Visiting Scholars


SchmiteValentin Schmite is a Ph.D student in political theory at Sciences Po (Paris) and a visiting student at Yale for the spring semester. His research interest include piracy studies, critical legal studies, international law and political violence. He holds two B.A in Economics and Philosophy from Université Paris X Nanterre, and a M.A in Political Theory from Sciences Po (Paris). His Ph.D thesis is about the legal construction of piracy in international relations. During his stay at OCV he wants to continue with this research and study more broadly the critical legal perspective of his subject. 

vlaskampMartijn C. Vlaskamp is a researcher at the Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals (IBEI). He holds a PhD in “International Relations and European Integration” from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. In his work he focuses on the financing of armed conflicts through the illicit trade in natural resources. Martijn’s dissertation has analyzed the policies of the EU regarding the illegal trade in diamonds, minerals and timber. During his stay at OCV he wants to continue with this research and study more broadly policies that seek to curtail trade in conflict-financing commodities.



Ryan Griffiths (Ph.D., Columbia, 2010) is a Lecturer in the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney. His research has been published in a number of journals including Nations and Nationalism and the Review of International Studies, and it focuses on three related areas. The first examines the dynamics of secession with a particular emphasis on the international and domestic causes of secessionist conflict over time. The second research area investigates the organization of the international system, with a specific interest in sovereignty and different types of political order, historically and in the future. The third research area looks at the rise of China, with a general interest in theories of power transition and a more focused attention to the question of whether China will seek to accept, overturn, or modify existing international norms. During his time at Yale, Griffiths will be working on a manuscript that studies the relationship between democracy and secessionist outcomes.

vlaskampMartijn C. Vlaskamp is a researcher at the Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals (IBEI). He holds a PhD in “International Relations and European Integration” from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. In his work he focuses on the financing of armed conflicts through the illicit trade in natural resources. Martijn’s dissertation has analyzed the policies of the EU regarding the illegal trade in diamonds, minerals and timber. During his stay at OCV he wants to continue with this research and study more broadly policies that seek to curtail trade in conflict-financing commodities.


Bonnie A. Weir, Ph.D., University of Chicago, 2012, is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Illinois. During the 2014-15 academic year, she is the Henry Hart Rice Visiting Assistant Professor at the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University. Her work focuses on civil conflict with an empirical concentration on Northern Ireland. She is currently working on a book on the political transformation of paramilitary groups as well as articles on local patterns of violence during civil conflict. Her research is grounded in extensive qualitative fieldwork paired with analysis of quantitative spatial data on political violence. Her book highlights the very personal and local nature of insurgency and counterinsurgency, revealing the composition and character of groups that we know relatively little about because of their clandestine nature.  


antwi-ansorgeBert Ingelaere is post-doctoral research fellow from the Research Foundation – Flanders at the Institute of Development Policy and Management (IOB), University of Antwerp and affiliated with the Centre for Research on Peace and Development (CRPD), KU Leuven. He is currently visiting post-doctoral fellow at the Program on Order, Conflict and Violence, Yale University. He has studied philosophy as well as social and cultural anthropology at the University of Leuven (KU Leuven) and holds a PhD in Development Studies, University of Antwerp. Since 2004, he has conducted over 35 months of fieldwork in rural Rwanda and Burundi. Previously, he was a researcher for the World Bank in Rwanda and China. His latest research focuses on social mobility and the drivers of social transformation in post-conflict/genocide context. He is co-editor of Genocide, Risk and Resilience (Palgrave MacMillan, 2013) and has written several articles and reports for such publications as African Affairs, Journal of Modern African Studies, International Journal of Transitional Justice, Journal of Eastern African Studies or Critique of Anthropology.


antwi-ansorgeNana Akua Antwi-Ansorge, a national of Ghana, is a doctoral candidate in Politics at Oxford University. Her dissertation primarily focuses on how armed movements in the Liberian civil war of 1989-2003 overcame the collective action problem, while documenting accounts of a society going through the experience of conflict. Her research interests include mobilisation for political violence, post-conflict reconstruction processes, peacebuilding as well as state and society in West Africa. Before Oxford, she worked as a human rights monitor and coordinator in the U.S.-Liberia Security Sector Reform Program in Liberia. Nana holds an MSc. in African Studies with Distinction from Oxford University, an LL.M in International Legal Studies from American University and an LL.B in Laws from the London School of Economics. She plans to use her time at OCV to complete an article on how military subjectivities were moulded within rebel movements in the Liberian civil war and to write-up her dissertation.

