Dr. Busra Nisa Sarac is a Lecturer in Terrorism Studies in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice (SCCJ) at the University of Portsmouth. 


I hold a PhD in gender and political violence from University of Portsmouth in 2022, a MA in International Relations from Queen Mary University of London in 2015, and a BSc in Political Science and International Relations from Istanbul University, Turkey in 2012.

Prior to this role, I worked as a part-time Lecturer in the School of Area Studies, History, Politics and Literature (SASHPL) in the University of Portsmouth between 2021-2022.

I have written journal articles, book reviews and blog posts in the area of terrorism, security, gender, and the media and I am the winner of the Shirin M Rai Prize for the Best Dissertation Award in IR from the Political Studies Association (PSA) for my PhD thesis in 2023.

Research interests

In my PhD, I conducted a study into the representation of women's experiences of (conflict-related) gender-based violence with and after the so-called Islamic State (principally Yazidi women). As a qualitative researcher, my main focus has been to compare women's own representation of their (in)security issues to the major international newspapers' portrayal of them. My research has revealed the broader security implications of gender-based violence committed against Yazidi community, based on victimhood and survivorship narratives. 

I am interested in a research that investigates and reveals broader security implications of violence perpetrated by state and non-state actors. Therefore, I am currently expanding my focus and examining all forms of gender-based violence committed by state and non-state actors. My current research interests include: 

  • State-led and state-sanctioned violence 
  • Violence by non-state actors
  • Gender-based violence
  • Feminist Theory
  • Gender and terrorism
  • Migration