Laura Thaut Vinson

Assistant Professor


Contact Information

206 Murray Hall
(405) 744-5572

Research Interests

African Politics
Ethnic/Civil Conflict & Peacebuilding
Religion & Global Politics

PhD, University of Minnesota, 2010

Dr.Vinson teaches courses in comparative politics and international relations, including African Politics, Religion & Global Politics, Civil War & Ethnic Conflict, and Introduction to Comparative Politics. Her research interests are in the areas of ethnic conflict, the politics of global religious change (particularly with the spread of Pentecostal-charismatic Christianity), African politics, and humanitarianism.

She has conducted fieldwork in Nigeria and Kenya, and, based on Nigeria fieldwork, is currently working on a book manuscript that examines the role of informal, local government power-sharing institutions in shaping whether religious identity becomes a fault line of communal violence. Her research has been published in Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, in International Migration, and in three edited volumes: The Credibility of Transnational NGOs (with Michael Barnett and Janice Gross Stein), Religion and Development (with Ajaz Ahmed Khan), and Transforming America: Perspectives on U.S. Immigration (with Carla Reyes). 

Recent Publications

    • Vinson, Laura Thaut and Jonas Bunte. "Local Power-Sharing Institutions and Inter-Religious Violence in Nigeria." Journal of Peace Research (forthcoming).
    • Thaut, Laura, Michael Barnett, and Janice Gross Stein. 2012. In Defense of Virtue: Credibility, Legitimacy Dilemmas, and the Case of Islamic Relief.  In Peter Gourevitch, David Lake, and Janice Gross-Stein, eds., The Credibility of Transnational NGOs: When Virtue is Not Enough. New York: Cambridge University Press. pp. 137-164.