Teaching

I currently offer the following three modules at the University of St Andrews.

IR3070: Armed Conflict in Postcolonial Africa
How can we categorize different types and dimensions of armed conflicts in postcolonial Africa? What are their underlying and proximate causes? And what can be done to resolve them and achieve lasting peace? These are the overarching questions that guide the module. Following a broad historical overview, it addresses the relative paucity of interstate and secessionist conflict while highlighting the abundance of external involvement. Then, the module turns to problems of governance, the motives of rebels, and the role that ethnicity and religion play in the outbreak and continuation of conflicts. The module concludes by investigating the promises and pitfalls of both peacemaking and peacekeeping. Each tutorial provides students with the opportunity to apply general insights from the week’s lecture to a specific case, including some of Africa’s most recent conflicts.

IR4563: Rebels, Terrorists, Militias: The Comparative Analysis of Armed Groups
This module introduces students to the comparative analysis of armed groups, such as the Taliban and the so-called Islamic State. The first part addresses important conceptual issues, including the differences between rebel groups, terrorist organizations, and militias. The second part then brings together the study of these different types of groups by investigating the organizational challenges that they all face to varying degrees: recruiting and controlling their members, governing civilians under their control, and using violence effectively. The third part focuses on alliance politics both among armed groups and between them and sovereign states. The fourth part analyses different outcomes, asking why some groups remain cohesive while others split into rival organizations, and why some groups succeed whereas others fail. In each tutorial, students apply conceptual and theoretical insights from the lecture by comparing two or more different groups from the same country.

IR5001: International Security
This module introduces students to important issues and key debates in security studies. It begins by examining the nature of war, both between states and within them. The module then asks why states go to war with each other, exploring different levels of analysis and a range of theories. The third part investigates how states anticipate, threaten, and/or use force; it covers topics such as intelligence, coercion, and nuclear proliferation. The fourth part focuses on conflict between states and insurgents, addressing the causes of civil war and the dynamics of (counter-)insurgency and (counter-)terrorism. The module concludes by studying the termination of both inter- and intra-state wars as well as the role of international peacekeeping.