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Tazreena Sajjad

Professorial Lecturer School of International Service

Dr. Tazreena Sajjad currently serves as Professorial Lecturer in the Global Governance, Politics and Security (GGPS) Program in the School of International Service (SIS) at American University in Washington D.C. Her areas of specialization include transitional justice, refugees, post-conflict governance, gender and conflict, and social movements in south Asia. Currently, her research projects examine the politics of labelling in Europe's refugee 'crisis' and the rise and dynamics of political Islam in Bangladesh (the latter with Dr. Carl Anders Hardig). Her other research interests include displacement and unaccompanied minors, volunteer networks in the global refugee crisis, and the increasing securitization and criminalization of migration. Prior to joining SIS, Dr. Sajjad worked in the Afghanistan program at Global Rights in Afghanistan, and in the South Asia program at the National Democratic Institute (NDI). She has also served as a research consultant at the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU) in Kabul, Afghanistan, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) in Washington D.C. and the Berghof Foundation, in Berlin, Germany. Her most recent articles include "Heavy Hands, Helping Hands, Holding Hands: The Politics of Exclusion in Victims' Networks in Nepal" and "Too Many Enemies: Mobilization, Marginalization and Political Violence" (co-authored with Dr. Carl Anders Hardig). Her book "Transitional Justice in South Asia: A Study of Afghanistan and Nepal" was published in 2013.


PhD and MA, SIS, American University, Washington D.C. BA, Political Science and International Studies, Macalester College, MN. International Baccalaureate, Red Cross Nordic United World College, Norway.

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SIS-School of Intl Service
East Quad Bldg - 203A
Contact Info
(202) 885-6572 (Office)

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For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Research Interests

Human rights and conflict, gender and conflict, humanitarian interventions, refugees, transitional justice, DDR, and social movements in South Asia.

Honors, Awards, and Fellowships

  • SIS Dean's Summer Research Award 2015.
  • Brady Tyson Award for Excellence in Work Related to Human Rights, 2011.   
  • SIS Dissertation Fellowship, 2009.
  • Abdul Aziz Said Scholarship, 2008.
  • Fellowship, Institute for Inclusive Security, 2008.
  • Dean's Fellowship, SIS, 2005.
  • Gandhi Memorial Scholarship, Gandhi Center, 2004.   
  • De Witt Scholarship, Macalester College, 1997-2001.                                           



Grants and Sponsored Research

  • Bridging the Gaps: A New Framework for Gender and Electoral Violence, USAID-CMM grant with the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), 2012-ongoing.
  • SIS Dean's Summer Research Award, 2015.
  • Peace At All Costs? Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit, 2010
  • SIS Dissertation Fellowship, SIS American University, 2009-2010. 
  • Abdul Aziz Said Scholarship, American University, 2008.
  • Fellowship, Institute for Inclusive Security, 2008. 
  • Dean’s Fellowship, SIS, American University, 2005-2008.

Executive Experience

  • Lead Researcher, Bridging the Gap: A New Framework for Gender and Electoral Violence, USAID-CMM grant with International Foundation for Electoral Systems, 2012-ongoing.
  • Consultant, Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU), Kabul, Afghanistan, 2011.
  • Professorial Lecturer, GGPS, SIS, American University, 2011-ongoing.
  • AU Human Rights Council, 2008-2009.
  • Adjunct Faculty, SIS, American University, 2008-2009.   
  • International Election Observer, Nepal, The Carter Center, 2009.  
  • Global Rights Afghanistan, Kabul and Washington, DC, 2005-2006. 
  • National Democratic Institute, South Asia Division, 2001-2002.


