Academic Positions

University of Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2015-present

Assistant Professor of Political Science (with tenure)

Syracuse University Maxwell School, 2012-2015

Assistant Professor of Public Administration and International Affairs

Kobe University, Japan, January-July 2015

Visiting Scholar, Faculty of Law

Princeton University, 2010-2012

Post-doctoral Research Associate, Empirical Studies of Conflict Project

Yale University, 2010

Lecturer, Political Science Department and the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies


Yale University

Ph.D., Political Science, 2010 with University distinction

Advisors: Stathis Kalyvas, Elisabeth Wood, Susan Stokes, Adria Lawrence

M.Phil., Political Science, 2006

M.A., Political Science, 2005

Miami University (Ohio)

B.A., Political Science, 2001, summa cum laude, Univ. and Department Honors, Phi Beta Kappa

Career Breaks

01/10/2013—12/31/2013 Maternity leave

15/01/2016—15/05/2016 Maternity leave



· 2017. Democracy and Displacement in Colombia’s Civil War. Cornell University Press.

o Democracia y desplazamiento en la guerra civil de Colombia. Spanish translation under contract with Editorial Universidad del Rosario, Bogotá.

o Reviewed in Journal of Politics, Perspectives on Politics, Journal of Peace Research, Choice, International Affairs, Survival, and Journal of Global Security Studies

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

· Steele, Abbey. 2019. “Civilian Resettlement in Civil Wars.” Journal of Peace Research. 56(1):28-


· Rafael Ch, Jacob N. Shapiro, Abbey Steele and Juan F. Vargas. 2018. “Endogenous Taxation in Ongoing Internal Conflict: The Case of Colombia,” American Political Science Review. 112(4): 996-1015. (Authors listed in alphabetical order.)

· Steele, Abbey. 2018. “IDP Resettlement and Collective Violence in Civil Wars: Evidence from Colombia.” Journal of Peace Research. 55(6): 810-824.

· Steele, Abbey and Livia Schubiger. 2018. “Democracy and Civil War: The Case of Colombia,” Conflict Management and Peace Science. 36(2): 587-600.

· Steele, Abbey and Jacob N. Shapiro. 2017. “Sub-contracting State-building.” Small Wars and Insurgencies. 887-905.

o Also published in Duystevesyn, Isabelle, Ed. 2018. Rebels and Legitimacy. London: Routledge.

· Steele, Abbey, Christopher Paik and Seiki Tanaka. 2017. “Constraining the Samurai: Rebellion and Taxation in Early Modern Japan.” International Studies Quarterly. 61(2): 352-370.

· Balcells, Laia and Abbey Steele. 2016. “Warfare, Political Identities, and Displacement in Spain and Colombia.” Political Geography. 51: 15-29. (Authors listed in alphabetical order.)

· Oppenheim, Ben, Abbey Steele, Juan F. Vargas, and Michael Weintraub. 2015. “True Believers, Deserters, and Traitors: Who Leaves Insurgent Groups and Why.” Journal of Conflict Resolution. 59(5). (Authors listed in alphabetical order.)

· Steele, Abbey. 2011. “Electing Displacement: Political Cleansing in Apartadó, Colombia.” Journal of Conflict Resolution. 55(3) 423-445.

· Steele, Abbey. 2009. “Seeking Safety: Displacement and Targeting in Civil Wars.” Journal of Peace Research. 46(3): 419-429.

Special Issues

· Harbers, Imke and Abbey Steele. Forthcoming, 2020. “The State in Latin America: Subnational Heterogeneity” Introduction to the special issue at Latin American Politics & Society, co-edited with Imke Harbers.

Works In Progress

· 2019. “Civil War Victimization, Political Engagement, and Attitudes towards Peace,” with Helga Malmin Binningsbø, Marianne Dahl, Håvard Mokleiv Nygård, and Michael Weintraub

· 2017. “Illicit Behavior and the Foundations of State Building: Evidence from Colombia,” with Rafael Ch, Jacob N. Shapiro and Juan F. Vargas.

· 2015. “State-building at the Local Level: Evaluating Colombia’s Consolidation Program,” with Jacob N. Shapiro and Juan Vargas.

Book Reviews and Book Chapters

· Forthcoming. “Borderlands.” Review of Borderland Battles: Violence, Crime and Governance at the Edges of Colombia’s War (Oxford) by Annette Idler. Perspectives on Politics.

· 2019. “The Strength of the Weapons of the Weak.” Review of Resisting War: How Communities Protect Themselves (Cambridge) by Oliver Kaplan. International Studies Review.

· 2010. Comparative Political Studies July (43): 918-921. Book Review of The Legitimacy Puzzle in Latin America: Political Support and Democracy in Eight Nations, by John A. Booth and Mitchell Seligson. Cambridge University Press, 2009.

