I’m a scholar and teacher focusing on international relations and security studies. I have been a professor at Boston University and New York University in Abu Dhabi, and am currently a Visiting Scholar with Harvard University’s Weatherhead Scholars Program. In addition, I’m a Non-Resident Fellow at the NYU Center on International Cooperation (CIC) in New York. I’m currently transitioning into a new position in Washington, DC.
In my research, I seek to answer questions that are crucial for both theory and international policy. Specifically, I examine local and global institutions’ role in promoting security, effective government, and economic development, with a focus on fragile and conflict-affected states. My first book, The Power of Dependence: NATO-UN Cooperation in Crisis Management (Oxford University Press, 2015), analyzes the dynamic, often dysfunctional relationship between NATO and the UN in major post-Cold War conflicts.
I am currently completing my second book, Islands of Stability: Subnational Security and Development in Fragile States, which explores how peaceful regions emerge and excel in weak, war-torn countries. The book leverages interviews with local elites in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia, an original dataset on governors in these countries, and statistical estimations. Islands of Stability offers a new, groundbreaking perspective on fragile states, highlighting that the careful promotion of subnational solutions to insecurity and poverty provides an avenue for more successful international engagement with critical regions of the world.
Previously, I have been a visiting scholar at Stanford University’s Department of Political Science, the World Bank’s Global Center on Conflict, Security, and Development in Kenya, and the WZB Berlin Social Science Center in Germany. I also completed fellowships at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), and the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP). I hold a Ph.D. in Political Science from the Freie Universität Berlin.