Sarah Parkinson

Sarah Parkinson

Aronson Assistant Professor - Political Science and International Studies

Contact Information

Research Interests: Comparative politics, political violence, Middle East and North African politics, social network theory, qualitative methods, forced migration

Education: PhD, The University of Chicago

Dr. Sarah E. Parkinson is the Aronson Associate Professor of Political Science and International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. Her research examines organizational behavior and social change in war- and disaster-affected settings, with a focus on Southwest Asia and North Africa. Parkinson has published award-winning research on militant organizations’ decision-making and internal dynamics, political violence, forced migrants’ access to healthcare, humanitarian aid, ethics, and research methods. Most recently, she has been conducting multi-sited research on disaster preparedness/response and public safety. Dr. Parkinson’s scholarship has involved extensive fieldwork in Lebanon, Iraq, and Qatar, as well as shorter engagements in Tunisia, Turkey, and the UAE.

Dr. Parkinson’s book, Beyond the Lines: Social Networks and Palestinian Militant Organizations in Wartime Lebanon (Cornell University Press, 2022) won the 2023 Routledge Lee Ann Fujii Award for Innovation in the Interpretive Study of Political Violence and received an Honorable Mention for the 2023 Best Book on Middle East and North Africa Politics from the American Political Science Association’s Middle East and North Africa Politics Organized Section. Her scholarship has been published in journals such as the American Political Science Review, World Politics, Perspectives on Politics, the European Journal of International Relations, International Studies Quarterly, Social Science and Medicine, Comparative Political Studies, and Comparative Politics in addition to outlets such as Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Monkey Cage, and Good Authority. She has provided media commentary to outlets such as the Washington Post, BBC, Sky News, Bloomberg News, USA Today, ABC News, and Vox, among others.

Dr. Parkinson is a co-founder of the Advancing Research on Conflict (ARC) Consortium and sits on the advisory board of the Project on Middle East Political Science. She received her PhD and MA in political science from the University of Chicago and has held fellowships at Yale University, George Washington University, the University of Minnesota, and Northwestern University in Qatar. Parkinson speaks Arabic and French and is an active first responder in her free time.