Serena Cruz

Former Research Fellow


  • Conflict and Fragility


  • Sub Saharan Africa

Expertise: Social network analysis; feminist and post-structural theory; grounded research methods; ethnography; mixed-research design; and, “Hard-to-Reach” populations.

Until April 2017 Dr. Serena Cruz was a Research Fellow of the Clingendael Conflict Research Unit. Her work focused on the interpersonal processes that drive risk, vulnerability, and violence. She prioritised gender as a thematic approach to research, and as a result, was able to engage in research within varying contexts and regions. Based on these interests her work broadened the scope of policy responses to violence by considering the daily social and gendered practices that lead to extreme insecurity.    

Prior to joining Clingendael in fall 2015, Serena completed her PhD in International Relations. Her doctoral work focused on women’s daily risk management practices in the slums of Kampala, Uganda. Parallel to her academic research she maintained affiliations with the Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University and the University of Amsterdam and she pursued independent operational and programmatic research for various international non-governmental organizations in and outside the Netherlands.

Serena graduated from Florida International University in Miami, Florida. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree (Cum Laude) in Political Science, a Master’s Degree (Distinction) in International Studies, and Doctorate Degree (Distinction) in International Relations. 

My work