The Programme consists of permanent, core members of staff, an Academic Board drawn from Pembroke College and the academic disciplines with which the programme is engaged, and an Advisory Board made up of influential persons who have played a fundamental role in supporting the development of the CCW over the years. Breadth and diversity is added by the Visiting Fellowship programme, which attracts participants from across the globe (approximately twelve per year) as well as our Oxford-based Student Associates.

CCW 220915 Sir HS lectern Oxford Union comp.jpg

OUR EXPERTISE

Strategic Studies: Prof Dominic Johnson

Strategy, Futures and Middle East: Dr Rob Johnson

Violent Non-State Groups, Africa and South America: Dr Annette Idler

Migration and Human Dimensions of Armed Conflict: Professor Dawn Chatty and Professor Anke Hoeffler 

Russia and Nordic-Baltic Defence and Security: Dr Andrew Monaghan; Prof Janne Matlary, Dr Mattias Hessérus

International Relations China and South Asia: Dr Jonathan Ward

Ethics of War and Peace: Prof Cheney Ryan

Military History and Cultures of War: Prof Peter Wilson; Dr Adrian Gregory
Dr Rod Bailey

Law, Rights and Armed Conflict: Prof Sir Adam Roberts Emeritus

Organisational Theory and Practice: Dr Eamonn Molloy

Information Age, Cyber Security and International Relations: Graham Fairclough and Jamie Collier (OII); Lucas Kello (Cy Sy)

Intelligence: David King and Gwilym Hughes (OIG)

Conflict Resolution: Lord Alderdice (CRIC)


The Oxford Changing Character of War Centre (CCW) has been examining the developments of armed conflict and its consequences since 2003. From the outset the intention was to bring together scholars from several disciplines, especially history, politics, international relations, law and philosophy, and CCW is now based in the naturally multi-disciplinary environment of Pembroke College, where the current directors, Dr Robert Johnson and Dr Annette Idler, have built further links with anthropology, psychology and economics, as well as a number of related Oxford centres of excellence such as the Centre for International Studies, Centre for the Resolution of Intractable Conflict and digital humanities centre.

However, CCW has always been more than a meeting point for scholars: We have built connections with government and armed forces, and many institutions around the world who conduct research into all aspects of war and its effects. We further our impact by inviting a selection of academic and qualified practitioner visiting research fellows. We partner with individuals and institutions all over the world, including SAIS at Johns Hopkins, the NATO Defence College and the Defence University in Colombia. CCW also contributes to the life of the College and the university by running events that are open to all faculty members and students, by the supervision of several DPhils, the Foreign Service Programme, and contributions to masters’ and undergraduate teaching. As ‘good citizens’ of Oxford and Pembroke, CCW staff mark examinations, conduct vivas, offer research advice to students and colleagues, and make financial contributions to Pembroke, to DPIR (University of Oxford’s Department for Politics and International Relations), and act as an ambassador for the College by demonstrating the quality of our research to a much wider audience.


Core Staff

CCW Director

robert.johnson@history.ox.ac.uk

CCW Director of Studies 

annette.idler@politics.ox.ac.uk

CCW Director of Research on Russia & Northern European Defence & Security

andrew.monaghan@pmb.ox.ac.uk


RESEARCHERS

 Jan Boesten is a postdoctoral research fellow in the CCW project From Conflict Actors to Architects of Peace: Promoting Human Security in Colombia and Internationally. He holds a PhD from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. His dissertation was on the Colombian Constitutional Court and its decision to curtail constitutional reform. Recent works include "The Generalization of Particularized Trust: Paramilitarism and Structures of Trust in Colombia" published in Revista Colombia Internacional, and "Colombia's Critical Juncture: The Communicative Origin of the 1991 Constitution" published in Precedente: Revista Jurídica. His research interests include judicial institutions, trust relations in political systems, and post-conflict democratization.

Jan Boesten is a postdoctoral research fellow in the CCW project From Conflict Actors to Architects of Peace: Promoting Human Security in Colombia and Internationally. He holds a PhD from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. His dissertation was on the Colombian Constitutional Court and its decision to curtail constitutional reform. Recent works include "The Generalization of Particularized Trust: Paramilitarism and Structures of Trust in Colombia" published in Revista Colombia Internacional, and "Colombia's Critical Juncture: The Communicative Origin of the 1991 Constitution" published in Precedente: Revista Jurídica. His research interests include judicial institutions, trust relations in political systems, and post-conflict democratization.

