Dr Annette Idler
Dr Annette Idler is Director of Studies at the Changing Character of War Programme, University of Oxford; a Research Associate at the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford and a Research Associate at the Graduate Institute Geneva’s Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding. She also serves as an expert for the global analysis and advisory firm Oxford Analytica and is a member of the International Advisory Committee of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) in the field of Security and Rule of Law. A full list of Annette's publications is available on her personal website and below.
As Director of Studies, Dr Idler develops the Programme’s research agenda, directs the research activities and supervises Visiting Research Fellows. Having worked in the past for UNDP’s Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, and the German Development Organisation GIZ, Dr Idler also brings in her vast experience to actively engage the policy community on matters related to CCW. Her engagement has included international agencies such as the UN Department of Political Affairs and governmental institutions including Ministries of Defence, of Foreign Affairs and of Justice of countries ranging from the UK over Germany to Colombia. Dr Idler is regularly invited as expert speaker to internationally renowned defence and security think tanks such IISS, Chatham House or RUSI.
Having conducted one year of independent fieldwork in Colombia’s war-torn borderlands, Dr Idler combines her background as an academic and practitioner with an in-depth, first-hand understanding of conflict dynamics on the ground. She has carried out over 430 interviews with local stakeholders such as military and police officers, ex-combatants, traffickers, indigenous leaders and refugees, and has lived embedded in local communities in these fragile settings.
Dr Idler has been teaching on subjects ranging from New Security Threats in Urban Spaces, Armed Conflict in Latin America, Transnational Organised Crime, Military Regimes to Global Institutional Design, among others, and has delivered guest lectures and seminars at institutions in the UK, Germany and the Americas. She has held visiting researcher positions in Universities in Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela. Dr Idler has also successfully coordinated and facilitated trainings and workshops for both academics and practitioners on conflict prevention, transnational organised crime and peacebuilding.
Dr Idler’s research interests lie at the interface of conflict, security, transnational organised crime and peacebuilding, and the role that violent non-state actors, including rebels, militias, paramilitaries, terrorists and criminals including drug cartels play in these dynamics. In her work she explores the proliferation of these groups and how they cooperate together, as well as what this means for civilian security on the ground. This is linked to her work on how civilians negotiate with violent non-state groups as well as negotiations on the country level, as the ongoing one in Colombia. She further directs a project on the Global War on Drugs involving perspectives from West Africa, Asia, Russia, and Latin America.
Dr Idler holds a doctorate from the Department of International Development and St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford, and a MA in International Relations (Distinction) from the Department of War Studies at King’s College London.
- The Changing Character of Conflict Platform: Understanding, Tracing and Forecasting Change across Time, Space and Cultures, funded by AHRC/ESRC (Principal Investigator)
- From Conflict Actors to Architects of Peace: Promoting Human Security in Colombia and Internationally, funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Principal Investigator)
- Borderlands: Violent Non-state Groups and Insecurity on the Edges of Colombia(Book Project)
- Violent Non-state Groups and their Impact on Civilian Security: Comparing the Andean Region, the Great Lakes Region and the Afghan-Pakistani Border Region
- Negotiating with Armed Actors: Peace Communities in Colombia (in collaboration with Cécile Mouly and Belen Garrido, FLACSO Quito)
- Beyond the War on Drugs: The International Drug Control Regime in the 21st Century (in collaboration with Juan Carlos Garzón, Woodrow Wilson Center)
Recently Completed Projects:
- Implementing a Ceasefire and Ending Armed Conflict: How to enhance human security and cross-border development in Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela (in collaboration with UN Colombia)
- Putting Frontier Research into Action: Tackling Violent Non-state Groups in Peripheral Spaces (in collaboration with UN Colombia and the UN System Staff College)
- Towards Sustainable Peace in Colombia and the World: A Critical Perspective on Army Transformation
- Dynamics of War and Peace: Drama, Poetry, Music and Dance (in collaboration with Rama Mani, Theatre of Transformation)
Annette has conducted extensive independent multi-sited fieldwork in war-torn, crisis-affected and otherwise fragile settings. Her interviewees included ex-combatants, traffickers, military and police officials, indigenous and afro leaders, refugees, internally displaced people, community leaders, non-governmental organisation staff, representatives of international organisations, government officials and academics. The main fieldsites include rural and urban areas in Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela:
- Norte de Santander
- La Guajira
PEER-REVIEWED JOURNAL ARTICLES
- “Jiu-Jitsu en Contexto de Conflicto Armado” (Translation: Jiu-Jitsu in the Context of Armed Conflict), Ciudad Paz-Ando, 2016 (9), 2: 155-167 (with Belén Garrido and Cécile Mouly).
