Grad Students

Saskia Nauenberg Dunkell

Contact Information

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I am interested in the development, spread, and implementation of transitional justice mechanisms used to address human rights abuses in the wake of mass violence. Drawing on theoretical advances in the sociology of globalization and organizations, my work has moved between different levels of analysis to examine both how transitional justice mechanisms have proliferated around the world and been adapted, contested, and transformed in distinct national contexts. In 2015-2016, I conducted 16 months of fieldwork research in Colombia, South America, to understand the social, historical, and political processes behind transitional justice agreements for different armed groups.

Alongside my research, I have led Global Youth Connect’s Colombia Human Rights Delegation and worked at the International Peace and Security Institute’s The Hague Symposium on Post-Conflict Transitions and International Justice. Before starting at UCLA, I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Kingdom of Tonga from 2008-2010.

Fields of Study

Transitional justice, truth commissions, human rights, comparative-historical sociology, political sociology, sociology of organizations, globalization.


Nauenberg, S. (2015). Spreading the truth: How truth commissions address human rights abuses in the world society. International Sociology, 30(6), 654-673.

Grants and Awards

Dissertation Year Fellowship, UCLA 2017-2018

NSF Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide with USAID Research and Innovation Fellowship, Colombia 2015-2016

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program, UCLA 2013-2016

Eugene V. Cota-Robles Fellowship, UCLA 2011-2016

Karpf Peace Prize, UCLA 2013

Excellence in Teaching Award, UCLA 2012-2013

Graduate Summer Research Mentorship Fellowship, UCLA 2012


Edward Walker (Chair), Gail Kligman, Abigail Saguy, Geoffrey Robinson (UCLA History Dept)


M.A. Sociology, UCLA, 2013.

B.A. Psychology & Comparative History of Ideas, University of Washington, 2007