Headshot of Dr.Sandra F. Joireman

Dr. Sandra F. Joireman

Weinstein Chair of International Studies
Professor of Political Science
Interim Chair, Department of Computer Science
Curriculum Vitae

  • Profile

    Sandra F. Joireman is the Weinstein Chair of International Studies, and Professor of Political Science.  Her work covers topics related to property rights, post-conflict migration, and customary law. Joireman has been a Research Fellow at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, a Fulbright scholar at the American University of Kosovo and the University of Addis Ababa, and a visiting researcher at Makerere University in Uganda with the Makerere Institute for Social Research and with Queen Elizabeth House International Development Centre at Oxford University. Joireman is the author Peace, Preference and Property: Return Migration after Violent Conflict (2022), Where There is No Government: Enforcing property rights in common law Africa (2011), Church, State and Citizen (2009), Nationalism and Political Identity (2003), and Property Rights & Political Development in Ethiopia & Eritrea (2000). She has written numerous articles on property rights, migration, and legal development most recently appearing in Political Geography, International Affairs, Oxford Development Studies, International Migration, Development & Change, and The Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law. Joireman has conducted field research in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Ghana, Kenya, Kosovo, Liberia, Oman, Rwanda, Serbia, and Uganda. 

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    • Grants and Fellowships

      Earhart Foundation Research Grant, "Property, Political Authority and Return in Liberia," 2012-2013

      Earhart Foundation Research Grant, "Where There Is No Government: Enforcing Property Rights in Common Law Africa," 2009

    • Awards

      Fulbright Senior Scholar Award, Kosovo, 2012-2013

    • Presentations

      “Kenya's Smallholder Settlement Schemes Past and Present: A retrospective and prospective analysis of data and trends,” The British Institute in Eastern Africa, Nairobi, Kenya, June 18, 2018.

      “Future Rights for Future Citizens:  Children’s Property Rights in Fragile Environments,” research seminar given at the World Bank, Land and Conflict KSB, January 11, 2018. 

      “Women’s Rights to Land and Property: the interaction of law and custom ,”  World Bank, Law, Justice and Development Week 2017,  November 7, 2017, Washington DC.

      "Return: Post-conflict Migration & Property Restitution in Africa,” School of International Studies, American University, September 22, 2017.

      “Economic Linkages and Natural Resources: Insights from Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Kyrgyzstan,” with Rachel Vanderhill and Roza Tulepbayeva, American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, Aug 2017.

      “Future Rights for Future Citizens: Children’s Property Rights in Complex Emergencies,” World Bank Land and Poverty Conference, Washington, DC, March 23, 2017.

      “Intergenerational Land Conflict in Northern Uganda:  children, customary law and return migration,” African Studies Association Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, Dec 3, 2016.

      “The World Humanitarian Summit,” Bread for the World Hunger Report Consultation, Washington, DC June 17, 2016.

       “Returning Home:  Customary Law and Intergenerational Land Conflict in Northern Uganda,” World Bank Land and Poverty Conference, March 16, 2016.

      “Ethnic Cleansing and Its Aftermath,” Wofford College, October 14, 2015.

      “Ethnic Violence, Local Security and Return Migration: Enclave communities in Kosovo,” Conflict Research Society Annual Meeting, Kent, UK, September 14-15, 2015.

      “A Long Time Gone: Post-conflict Return and Rural Property Restitution under Customary Law,” World Bank Land and Poverty Conference, Washington DC, March 2015.

      ”Protecting Future Rights for Future Citizens: Children’s Property Rights in Difficult Settings,” International Studies Association Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Feb 2015.

      ”Mapping Violence and Return of Displaced People in Kosovo,” International Studies Association Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Feb 2015.

      Moderated the launch of the 2015 Hunger Report, for Bread for the World Institute,  Nov. 24, 2014, National Press Club, Washington D.C.

      “Post-conflict Property Restitution under Customary Law,” Paper presented at the Law and Society Association Annual Meeting, May 29-June 1, 2014, Minneapolis, MN.

      “The Protection of Children’s Property Rights,” Presented at the 10th Joint Area Centers Symposium, Children and Globalization: Issues, Policies and Initiatives, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, April 10-12, 2014.

      "Building the Rule of Law in New States: Kosovo and the Shadow of the European Union", The Pruis Rule of Law Lecture at Calvin College, November 4, 2013.

      “Law as Performance: Women’s Property Rights in Kosovo,” Presented at the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL August 29, 2013.

