Katharine Petrich, Ph.D. Candidate


Northeastern University

Phone: 206-714-7646

Country: United States (Massachusetts)

About Me:

Katharine Petrich is a doctoral candidate at Northeastern University's Dept of Political Science, specializing in International Relations. Her dissertation is primarily focused on terrorism and transnational crime in Latin America and Africa. Other current research projects also include how insurgencies convert into conventional conflicts following the Maoist model in South Asia. Kate splits her time between teaching Intro to International Relations and working for the US Department of Justice and the US Department of State. She spent summer 2017 interning with the Modern War Institute at the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY. Previously, Kate worked with the Hudson Institute as a Graduate Research Intern, researching corruption issues and special operations counterterrorism strategy. From 2006-2014, she was based in San Diego, where she earned a BA (History/Political Science) and a MA (International Relations) from the University of San Diego. In San Diego, she worked with the Trans-Border Institute as a researcher, documenting, recording, and coding homicide victims of cartel related violence. She contributed extensively to the Justice in Mexico News Monitor project, writing articles about narco-violence based on Spanish-language Mexican news. Her work can be found here. In addition, Kate wrote commentary on political and security topics for the Toronto-based Freedom Observatory.

Research Interests


Political Violence

Conflict Processes & War

Crime Politics

Foreign Policy


Specific Areas of Interest

Crime-Terror Nexus


Transnational Organized Crime

Money Laundering

Countries of Interest





My Research:

My research is primarily concerned with international security issues, particularly those concerning disruptive non-state organizations (terrorists and transnational organized criminals) and asymmetric conflicts. I am interested in the developing regions of South Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Current projects include an exploration of the tactical and strategic shifts of insurgent forces, written with the USMA Modern War Institute, and dissertation research on the criminal diversification of transnational terrorist organizations. Previous projects include an examination of using special operations forces to combat the crime-terror nexus.