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Josef Korbel School of International StudiesSié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security & Diplomacy



Oliver Kaplan


Oliver Kaplan is an Assistant Professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. He was previously a post-doctoral Research Associate at Princeton University in the Woodrow Wilson School and at Stanford University as an affiliate of the Empirical Studies of Conflict project. His book, Resisting War: How Communities Protect Themselves (Cambridge University Press), examines how civilian communities organize to protect themselves from wartime violence and received the Diskin Dissertation award honorable mention from the Latin American Studies Association. As part of his research, Kaplan has conducted fieldwork in Colombia and the Philippines. His research has been funded by the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Smith Richardson Foundation, and other grants, and has been published in The Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Peace Research, Conflict Management and Peace Science, The New York Times, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and The National Interest. Kaplan received his Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University and completed his B.A. at UC San Diego. He is a Council on Foreign Relations Term Member.


Resisting War: How Communities Protect Themselves, Cambridge University Press (July 2017).

Journal Articles

"The Art of Rhetorical Traps in Civilian Self-Protection," Journal of Peacebuilding and Development 12:3 (November 2017).

"Explaining Recidivism of Ex-combatants in Colombia," with Enzo Nussio, Journal of Conflict Resolution 62:1 (May 2016).

"Community Counts: The Social Reintegration of Ex-combatants in Colombia," with Enzo Nussio, Conflict Management and Peace Science  (November 2015).

"Nudging Armed Groups: How Civilians Transmit Norms of Protection," Stability: International Journal of Security and Development 2:3 (December 2013).

"Protecting Civilians in Civil War: The Institution of the ATCC in Colombia," Journal of Peace Research 50:3 (May 2013).

"Land Reform as a Counterinsurgency Policy: Evidence from Colombia," with Michael Albertus, Journal of Conflict Resolution 57:2 (2013).


"How to Keep the FARC Guerrillas Out of the Fight," with Enzo Nussio, The New York Times (August 3, 2017).

"Colombia Calls a Draw in the War on Drugs," (After years of bloodshed, Colombia's government is teaming up with its former rebel enemies to beat the drug problem), Foreign Policy: Democracy Lab (June 13, 2014). 

 "Can Colombia build on its democratic opening?" CNN's Global Public Square (November 19, 2013).

"Land for Peace in Colombia," (The Key to Ending Bogotá's War With the FARC), with Michael Albertus, Foreign Affairs (April 15, 2013).

"Colombia's Rebels and Land Reform," with Michael Albertus, The New York Times (October 9, 2012).

"A New Approach to the Drug War," National Interest (July 26, 2012).

"Needles into Ploughshares (Want to fight Latin America's drug problem? Try land reform)," with Michael Albertus, Foreign Policy: Democracy Lab (April 12, 2012)