Sana Jaffrey is the director of Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC), Jakarta and a nonresident scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Jaffrey has been a scholar of Indonesian politics over the past 13 years. During her appointment at the World Bank (2008-2013), she led the implementation of the National Violence Monitoring System (NVMS) data project in Indonesia, the largest publicly available violence dataset compiled for any single country. She has previously served as a research fellow at the Center for the Study of Religion and Democracy-PUSAD Paramadina, Jakarta (2015-2017); and a postdoctoral fellow at the National University of Singapore (2019-2020).
Jaffrey’s research on violent conflict and the challenges of state-building in developing democracies has been published on various academic and policy platforms. Her ongoing book project investigates the rise of vigilante violence in Indonesia, increasingly fueled by disinformation on social media platforms. Drawing on extensive qualitative and quantitative evidence, the book shows how vigilantes develop collusive relationships with street-level bureaucrats to obtain impunity. It argues that vigilantism across the developing world is flourishing not because the state is absent but because its growing presence can be leveraged by vigilantes to protect them from the risks of engaging in violence.
Jaffrey received her PhD in political science from the University of Chicago in 2019. Her dissertation on vigilantism in Indonesia was awarded the 2020 prize for best dissertation fieldwork from the American Political Science Association. She has an MA from the University of Michigan and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania.