Risa Kitagawa is Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at Northeastern University. She is also Faculty Affiliate of the Global Resilience Institute at Northeastern.

Risa’s research focuses on the politics of transitional justice, or policies aimed at addressing a legacy of gross human rights abuse. Her current book project uses econometric and experimental methods to investigate transitional justice policymaking in post-conflict states and its impact on political reconciliation. Other projects explore the impact of criminal justice on political legitimacy in Central America; the effects of policy rhetoric on citizen attitudes toward government; and state apologies for historical injustices.

Her interests more broadly are in human rights, state violence, post-conflict processes, and experimental research. Her work is informed by field research conducted in Kenya, Guatemala, and El Salvador.

Risa holds a Ph.D. in political science from Stanford University (2017) with specializations in comparative politics, political theory, and methodology, and a B.A. in international relations and French from New York University (2009). Prior to joining Northeastern, she was a Postdoctoral Research Scholar in the Department of Political Science at Columbia University.


Research Interests

Transitional justice, human rights, political violence, post-conflict processes, experimental research, Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa


927 Renaissance Park, Department of Political Science, College of Social Sciences & Humanities, Northeastern University
360 Huntington Ave. Boston, MA 02115
E: r.kitagawa [at] northeastern [dot] edu