Yelena Biberman is a nonresident fellow with the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center and an assistant professor of political science at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York. She brings to the Council expertise on unconventional warfare, counterinsurgency, and militias in Pakistan and India. She is currently preparing a book manuscript that focuses on when and why states outsource violence to nonstate actors.

Biberman’s research has appeared in academic journals such as Terrorism and Political Violence, Politics & Policy, and Political Science Quarterly, as well as in policy and mainstream media, such as the Washington Post, Foreign Policy, the Wall Street Journal, the Small Wars Journal, and the Moscow Times. Her work has been supported by the Atlantic Council US-Pakistan Exchange fellowship, Fulbright fellowship, United States Institute of Peace Jennings Randolph peace scholar fellowship, multiple grants from the American Institute of Pakistan Studies, Smith Richardson Foundation World Politics and Statecraft Fellowship, Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy Research Grant, and the IREX US Embassy Policy Specialist fellowship.

She received her BA from Wellesley College (with coursework at Oxford University), master’s from Harvard University, and PhD from Brown University. She has also worked as a journalist in Moscow, Russia.

Recent Publications:

Pakistani Militants have Created their Own Political Party. Can it Actually Win Votes?” (with Niloufer Siddiqui), The Washington Post, 2018.

Militia Welfare: Resource Endowment and Public Goods Provision by Armed Nonstate Groups in Pakistan and Nigeria” (with Megan Turnbull), Political Science Quarterly, forthcoming.

How We Know What We Know About Pakistan: New York Times News Production, 1954-1971,” Modern Asian Studies (2017).

Genocidal Violence, Nation-Building, and the Bloody Birth of Bangladesh (with Rachel Castellano), Asian Security (2017).

Self-Defense Militias, Death Squads, and State Outsourcing of Violence in India and Turkey,” Journal of Strategic Studies (2016).

Channeling Islam: Religious Narratives on Pakistani Television and Their Influence on Pakistani Youth” (with Sahar Gul and Feryaz Ocakli), Asian Affairs: An American Review 43, No. 3 (2016): 78-97.

Bridging the Gap between Policing and Counterinsurgency in Pakistan” (with Farhan Zahid and Philip Hultquist), Military Review (November-December 2016): 37-43.

When the Strong Weaponize the Weak: States and Guerrilla Warfare,” Sustainable Security (Oxford Research Group), October 19, 2016.

Between Radicalization and Violence” (with Gage Willand), Political Violence @ a Glance, June 23, 2016.

Peace by Assassination?” Political Violence @ a Glance, May 25, 2016.

Why Terrorists Target Children: Outbidding, Desperation, and Extremism in the Peshawar and Beslan School Massacres” (with Farhan Zahid), Terrorism and Political Violence (2016).

“Violence by Proxy: Russia’s Ex-Rebels and Criminals in Chechnya” (pp. 135-150), in State Terror, State Violence: Global Perspectives, ed. Bettina Koch (Wiesbaden: Springer, 2016).

One Shield, Two Responses: Anti-U.S. Missile Defense Shield Protests in the Czech Republic and Poland” (with Feryaz Ocakli), Politics & Policy 43, No. 2 (April 2015): 197-214.

The Problem with Proxies: Ideology is No Substitute for Operational Control” (with Orr Genish), Small Wars Journal, September 27, 2015.

Reimagining Pakistan’s Militia Policy,” Atlantic Council Issue Brief, April 27, 2015.

In Pakistan, Domestic Threats Begin to Overshadow India,” Washington Post, January 6, 2015.

Are There Lessons from Pakistan for Future of Fighting in Ukraine?Washington Post, May 27, 2014.