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



Timothy D. Sisk


Dr. Timothy Sisk is Professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies. Dr. Sisk is presently chairperson of the University of Denver’s Institutional Review Board for Human Subjects Protection, a review body that oversees research for compliance with federal regulation and advancement of contemporary best practices in human-subjects research. His research has focused on the management of conflict in deeply divided societies, especially those emerging from civil war. He has conducted extensive research on the role of international and regional organizations, particularly the United Nations, in peace operations, peacemaking, and peacebuilding with particular attention to the role of democracy and governance and electoral processes in conflict-affected countries. He is also an Associate Fellow of the Geneva Center for Security Policy, Geneva Switzerland. Prior to joining the University of Denver in 1998, Dr. Sisk was a Program Officer and Research Scholar in the Grant Program of the United States Institute of Peace in Washington.

Highlighted Works

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Peacebuilding in Deeply Divided Societies
Toward Social Cohesion?
Timothy Sisk and Fletcher Cox, eds. Palgrave Macmillian (2017) 

"Peacebuilding in Sectarianized Conflicts: Findings and Implications for Theory and Practice," in Sectarianization: Mapping the New Politics of the Middle East, Nader Hashemi and Danny Postel, eds. (2017)

"Democracy's Resilience in a Changing World," in International IDEA, The Global State of Democracy 2017: Exploring Democracy's Resilience (2017)

Book Review of Peacekeeping in Peril: The First 65 Years by Timothy Sisk in International Peacekeeping (2017)


Statebuilding: Consolidating Peace after Civil War, (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2013).

The Routledge Handbook of International Statebuilding, co-edited with David Chandler (Oxford: Routledge, 2013).

Between Terror and Tolerance: Religious Leaders and Conflict Management, editor (Washington DC: Georgetown University Press, 2011).

International Mediation in Civil War: Bargaining with Bullets (London: Routledge, 2009).

The Dilemmas of Statebuilding: Confronting the Contradictions of Postwar Peace Operations, co-edited with Roland Paris (London: Routledge, 2009). 

From War to Democracy: Dilemmas of Peacebuilding, co-edited with Anna Jarstad (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008).

Democracy, Conflict, and Human Security: Pursuing Peace in the 21st Century, co-edited with Judith Large (Stockholm: International IDEA, 2006).

Democracy at the Local Level: The International IDEA Handbook on Representation, Participation, Conflict Management and Governance. (Stockholm: International IDEA, 2001).

Journal Articles

"Improving Governance for the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals: Scenario Forecasting the Next 50 Years," World Development, Vol. 70, (2015). 

"Power-Sharing in Civil War: Puzzles of Peacemaking and Peacebuilding," Civil Wars, Vol. 15:1, (2013).

"Presidentialism, Ethnic Violence, and the Risk of Overgeneralization," Ethnopolitics 12:1 (2013).

"The SRSGs and the Management of Civil Wars," Global Governance 16:2 (2010).

"Enhancing International Cooperation: Between History and Necessity." with Tom Farer, Global Governance 16:1 (2010).

"Electoral System Choice in South Africa: Implications for Intergroup Moderation." Nationalism and Ethnic Politics 1:2 (1995).

Selected Book Chapters

"Peacebuilding in Sectarianized Conflicts: Findings and Implications for Theory and Practice," in Sectarianization: Mapping the New Politics of the Middle East, Nader Hashemi and Danny Postel, eds. (London, Hurst and New York: Oxford University Press, 2017).

"Enabling Liberation: International Influences on Democratic Transition in South Africa," in International Influences on Democratic Transitions, Desha Girod, Larry Diamond, and Kathryn Stoner-Weiss, eds. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013).

"Evaluating Election-Related Violence in Africa: Nigeria and Sudan in Comparative Perspective," in Dorina Bekoe, ed., Voting in Fear: Electoral Violence in Sub-Saharan Africa. (Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace, 2012). 

"Sustaining Peace after Waging War: Overcoming the Pathologies of the War-Ending Pact," in Caroline Hartzell and Matthew Hodie, eds., Strengthening Peace in Post Civil-War States, (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010).

Other Works

"Democracy's Resilience in a Changing World," in International IDEA, The Global State of Democracy 2017: Exploring Democracy's Resilience, Stockholm: International IDEA (2017). 

Background paper for the UNDP-World Bank Pathways to Peace flagship report, "Preventing Deadly Conflict in Ethnically Fractured Societies: International Development Assistance for "Bridging" Social Cohesion" forthcoming from the UNDP Oslo Governance Centre (2017). 

Book Review, "Peacekeeping in Peril: The First 65 Years," The Oxford Handbook of United Nations Peacekeeping Operations. Joachim A. Koops, Norrie MacQueen, Thierry Tardy, and Paul D. Williams, eds. Oxford, UK and New York: Oxford University Press, 2015. International Peacekeeping (2017).

Bringing Back Transitology: Democratisation in the 21st Century, with Dr Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou, GCSP Geneva Paper – Research Series n°13, November 2013.  

Prospects for Africa's 26 fragile countries, with Jakkie Cilliers, African Futures Paper No. 8, October 2013.

Governance for Peace: Securing the Social Contract, with Rob Muggah. New York: United Nations Development Program, Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, 2012.

Vulnerability to Intrastate Conflict: Evaluating Quantitative Measures, with Barry Hughes and Jonathan Moyer, Peaceworks, (Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace, 2011).

Cooperating for Peace: The Challenges and Promises of Partnerships in Peace Operations, Geneva Center for Security Policy, Geneva Papers, July 2010.

Elections and Conflict Prevention: A Programming Guide, United Nations Development Programme, Bureau for Development Policy, Oslo Governance Center, 2009.

Managing Contradictions: The Inherent Dilemmas of Postwar Statebuilding, International Peace Academy Policy Report, November 2007.

Democracy in Situations of Deep-Rooted Conflict, pgs. 127-142 in International IDEA, Ten Years of Supporting Democracy Worldwide (Stockholm: International IDEA, 2005).

Democracy and Peacebuilding at the Local Level: Lessons Learned, with Paul Risley, Occasional Paper (Stockholm: International IDEA, Fall 2005).

Democracy at the Local Level in East and Southern Africa: Profiles in Governance, Stockholm, International IDEA, 2004.

Competing Claims: Self Determination and Security in the United Nations, with Simon Chesterman and Tom Farer, International Peace Academy Policy Brief, April 2001.

New Approaches to International Negotiation and Mediation: Findings from USIP-Sponsored Research, Peaceworks, U.S. Institute of Peace occasional paper series, 2000.