Dr Jan Boesten

Postdoctoral Research Fellow:
From Conflict Actors to Architects of Peace

jan.boesten@politics.ox.ac.uk

 Graham Fairclough is a DPhil candidate in cyber security at the University of Oxford. Prior to commencing his studies, he was a career soldier in the British Army, reaching the rank of Colonel. Throughout his career he was employed on intelligence and security duties, which included operational tours in Northern Ireland, Belize, The Balkans, Iraq and Cyprus. Senior appointments included three years in the United Kingdom’s Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ), responsible for the delivery of intelligence architecture and capability in Iraq and Afghanistan during the period 2007- 2010 and as the first Chief of Staff to the United Kingdom’s Chief of Defence Intelligence between 2010 - 2013. He has served on a number of occasions in operational appointments with the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and has worked closely in a number of roles with other elements of the United Kingdom’s Intelligence Community and its international partners.  Graham possesses a MSc in Knowledge Management Systems from Cranfield University and a MA in Defence Studies from Kings College, London. His DPhil research is focused upon the adoption of a strategic active cyber security posture by the United Kingdom in its National Cyber Security Strategy. Where his worked is based upon ‘elite interviews’ of members of the UK’s cyber security community. In addition, he undertakes research concerning the impact of the operational cyber environment on the future character of war, how cyber security incidents are understood by decision makers and the empowerment of non-state actors through the low-barriers of entry that exist for cyberspace. He is a Research Associate with the Changing Character of War Programme based in Oxford where he is the lead on cyber and future technology issues. He is a participant in NATO’s future Urbanisation Warfare Programme in which he provides specialist advice on the operational and tactical requirement for cyber capability and its potential employment by commanders. He is also a member of NATO’s Allied Commander Transformation (ACT)’s Innovation Team in a cyber capacity. In addition, he is a standing member of the United Kingdom’s Chief of Defence Staff Strategy Forum and an advisor to the Ministry of Defence’s Global Strategic Trends Programme.

Graham Fairclough is a DPhil candidate in cyber security at the University of Oxford. Prior to commencing his studies, he was a career soldier in the British Army, reaching the rank of Colonel. Throughout his career he was employed on intelligence and security duties, which included operational tours in Northern Ireland, Belize, The Balkans, Iraq and Cyprus. Senior appointments included three years in the United Kingdom’s Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ), responsible for the delivery of intelligence architecture and capability in Iraq and Afghanistan during the period 2007- 2010 and as the first Chief of Staff to the United Kingdom’s Chief of Defence Intelligence between 2010 - 2013. He has served on a number of occasions in operational appointments with the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and has worked closely in a number of roles with other elements of the United Kingdom’s Intelligence Community and its international partners.

Graham possesses a MSc in Knowledge Management Systems from Cranfield University and a MA in Defence Studies from Kings College, London. His DPhil research is focused upon the adoption of a strategic active cyber security posture by the United Kingdom in its National Cyber Security Strategy. Where his worked is based upon ‘elite interviews’ of members of the UK’s cyber security community. In addition, he undertakes research concerning the impact of the operational cyber environment on the future character of war, how cyber security incidents are understood by decision makers and the empowerment of non-state actors through the low-barriers of entry that exist for cyberspace. He is a Research Associate with the Changing Character of War Programme based in Oxford where he is the lead on cyber and future technology issues. He is a participant in NATO’s future Urbanisation Warfare Programme in which he provides specialist advice on the operational and tactical requirement for cyber capability and its potential employment by commanders. He is also a member of NATO’s Allied Commander Transformation (ACT)’s Innovation Team in a cyber capacity. In addition, he is a standing member of the United Kingdom’s Chief of Defence Staff Strategy Forum and an advisor to the Ministry of Defence’s Global Strategic Trends Programme.

GRAHAM FAIRCLOUGH

DPhil candidate in cyber security at the University of Oxford & Research Associate a the Oxford Changing Character of War Centre

graham.fairclough@oii.ac.uk

 

 Katerina Tkacova is a postdoctoral research fellow in The Changing Character of Conflict Platform: Understanding, Tracing, and Forecasting Change across Time, Space, and Cultures. She holds a doctorate from the Department of Government at the University of Essex as well as BSc. in Political Science and International Relations and Mgr. in Security Studies from the Charles University in Prague. Katerina's research interests include political violence, ethnic groups and quantitative research methods. Her PhD dissertation focused on identification of the main factors leading to ethnically motivated domestic terrorism and the connection between terrorism and civil wars. Katerina’s current research further examine the role of political exclusion and economic discrimination of ethnic groups as a cause of domestic terrorism as well as the effect of exposure to violence on ethnic groups and other sub-state actors.

