Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Political Science
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Conflict, Contact, and Social Cohesion in the Middle East
An Egyptian-Canadian raised in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, and Canada, Salma Mousa received her PhD in Political Science from Stanford University in 2020. A scholar of comparative politics, her research focuses on migration, conflict, and social cohesion. Salma's dissertation investigates strategies for building trust and tolerance after war. Leveraging field experiments among Iraqis displaced by ISIS, American schoolchildren, and British soccer fans, she shows how intergroup contact can change real-world behaviors — even if underlying prejudice remains unchanged. A secondary research agenda tackles the challenge of integrating refugees in the United States. Combining a meta-analytic review, ethnographic fieldwork, and field experiments with resettlement agencies, this project identifies risk factors and promising policies for new arrivals.
Salma’s research has been featured on the cover of Science, in The Economist, BBC, and Der Spiegel, on the front page of the Times of London and in an Emmy-nominated episode of PBS NOVA. Salma has held fellowships at the U.S. Institute of Peace, Stanford’s Immigration Policy Lab, the Freeman Spogli Institute, the Stanford Center for International Conflict and Negotiation, the McCoy Center for Ethics in Society, and the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society. Her work has been supported by the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (JPAL), the Innovations for Poverty Action Lab (IPA), the King Center on Global Development, the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences (IRiSS), the Program on Governance and Local Development (GLD), and the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies.
Fields of Study