Erik Clint vanSonnenberg

Erik Clint vanSonnenberg

Current Student

Curriculum Vitae


Clint vanSonnenberg is a PhD Candidate in Political Science at UCLA. His dissertation, “Accounting for the Peace(s): Conflict Justice and Civil War Violence” assesses the impacts of conflict justice mechanisms on patterns of civil war violence in Colombia, Peru, and globally. Based on two years of field ethnography as a Judicial Assistant with Colombia’s Special Jurisdiction for Peace (Jurisdicción Especial para la Paz, JEP) war and human rights crimes court, and with Peru’s postwar victims’ unit, the Unique Registry of Victims (Registro Único de Víctimas, RUV), Clint’s dissertation consists of three parts. The project first theoretically decouples “transitional justice” mechanisms enacted during political transitions toward democracy, from international and domestic justice interventions enacted in the midst and aftermath of armed conflicts, which the project terms “conflict justice.” Second, country-specific chapters on Colombia and Peru (re)estimate the totality and patterns of both documented and unrecorded acts of civil war violence, the latter of which are known to comprise most wartime casualties. Finally, the project’s three empirical chapters systematically analyze the effects of international and domestic conflict justice trials and amnesties on patterns of civil war violence in Colombia, Peru, and globally.

Clint also conducts research on the empirical effects of the International Criminal Court, armed conflict and international justice in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and on the determinants of refugee migration. He has served as a Teaching Associate and/or Reader for courses in International Law, Statistics, International Relations, Comparative Politics, and Political Theory. Clint has received fellowships from the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), Department of Defense (DoD), the Promise Institute for Human Rights at the UCLA School of Law, the UCLA Blum Center for Poverty and Health in Latin America, and from the UCLA International Institute, Political Science Department, and Graduate Division.

Prior to UCLA, Clint earned his MSc in Social Anthropology from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and his B.A. in Government at from the University of Virginia. He also served as a Staff Writer and Contributing Author for several medical news websites and magazines.


PhD Candidate in Political Science, UCLA
M.A. Political Science, UCLA
MSc Social Anthropology, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

PhD Majors: Comparative Politics; Political Methodology
PhD Minors: International Relations; Political Theory


Transitional Justice; Armed Conflict; Civil War; International Justice; International Criminal Court (ICC); Multiple Systems Estimation (MSE)/Capture-Recapture Statistical Estimation of Wartime Casualties; Legal Anthropology

Honors & Awards

USIP-Minerva Peace and Security Scholar, 2018-2019
United States Institute of Peace (USIP) & Department of Defense (DoD)

Research Scholar
Promise Institute for Human Rights, UCLA School of Law

Blum Center Summer Scholar
UCLA Blum Center for Poverty & Health in Latin America

International Dissertation Fieldwork Fellowship
UCLA International Institute

UCLA Summer Mentored Research Fellowship
UCLA Graduate Division

UCLA Graduate Summer Research Mentorship (GSRM)
UCLA Graduate Division

Gordon Hein Memorial Scholarship
UCLA Graduate Division

UCLA Department of Political Science