      “Securing Property Rights for Women (and Men) in Kosovo,” World Bank Land and Poverty Conference April 10, 2013. 

      “Property Rights Issues in Kosovo,” US Embassy Economic Working Group, Pristina, Kosovo, February 26, 2013. 

      “Property Rights; The Gap Between Law and Enforcement in Kosovo,” American University in Kosovo, Democratization and Rule of Law Speaker Series, February 15, 2013, Pristina, Kosovo.

    • Memberships

      American Political Science Association

      International Studies Association

      African Studies Association

      African Politics Conference Group

  • Selected Publications

    Joireman, Sandra F., Peace, Preference, and Property: Return Migration after Violent Conflict, (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press), 2022.

    Joireman, Sandra F., Where There is No Government: Enforcing Property Rights in Common Law Africa, (New York: Oxford University Press), 2011.

    Joireman, Sandra F. (ed.), Church, State and Citizen, (New York: Oxford University Press), 2009.

    Joireman, Sandra F., Nationalism and Political Identity, (London and New York: Continuum Press), 2003.

    Joireman, Sandra Fullerton, Property Rights and Political Development in Ethiopia and Eritrea: the State and Land, 1941-1974, (Oxford: James Currey/ Athens: Ohio University Press), 2000.

    Journal Articles

    Joireman, Sandra F., and Fidaa Haddad. 2023. "The Humanitarian–Development–Peace Nexus in practice: building climate and conflict sensitivity into humanitarian projects." Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 62:101272.

    Laura Meitzner Yoder and Sandra F. Joireman, "Possession and precedence: Juxtaposing customary and legal events to establish land authority," Land, 2019, 8(8), 126.

    Joireman, Sandra F., “Protecting future rights for future citizens: children’s property rights in fragile environments,” Oxford Development Studies. Forthcoming in 2018.

    Joireman, Sandra F., “Intergenerational Land Conflict in Northern Uganda: children, customary law and return migration”, Africa, 88 (1) 2018: 81–98.

    Joireman, Sandra F., “Ethnic Violence, Local Security and Return Migration: Enclave communities in Kosovo,” International Migration, 55(5), October 2017, 122-135.

    Joireman, Sandra F., and Laura S. Meitzner Yoder. "A Long Time Gone: Post-conflict Rural Property Restitution under Customary Law."Development and Change 47, no. 3 (2016): 563-585. doi:10.1111/dech.12236

    Joireman, Sandra F. "External Conditionalities and Institutional Change: Constructing Constituencies for the Rule of Law in Kosovo." East European Politics & Societies, 2015, 1-29. doi:10.1177/0888325415593631.

    Joireman, Sandra F., “Aiming for Certainty: The Kanun, Blood Feuds and the Ascertainment of Customary Law,“ The Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law, 46(2), 2014, pp. 235-248.

    Joireman, Sandra F.,”Rebuilding Communities after Violent Conflict: Informal Justice Systems and Resource Access,” Harvard Human Rights Journal, October 2014.

    Joireman, Sandra F., and Jason Brown. "Property: Human Right or Commodity?" Journal of Human Rights 12, no. 2 (2013): 165-179. doi:10.1080/14754835.2013.784662.

    Joireman, Sandra F., Adam Sawyer and Juliana Wilhoit, “A Different Way Home: Resettlement Patterns in Northern Uganda,” Political Geography, 31(4), 2012, 197-204.

    Joireman, Sandra F., “An Abundance of Violence and a Poverty of Words,” Ethnopolitics, Volume 9 Issue 2, 2010, 275-279.

    Joireman, Sandra F., “Food Insecurity in the United States,” Mother Earth Sister Peace, Winter 2010, p.6.

    Joireman, Sandra F., “Killing Neighbors: Webs of Violence in Rwanda,” Lee Ann Fujii, Nations and Nationalism, 16(1), 2010, 198-200.

    Book Chapters

    Joireman, Sandra F., “Resigning their Rights? Impediments to Women's Property Ownership in Kosovo,” Global Trends in Land Tenure Reforms: Gender Impacts, Caroline Archambault and Annelies Zoomers eds., Routledge, 2015.

    Joireman, Sandra F. “Entrapment or Freedom: enforcing customary property rights regimes in common law Africa,” Jeanmarie Fenrich, Paolo Galizzi and Tracy Higgins, eds., The Future of African Customary Law, (New York:  Cambridge University Press, 2011).


    Joireman, Sandra F., “The Property Rights of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons: Beyond Restitution,” By Anneke Smit, Journal of Refugee Studies, 2013, 26: 597-599.

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