Welcome to my website. I am a Lecturer in the School of International Relations at the University of St Andrews. Previously, I was a Postdoctoral Prize Research Fellow at Nuffield College, University of Oxford, and a Predoctoral Fellow with the Program on Order, Conflict, and Violence at Yale University‘s MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies. I received my DPhil (PhD) from the University of Oxford, where I co-founded the Oxford Central Africa Forum.
One of my main research interests concerns state support for rebel groups. My International Security article on the Congo Wars argues that most rulers in post–Cold War Africa form alliances with rebel groups abroad to alleviate threats to their political survival at home. Building on this article, my ongoing book project investigates African leaders’ motives for sponsoring rebel groups since independence. Together with Allard Duursma (ETH Zürich), I am also working on several papers on mutual interventions, that is, rival states simultaneously intervening in each other’s intrastate conflicts by supporting rebel groups. The research I conducted in the African Great Lakes region has also resulted in an African Affairs article on status competition and the direct interstate clashes between Rwanda and Uganda.
Another major research interest of mine is rebel group fragmentation. My International Studies Quarterly article develops a theory that explains how state sponsors foster either cohesion, fragmentation, or internal coups. It illustrates the theory with case studies of Sudanese and Lebanese insurgent groups. My forthcoming Journal of Strategic Studies article elaborates on this theory and dissects how external troop support affected rebel fragmentation in the Second Congo War. While these articles primarily ask why some groups split whereas others remain cohesive, my ongoing project on “Varieties of Insurgent Fragmentation” examines how groups split. The project is funded by the Carnegie Trust.