· 2008. “Moving Targets: Mixing Methods to Uncover Dynamics of Displacement in Civil Wars.” Qualitative Methods. Spring: 23-26.

· 2006. “Insecurity and Opportunity in Colombia: Linking Civil War and Human Trafficking,” in Karen Beeks and Delila Amir, Eds., Trafficking & the Global Sex Industry. New York: Rowman & Littlefield, Inc.

Policy Briefs and Blog Posts

· 2019. “Colombia’s historic peace agreement with the FARC is fraying. We talked to 1,700 Colombians to understand why.” The Monkey Cage, Washington Post. With Helga Malmin Binningsbø, Marianne Dahl, Håvard Mokleiv Nygård, and Michael Weintraub

· 2019. “Death and Taxes: Political Violence Shapes Local Fiscal Institutions and State building.” Vox EU Policy Portal. With Rafael Ch, Jacob Shapiro, and Juan F. Vargas.

· 2016. “3 Things you should know about the new Colombian Peace agreement.” The Monkey Cage, Washington Post.

· 2016. “The ceasefire in Colombia’s long civil war starts today: here’s what you need to know.” The Monkey Cage, Washington Post.

· 2015. “Insurgent Defection in Civil War: Lessons from Colombia for Combatting ISIS.” Political Violence at a Glance. With Ben Oppenheim, Juan F. Vargas and Michael Weintraub.

· 2014. “Electing Peace in Colombia?” The Monkey Cage, Washington Post.

· 2001. “Steel Magnolias: Adjusting to Reality in Putumayo,” with Adam Isacson. 14 December. Center for International Policy Conference Report.

· 2000. “Is Plan Colombia Dead? The Truth Behind the Numbers,” with Adam Isacson and Ingrid Vaicius. 27 October. Center for International Policy Policy Brief.


Current Grants (2):

2019-2020 Monitoring Attitudes, Perceptions and Support for Peace in Colombia, Norway Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Uppsala University, and the Multi-Stakeholder Fund for Peace in Colombia, Co-PI, EUR ~$1,000,000. With Helga Malmin Binningsbø, Marianne Dahl, Håvard Mokleiv Nygård, and Michael Weintraub.

· Funding supports: (1) a 2-wave panel survey of 11,000 households in Colombia, and (2) 32 focus groups across 16 regions.

2018-2021 Displace, Return, and Reconstruct: Population Movement and Resilience to Instability, Minerva Research Initiative, US Department of Defense, Co-PI, USD 1,491,502. With James Igoe Walsh, Paul Huth, Jacob Aronson, Jonathan Hall, and Jean-Claude Thill.

Grants 2012-2017 (~€6,800,000)

2017 Seed funding for ERC grant preparations (internal UvA grant)

2013-2016 Funding for State-building at the Local Level: An Evaluation of Colombia’s Consolidation Program, Office of Naval Research, US Department of Defense, Co-PI, USD 940,000; With Juan F. Vargas and Jacob Shapiro.

· Funded quarterly data collection in 92 municipalities in Colombia on observable indicators of state presence.

2016 Funding for “Illicit Behavior and State-building,” Centro de Estudios sobre Seguridad y Drogas, Universidad de los Andes, Co-PI

2016 Funding for “Pro-Social Attitudes in Peru,” University of Amsterdam University Funds & London School of Economics Research Innovation Initiative Fund, with Livia Schubiger and Seiki Tanaka

2012-2016 Funding for Impact evaluation of Colombia’s Consolidation Program, USAID Bogotá Mission, Colombia, Co-PI, USD ~6M, With Jacob Shapiro.

· Funded a 2-wave panel survey of 20,000 households in Colombia

2014 Appleby-Mosher Research Grant, Syracuse University, USA

2013 The Andrew Berlin Family National Security Research Fund, Institute for National Security and Counter-Terrorism, Syracuse University, USA

Previous Awards and Fellowships

2008 Program on Order, Conflict, and Violence fieldwork grant, Yale University, USA

2008-2009 University Dissertation Fellowship, Yale University, 2008-2009

2006-2007 Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Abroad Fellow, Bogotá, Colombia

