Sarah Daly completed her PhD in Political Science at MIT where she was awarded the Lucian Pye Award for the Best Dissertation in Political Science, and she holds a MSc (Distinction) in Development Studies from London School of Economics and BA (Honors, Distinction, Phi Beta Kappa) in International Relations from Stanford University. She has been a visiting associate research scholar in Latin American Studies at Princeton University, a post-doctoral fellow in Political Science and at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University, and a pre-doctoral fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University. Before joining the faculty at Columbia, Daly was Assistant Professor of Political Science and Faculty Fellow at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies and the Kroc Institute for International Peace at the University of Notre Dame.

Her book, ‘Organized Violence after Civil War: The Geography of Recruitment in Latin America,’ was published by Cambridge University Press in its Comparative Politics series in 2016. The book explores why some violent organizations choose to demilitarize following peace negotiations, whereas others choose to remilitarize and resume violence instead. It argues that the primary driving force behind a return to organized violence is the variation in recruitment patterns within, and between, the warring groups. The book was Honorable Mention for the Conflict Research Society’s 2017 Best Book of the Year Prize. Forthcoming from Princeton University Press in its International Politics and History series is her second book on why citizens vote for political actors that used violence against the civilian population, for which she was awarded the Minerva-United States Institute of Peace, Peace and Security Early Career Scholar Award and was named a 2018 Andrew Carnegie Fellow.

Daly’s articles on civil war, peace, organized crime, ethnic politics, and transitional justice have appeared or are forthcoming in World Politics, British Journal of Political Science, Comparative Politics, Political Analysis, Journal of Peace Research, Conflict Management and Peace Science, PS: Political Science and Politics, Conflict, Security & Development, and in several edited volumes. Her Journal of Peace Research article was Honorable Mention for the Nils Petter Gleditsch JPR Article of the Year Award.

Daly’s research has been funded by the Andrew Mellon Foundation/American Council of Learned Societies, Social Science Research Council, National Science Foundation, Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, Smith Richardson Foundation, Fulbright Program, United States Institute of Peace, Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Folke Bernadotte Academy, and Minerva Initiative. She is a permanent member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is an affiliate of Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation.


Sarah Zukerman Daly, Violent Victors: Why Bloodstained Parties Win Postwar Elections (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2022).
Sarah Daly, Organized Violence After Civil War: The Geography of Recruitment in Latin America (New York, NY : Cambridge University Press, 2016).

Principal Articles

Sarah Daly, “A Farewell to Arms? Election Results and Lasting Peace After Civil War,” International Security 46, no. 3 (Winter 2021-2022).
Sarah Daly, “How Do Violent Politicians Govern? The Case of Paramilitary-Tied Mayors in Colombia,” British Journal of Political Science (December 2021).
Pablo Argote Tironi, Elena Barham, Sarah Daly, Julian Gérez, John Marshall, and Oscar Pocasangre, “Messaging Interventions that Increase COVID-19 Vaccine Willingness in Latin America,” PLOS ONE 16, no. 10 (October 2021).
Pablo Argote Tironi, Elena Barham, Sarah Daly, Julian Gérez, John Marshall, and Oscar Pocasangre “The Shot, the Message, and the Messenger: COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance in Latin America,” Nature Partner Journal – Vaccines 6, no. 1 (September 2021).
Sarah Daly, “Political Life After Civil Wars: Introducing the Civil War Successor Party Dataset.” Journal of Peace Research 58, no. 4 (July 2021).
Peter Krause, Ora Szekely, Mia Bloom, Fotini Christia, Sarah Daly, et al., “COVID-19 and Fieldwork: Challenges and Solutions,” PS: Political Science and Politics 54, no. 2 (April 2021).
Sarah Daly, Laura Paler, and Cyrus Samii  “Wartime Ties and the Social Logic of Crime,” Journal of Peace Research 57, no. 4 (July 2020).
Sarah Daly, “Voting for Victors: Why Violent Actors Win Post-War Elections,” World Politics 71, no. 4 (October 2019).
Sarah Daly, “Determinants of ex-combatants’ attitudes toward transitional justice in Colombia,” Conflict Management and Peace Science 35, no. 6 (November 2018).
Sarah Daly, Laura Paler, and Cyrus Samii, “Retrospective Causal Inference with Machine Learning Ensembles: An Application to Anti-Recidivism Policies in Colombia,” Political Analysis 24, no. 4 (Autumn 2016).
Sarah Daly, “The Dark Side of Power-Sharing: Middle Managers and Civil War Recurrence,” Comparative Politics 46, no. 3 (April 2014).
Sarah Daly, “State Strategies in Multiethnic Territories: Explaining Variation in the Former Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc,” British Journal of Political Science 42, no. 3 (April 2014).
Sarah Daly, “Organizational Legacies of Violence: Conditions Favoring Insurgency in Colombia, 1964-1984,” Journal of Peace Research 49, no. 3 (May 2012).
Sarah Daly, “The Roots of Coercion and Insurgency: Exploiting the Counterfactual Case,” Conflict, Security & Development 11, no. 2 (June 2011).

