Associate Professor of Political Science and Peace Studies
Areas of expertise: Political violence; transitional justice; forgiveness and reconciliation
Ernesto Verdeja earned his Ph.D. and M.A. in political science (political theory) from the New School for Social Research in New York City. His research has focused on large-scale political violence (genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity), transitional justice, forgiveness and reconciliation, and trials, truth commissions, apologies, and reparations. Other interests include contemporary political theory, particularly democratic and critical theory, the Frankfurt School, and feminism.
Verdeja is the author of Unchopping a Tree: Reconciliation in the Aftermath of Political Violence (Temple University Press, 2009). His work has been published in Constellations, Perspectives on Politics, Contemporary Political Theory, The Review of Politics, the European Journal of Political Theory, International Political Science Review, Res Publica, Metaphilosophy, Genocide Studies and Prevention, and Contemporary Politics.
He is co-editor of volumes on peacebuilding and social movements, the field of genocide studies, and the international politics of genocide, as well as co-editor of two short books: one on transitional justice and the other on civil society in Cuba. He is currently working on a book project on comparative genocide. Verdeja also co-directs a project mapping state security force structures around the world.
Verdeja is the recipient of the 2018 Sheedy Excellence in Teaching Award. Verdeja’s dissertation won the Hannah Arendt Award in Politics from the New School for Social Research for best dissertation in political science and was nominated for the American Political Science Association’s Leo Strauss Award in Political Theory.
Prior to arriving at Notre Dame, Verdeja taught at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, where he received the Carol A. Baker ’81 Memorial Prize for excellence in research and teaching in the social sciences, and the Caleb T. Winchester Scholar-Teacher Award from Psi Upsilon (Wesleyan chapter).
He is currently the Executive Director of the Institute for the Study of Genocide, a non-profit founded in 1982 to promote research and policy analysis on the causes and prevention of genocide and political violence. He also has worked on human rights at the International Center for Transitional Justice and the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (now Human Rights First).
At Notre Dame, Verdeja is a faculty fellow at the Nanovic Institute for European Studies and the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, an affiliate of the Center for the Study of Social Movements, and a faculty faculty fellow of the Klau Institute for Civil and Human Rights.
He has also served on the Advisory Board of the International Association of Genocide Scholars, a worldwide scholarly association devoted to the study of genocide. His website is at everdeja.weebly.com.
- Journal Article: Ernesto Verdeja. (2019) "Critical Genocide Studies and Mass Atrocity Prevention," Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal: Vol. 13: Iss. 3: 111-127. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5038/1911-99220.127.116.116
- News: Ernesto Verdeja, associate professor of political science and peace studies, to receive 2018 Sheedy Award
- Book Chapter: Ernesto Verdeja. “Genocide: Explanation and Understanding.” In Teaching about Genocide: Insights and Advice from Secondary Teachers and Professors, Samuel Totten, 113-118. Roman & Littlefield.
- Yankoski M., Theisen W., Verdeja E., Scheirer W.J. (2021) Artificial Intelligence for Peace: An Early Warning System for Mass Violence. In: Keskin T., Kiggins R.D. (eds) Towards an International Political Economy of Artificial Intelligence. International Political Economy Series. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-74420-5_7
- Book: Choi-Fitzpatrick, Austin, Douglas Irvin-Erickson, and Ernesto Verdeja. 2022. Wicked Problems: The Ethics of Action for Peace, Rights, and Justice. Oxford University Press.
- Book Chapter: Atalia Omer and Ernesto Verdeja, “Genocide” Revised and Expanded Blackwell Companion on Religious Ethics, editor in chief, William Schweiker (Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2022), pp.1366-1376.