Ernesto Verdeja

Associate Professor of Political Science and Peace Studies

Ernesto Verdeja

316 Hesburgh Center for International Studies
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556

(574) 631-8533

Personal website

Ernesto Verdeja

Associate Professor of Political Science and Peace Studies


Political violence; transitional justice; forgiveness and reconciliation

At the Keough School

Verdeja is associate professor of political science and peace studies at Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies in the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame. He is a faculty fellow of the Keough School’s Nanovic Institute for European Studies, Kellogg Institute for International Studies, and Klau Center for Civil and Human Rights.


  • Genocide in the Modern World  (undergraduate peace studies course)
  • Foundations in Peace Studies  (required course for master of global affairs concentration in international peace studies)
  • Peace Research Methods (required course for master of global affairs concentration in international peace studies)
  • Perspectives on Peacebuilding (undergraduate peace studies course)
  • Research and Dissertation (PhD program in peace studies)

Research and Publications

Ernesto Verdeja earned his PhD and MA in political science (political theory) from the New School for Social Research in New York City. His research has focused on large-scale political violence (genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity), transitional justice, forgiveness and reconciliation, and trials, truth commissions, apologies, and reparations. Other interests include contemporary political theory, particularly democratic and critical theory, the Frankfurt School, and feminism.

Verdeja is the author of Unchopping a Tree: Reconciliation in the Aftermath of Political Violence (Temple University Press, 2009). His work has been published in Constellations, Perspectives on Politics, Contemporary Political Theory, the Review of Politics, the European Journal of Political Theory, International Political Science Review, Res Publica, Metaphilosophy, Genocide Studies and Prevention, and Contemporary Politics.

He is co-editor of volumes on peacebuilding and social movements, the field of genocide studies, and the international politics of genocide, as well as co-editor of two short books: one on transitional justice and the other on civil society in Cuba. He is currently working on a book project on comparative genocide. Verdeja also co-directs a project mapping state security force structures around the world.

Verdeja is the recipient of the 2018 Sheedy Excellence in Teaching Award, the highest teaching honor in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters. His dissertation won the Hannah Arendt Award in Politics from the New School for Social Research for best dissertation in political science and was nominated for the American Political Science Association’s Leo Strauss Award in Political Theory.

Prior to arriving at Notre Dame, Verdeja taught at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, where he received the Carol A. Baker ’81 Memorial Prize for excellence in research and teaching in the social sciences, and the Caleb T. Winchester Scholar-Teacher Award from Psi Upsilon (Wesleyan chapter).

He is currently the executive director of the Institute for the Study of Genocide, a non-profit founded in 1982 to promote research and policy analysis on the causes and prevention of genocide and political violence. He also has worked on human rights at the International Center for Transitional Justice and the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (now Human Rights First).

Verdeja is an affiliate of Notre Dame’s Center for the Study of Social Movements. He has served on the advisory board of the International Association of Genocide Scholars, a worldwide scholarly association devoted to the study of genocide.