I am an Assistant Professor at the Centre for International Conflict Analysis and Management (CICAM) at Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands. I joined CICAM in April 2013 after obtaining my PhD in political science from Northwestern University and Sciences Po Paris.
My research focuses on why stable institutional orders and states emerge in particular circumstances. It engages scholarship on violence, political order, and state formation and explores the nature of alternative power structures in conflict environments. It investigates the interventionist’s dilemma of trying to construct a capable central authority while depending upon warlords to provide stability. My most recent work has been published in Security Studies (Warlords, Intervention, and State Consolidation: A Typology of Political Orders in Failed and Failing States), Perspectives on Politics (The ‘Tribal Politics’ of Field Research: A Reflection on Power and Partiality in 21st-Century Warzones, with Dipali Mukhopadhyay), and Small Wars & Insurgencies (From Rebel to Quasi-State: Governance, Diplomacy and Legitimacy in the Midst of Afghanistan’s Wars (1979-2001)). My work has also recently been featured on blogs such as Political Violence at a Glance, The Conversation, and The Washington Post‘s Monkey Cage.
My current research activities are structured around three main projects: one on the fragmentation of political order in Somalia and Afghanistan, funded by a Marie Curie Individual Fellowship; a multi-year group project on the relations between war and politics, and a book manuscript on “Warlord Survival,” based on my PhD dissertation.
I also have a few side projects including one on state/militias relationships with Lee Seymour and Corinna Jentzsch and one on rebel narratives with William Reno.
In sum, my research interests include, but are not limited to, the following subjects:
- Statebuilding and state making processes
- Violence, armed conflicts and armed groups
- Failed states, warlordism, and militias
- External interventions