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Personal profile

Research Interests

My research interests cut across sociology, victimology, social psychology and peace studies, though coalesce around critical, feminist analyses of how societies respond to and recover from violent conflict. I focus in particular on complex, intractable social processes which impact the practice of building peace including the construction and representation of victimhood, identity and intergroup relations. I am keen to develop further in-depth qualitative research on local civil society contributions to peacebuilding and transitional justice, and gendered experiences of conflict and peace. My applied work around dealing with the legacy of the past in Northern Ireland informs my commitment to practice-oriented, participatory research, with a view to enabling a more reflexive peacebuilding praxis in Northern Ireland and further afield.

Research Statement

Prior to joining Queen’s University Belfast, I was a postdoctoral researcher on two projects:


War in Peacetime: Urban Violence and Social Trauma, a Max Batley funded Peace Studies Fellowship at the University of Sheffield which explored civic capacities to reduce violence and build peace in four cities: Belfast, Malmo, Sarajevo and Sheffield.


The Art of Reconciliation: Do reconciliation-funded arts projects transform conflict?, an AHRC funded project based across the University of Liverpool, Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University. The interdisciplinary project combined social sciences and creative methods to interrogate the impacts of the arts on peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland, the way funding infrastructures inform and/or constrain arts-based activity and the obstacles to long-term evaluation.


My doctoral research was based at Trinity College Dublin and involved several years of in-depth study on the impacts of group perceptions of victimhood in processes of dealing with the legacy of the past in Northern Ireland. This research is presented in my book, The Order of Victimhood: Violence Hierarchy and Building Peace in Northern Ireland (2018), published in the Palgrave Macmillan series Compromise After Conflict and winner of the first annual British Association of Irish Studies book prize. It explores how highly politicised, unresolved narratives of violence and a so-called ‘hierarchy of victims’ in Northern Ireland expose many of the inherent paradoxes of victimhood in conflict. The book develops the argument that exclusive, narrow attitudes about victims and perpetrators undermine the relationship building processes core to societal reconciliation, and that peacebuilding scholarship and praxis require more inclusive, nuanced approaches to victimhood.


I am a Lecturer on the BA in Criminology in the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work. I convene the second year core module:

CRM2005 Crime & Society (1st semester)


I also contribute lectures and tutorials on several other modules including:

CRM1001 Introduction to Criminology (1st semester)

CRM1002 Exploring Criminology (2nd semester)



Education/Academic qualification

Trinity College Dublin at Belfast


Trinity College Dublin


American University


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Research Output 2016 2018

1 Citation (Scopus)
Open Access

Safety & Security

Jankowitz, S., Atkinson, R. & Ferrazzi, D., 2018, State of Sheffield 2018. Sheffield: Sheffield City Partnership Board, p. 50-64

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Citations (Scopus)

The Order of Victimhood: Violence, Hierarchy and Building Peace in Northern Ireland

Jankowitz, S., 2018, Palgrave Macmillan. 218 p. (Compromise After Conflict)

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Sociopolitical implications of exclusive, intergroup perceptions of victims in societies emerging from conflict

Jankowitz, S., 29 Sep 2016, In : Peacebuilding. 5, p. 289-304 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access

Activities 2016 2019

  • 3 Participation in workshop, seminar, course
  • 3 Invited talk
  • 2 Public lecture/debate/seminar

Contested victimhood and the legacy of the past in Northern Ireland

Sarah Jankowitz (Speaker)
04 Feb 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesPublic lecture/debate/seminar

Complex victims, responsibility and transitional justice in Northern Ireland

Sarah Jankowitz (Invited speaker)
01 May 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesPublic lecture/debate/seminar

A pragmatic approach to complex victimhood

Sarah Jankowitz (Invited speaker)
29 May 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

The Politics of Emotions: Interrogating the Everyday

Sarah Jankowitz (Participant)
17 Dec 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

Representation and Transitional Justice

Sarah Jankowitz (Participant)
27 Apr 201828 Apr 2018

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course