Teaching & PhD Supervision
At King’s College London, I teach primarily for the MA in Conflict, Security, and Development (CSD). For for 2014-15, I am also the Course Director and the Convenor of the core module while Mats Berdal is on sabbatical. I co-convene the War Studies Research Seminar with Felicia Fara (in 2014, with Thomas Rid). I am part of the lecturing teams for the core course in Conflict, Security, and Development and also for the Contemporary Character of War course (both at the MA level), as well as for Causes of War (BA level). Finally, I teach an option on State Failure and Statebuilding. (King’s students, you can link to the online reading list here. Note: you’ll need to sign in.)
If you are interested in becoming a PhD student at King’s, I believe we have the largest concentration of scholars in the world working on war. King’s also has one of the largest concentrations of politics scholars in the UK, perhaps even in Europe (War Studies, Political Economy, Defence Studies, European and International Studies, the Global Institutes (Brazil, Russia, India, China), Development Studies. And of course, we are located on the Strand, in the very heart of London. Just across the street at the LSE is another large group of politics scholars. In short, there is a serious critical mass of sharp minds sharing a couple of blocks in downtown London. (Did I mention that my office is a two-minute walk from Covent Garden and that King’s is attached to Somerset House?)
Potential PhD students should apply through the King’s application system. The deadline for those who need funding is usually in January, and for those don’t require funding, the deadline is in July. I am interested in supervising research on West African politics, war, the political economy of war, corruption, informal politics, organized crime, peacekeeping, the UN Security Council, natural resources, humanitarian aid, humanitarian intervention, and women in politics.
But here is a caveat: I am not prepared to supervise part-time students. For now, I will only consider those who are willing to do the program full-time in London. You must be willing to spend at least two years in London with me, ideally three. In practice, this means you need to commit to being in London during term time (1 Oct to 15 Dec and 15 Jan to 1 Apr). You do not need to be in London the rest of the year, though I do expect students to be working full-time on your dissertation.
It is important that students do research methods training (statistics, research design, qualitative, etc), attend the weekly research seminar (which I convene), and also develop a PhD peer group while in London. These elements of the program, in addition to having a supportive academic environment, will be critical to PhD success and are a fundamental part of the doctoral experience.
If you are interested in working with me, please email me (1) your c.v. and (2) a 1-2 page research proposal. As a general policy, I do not offer advice on PhD proposals. I receive too many requests to help with every single one and it would not be fair to help some people and not others.
*As of Summer 2015, I am currently unable to take on new PhD students.
After receiving your short proposal, I may direct your query to another colleague or to the PhD Admissions Director. If we are a good fit, then I will let you know. You can then put down my name as a potential supervisor. Let me be clear, this does not mean that I’ve agreed to supervise you so please do not imply in your application that I have agreed to supervise you.
At this point, you should prepare a full application and start looking for funding. If your application meets departmental standards, it will eventually be forwarded to me. I will read through your application thoroughly. You will then be ranked alongside other candidates that I am interested in supervising. I may interview you by phone. Discussions will take place within the department. You will then receive a decision. Please be mindful that even though we might correspond about your application, this does not mean that I will ultimately agree to supervise you. Here are the possible outcomes: (1) Acceptance (2) Acceptance, with conditions (3) Acceptance, with another named supervisor (4) Rejection, but with a suggestion to re-apply in future (5) Rejection.
For new PhD students, I’ve created a very simple guideline on how to think about and present your research prospectus/outline.
MA and BA Thesis Supervision
For my MA thesis supervisees, please read this page on Choosing a Research Question for your MA thesis.
Here is further information on the teaching that I did at Oxford– an altogether different style of teaching!
Technology Enhanced Learning
For those who are interested in weaving technology into the classroom, you can take a look at my electronic portfolio. The portfolio was prepared for a teaching certification program and it reviews some of the ways that I brought technology into the classroom for my MA students in Conflict, Security, and Development. It is one of four sample portfolios discussed in Paul Gillary’s blog post on Mahara (the platform).
Current PhD Students
Alison Brettle. The Impact of Social Networks on the Reintegration Of Ex-Combatants in Rwanda.
Nita Yawanarajah. When Does Mediation Achieve Durable Ceasefire Agreements?
Andrew Collins. Collaborative Security: Local Ownership And The Legitimacy Of International Peacebuilding Interventions.
Felicia Fara. The Responsibility To Protect: Constructing the Case for Intervention In Libya.
Chanda Creasy. Local Governance and Community Policing in Fragile States- A Somalia Case Study.
Richard Milburn. Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Exploitation in the DRC.
Francisco Mazzola. Clientelism and Citizenship in Lebanon.
Anna Plunkett. Conflict and democracy in the quasi-post-conflict state.