Contact Details



Role: Levin Junior Research Fellow in Peace Studies

Photo of Dr Melanie Sauter, who has long light brown hair and is wearing a red top


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

My 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.

I hold 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.

Research Interests

My academic interests are within the realm of peace and conflict studies. More specifically, I focus on the micro-dynamics of political violence and the subsequent role of humanitarian organizations and peacekeepers in armed conflicts. I am currently also focusing on the climate-conflict-peacebuilding nexus. Specifically, I am investigating how peacebuilding communities in the Sahel and East Africa are addressing climate change-related threat multipliers in communal conflicts. 

Methodologically, I combine causal modeling of spatial conflict event data with qualitative methods, such as fieldwork interviews and process tracing. I have a keen interest in applying innovative methods from geosciences and remote sensing to answer questions in the field of conflict studies and combining these methods with field research.

Selected Publications

2024. #AidToo, or when situation permits rape: Sexual violence among humanitarian aid workers. Journal of International Humanitarian Action.

2023. Politicized Health Emergencies and Violent Resistance against Healthcare Responders. Journal of Peace Research.

2022. A Shrinking Humanitarian Space: Peacekeeping Stabilization Projects and Violence in Mali. International Peacekeeping. DOI:

2020. Under the Roof of Rebels: Civilian Targeting After Territorial Takeover in Sierra Leone.  International Studies Quarterly. 64(2), p. 295–305, co-authored with Christian Oswald, Sigrid Weber and Rob Williams. DOI: