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My interest in studying peace, human rights, and civil-military relations grounded in my personal history. Prior to academia I worked for the security industry for a period of about ten years. I worked both for the private and public sectors, gaining vast experience and in-depth understanding of the field from an applied point of view. My work is informed from this experience, allowing me to bring research closer to practice. More so, coming from the field helped me see how things are interconnected. This is reflected in my work that is interdisciplinary and seeks to provide comprehensive explanations.    


I am a political sociologist and a theorist that is interested in the role of organizations from a global perspective, especially as it relates to peace and war and human rights issues. My work assumes a broad perspective that cuts-across sub-sections within sociological research. Guided by overarching themes my work traverse between the macro and micro as I try to define contemporary social phenomenon from the bottom up.

In my work I study human rights in global perspective and the privatization of aid and security. I also look at the relations between technology and society and how it empowers protest and influences well-being.

Dr. Ori Swed


Sociology Department, University of Texas at Austin Office: CLA 4.612

Tel: (512) 471-8452 Fax: (512) 471-1748 Email:

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Upcoming presentation at the Annual Meeting 2017

American Sociological Association

August 12-15, 2017 | Montreal , QC Canada


Too Much Pressure

Sousveillance, or surveillance of the government from below, has been acknowledged as an empowering act of civil society that can put the government in check. With its increasing popularity in academic and popular circles comes a need to better understand its implications, its intended and unintended consequences. It remains unclear if sousveillance is just another form of protest or if, like surveillance, it can promote compliance and panopticism. Using data from interviews, peace organizations reports, and open sources. I examine peace movements’ sousveillance of checkpoint missions in the West Bank, exploring the association between the level of social pressure applied via sousveillance and whether that is associated with compliance or resistance. I argue that sousveillance can be panoptic and lead to compliance. However, this is true only when the subjects observed feel they are not pressed too much. Too much pressure, in the form of aggressive or invasive sousveillance, can trigger resistance and in some cases backfire. 

The Effects of Insecurity on INGOs Prolifiration 

A great deal of scholarly work has described and sought to account for disparities in INGO expansion across countries. This paper examines a new set of determinants associated with conflict and political unrest. Framing the disparities in INGO presence in relation to the tension between institutional and realist explanations, I use a time-series analysis of INGO presence between 1979-2006 in a global sample of 164 countries. The findings highlight the interplay between institutional and realist approaches, showing how conflicts can both attract or repel INGOs in accordance to the type of conflict—interstate or instate— intensity, and most importantly the location relative to the capital city.

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