Mark’s research examines social movements, insurgency and political violence, leadership, and ideology, with a particular focus on Russia’s North Caucasus. Mark joined the University of Portsmouth in September 2019, having completed a PhD at the University of Birmingham.

Mark’s doctoral research examined questions of ideological variance and change across the North Caucasus insurgency, evaluating ideology’s relationship to internal movement dynamics and political environments. This research drew on my fluent Russian and developing Turkish language skills to examine extensive, unique primary source datasets, and to conduct field research in Russia and Turkey.

He has published in Terrorism and Political Violence and Caucasus Survey. He has also authored policy briefs for the UK government, examining the evolution of the North Caucasus insurgency and the involvement of ‘Russian-speaking’ fighters in the Syrian conflict. Prior to completing his PhD, Mark worked for seven years as an open-source intelligence analyst. He is currently Associate Editor of Caucasus Survey, a peer-reviewed, multi-disciplinary journal dedicated to the study of the North and South Caucasus.


Mark teaches across a range of modules, including Soviet, Russian, and Eurasian politics; foreign and security policy; terrorism and political violence; social movements and protest; and academic and professional skills. He is also coordinator of the distance learning version of the MA in International Relations, and of the Politics and International Relations study abroad program.


Mark’s research covers a number of areas:

  • Terrorism and Political Violence
  • Russia and Eurasian Politics
  • Social Movements
  • Social Networks
  • Gender
  • International Relations

His current projects examine the role of identity in insurgent ideology; using Social Network Analysis to generate insights into ideological orientation; and theorising how movements navigate the challenges of leadership transition.


  • Transnational Politics and Society
  • Peace, Security and Conflict