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Bonnie Weir

assistant professor, political science, University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign

Bonnie Weir is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign. She studies the dynamics of violence employed by nonstate, politically‐motivated groups, with a particular interest in their potential decision to adopt peaceful strategies. Along with her substantive interests, Bonnie has focused on methodological shortcomings in the study of civil conflict, insurgency, and terrorism in the social sciences. Her concerns about several approaches that are typically used to test predominant theories on non‐state political violence lead her to conduct an extensive, interview‐based study of the case of the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland. She combines individual narratives with local‐level, “spatial” information to enhance our understanding of the often complex and personal nature of conflict and peacemaking among divided communities. Bonnie has worked with Children for Peace in Ireland and other groups in Northern Ireland and the United States whose goal is to help fully implement the institutions stipulated by the Good Friday Agreement and which tend to be lead by ex‐combatants.