Kerry Ann Carter Persen

Kerry Ann Carter Persen

Carnegie Predoctoral Fellow


Stanford University

Encina Hall, C233-B

Stanford, CA 94305-6165

(650) 723-9742 (voice)

Research Interests

Countering violent extremism | Terrorism | Religious violence | Tolerance | Islam | Southeast Asia


Kerry Ann Carter Persen is a Carnegie Predoctoral Fellow at CISAC for the 2017-2018 academic year and a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Political Science at Stanford University. Her research focuses on the impact of violent extremism on political behavior in the Islamic World.
In her dissertation, she develops a theory of the microfoundations of moderate mobilization against extremist groups using the case of Islamist extremism in Indonesia.  Employing fieldwork, survey data, and observational data, she shows that moderates and extremists face asymmetric costs in the decision to voice their private preferences publicly. This asymmetry results in a failure of moderates to act collectively in line with their individual beliefs, a coordination dilemma called the “Moderates Dilemma.”
Kerry’s research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Institute for Peace, the Horowitz Foundation, the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), and the Vice Provost for Graduate Education at Stanford University, among others.
Prior to graduate school, Kerry spent a Fulbright year in Indonesia and worked at the U.S-Indonesia Society in Washington, D.C. She graduated summa cum laude from Bowdoin College with a double major in Government and Economics.