Professional Presentations

  • Between the Secular and the Sacred (with Dr. Anders Hardig), Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 2015
  • Justice in the Aftermath of Mass Atrocities, Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Washington College of Law, American University 2013.
  • Elections Through Her Eyes: Women's Empowerment, Inclusion and the Electoral Process, International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), Washington D.C. 2013
  • The Challenges for Dhaka City in the 21st Century, M-RSI, US Inter Agency Collaboration Conference, Washington D.C.,  2013.
  • Analytic Exchange on Bangladesh, Bureau of Intelligence, US State Department and the National Intelligence Council, Washington D.C., 2013.
  • Understanding Shahbag: Bangladesh at Another Crossroads, CUNY Graduate Center, NY 2013.
  • Gendering the Ballot Box: Electoral Violence and Women's Participation in Election Cycles, ISA, 2013.
  • Into Thin Air: Enforced Disappearances in Bangladesh, Politics and Human Rights in South Asia, NYU, 2012.
  • Voices in the Shadows: Power, Participation and Exclusion in Transitional Justice, ISA, San Diego, 2012.
  • Conducting Human Rights Research in Conflict Zones, Human Rights Week, AU, 2011.
  • Gender, Disability, and Conflict: Dialogues for Inclusion, Human Rights Week, AU, 2010.
  • Dimensions of Inclusion: Implementing UNSCR 1325, UNIFEM, UN, NY, 2010
  • Women in the Mix? Operationalizing Gender in Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) in Afghanistan, ISA, 2010.
  • Presentation of Peace At All Costs: Reintegration and Reconciliation with the Taliban, US State Department, 2010.
  • Prospects and Possibilities of a War Crimes Tribunal in Bangladesh, Bangladesh Heritage Foundation, Dhaka, 2009.
  • Critique of Stopping Genocide Through International Agreement When the Security Council Fails to Act,  International Association of Genocide, 2009
  • Mind the Gap: An Analysis of the Rule of Law and Transitional Justice in Afghanistan, Woodrow Wilson Center, 2009
  • Beyond the Realms of the State: Transitional Justice and Civil Society, ISA, 2009
  • Critiquing the Works of Charli Carpenter, ISA, 2009.
  • The Spaces Between: AIHRC and Transitional Justice, ISA-NE, 2008
  •  Dealing with the Devil: Political Pardons and their Impact on Afghan Women, ISA, 2008
  • Women and Peace Processes (with Julie Mertus), ISA, 2008
  • Protector and Predator: Sexual Violence and UN Peacekeeping, National Guild of Lawyers Conference on Feminism and Sexism, 2007
  • Social Movements, Human Rights and Feminist Methodologies (with Julie Mertus), APSA, 2007


Selected Publications

  • "Too Many Enemies: Mobilization, Marginalization and Political Violence" (co-authored with Dr. Carl Anders Hardig) in The Journal of Terrorism and Political Violence, 2016 (forthcoming)
  • "Heavy Hands, Helping Hands, Holding Hands: The Politics of Exclusion in Victims' Networks in Nepal," in The International Journal of Transitional Justice, 2016 (forthcoming)
  • "Political-Social Movements: Community-Based: Afghanistan," in Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures, Brill, 2014
  • Transitional Justice in South Asia: A Study of Afghanistan and Nepal, Routledge, 2013.
  • "Women and Peace Processes," in Women and Wars, (with Julie Mertus and Malathi de Alwis) (ed) Carol Cohn, Polity Press 2013.
  • "Rape on Trial? The Promise of International Jurisprudence, the Perils of Retributive Justice and the Realities of Impunity" in Rape: Instrument of War and Genocide (eds). John Roth and Carol Rittner, Paragon House 2012.   
  • " The War on Terror Through a Feminist Lens,"  in Human Rights in the 21st Century: Continuity and Change since 9/11 (co-authored with Julie Mertus), (eds). Michael Goodhart and Anja Mihr, Palgrave Macmillan, 2011. 
  • "These Spaces in Between: The AIHRC and Its Work on Transitional Justice," The International Journal of Transitional Justice, Vol 3, Oxford University Press, 2009.   
  • "Post-Genocidal Trauma and its Impact on Women in Genocide" in The Plight and Fate of Women During and Following Genocide, Vol 7. (ed). Sam Totten, Transaction Publishers, CA 2009.   
  • "Human Rights and Human Insecurity: The Contributions of US Counter-Terrorism," (co-authored with Julie Mertus), Journal of Human Rights, Vol 7, Issue 1, 2008.   
  • "Human Rights Post September 11," (co-authored with Julie Mertus) in Exploring International Human Rights, Lynne Rienner Publishers Boulder, CO, 2007.   
  • "When Civil Society Promotion Fails State-building: The Inevitable Faultlines in Post Conflict Reconstruction," (co-authored with Julie Mertus), in Subcontracting Peace: The Challenges of NGO Peacebuilding, eds Oliver P. Richmond and Henry F. Carey, Ashgate Publishing, UK  2005.

Media Appearances

  • Between the Secular and the Sacred," interview with Voice of America, 2015.
  • Q&A, Deconstructing the Chaos in Bangladesh, Al-Jazeera International,  May 31, 2013.
  • Bangladesh War Crimes Trials Stir Old Tensions, The Current, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, March 11, 2013.
  • Bangladesh's Rising Voices, The Stream, Al-Jazeera International, February 19, 2013.
  • Interview on Peace at All Costs, Stars and Stripes: US Military News Source, 2010.
  • Interview, Reintergration and Reconciliation with the Taliban, Voice of America, 2010.
  • Bangladesh and the Threat of Terrorism, Bangladesh Television, 2009.   
  • War Crimes and the Awami League (AL) Election Manifesto, Road to Democracy, RTV, Dhaka,  2008.
  • The Road to Transitional Justice for 1971, Road to Democracy, RTV, Dhaka, 2008.