- “How Peace Takes Shape Locally: The Experience of Civil Resistance in Samaniego, Colombia”, Peace and Change, 2016, 41 (2), 129-166 (with Cécile Mouly and Belén Garrido).
- “Peace Territories in Colombia: Comparing Civil Resistance in Two War-Torn Communities”, Journal of Peacebuilding and Development, 2015, 10(3), 1-15 (with Cécile Mouly and Belén Garrido).
- “Behavioral Patterns among (Violent) Non-State Actors: A Study of Complementary Governance”, Stability, 2015, 4(1):2, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/sta.er. (with James Forest)
- “Zones of Peace in Colombia’s Borderlands”, International Journal of Peace Studies, Summer 2015, 20 (1), 51-63. (with Cécile Mouly and Belén Garrido)
- “Power Unpacked: Domination,Empowerment and Participation in Local Guatemalan Peace Forums”, Journal of Peace, Conflict and Development, Issue 21, 2015. (with Lenin Miranda and Cécile Mouly)
- “Exploring Arrangements of Convenience among Violent Non-state Actors’, Perspectives on Terrorism, September 2012, 6 (4-5).
- “Arrangements of Convenience in Colombia’s Borderlands: An Invisible Threat to Citizen Security?’, St. Antony’s International Review, 2012, 7 (2).
JOURNAL ARTICLES, BOOK REVIEWS AND BOOK CHAPTERS
- Review of Drugs, Thugs, and Diplomats: U.S. Policymaking in Colombia, by Winifred Tate, Journal of Latin American Studies, February 2017 49 (1): 200-202, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022216X16002054.
- “Colombia and the Responsibility to Protect: Illustrating Pillars One and Two”, in Serrano, Mónica and Fuentes, Claudio, eds., The Responsibility to Protect in Latin America: the New Map, Routledge, forthcoming. (with Diego Dewar)
- “El Carácter Cambiante de la Guerra: El Mapa Actual de los Retos a la Seguridad” (Translation: The Changing Character of War: The Current Map of Security Threats), Transformación Militar. Revista de Difusión y Análisis, 2016, 1, 18-23.
- “When Peace Implies Engaging the Terrorist. Peacebuilding in Colombia by Talking to the Enemy?”, in Tellidis Y. and Toros H. eds., “The Nexus between Terrorism Studies and Peace and Conflict Studies”(Abingdon: Routledge), 2015. (with Borja Paladini)
- ‘‘Espacios Invisibilizados: Actores Violentos No-Estatales en las Zonas Fronterizas de Colombia” (Translation: Invisible Spaces: Violent Non-state Actors in Colombia’s Borderlands), in Koehler, Romy and Ebert, Anne (eds.), Las Agencias de lo Indígena en la Larga Era de la Globalización. Microperspectivas de su producción y representación desde la época colonial temprana hasta el presente. Estudios Indiana, Ibero-American Institute, (Berlin: Gebr. Mann Verlag), 2015, pp. 213-234.
- ‘‘The Transnationality of Conflict: Lessons Learned from Borderlands”, in Kalogeresis, A.,ed.Proceedings of the 2010 European Conference of the Association for Borderlands Studies (Thessaloniki: University of Thessaloniki), 2011, 185-204. (with Lindsay Scorgie)
- ‘‘Borderlands: Violent Non-state Groups and Insecurity on the Edges of Colombia” (under contract with Oxford University Press).
POLICY BRIEFS AND REPORTS
- ‘Borders vulnerable as peace stalls in Colombia’, Jane’s Intelligence Review, November 2016.
- ‘Criminal Groups Hinder International Peacebuilding’, Oxford Analytica, October 2016.
- ‘Securing Peace in the Borderlands: A Post-Agreement Strategy for Colombia’, DPIR, University of Oxford, August 2016.
- ‘Poor Peacebuilding Risks Power Vacuums in Colombia’, Oxford Analytica, April 2016.
