These interests are reflected in my published papers and ongoing research. In these projects, I examine three aspects of decision-making in violent contexts. First, I study wartime defection, or how people shift stances from support for state violence to resistance and saving behaviors within the same violent episode. Second, I investigate the relationship between social boundaries and political behaviors, with a specific interest in how racial, ethnic, and religious cleavages inform and are transformed by extreme violence such as genocide. Third, I analyze the role of gender in politically violent movements. Here, I focus on how gender informs individual’s decisions to support and participate in war, and how gender is implicated in movement's decisions to adopt violent tactics.
Ph.D. University of Wisconsin, Madison, Sociology
M.S. University of Wisconsin, Madison, Sociology
M.A. University of California, Berkeley, Education
B.A. Bates College, Sociology, History, Religion
Luft, Aliza (2015). “Toward a Dynamic Theory of Action at the Micro-Level of Genocide: Killing, Desistance, and Saving in 1994 Rwanda.” Sociological Theory. 33(2):148-172.
Luft, Aliza (2015). “Genocide as Contentious Politics.” Sociology Compass. 9(10): 897-909.
Luft, Aliza (2016). “Feminist/Women’s Movements, East Africa.” The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Gender and Sexuality Studies, eds: Nancy Naples, Renee C. Hoogland, Maithree Wickramasinghe, & Angela Wong. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.
Luft, Aliza (2016). “LGBTI Movements, East Africa.” The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Gender and Sexuality Studies, eds: Nancy Naples, Renee C. Hoogland, Maithree Wickramasinghe, & Angela Wong. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.