Dr Melanie Sauter has recently joined LMH as our first Levin Junior Research Fellow in Peace Studies. 

The three-year post is named in memory of Jerry and Sis Levin, who dedicated their lives to the search for peace following Jerry’s kidnapping in the 1980s in Beirut when he was CNN bureau chief. The Levin JRF is endowed by the Levins’ children: Suzelle Smith (1977, MPhil Politics and LMH Visiting Fellow), Florence Selman, Isabelle Herring, Clare Thomas, and Clarence Moss. This new post is intended not only to support the research aspirations of an early career academic, but to foster closer links between the world of teaching and research and the wider national and international environment.

Before joining LMH, Dr Sauter was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oslo. She earned her PhD in Political and Social Science from the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence in 2022. During her academic journey, she was also affiliated with the external doctoral school of the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO).

Dr Sauter’s professional background includes working with local NGOs in Ethiopia and Ghana, the UN Secretariat in New York, the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, and as a media designer. She holds a Master's degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Oslo and a Bachelor's degree in Political Science, Law, and Islamic Studies from the University of Zurich.

Dr Sauter’s academic interests are focused on the realm of peace and conflict studies. More specifically, she is interested in analysing the micro-dynamics of political violence and the subsequent role of humanitarian organisations and peacekeepers in armed conflicts. Her current research is also focusing on the climate-conflict-peacebuilding nexus, investigating how peacebuilding communities in the Sahel and East Africa are addressing climate change-related threat multipliers in communal conflicts. 

Dr Sauter is looking forward to making the most of her time at LMH, saying: “It is a great honour to be the first Junior Research Fellow in Peace Studies at LMH. During my fellowship, I aim to complete my book manuscript on the challenges of humanitarian organisations signalling their neutrality during civil wars. I believe there is no more appropriate setting to write this manuscript than the alma mater of Eglantyne Jebb, founder of Save the Children, one of the largest humanitarian organisations in the world.”