My first book, Trust and Fear in Civil Wars: Ending Intrastate Conflicts, demonstrates that combatants' perceptions of each other can fuel commitment problems and other fears for future security, prolonging civil wars when information suggests a deal may be especially dangerous. 

My current research explores the effectiveness of peacekeeping, how civil wars undermine health and human security, the role of atrocities in civil wars, cultural policy's effects on conflicts, and the influence of commitment problems on strategic choices between violence and nonviolence. I am also interested in the scholarship of teaching and learning and have published on pedagogical tools useful in courses on the Middle East.

I teach courses on world politics (IR), Middle Eastern politics, international institutions, human rights, and political violence. 

I received my B.A. in International Relations from Carleton College and my Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Michigan. Prior to joining the faculty at Allegheny, I taught at Kalamazoo College.

When I'm not at work, I'm hanging out with my family and friends. I love reading novels, especially murder mysteries, camping, traveling, cooking, knitting, and photography.

Please feel free to contact me at skirschn@allegheny.edu or 814-332-2403