vanHoutenPietervan Houten is a Lecturer (Associate Professor) in the Department of Politics and International Studies and a Fellow of Churchill College at the University of Cambridge. His research has focused on various aspects of territorial politics in Europe, including regional parties and autonomy movements, the territorial organization of political parties, and political reconstruction in the Balkans. He will spend his sabbatical term at OCV working on a book manuscript on regionalist parties in Western Europe.

vargas-jannethJanneth Vargas is a PhD candidate at the Political Science Department at Los Andes University (Bogota – Colombia). Her research interests have focused on conflict resolution, security and national defense, and analysis of political discourse. Her doctoral dissertation topic is “Guerrillas’ Security: Alternative Orders of Security of Insurgent Groups in Colombia,” which seeks to answer what kind of political, military, social and geographical practices make up the security schemes of Colombian guerrillas (FARC-EP, ELN, EPL, M-19 and Quintin Lame Armed Movement) at the personal, organizational and territorial levels, what kinds of interaction develop between guerrillas and other political and military actors (paramilitary groups, drug traffickers, criminal groups and government officials) in the context of these alternative orders of security, and what are the implications of different insurgent security projects for the survival or extinction of those groups in Colombia. This research is supported by the Colombian governmental agency for Science, Technology and Innovation.


balcellsLaia Balcells Ph.D., Yale University, May 2010, is tenure-track researcher at the Institute for Economic Analysis, CSIC (Barcelona), and affiliated professor at the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (BGSE). She is also lecturer at the departments of Political Science and Economics at Pompeu Fabra University (UPF). Her research interests include the determinants of civil wars, the micro-dynamics of violence during conflict, and the political consequences of violence. In her dissertation, she studied the causes and consequences of violence against noncombatants during civil wars, with an empirical focus on the Spanish civil war (1936-39); she is currently working on her book manuscript, which —with support from the Harry Frank Guggenheim foundation research grant– will also include evidence from the civil war in Ivory Coast. Balcells’s work is published or forthcoming at journals such as Journal of Conflict Resolution, Comparative Political Studies, International Studies Quarterly, and Business and Politics. With Stathis N. Kalyvas, she has studied the determinants of types of civil wars as distinguished by technologies of rebellion, as well as the impact of warfare on costs and outcomes of conflict. Their article “International System and Technologies of Rebellion” has led the August 2010 issue of the American Political Science Review. Kalyvas and Balcells are currently working on a project on Marxist insurgencies and National Liberation Movements.


Jana Krause is a PhD candidate in International Relations/Political Science at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. Her doctoral thesis focuses on “resilient communities” in communal religious conflicts in Indonesia (Ambon/Maluku) and Nigeria (Jos/Plateau State). Her thesis develops a theoretical concept of social (collective) resilience during violent conflict in order to explain why some mixed communities remain nonviolent despite close proximity to violence-affected areas. She has conducted extensive field research for her dissertation in Indonesia and Nigeria, and also has research experience in India and Bosnia. Her research interests include communal conflicts and civil wars; violence prevention; religion in conflict and peace building; global governance and civil society; and gender and child protection issues in security governance. Her research stay at OCV is funded by the Villigst Foundation in Germany.

schubigerLivia I. Schubiger is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, where she is also teaching courses on political violence and political methodology. Her research interests include political violence, social movements, pro- and counterinsurgent mobilization within armed conflict, as well as processes of post-conflict political development. In her dissertation project, Livia investigates the relationship between patterns of violence and mobilization in civil wars. During her stay at OCV, her dissertation research was supported by the University of Zurich Alumni Association (research grant from the fund for the support of aspiring young academics) and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF fellowship for prospective researchers).


