SIPA Faculty-Severine Autesserre; SIPA Faculty-Severine Autesserre

Séverine Autesserre

Professor and Chair, Political Science; Adjunct Senior Research Scholar

Personal Details

Focus areas: Peacekeeping and peacebuilding, Democratic Republic of Congo, international relations, politics of humanitarian and development aid

Séverine Autesserre is an award-winning author, peacebuilder, and researcher, as well as a Professor and Chair of Political Science at Barnard College, Columbia University. She is the author of The Trouble with the CongoPeaceland, and The Frontlines of Peace, in addition to articles for publications such as Foreign AffairsInternational Organization, and The New York Times.

Autesserre has been involved intimately in the world of international aid for more than twenty years. She has conducted research in twelve different conflict zones, from Colombia to Somalia to Israel and the Palestinian territories. Autesserre has worked for Doctors Without Borders in places like Afghanistan and Congo, and at the United Nations headquarters in the United States. Her research has helped shape the intervention strategies of several United Nations departments, foreign affairs ministries, and non-governmental organizations, as well as numerous philanthropists and activists. She has also been a featured speaker at the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the United Nations Security Council. Please click here for more details, or follow her on Twitter at @SeverineAR.


  • Post-doctorate, Yale University
  • Ph.D. in Political Science, New York University
  • M.A., Columbia University
  • M.A., Science-Po
  • B.A., Sorbonne University, France

Honors and Awards

  • 2021 American Public Health Association’s Victor Sidel and Barry Levy Award for Peace
  • 2021 Emily Gregory Award (Barnard’s only student-nominated and student-selected professorship award) for excellence in teaching
  • Chevalière de l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques (Knight of the Order of Academic Palms), French state decoration, 2021
  • 2021 Emerging Scholar Award from the International Studies Association’s International Security Section
  • 2017 Prix Special du Jury (Special Prize of the Jury), Fonds Croix-Rouge (French Red Cross Fund), awarded to "an original trajectory and the quality of the research"
  • 2016 International Studies Association's Best Book of the Year Award (for book “Peaceland”)
  • 2015 International Studies Association's Yale H. Ferguson Award (for book “Peaceland”)
  • 2015 Honorable mention, International Studies Association’s Chadwick Alger Award for best book on international organizations and multilateralism (for book “Peaceland”)
  • 2014 Honorable mention, African Arguments’ Best Book of the Year (for book “Peaceland”)
  • 2013 African Politics Conference Group’s Best Article Award (for article “Dangerous Tales”)
  • 2012 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order (for book “The Trouble with the Congo”)
  • 2011 International Studies Association’s Chadwick Alger Award for best book on international organizations and multilateralism (for book “The Trouble with the Congo”)
  • 2006 Graduate Student Paper Prize Award, African Studies Association (for article “Local Violence, National Peace”)

Research And Publications

In The Media

Séverine Autesserre's most recent book, The Frontlines of Peace, has been updated and newly translated into French. Le Monde Diplomatique has the first French-language review.

Mar 01 2023
Le Monde Diplomatique

The selection of 2021 mid-year reads for politics by Financial Times features Séverine Autesserre's latest book, "The Frontlines of Peace."

Jun 23 2021
Financial Times

Séverine Autesserre joins the podcast to discuss a new approach to building peace.

Jun 09 2021
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs

As a humanitarian worker, Séverine Autesserre watched many peacekeeping efforts fail. Today, as a researcher, she asks why some communities keep the peace despite great odds – and finds a common denominator.

Apr 18 2021
Christian Science Monitor

Contrary to what most politicians preach, building peace doesn't require billions in aid or massive international interventions. Real, lasting peace requires giving power to local citizens. Séverine Autesserre discusses her new book.

Apr 12 2021
World Affairs