Book Chapters

Sarah Daly, “Conducting Safe Fieldwork on Violence and Peace,” in Peter Krause and Ora Szekely, eds., Stories from the Field: A Guide to Navigating Fieldwork in Political Science (New York: Columbia University Press, 2020).
Sarah Daly and Juan Albarracín, “Determinants of State Strength and Capacity: Understanding Citizen Allegiance, ”in James Meernik and Jacqueline DeMeritt, eds., As War Ends: What Colombia Can Tell Us About the Sustainability of Peace and Transitional Justice (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2019).
Sarah Daly, “The Logic and Consequences of State Strategies Toward Violent Non-State Actors,” in Stefano Ruzzo, Charles C. Geisler, and Anja P. Jakobi, eds., The Jackals of Westphalia? Non-State Challenges in a Re-Ordered World (New York: Routledge, 2016).
Sarah Daly, “Reintegration of Ex-Combatants” in Lavinia Stan and Nadya Nedelsky, eds., Encyclopedia of Transitional Justice 1 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013).
Sarah Daly and Roger Petersen, “Anger, Violence, and Political Science,” in M. Potegal, G. Stemmler, and C. Spielberger, eds., International Handbook of Anger: Constituent and Concomitant Biological, Psychological, and Social Processes (New York: Springer, 2010).
Sarah Daly and Roger Petersen, “Revenge or Reconciliation: Theory and Method of Emotions in the Context of Colombia’s Peace Process,” in M. Bergsmo and P. Kalmanovitz, eds., Forum for International Justice and Conflict: Law in Peace Negotiations 2 (Oslo: Torkel Opsahl Academic EPublisher, 2010).

Other Articles, Testimony and Reports

Sarah Daly, “Why Do Bloodstained Groups Win Postwar Elections?” Talking Policy Podcast, 7 November 2022.
Sarah Daly, “Trump is Running for Reelection as a ‘Strongman,’ Promising Protection from Anarchy. That Might Not Work,” The Washington Post Monkey Cage, 23 September 2020.
Sarah Daly, “FARC Rebels’ Political Party Performs Poorly in First Post-War Election,” Political Violence @ A Glance, 22 March 2018.
Sarah Daly, “7,000 FARC Rebels are Demobilizing in Colombia. But Where do They Go Next?,” The Washington Post Monkey Cage, 21 April 2018.
Sarah Daly with Laura Paler and Cyrus Samii, “How can Colombia Stop Former FARC Rebels from Turning to Crime?” The Washington Post Monkey Cage, 2 October 2018.
Sarah Daly, “Will Peace with the FARC End Violence in Colombia?” Huffington Post, 27 September 2016.
Sarah Daly, Review of Trust and Fear in Civil Wars: Ending Intrastate Conflicts by Shanna Kirschner, Perspectives on Politics 14, no. 2, 13 June 2016.
Sarah Daly with Laura Paler and Cyrus Samii, “Retorno a la Legalidad o Reincidencia de Excombatientes en Colombia: Dimensión del Fenómeno y Factores de Riesgo,” Informes Fundación Ideas para la Paz, June 2014.
Sarah Daly and Paola Gonzalez, “La Reincidencia: Una Mirada Desde la Cárcel,” Organization of American States, July 2008.