Abby Córdova named Guggenheim Distinguished Scholar

Abby Córdova, associate professor of global affairs in the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame, has been named a 2022 Harry Frank Guggenheim Distinguished Scholar, an honor that comes with a significant research grant.

An expert in comparative politics, political behavior, and Latin American politics, Córdova will use the grant to support research related to her book project on violence against women in El Salvador. Specifically, she will study how the presence of organized criminal groups in contexts of high militarization results in a spiral of violence against women in neighborhood streets and homes, which subsequently undermines women’s civic and political participation. 

In neighborhoods where organized criminal groups are prominent, women are more likely to turn to migration and informal social networks as forms of resistance rather than to institutionalized channels such as neighborhood groups or government officials. 

“Through my research I ultimately seek to identify sound policies and courses of action that can help reduce gender-based violence in societies marked by criminal violence and the militarization of public security,” Córdova said. “It is an honor to be able to further conduct this research as a Harry Frank Guggenheim Distinguished Scholar.” 

Córdova’s book project has also been supported by a faculty grant from the Keough School’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies. Córdova is a faculty fellow of the Kellogg Institute and also an affiliate of the Notre Dame Violence and Transitional Justice Lab (V-TJ).

Córdova joined the Keough School of Global Affairs in August 2020 from the University of Kentucky, where she was a tenured professor. Originally from El Salvador, Córdova holds two master’s degrees and a PhD in political science from Vanderbilt University, where she held a postdoctoral position as the lead researcher of USAID’s Central America Regional Security Initiative impact evaluation by the Latin American Public Opinion Project. She has worked as a consultant for the World Bank’s Poverty and Gender section for Latin America and the Caribbean. More recently, she served as the principal investigator of a project funded by USAID that developed a methodology to measure community resilience in contexts of high crime. 

The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation examines enduring and urgent problems of violence, such as war, crime, and human aggression. Through basic and applied research, the foundation  aims to understand the causes, manifestation, and control of violence, with the aim of spreading this knowledge to inform policy, practice, and public discourse and to advance scholarship. The Foundation awards research grants to support distinguished and emerging scholars studying urgent matters of violence in the United States and around the world. 

Congratulations, Professor Córdova!

Abby Córdova bio

Full list of Harry Frank Guggenheim Distinguished Scholars

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