refugees in Lebanon and with humanitarian organizations in Iraqi Kurdistan. Her work has been published in the American Political Science Review, Social Science and Medicine, The Middle East Report, and the Washington Post's Monkey Cage blog.

Parkinson holds a PhD and MA in Political Science from the University of Chicago and a BA in International Studies from Johns Hopkins University. She has held fellowships at the Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Minnesota, the Institute for Middle East Studies at George Washington University, and Yale University's Program on Order, Conflict, and Violence. Parkinson serves on the Steering Committee of the Project on Middle East Political Science.

Sarah E. Parkinson's Personal Website

Parkinson, Sarah Elizabeth. 2013. "Organizing Rebellion: Rethinking High-Risk Mobilization and Social Networks in War." American Political Science Review 107(3): 418-432.

Parkinson, S. E., & Behrouzan, O. 2015. “Negotiating health and life: Syrian refugees and the politics of access in Lebanon.” Social Science & Medicine, 146, 324–331.

Crawford, Kerry F., Amelia Hoover Green, and Sarah E. Parkinson. 2014. “Wartime sexual violence is not just a ‘weapon of war.’” The Washington Post, September 24. 

Parkinson, Sarah E. 2016.  “Money Talks: Discourse, Networks, and Structure in Militant Organizations.” Perspectives on Politics 14 (4): 976–94. doi:10.1017/S1537592716002875.

Hundman, Eric, and Parkinson, Sarah E.. 2019. “Rogues, Degenerates, and Heroes: Disobedience as Politics in Military Organizations.”

Bond, Kanisha D, Kate Cronin-Furman, Meredith Loken, Milli Lake, Sarah E. Parkinson, and Anna Zelenz. 2019. “The West Needs to Take the Politics of Women in ISIS Seriously.” Foreign Policy. March 4, 2019.

2016-08-24 00:00:00 
Spring 2015