2006-2007 MacMillan Center Dissertation Fellowship, Yale University, USA

2003-2008 National Science Foundation Graduate Student Fellowship, USA

2003-2008 University Fellowship, Yale University, 2003-2008

2002 Fulbright Scholar, Bogotá, Colombia


2016-2019 UvA

· MSc elective seminar “Violence and Order in Civil Wars” 2016

· MSc Research Project “Civil Wars and State-building” 2017, 2018

· BSc required lecture course “Democracy, Autocracy, and Transitions” 2018-

· BSc elective seminar “Violence and Order in Civil Wars” 2017

· BSc Research Project “Civil Wars and State-building” 2016, 2019

· PhD seminar AISSR Advanced Theory (Political Science sessions) 2017-

· Nominated for teacher of the year award, 2017

2012-2015 The Maxwell School, Syracuse University

· Designed and taught MA seminar “Research Design for IR Practitioners”

· Designed and taught MA seminar “Civil Wars”

· Taught MA seminar “Humanitarian Action”

2009 Yale University

· Designed and taught undergraduate seminar “Displacement, Refugees, and Ethnic Cleansing”

Institutional responsibilities & Contributions

2017- International Relations Track/Minor Co-coordinator, Dept of Political Science, UvA

- Managed admissions for MSc IR program with Graduate director

- Coordinated teaching duties for the BSc and MSc IR programs

2019- Organizer, Amsterdam Center for Conflict Studies, University of Amsterdam (UvA)

- Initiated the revival of the ACCS with colleagues, secured funding from AISSR for the speaker series

2019- Creator, PhD “Pro” Seminar, Dept of Political Science, UvA

- Started a monthly brown bag seminar for PhD colleagues and post-docs in the political science department to discuss topics like peer review, the job market, and fieldwork

2018- AISSR Harvest day contributor

2018- AISSR Academic Freedom faculty discussion leader

2015- Creator and organizer, Amsterdam Conflict Club, UvA/Leiden/Radboud/Utrecht

- Created a monthly workshop with colleagues working on violence and conflict at the UvA and nearby universities such as Leiden, Radboud, and Utrecht to exchange feedback on working papers

2012-2015 Creator and organizer, Moynihan Junior Faculty Workshop, The Maxwell School, Syracuse University

Membership in Scientific Societies

2018- Senior associate, IDP Research Program, Refugee Law Initiative, SOAS

2018- Affiliate, Refugee & Forced Migration Network

2008- Senior associate, Households in Conflict Network

2008- Member, American Political Science Association, International Studies Association, Latin American Studies Association


Journal Referee

· American Journal of Political Science, American Political Science Review, British Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, Conflict Management and Peace Science, Conflict, Security and Development, Field Methods, International Security, International Studies Quarterly, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Development Studies, Journal of Peace Research, Journal of Politics, Latin American Politics and Society, Nationalities Papers, Perspectives on Politics, Political Science Quarterly, Political Science Research and Methods, Security Studies, Terrorism and Political Violence, Urban Studies, World Development, World Politics


· Cambridge University Press

Grant Reviewer

· National Science Foundation (US)

· DFG German Science Foundation

· Branco-Weiss Foundation (Switzerland)

Media appearances

2019 BBC The World Tonight, 29 August. (Story at 20:55.)

Interview, E-International Relations, 16 May.

2018 Quoted in “Colombian former rebels shunned as critics of peace deal dominate election.” The

Guardian. 12 March.

Interviewed for Historias podcast. 15 October.

Interviewed for Colombia Calling podcast. October.

2017 Interviewed for “Expert UvA: Ontvoering Bolt 'onlogische actie' van ELN.” Het Parool. 20


2016 Quoted in “Colombia’s peace deal with the FARC likely to bypass opponents.”

The Christian Science Monitor. 15 November.

Recent Invited Talks & Conferences


· Essex University Comparative Politics Seminar, October

· United Nations University / Maastricht School of Governance, September

· Conflict Research Society Annual meeting, Brighton, September

· Society for Institutional and Organizational Economics Annual Conference, Stokholm, June

· University of Gothenburg State Capacity Workshop, June

· University of Glasgow International Relations Seminar, January


· SOAS IDP Research Refugee Law Initiative, July

· University College London politics seminar, May

· Juan March Institute politics seminar, April

· International Studies Association Annual Convention, San Francisco, April


· American Political Science Association Annual meeting, August

· Leiden University Political Science seminar, June

· London School of Economics politics seminar, May

· Yale University Order Conflict and Violence book launch, May

· Oxford University Comparative Politics Seminar, May

· International Studies Association Annual Convention, Baltimore February

· Leiden University Diplomacy and Global Affairs Research Seminar January


· Rebel Legitimacy Conference, Leiden University, October

· Conflict Research Society Annual Meeting, Dublin, September

· Proxy Wars Book workshop, David Lake & Eli Berman, Washington DC, September


· Konstanz University Department of Political Science, November

· Uppsala University Department of Peace Research, November

· Tokyo University Department Political Science, June

· American Historical Association Annual Meeting. Latin American History Gran Colombia Panel New York City. January 8.19.pdf