Small Wars Journal

Kristina Hook


Dr. Kristina Hook is a Research Assistant Professor and the Executive Director of the Better Evidence Project in the Center for Peacemaking Practice at George Mason University’s Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution.  She is an anthropologist and scholar-practitioner specializing in large-scale violence against civilians (including genocides and mass atrocities) as well as emerging forms of warfare and violence. She has research, teaching, and professional experience on topics including genocides and mass atrocities, civilian protection, post-conflict reconstruction, and evolving security challenges like hybrid warfare and environmental degradation. Dr. Hook has worked in 23 countries including across Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the Middle East, East Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Caribbean. 

Dr. Hook received a joint PhD in peace studies and anthropology from the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and Department of Anthropology. She also holds M.A. degrees in anthropology (2017) and in international development (2012) from the University of Notre Dame and the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies respectively. She holds a B.A. in anthropology from the University of Florida, where she graduated summa cum laude and as a valedictorian.

Prior to her time in academia, Dr. Hook served as a policy advisor at the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations and as a political/economic officer in an embassy-based diplomatic posting abroad. She received a U.S. Department of State Meritorious Honor Award for her work on preventing and responding to mass atrocities and was a 2013-2015 U.S. Presidential Management Fellow. She also held leadership roles in two international development non-governmental organizations and was recognized in 2017 with the Society for Applied Anthropology’s Human Rights Defender Award.

A 2018-2019 U.S. Fulbright scholar to Ukraine, Dr. Hook’s current book project explores the dynamics and legacy of the Soviet-era Holodomor mass atrocities, including how these events influenced modern interpretations of Ukraine’s current armed conflict with Russian-backed separatists. Supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (NSF GRFP) and a USAID Research and Innovation Fellowship, she conducted two-and-a-half years of ethnographic fieldwork in Ukraine from 2015-2019. Trained in qualitative and quantitative methods, she analyzes how influential Ukrainian political actors (e.g., politicians, lawyers, civil society representatives, activists, academics, etc.) interacted and interpreted historical legacies of violence to respond to unfolding national crises. Dr. Hook is also a non-resident fellow at the Marine Corps University’s Brute Krulak Center for Innovation and Creativity.

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