Tova C. Norlén, Ph.D.

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Tova Norlen

Tova C. Norlén, Ph.D.

Transnational Security Studies

Areas of Expertise

  • Counterterrorism and violent extremism
  • Conflict and Political violence
  • Negotiation and Mediation
  • Irregular and hybrid threats
  • Middle East Regional Security

Academic Degrees

  • Ph.D., International Relations and Conflict Management, Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Washington, DC
  • Master of Arts in Peace Studies & Government, University of Notre Dame, IN 
  • Master of Arts in International Relations, University of Stockholm, Sweden
  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Uppsala, Sweden

Dr. Tova Norlén joined the Marshall Center in January 2020 as Professor of Counterterrorism and International Security. She serves as the Academic Advisor for the Program on Terrorism and Security Studies.

Dr. Norlén has served in several academic and administrative roles at a number of colleges and universities and has developed and taught courses on a wide variety of international affairs and security-related topics. She was a faculty member at the American University’s School of International Service, where she taught both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Dr. Norlén also served as the Assistant Dean for Research at George Washington University’s Elliott School for International Affairs. She held the position of research fellow at several think tanks, including the EU Institute for Security Studies in Paris, the Center for Security Studies in Zurich, and RAND in Washington, DC.

Dr. Norlén’s research is interdisciplinary and located at the intersection between scholarship, policy, and practice in the fields of global security, conflict research, negotiation, and counterterrorism, focusing on the Middle East in particular. Her recent publications examine the link between militant religious extremism and terrorism, looking at Salafi-Jihadi groups. She also explores the relationship between global fragility and violence, with an emphasis on the MENA region. She is currently engaged in several research projects, including an exploration of the growing link between religious nationalism, populism, and extremism on a cross-section of global cases; the role of proxies in the Pakistan-Afghanistan security relationship; and the potential impacts of non-state actors and illicit market structures on Ukraine’s post-conflict security.

Dr. Norlén has received several awards and scholarships for her research, including the Transatlantic Postdoctoral Fellowship for International Relations (TAPIR), the USIP Peace Dissertation Research Scholarship, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis’ Peccei Award and Howard Reiffa Scholarship, and the University of Notre Dame’s Hesburgh Scholarship.

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