Kroc Institute welcomes 2021-22 visiting researchers

Author: Hannah Heinzekehr

From left to right: Lisa Schirch, Tahir Aziz, César Estrada, Felipe Roa-Clavijo, and Rahaf Aldoughli.

The Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies is pleased to announce that five scholars began their terms as visiting research fellows at the start of the 2021-22 academic year.

The Kroc Institute’s Visiting Research Fellows Program brings outstanding scholars focused on peace research to the University of Notre Dame for a semester or a full academic year. Visiting research fellows actively integrate their research with ongoing Institute research initiatives and participate in events and lectures as part of the Institute’s learning community.

We are delighted to host this cohort of visiting fellows who were selected from a highly competitive application pool,” said Asher Kaufman, the John M. Regan, Jr. Director of the Kroc Institute. “They all work on topics that are directly related to the Institute’s strategic research and practice foci, including intersectionality and justice, police reform, mediation, and peace accords.”

This year’s fellows include:

Rahaf Aldoughli is a lecturer in Middle East politics at Lancaster University. Her areas of research expertise include identifying the ideological borrowings between European and Arab nationalism, the rise of the nation-state in the Middle East, the Syria crisis, militarism, and the construction of masculinity in the Arab world. While at the Kroc Institute, she is working on two research projects investigating state Islamism in Syria, and the relationship between authoritarianism, religion, sectarianism, and nationalism.

Tahir Aziz (M.A. ’03) is the 2021 Alumni Visiting Research Fellow. He currently works as the South Asia Programme Director for Conciliation Resources in London, and has over 15 years of experience in the fields of mediation and conflict transformation. He currently leads the only international peacebuilding program that operates in both the Indian and Pakistani administered territories of Kashmir. 

César Estrada received his Ph.D. in 2020 from the Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University. His research specializes in the study of violent conflict in the context of organized crime and human rights violations in Mexico. Before coming to Notre Dame, he served as a Director within the Unit of Policies and Strategies for Peacebuilding at the Secretary for Security and Citizen Protection in Mexico. Estrada’s fellowship is jointly sponsored by the Kroc Institute and the Kellogg Institute.

While at Notre Dame, Estrada will be working on turning his doctoral dissertation into a book-length monograph that examines how the so-called war on drugs in Mexico strongly relies on the construction of social groups deemed as disposable and killable subjects. The book will be titled Genocidal Violence amid Mexico’s War on Drugs: A Critical Lens on Police and Criminal Brutality.

Felipe Roa-Clavijo is a researcher and global policy lead for the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom, and a Specialist in Rural Reform at the Barometer Initiative in Colombia, part of the Kroc Institute’s Peace Accords Matrix Program. 

Felipe’s first book, The Politics of Food Provisioning in Colombia: Agrarian Movements and Negotiations with the State, is being published by Routledge in October 2021.

Lisa Schirch is the Richard G. Starmann Sr. Visiting Professorship Chair in Peace Studies. Schirch’s role at the Kroc Institute will include teaching and writing a book on digital peacebuilding and peacetech, continuing her work on peace process design in Afghanistan and Israel/Palestine, and researching links between technology, media, climate peace processes, and violent extremism. 

Applications for 2022-23 Visiting Research Fellowships will be accepted from September 15, 2021, through January 1, 2022. Learn more about the program and how to apply.

For more information, contact: Lisa Gallagher,