Keith Stanski is a D.Phil candidate in International Relations at Oxford University. His doctoral research examines the significance of ‘warlords’ in Anglo-American attempts to manage the relationship between war and order in the global south, both during colonial and contemporary times. The project is an outgrowth of Keith’s wider research interests in counterinsurgency doctrine, imperial ‘small wars’, and armed conflict between the global north and global south. Keith holds an M.Phil in International Relations from Oxford University and an AB in International Relations with Honors (magna cum laude) from Brown University, where he served as co-editor-in-chief of the Brown Journal of World Affairs. In addition to finishing his dissertation, Keith plans to use his time at OCV to complete an edited volume with Tarak Barkawi about Orientalism and war.

triskoJessica Trisko is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Political Science at McGill University. Her research lies at the intersection of International Relations, Comparative Politics and the Political Economy of Development and engages questions which relate attempts at regaining control and stability to the escalation of political violence. Jessica’s dissertation “Blood Money: Aid and Repression in Post-Cold War Asia” examines whether bilateral foreign aid (economic and military) increases political violence in recipient countries by bolstering the state’s coercive capacity through both aid fungibility and additive effects. This argument is tested using annual foreign aid commitments to Asia in the post-Cold War period (1992-2008) from the United States and Japan. Case studies of the Philippines, Indonesia, and Pakistan provide evidence of the causal linkages between foreign aid and government repression. Jessica’s research is supported by a Department of National Defence Security and Defence Forum Doctoral Scholarship, the SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canadian Doctoral Fellowship, and the Centre for International Peace and Security Studies.

weidmannNils Weidmann is a Post-doctoral Associate and Lecturer at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, and a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for the Study of Civil War, Peace Research Institute Oslo (on leave). He received a Ph.D. in Political Science from ETH Zurich in 2009. His research interests include the causes and consequences of political violence at different scales, with an emphasis on ethnic violence. His work has appeared in the Journal of Conflict Resolution, the Journal of Peace Research and International Studies Quarterly. For more information, see his website at


gydaGyda Marås Sindre is a PhD Candidate in political science at the University of Oslo, Norway. She holds and MA in political Science from the same university, and a joint BA-degree in Indonesian and Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Her general research interests include the dynamics of armed mobilization in civil wars and beyond, peacebuilding, democratization as well as general political affairs in Southeast Asia. In her dissertation research she investigates the dynamics of rebel group transformation in Aceh and Sri Lanka in the context of broader peacebuilding and humanitarian crisis. While at OCV she is working on an article concerning the localized dynamics of rebel-civilian interaction in Aceh. Her stay at OCV is funded by the Norwegian Research Council.

2008 - 2009

Zeynep Bulutgil is a Ph.D. candidate in political science at the University of Chicago and a research fellow at the Program on Order, Conflict, and Violence at Yale University. Her dissertation, Territorial Conflict and Ethnic Cleansing, develops a theory that explains the conditions under which states decide to deport or exterminate ethnic groups living in their territory. Her research demonstrates that the fundamental cause of ethnic cleansing is to be found in the territorial competition between states and/or actors aspiring to become states. She has received several competitive awards including a National Science Foundation Grant during the 2004-2006 academic years, which funded her fieldwork in Bosnia-Herzegovina, as well as a research fellowship at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Relations. Her general research interests include comparative state formation, civil wars, territorial conflict and its implications, church-state relations, and European history. While at Yale, she will be turning her dissertation into a book manuscript.

2007 - 2008

antoniouGiorgos Antoniou received his Ph.D. in History and Civilization at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy (2007). His dissertation title was The Memory and Historiography of the Greek Civil War, 1943-1949. He is currently is a postdoctoral associate and Lecturer of Hellenic/European Studies at the Mcmillan Center. He was previously a fellow of the Foundation for the Memory of the Shoah in Paris (2005-2007). He has edited volumes in Greek and Italian and his work as appeared, among others, in the Journal of Peace Research and History and Theory. His main research interests are: Historiography, Commemoration of Conflicts; Civil Wars; Cultural History; Collective and Individual Memory.

