Erik Cleven


+1(603) 222-4119



2013 - Ph.D., Purdue University
2009 - M.A., Purdue University
1992 - MSc, University of Oslo
1987 - B.A., St. Olaf College

  • Teaching and Student Involvement

    I was attracted to Saint Anselm College because of its strong commitment to academics and the liberal arts. In my classes I seek to challenge students to think more deeply and critically about political issues and to give students the tools they need to analyze political events. I came to academia later in life than most professors and prior to getting my doctorate spent many years working with dialogue and conflict transformation efforts in conflict areas including in the former Yugoslavia, the North Caucasus and Central and East Africa. In addition to this I have lived most of my adult life in Norway and have traveled to many countries of the world. I bring this international experience to both my teaching and research.

    I teach a range of courses in international relations and comparative politics including the required introductory courses as well as more advanced courses on political violence, international political economy, and human rights. I also teach the department's required research methods course and the introductory environmental politics course.

  • Research

    My main research interests include political violence and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) efforts to transform conflict and contribute to peace. My research on transnational terrorism focuses on the connection between press freedom, press attention and transnational terrorism. I am also working on a book project on communal violence and ethnic riots, which will mainly focus on the violence in Kenya after the 2007 presidential elections, but which also includes research from India and Kosovo.

    I am very interested in student research, and in the summer of 2015 I traveled to Bosnia and Herzegovina with two Saint Anselm College students to study the effect of an interethnic dialogue project run by a local NGO in a community divided and segregated by war. The research was supported by a grant from the Norwegian Embassy in Sarajevo. I have also mentored students who have presented their research at academic conferences such as the Midwest Political Science Association annual conference.

    My publications include "Press Freedom, Publicity, and the Cross-National Incidence of Transnational Terrorism" in Political Research Quarterly and "Sex and Drugs (but not Rock and Roll): The variation in HIV-related restrictions on the entry, stay and residence of seropositive foreigners in the Middle East and North Africa" in Risk, Hazards & Crisis in Public Policy. The latter was coauthored with a Saint Anselm College student, Abigail Krusemark, '14.

    I serve on the board of the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation (ISCT) and have worked to develop a new approach to dialogue in post-conflict areas suffering the effects of war and violence called Transformative Dialogue.