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Sandra F. Joireman
Weinstein Chair of International Studies
Professor of Political Science

Sandra Joireman is a political scientist with a focus on property rights, law, and development. Her most recent project is examining post-conflict property rights and return migration in Liberia and Kosovo. She has worked extensively in Sub-Saharan Africa and most recently in the Western Balkans.

Grants and Fellowships

Earhart Foundation Research Grant, "Property, Political Authority and Return in Liberia," 2012-2013

Earhart Foundation Research Grant, "Where There Is No Government: Enforcing Property Rights in Common Law Africa," 2009

Fulbright Senior Scholar Award, Kosovo, 2012-2013

“Post-conflict Property Restitution under Customary Law,” Paper presented at the Law and Society Association Annual Meeting, May 29-June 1, 2014, Minneapolis, MN.

“The Protection of Children’s Property Rights,” Presented at the 10th Joint Area Centers Symposium, Children and Globalization: Issues, Policies and Initiatives, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, April 10-12, 2014.

"Building the Rule of Law in New States: Kosovo and the Shadow of the European Union", The Pruis Rule of Law Lecture at Calvin College, November 4, 2013.

“Law as Performance: Women’s Property Rights in Kosovo,” Presented at the American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL August 29, 2013.

“Securing Property Rights for Women (and Men) in Kosovo,” World Bank Land and Poverty Conference April 10, 2013. 

“Property Rights Issues in Kosovo,” US Embassy Economic Working Group, Pristina, Kosovo, February 26, 2013. 

“Property Rights; The Gap Between Law and Enforcement in Kosovo,” American University in Kosovo, Democratization and Rule of Law Speaker Series, February 15, 2013, Pristina, Kosovo.

“Property rights enforcement in Kibera Settlement, Nairobi,” Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver, February 10, 2012. 

“Enforcing Property Rights in Weak States,”  Paper presented at the African Studies Association Annual Meeting,  Washington DC, November 19, 2011.

“Measuring and Enforcing Women's Property Rights: New Ways to Look at the Data and the Enforcement Challenges,” USAID, Washington, DC, November 19, 2011.

“Enforcing Property Rights in Weak States,” African Studies Association Meeting, Washington DC, November 18, 2011. 

“Property Rights and Agriculture in Post-Conflict Settings,” Center for Stabilization and Reconstruction Studies, US Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA, February 2, 2011.

“Neglected Opportunities: Investment Climate, Rights to Assets, and Women’s Untapped Potential,” USAID Summer Seminar, Washington DC, July 22, 2010 

“Customary Land Tenure and Economic Development in Africa, “  Department of State Bureau of Intelligence and Research,  Conference on Land Reform in Sub-Saharan Africa, Arlington, VA, June 25, 2010

“Property Rights Enforcement by Non-Governmental Organizations,” Western Economic Association International,  Portland, OR, June 30-July 3, 2010

“In Search of Order: Property Rights Enforcement in Kibera Settlement, Kenya." The World Bank Conference on Land Policy and Administration, Washington, DC, April 26-27, 2010.

American Political Science Association
International Studies Association
African Studies Association
African Politics Conference Group
Selected Publications

Joireman, Sandra F., Where There is No Government: Enforcing Property Rights in Common Law Africa, (New York: Oxford University Press), 2011.

Joireman, Sandra F. (ed.), Church, State and Citizen, (New York: Oxford University Press), 2009.

Joireman, Sandra F., Nationalism and Political Identity, (London and New York: Continuum Press), 2003.

Joireman, Sandra Fullerton, Property Rights and Political Development in Ethiopia and Eritrea: the State and Land, 1941-1974, (Oxford: James Currey/ Athens: Ohio University Press), 2000.


Joireman, Sandra F., “Protecting future rights for future citizens: children’s property rights in fragile environments,” Oxford Development Studies. Forthcoming in 2018.

Joireman, Sandra F., and Laura S. Meitzner Yoder. "A Long Time Gone: Post-conflict Rural Property Restitution under Customary Law."Development and Change 47, no. 3 (2016): 563-585. doi:10.1111/dech.12236

Joireman, Sandra F. "External Conditionalities and Institutional Change: Constructing Constituencies for the Rule of Law in Kosovo." East European Politics & Societies, 2015, 1-29. doi:10.1177/0888325415593631.

Joireman, Sandra F., “Aiming for Certainty: The Kanun, Blood Feuds and the Ascertainment of Customary Law,“ The Journal of Legal Pluralism and Unofficial Law, 46(2), 2014, pp. 235-248.

Joireman, Sandra F.,”Rebuilding Communities after Violent Conflict: Informal Justice Systems and Resource Access,” Harvard Human Rights Journal, October 2014.

Joireman, Sandra F., and Jason Brown. "Property: Human Right or Commodity?" Journal of Human Rights 12, no. 2 (2013): 165-179. doi:10.1080/14754835.2013.784662.

Joireman, Sandra F., “The Property Rights of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons: Beyond Restitution,” Anneke Smit, Journal of Refugee Studies, forthcoming 2014.

Joireman, Sandra F. and Jason Brown, “Property: Human Right or Commodity?Journal of Human Rights,12(2), 2013, pp. 165-179.

Joireman, Sandra F., Adam Sawyer and Juliana Wilhoit, “A Different Way Home: Resettlement Patterns in Northern Uganda,” Political Geography, 31(4), 2012, 197-204.

Joireman, Sandra F., “An Abundance of Violence and a Poverty of Words,” Ethnopolitics, Volume 9 Issue 2, 2010, 275-279.

Joireman, Sandra F., “Food Insecurity in the United States,” Mother Earth Sister Peace, Winter 2010, p.6.

Joireman, Sandra F., “Killing Neighbors:  Webs of Violence in Rwanda,” Lee Ann Fujii, Nations and Nationalism, 16(1), 2010, 198-200.


Joireman, Sandra F., “Resigning their Rights? Impediments to Women's Property Ownership in Kosovo,” Global Trends in Land Tenure Reforms: Gender Impacts, Caroline Archambault and Annelies Zoomers eds., Routledge, 2015.

Joireman, Sandra F. “Entrapment or Freedom: enforcing customary property rights regimes in common law Africa,” Jeanmarie Fenrich, Paolo Galizzi and Tracy Higgins, eds., The Future of African Customary Law, (New York:  Cambridge University Press, 2011).


Joireman, Sandra F., “The Property Rights of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons: Beyond Restitution,” By Anneke Smit, Journal of Refugee Studies, 2013, 26: 597-599.

Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles 1995
Political Science
M.A., University of California, Los Angeles 1992
Political Science
A.B., Washington University in St. Louis 1989
Anthropology and Political Science
Contact Information
106 Weinstein Hall
Areas of Expertise
Comparative Politics
International Development
Property Rights
Customary Law
Legal Development
Post-conflict Migration