chengChristine Cheng is a doctoral student in politics at Nuffield College, University of Oxford. She is a visiting student at Yale for 2007-08. Her dissertation (In Transition: the Rise of Extra-legal Groups in Post-Conflict Liberia) focuses on the emergence of extra-legal groups in post-conflict Liberia and the impact of these groups on state security. She is also editing (with Dominik Zaum) a special issue of International Peacekeeping on Peacebuilding and Corruption (2008). Her other research interests include state failure, state formation, and statebuilding, as well as international organizations and West African politics. Christine has conducted field research in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Côte d’Ivoire, South Africa, and Guatemala. She is also collaborating with Margit Tavits on research examining women’s political candidacies in a comparative context and additionally working on passing a referendum measure in Ontario (MMP) which is expected to benefit women. Before Oxford, she worked for the UN and the World Bank, as well as the John Kerry for President Campaign. Christine holds a B.A.Sc. in systems design engineering from the University of Waterloo and an M.P.A. from Princeton University.

hierroMaria José Hierro is a A Ph.D Candidate both at the Juan March Institute (IJM, Madrid) and in the Department of Political Science at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM, Madrid). She has a BA in Sociology and a BA in Political Science from the Universidad de Salamanca and from the UAM, respectively. Her stay at Yale is sponsored by la Caixa Foundation.  Her work deals with national identity as an endogenous variable. Her research aims to shed light on the mechanisms that explain why some internal immigrants to Catalonia and the Basque Country change their original national identity while others do not.

2006 - 2007

travagliantiManuela Travaglianti is a graduate student at the Scuola Superiore di Catania. She received her MA (2006) in European Studies and her BA in International Relations (2004) from the Università degli Studi di Catania, Italy. During her semester at Yale she is researching political violence in African states with a focus on unearthing the correlation between the nature of the opposition groups and the dynamics and outcomes of internal conflicts. She is also researching the relation between coups and violence, and the role of external intervention. This project will constitute her thesis for the second level diploma at the Scuola Superiore di Catania.


hultmanLisa Hultman is a PhD candidate in Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University, Sweden, from where she also holds an MA (2002). She is spending a semester at Yale primarily funded by a grant from the Sasakawa Foundation. Her dissertation project concerns the targeting of civilians in intrastate armed conflicts, with a focus on how it relates to the overall conflict dynamics. The project deals with both governments and rebel groups, and examines their interaction in terms of relative military capabilities and exchange of information in order to explain why they sometimes choose to intentionally target civilians. During her semester at the Program on OCV, she will develop and evaluate empirically the micro-level implications of the theory.


Luis de la Calle Robles is a Ph.D. candidate at the Center for Advanced Social Sciences of the Juan March Institute, from where he received his MA. He has a BA in Sociology from the University of Salamanca. His work focuses on the study of political violence in contexts where nationalist sentiments prevail. His dissertation aims at explaining the differential use of violence by Western nationalist movements in their quest for internal devolution of power. During his stay at Yale he elaborated his topic and engaged in collaborative research with students and faculty.

Ignacio CuencaIgnacio Sánchez Cuenca is a Doctor Miembro del Instituto Juan March and Associate Professor of Sociology in Universidad Complutense de Madrid. He has been Assistant Professor in the Sociology Department, Universidad de Salamanca and Associate Professor in the Political Science Department at the Universidad Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. He has also been a Visiting Scholar in New York University and taught courses in methodology at the Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas in Madrid. His most recent publications include “The Political Basis of Support for European Integration”, 2000, “Los efectos de la acción de gobierno en el voto durante la etapa socialista” (with Belén Barriero, 2000) and ETA contra el Estado (2001). Ignacio Sánchez Cuenca will be the Rice Family Foundation Visiting Professor in the department of Political Science and The MacMillan Center in 2004-05.

Artur ZimermanArtur Zimerman is a Ph.D. candidate in the department of Political Science at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. He holds a B.A. degree in Political Science and International Relations and an M.A. in Social Science with emphasis in Public Policy and Public Administration, both from the The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel (1999). He also holds a Peace Research certificate from Oslo University, Norway (1997). He has received several grants, including CNPq (Brazilian ministry of education), Ford Foundation, CAPES, and the Norwegian ministry of foreign affairs. His dissertation “Land tenure as a Determinant of Civil Wars: Why Not in Brazil?” explores the effect of land distribution in both crossnational econometric models of civil war and a subnational study of Brazil. During his stay at the Program in Order, Conflict, and Violence, he elaborated his topic and built a dataset.