- ‘Stability Indexes can be Deceptive Tools‘, Oxford Analytica, October 2015.
- ‘State Neglect Fosters Global Illicitly-governed Spaces’, Oxford Analytica, July 2015.
- Organised Crime and Fragility: The Role of the Broker. Report for the Sector Programme Peace and Security, GIZ, January 2015.
- ‘Chávez’ Re-election: A Delusive Continuity?’, RUSI Newsbrief, November 2012, 32 (6).
- ‘Post-Americas Summit Outlook: Walking the Walk?’, RUSI Newsbrief, May 2012, 32 (3).
- ‘Citizen Security at the Summit of the Americas: Why Europe should Care.’, RUSI Newsbrief, March 2012, 32 (2).
OPINION PIECES, ACADEMIC AND POLICY BLOG POSTS
- Santos got the Nobel Prize for not giving up on peace – here’s why all Colombians won. The Conversation, October 2016.
- Colombia just voted no on its plebiscite for peace. Here’s why and what it means. Washington Post, October 2016.
- La verdadera prueba para la paz en Colombia empieza después del proceso de desmovilización. ¿Por qué?, OpenDemocracy and democraciaAbierta, September 2016 (also available in English).
- Why the real tests for Colombia’s peace begins after the demobilization process, Washington Post, September 2016.
- A momentous peace deal with the FARC – so what next for Colombia? The Conversation, August 2016.
- How Nonviolent Resistance Works: Factors for Successful Peacebuilding in Samaniego, Colombia, Political Violence @ a Glance, July 2016 (with Cécile Mouly and Belén Garrido)
- What will the peace process mean for Colombia’s border regions? The government will have to start governing, Washington Post, June 2016
- La línea entre la paz y la guerra está en las fronteras, Silla Vacía, April 2016
- Megateo, the armed groups and the future of Colombia’s Catatumbo, openDemocracy, October 2015 (also available in Spanish and Portuguese).
- ¿Qué significa la muerte de ‘Megateo’ para la gente del Catatumbo?, Semana, October 2015.
- Colombia’s Deal with the FARC could bring peace – or create a power vacuum, The Conversation, October 2015.
- A Humanitarian and Diplomatic Crisis is Unfolding on the Colombia-Venezuela Border, The Conversation, September 2015.
- The Colombia-Venezuela border crisis: the civilian backdrop, openDemocracy, September 2015.
- La población civil, víctima de la crisis fronteriza entre Colombia y Venezuela, democraciaAbierta, September 2015.
- El Índice Global de Paz 2015: ¿cómo vamos en Colombia?, Razon Publica, August 2015.
- Violent Non-state Actors and Complementary Governance: What ISIS, Hizballah and FARC Have in Common, Centre for Security Governance, June 2015.
- From The Field: Intuitive Trust Matters: Researching Conflict and Crime across Borders. Border Criminologies, June 2015.
- “Narco-brokers and Financiers: the Key Elements in the Cocaine Business”, EU Cocaine Route Programme: Combatting Transnational Organised Crime, March 2015.
- “Narco-brókers y Financieros: Piezas Claves del Narcotráfico”, Razón Pública, August 2014.
- “The Margins at the Centre of the FARC’s Future. A Response to Ivan Briscoe’s Piece on the Transition of the FARC in Colombia”, DAG-3QD Online Symposia on Peace & Justice, February 2014.
- “Security and the Post-Chávez Bolivarian Project: A Convenient Revolution for Free-riders?”, Politics in Spires, University of Oxford and University of Cambridge, March 2013.
- “Arrangements of Convenience among Violent Non-state Actors”, Extremis Project, December 2012.
TALKS AVAILABLE ONLINE
- “International Security: Scholarship and Practice”, Panel Discussion at the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford, November 2015, Oxford, UK.
- “Fragile Alliances among Colombian Violent Non-state Actors”, Talk at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London, January 2015, London, UK.
- “Peace and Security in Colombia: Challenges Ahead”, Panel Discussion at International Institute of Strategic Studies, March 2014, London, UK
- “Illicitly Governed Spaces: Drugs, Conflict and Peace in Colombia”, Talk at the OxPeace 2013 Conference “The Future of Peace Building”, May 2013, Oxford, UK