Deborah Avant

Deborah Avant


Deborah Avant is the Sié Chéou-Kang Chair for International Security and Diplomacy and Director of the Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver.  She is author/editor of The New Power Politics: Networks and Transnational Security Governance with Oliver Westerwinter; Who Governs the Globe? with Martha Finnemore and Susan Sell , The Market for Force: the Consequences of Privatizing Security, and Political Institutions and Military Change: Lessons From Peripheral Wars ( , along with articles in such journals as International Organization, International Studies Quarterly, Security Studies, Perspectives on Politics, and Foreign Policy.  Her research (funded by the Institute for Global Conflict and Cooperation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Smith Richardson Foundation, and the Carnegie Corporation, among others) has focused on the politics of controlling violence at local, national, and global levels.  In 2013 she was awarded an honorary doctorate from University of St.Gallen for her research and contribution toward regulating private military and security companies and she is editor in chief of the International Studies Association’s newly launched journal: the Journal of Global Security Studies.

Session: How can “civil” action affect violence?

Politics & Service | Friday, Nov 11, 2016

For years, we have focused on states, macro-narratives, and violent actions to understand conflict. Recent research has challenged each of these, however, showing that businesses, international NGOs, and others impact conflict trajectories; that violence often escalates inadvertently as the product of local opportunism; and that our understanding is enhances by considering violence and non-violence in tandem. Building on these threads, new research examines the logic and prospects of ‘civil’ action during conflicts. Civil actions interact with violent actions to carve out civil space for human interaction, affect levels and types of local violence, and alter the trajectories of conflicts.