Aditi Malik

Associate Professor Political Science Aditi Malik

Political Science Department
Africana Studies
Asian Studies
Peace and Conflict Studies 

Associate Professor 

Ph.D., Northwestern University

Fields: Comparative Politics, African Politics, South Asian Politics, political violence

Contact Information

Office Phone: 508-793-2516
Office: Fenwick 311
Office Hours: 


My research is focused on the study of political and gender-based violence, political parties, social movements and contentious politics, and ethnic and gender politics in Africa and South Asia. I am a mixed-methods researcher: my work combines insights from in-depth, multi-sited fieldwork with analyses of quantitative conflict datasets. Through such approaches, I seek to uncover both broad patterns of violence and trace the causal mechanisms that generate conflict. I am also interested in the philosophy of social science and in small-N cross-regional comparisons. 

My first book, Playing with Fire: Parties and Political Violence in Kenya and India, develops a theoretical and empirical account of the relationship between elites, political parties, and party-based violence. This research is based on a cross-regional comparison of Kenya and India with subnational comparisons in the two countries. The book is under contract with Cambridge University Press and will appear in print in 2024. 

A second long-term project seeks to explain why some incidents of sexual violence result in mass protests while others do not. I am especially interested in understanding how the efforts of feminist activists and media reporters inform ordinary citizens' willingness to take to the streets. I have completed initial fieldwork for this project in India and South Africa, where I am studying variations in public responses to a number of lethal rapes. I expect to conduct further research in both countries in 2024. 

To date, my research has taken me to Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Cambodia, India, and Nepal where I have studied various facets of conflict and conflict resolution. My academic work has appeared in venues such as Human Rights Review; Human Rights Quarterly; African Conflict & Peacebuilding Review; Commonwealth & Comparative PoliticsPolitics, Groups, and IdentitiesAfrican Studies ReviewIndia Review; and Zed Books, among others. In addition, I have conducted policy analysis for the World Bank and the United Nations, and my writing and analyses have also appeared in public-facing outlets such as The Monkey Cage blog at The Washington PostThe Conversation (Africa); and Deutsche Welle.  

I frequently involve Holy Cross students in my research as Research Associates, so please do reach out if assisting in my work is of interest to you. I am also committed to increasing the visibility of women and underrepresented groups in the political science discipline. I earned my Ph.D. in Political Science from Northwestern University, my MPhil in International Relations from the University of Cambridge (where I studied as a Gates Cambridge scholar), and my B.A. in Government and Economics from Franklin & Marshall College (where I graduated as Valedictorian). Prior to arriving at Holy Cross, I served as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Africana Research Center at Penn State University. 

*Note: All Research Associate positions to assist with my work in Fall 2023 are currently filled.*


  • Introduction to Comparative Politics
  • African Politics
  • South Asian Politics 
  • Women, War, and Violence (seminar)