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Cynthia Boaz

Professor & Department Chair, Truman Scholarship Representative

Cynthia Boaz



Stevenson Hall 3805

Office Hours

Tue: 1:00 pm-2:00 pm
Wed: 3:00 pm-4:00 pm


Dr. Boaz joined the faculty of Sonoma State University in Fall 2008. Her expertise is in nonviolent strategy, civil resistance, quality of democracy, and reproductive rights. Her doctorate was granted by the University of California at Davis in 2003. Between 2004 and 2008, Dr. Boaz was on the faculty at the State University of New York at Brockport. 

From 2005 to 2020, Dr. Boaz was academic advisor to the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, a Washington DC based human rights foundation that collects and disseminates knowledge on civil resistance. Her work with ICNC sent her to conferences in India, Australia, Chile, Spain, and around the United States, including the annual Fletcher Summer Institute for the Advanced Study of Nonviolent Conflict, at Tufts University, where she served as an instructor on five occasions (2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2014). She considers her interview with Nobel Laureate Dr. Shirin Ebadi of Iran to be a highlight of her work in this field. Dr. Boaz continues to work alongside notable veterans of the struggles in South Africa, Serbia, Burma, and the US Civil Rights Movement, including Rev. James Lawson. She has served as an instructor at the illustrious James Lawson Institute on four occasions (2013, 2017, 2021, and 2022), where she has lectured on the strategy and tactics of the US women's suffrage movement. Dr. Boaz has contributed to many news and commentary-based media, including TruthoutHuffington Post, Common Dreams, Waging Nonviolence, Alternet, and Open Democracy.  

At Sonoma State, Dr. Boaz was Faculty Advisor for the award-winning Model UN delegation from 2010 to 2022, which every Spring participates in the National Model United Nations conference in New York City, and is currently POLS department Internship Coordinator. She is also the campus representative for the Truman Scholarship Foundation.   

Dr. Boaz is an affiliated scholar with the UNESCO Program in Peace, Conflict and Development Studies at Universitat Jaume I in Castellon, Spain, where she has taught courses in 2001, 2003, 2007, 2011 and advises both MA and PhD graduate students. As of February 2023, Boaz on the board of directors for Corazon Healdsburg. She has lived in both Spain and Ireland and speaks conversational Spanish, French, and Russian, and is currently learning Irish.


Ph.D., University of California at Davis


Reproductive Rights, Civil Resistance, Quality of Democracy, Political Communication and Media, Gender and Politics, Politics of Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Selected Publications & Presentations

"Arguments Used to Overturn Roe and their Consequences," presented to the Center for Law, Ethics, and Society, September 26, 2022

"Bans Off Our Bodies: Effects of Abortion Restrictions on Women's Quality of Life," panel on Reproductive Rights and Policy, presentation for the Midwest Political Science Association annual meeting, April 7, 2022

"Shoulder to Shoulder: Winning the Vote for Women," presented at the James Lawson Institute, April 13, 2022

“Islamophobia and Nonviolence in a ‘Christian Nation,’” Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Religion and Peace (Jolyon Mitchell, Lesley Orr, Martyn Percy, and Francesca Po editors), 2022. 

"How Speculative Fiction Teaches Us About Gender and Power in International Politics: A Pedagogical Overview,” International Studies Perspectives, 2020. 

“Must We Change Our Hearts Before Throwing Off Our Chains?” in Current Debates in Peace and Conflict Studies, Houston Wood, editor. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK. 2017.

“Introduction to Nonviolent Conflict,” in Conflict Transformation: Essays on Methods of Nonviolence, Rhea DuMont and Tom Hastings, editors. McFarland Press, 2013. 

“Media’s Major Misconceptions of Nonviolent Action,” in Censored 2012: The Top Censored Stories of 2010-2011, Mickey Huff and Peter Phillips, editors. Seven Stories Press. Fall 2011. 

“Nonviolent Skills versus Violent Conditions: Iranian Women’s Movement and Codepink: Women for Peace” in Peace Movements Worldwide: History, Psychology, and Practices, Marc Pilisuk and Michael Nagler, editors. Praeger/Greenwood Press. 2010.