Sarah Jenkins


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Personal profile


Dr Sarah Jenkins joined UEA as a Lecturer in Politics and International Development in August 2016. She was awarded her PhD in International Politics from Aberystwyth University in 2013, and has since held posts as a Teaching Fellow in International Security at the University of Warwick (2013-2014), and a Research Associate in the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University (2014-2016).

Sarah’s research interests lie at the intersection of democratisation, identity politics, and political violence. Her current research examines the nature and dynamics of electoral violence and malpractice in sub-Saharan Africa. More broadly she is interested in the micro-level dynamics of violence and peace in ethnically divided societies, urban insecurity, peace-building, and democratisation in sub-Saharan Africa. She was awarded the prize for the Best Doctoral Paper in Nationalism Studies at the Association for the Study of Nationalities conference in 2011, and has since published in African Affairs, Civil Wars, and the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography.

Sarah has also worked as a consultant on democratisation, conflict, and security in Kenya for the Overseas Development Institute, Coffey International, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office


Key Research Interests and Expertise

Sarah's current research revolves around three key projects:

Security, manipulation, and elections in sub-Saharan Africa - This research strand explores the prevalence and strategic use of low-intensity violence and intimidation during election periods in sub-Saharan Africa

Pockets of peace and the micro-level dynamics of violence - This research strand examines the micro-level dynacmis of violence, exploring how, when and why localised pockets of peace emerge and persist during periods of intense conflict. Preliminary research for this project - generously funded by the International Peace Research Association Foundation - was carried out in Kyrgyzstan in 2016. 

From banality to bloodshed: Ethnic conflict and electoral violence in Kenya 2007-2017 - This project explores the everyday practices of ethnicity, its relationship to political competition, and its implications for political violence in the case of Kenya's democratisation process. 


She also has research interests in urban insecurity, informal governance, and peacebuilding in sub-Saharan Africa and welcomes PhD applications in the following areas: elections and democratisation; ethnic conflict; urban (in)security, informal governance and security provision; and political violence. 


Teaching Interests

Sarah teaches across a range undergraduate and postgraduate modules, particularly in the areas of identity politics, democratisation, conflict, insecurity, and peacebuilding. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Aberystwyth University


Award Date: 1 Jan 2013

Master of Letters, University of St Andrews


Award Date: 1 Nov 2006


Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or