Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Catherine Lutz

Catherine Lutz

Thomas J. Watson, Jr. Family Professor of International Studies, Professor of Anthropology

Professor Catherine Lutz is the author or co-author of many books and articles on a range of issues, including security and militarization, gender violence, and transportation. Professor Lutz’s research within the humanitarian sector has focused on the transformations of war, as well as on peacekeeping and gender, military basing and anti-basing social movements. Writing and speaking widely in a variety of media, she has also consulted with a variety of civil society organizations as well as with the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the government of Guam.

She is currently leading a large interdisciplinary project on the human, social, and financial costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The Costs of War project has brought together over 35 scholars and practitioners from across the social sciences with expertise in these areas, and their research output is available at costsofwar.org.


  1. US Reconstruction Aid for Afganistan: The Dollars and Sense. Costs of War, (with Sujaya Desai), Watson Institute for International Studies Working Papers Series, 2015, and costsofwar.org.


Anthropology/International Relations 1232, War and Society

This course provides cross-cultural, ethnographic, and historical perspectives on war. The focus is less on battles, elite war strategies, and relations between states than on what war is like for those caught within it.  Course readings and lectures use cultural, political economic, and feminist approaches to understanding war and its effects on social life.  Case studies are drawn from many eras and areas of the globe, including past war in Mozambique, the aftermath of terror wars in Guatemala, and the Cambodian genocide. We will also look at efforts that have been made to prevent war.