Department of Political Science


Sarah Leo

PhD Candidate in Political Science

  • Name: Sarah Leo
  • Email: sarah.leo.13@ucl.ac.uk
  • Twitter: @misssarahleo

Sarah Leo is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science. Her research focuses on the ways in which governments should deal with terrorist violence. As part of her PhD thesis she explores the conditions under which government strategies that reward terrorism, such as group accommodation or public goods provision, are more successful than punishment strategies. She currently collects data on terrorist group characteristics, and collates and analyses global data on terrorism and states’ responsive counterterrorism activities.

Before starting her PhD, Sarah obtained a BA in Journalism, and an MSc in Security Studies. Her dissertation investigated the impact of covert US drones strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Sarah also worked as a researcher for a London-based NGO, where she focused on drones and other advanced weapons technology. Aside of analysing the implications of such technological advances, she created data visualisations on various subjects, from the impact of explosive weapons, autonomous weapons systems and casualty recording efforts. She contributed to a wide range of other data projects for, among others, ICBL-CMC, PAX, Save the Children and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.