International Relations, International Security, International Law, Civil Wars, Political Violence, Terrorism


Jessica A. Stanton is Associate Professor of Political Science at Temple University.  Her research focuses on international relations, including the causes, dynamics, and resolution of civil wars; the role of international institutions and law in international relations; and criminal accountability for wartime violence and terrorism. Her book, Violence and Restraint in Civil War: Civilian Targeting in the Shadow of International Law (Cambridge University Press, 2016), examines why some governments and rebel groups engaged in civil war adopt strategies that involve the deliberate targeting of civilians, while other groups, in accordance with international humanitarian law, refrain from attacking civilian populations. Violence and Restraint in Civil War received the International Studies Association’s award for the best book on international studies published in 2016 as well as the Lepgold Book Prize, awarded by the Mortara Center for International Studies at Georgetown University for the best book on international relations published in 2016. Professor Stanton’s research has also been published in International Studies Quarterly, the Journal of Conflict Resolution, The Journal of Politics, and the Oxford Handbook of Terrorism

Before joining Temple, Professor Stanton was a faculty member at the University of Minnesota and the University of Pennsylvania.  She has also held fellowships at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University, the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard University, and the Christopher H. Browne Center for International Politics at the University of Pennsylvania.  Professor Stanton received her Ph.D. in political science with distinction from Columbia University and her B.A. in international relations with distinction from Stanford University.

Curriculum Vitae


Selected Publications

  • Violence and Restraint in Civil War: Civilian Targeting in the Shadow of International Law (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016).  
  • “Terrorism, Civil War, and Insurgency,” in Oxford Handbook of Terrorism, edited by Erica Chenoweth, Andreas Gofas, Richard English, and Stathis Kalyvas (New York: Oxford University Press, 2019).
  • “A Strategic Logic of Attacking Aid Workers: Evidence from Violence in Afghanistan, 2008-2012,” with Neil Narang, International Studies Quarterly, vol. 61, no. 1 (May 2017): 38-51.  
  • “Regulating Militias: Governments, Militias, and Civilian Targeting in Civil Wars,” Journal of Conflict Resolution, vol. 59, no. 5 (August 2015): 899-923.
  • “Terrorism in the Context of Civil War,” The Journal of Politics, vol. 75, no.4 (October 2013): 1009-1022.

Courses Taught

  • POLS 1301: International Politics 
  • POLS 3510: Political Violence and Terrorism 
  • POLS 4896: International Intervention, Peacebuilding, and Justice