Stephanie Savell

Senior Researcher, Co-Director of the Costs of War
Research Interests Warfare & Peacekeeping
Areas of Interest Militarism, security, civic engagement, political culture.


Stephanie Savell is a public anthropologist who researches militarism, security and civic engagement in relation to the United States post-9/11 wars and policing in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. As co-director of Costs of War, she serves as editor of the project's research papers and executive director of operations. Savell's global map of U.S. counterterrorism operations has been featured by USA Today, BBC World News and Smithsonian magazine, among others. She has published in a number of academic journals, including American Ethnologist, media outlets such as The Guardian, Foreign Policy, and Axios, and is co-author of "The Civic Imagination: Making a Difference in American Political Life" (Routledge, 2014). Her interviews have appeared on NPR's 1A, Vox's podcast Today, Explained, "The Problem with Jon Stewart," C-SPAN Washington Journal and elsewhere. She earned her Ph.D. from Brown University.


“The Right to Public Security: Policing and Activism in a Rio de Janeiro Favela.” American Ethnologist. November 7, 2021.

“Policing Rio de Janeiro and Complexo da Maré,” in Maré from the Inside: Art, Culture, and Politics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, edited by Nicholas Barnes, Desirée Poets, and Max O. Stephenson, Jr. Blacksburg, VA: Virginia Tech Publishing. (Co-authored with Nicholas Barnes.) 2021.

“The Costs of United States Security Assistance: How Counterterrorism Intensified Conflict in Burkina Faso and Around the World.” Costs of War, Watson Institute, Brown University. March 2021.

“United States Counterterrorism Operations 2018-2020.” Costs of War, Watson Institute, Brown University. February 2021.

“Numbers and Per Capita Distribution of Troops Serving in the U.S. Post-9/11 Wars in 2019, By State.” Costs of War, Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, Brown University. (Co-authored with Rachel McMahon. Map designed by Maria Ji). 2020.

Recent News

Stephanie Savell comments for USA Today, "we still have this counterterrorism apparatus trudging onward. It makes U.S. forces vulnerable to attack and increases the likelihood of the U.S. engaging in a much bigger offensive war."
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