I am a Principal Lecturer in International Relations and Contemporary Security at the University of Portsmouth. My research lies principally in two areas of Security Studies: 1) the (changing) character of 'non-Western' warfare and 2) 'regime security' in authoritarian states.

My main area of research focuses on the character of contemporary ‘non-Western’ wars. I am currently (between 2018-2020) on research leave as a Marie Curie Research Fellow at the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa conducting a project entitled ‘Non-Western Powers and the Changing Character of Warfare’. Most of the recent literature on the changing character of warfare has focused on conflicts led by or heavily involving Western states. The project by contrast assesses comparatively a series of recent ‘non-Western’ wars (in Nigeria, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen) in light of the literature on the changing character of war and asks whether we see the same patterns (or different new ones) in these cases.

My previous research focused on regional responses to violent and non-violent sub-state challenges to (semi)authoritarian rule in Eurasia, the Gulf and West Africa. Between 2014 and 2015 I was a fellow at the Otto Suhr Institute of Political Science at the Freie Universität Berlin researching 'protective regionalism' in Eurasia, the Gulf and West Africa. This research focused on the regional strategies that authoritarian states use to stay in power in the face of sub-state challenges (especially democratic and human rights movements).

I teach principally on the themes of security and strategy, regionalism and security, insurgency and counter insurgency and energy security (amongst other areas).


Research interests

  • Authoritarianism and security
  • The Changing Character of Warfare
  • Regionalism and security
  • Non-violent sub-state challenges
  • Violent sub-state challenges
  • International Security
  • International Political Economy
  • Eurasian, Gulf and West African Security issues