Katerina Tkacova is a postdoctoral research fellow in The Changing Character of Conflict Platform: Understanding, Tracing, and Forecasting Change across Time, Space, and Cultures. She holds a doctorate from the Department of Government at the University of Essex as well as BSc. in Political Science and International Relations and Mgr. in Security Studies from the Charles University in Prague. Katerina's research interests include political violence, ethnic groups and quantitative research methods. Her PhD dissertation focused on identification of the main factors leading to ethnically motivated domestic terrorism and the connection between terrorism and civil wars. Katerina’s current research further examine the role of political exclusion and economic discrimination of ethnic groups as a cause of domestic terrorism as well as the effect of exposure to violence on ethnic groups and other sub-state actors.

DR Katerina Tkacova

Postdoctoral Research Fellow:
The Changing Character of Conflict Platform

katerina.tkacova@politics.ox.ac.uk

  Melissa L. Skorka  is Research Associate and DPhil candidate of the Oxford University Changing Character of War Centre (CCW). A Smith Richardson World Politics and Statecraft Fellow and Stanford University Research Assistant for the Mapping Militants Project, Skorka arrived at the CCW after a decade of serving as an advisor and practitioner, specializing in international security with an emphasis on U.S. foreign policy, violent non-state actors, natural resource conflict, and governance institutions in Central Asia and Africa.  As a strategic advisor to the Commanding General of the International Security Assistance Force, Skorka completed four consecutive tours in Afghanistan, where she advised U.S. and NATO armed forces. In her final tour, she served in the ISAF Haqqani Fusion Cell as a policy and counterterrorism advisor to General Joseph Dunford, the current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Alongside her academic research, Skorka provides advice to the U.S. government and NATO armed forces on security issues. She is a counterterrorism expert who is respected by senior policymakers and armed forces professionals for her insights into violent extremism and its consequences.  Skorka earned a double master's degree from the University of Oxford, focusing on Global Governance and Diplomacy, and African politics, with an emphasis on U.S. foreign energy policy in Nigeria's Niger Delta. She is a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholar, Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Truman National Security Project Fellow, and member of Women in International Security. Skorka’s work and commentaries have appeared in the  Wall Street Journal ,  The New Yorker ,  Foreign Policy , and elsewhere. She is currently working on a monograph of the modern history of terrorist political adaptation to U.S. foreign policy in order to encourage new thinking and more effective counterterrorism in twenty-first century war.

Melissa L. Skorka is Research Associate and DPhil candidate of the Oxford University Changing Character of War Centre (CCW). A Smith Richardson World Politics and Statecraft Fellow and Stanford University Research Assistant for the Mapping Militants Project, Skorka arrived at the CCW after a decade of serving as an advisor and practitioner, specializing in international security with an emphasis on U.S. foreign policy, violent non-state actors, natural resource conflict, and governance institutions in Central Asia and Africa.

As a strategic advisor to the Commanding General of the International Security Assistance Force, Skorka completed four consecutive tours in Afghanistan, where she advised U.S. and NATO armed forces. In her final tour, she served in the ISAF Haqqani Fusion Cell as a policy and counterterrorism advisor to General Joseph Dunford, the current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Alongside her academic research, Skorka provides advice to the U.S. government and NATO armed forces on security issues. She is a counterterrorism expert who is respected by senior policymakers and armed forces professionals for her insights into violent extremism and its consequences.

Skorka earned a double master's degree from the University of Oxford, focusing on Global Governance and Diplomacy, and African politics, with an emphasis on U.S. foreign energy policy in Nigeria's Niger Delta. She is a Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholar, Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Truman National Security Project Fellow, and member of Women in International Security. Skorka’s work and commentaries have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, Foreign Policy, and elsewhere. She is currently working on a monograph of the modern history of terrorist political adaptation to U.S. foreign policy in order to encourage new thinking and more effective counterterrorism in twenty-first century war.

MELISSA L. SKORKA

DPhil Candidate, Smith Richardson World Politics & Statecraft Fellow, & Research Associate of the Oxford Changing Character of War Centre 

melissa.skorka@history.ox.ac.uk

  Dr Nicholas Cole  is a Senior Researcher at Pembroke College, Oxford, where he runs a multi-disciplinary project using computers to model the process of multi-party negotiations, such as the creation of modern constitutions, treaties or legislation. He read Ancient and Modern History at University College, Oxford, where he also completed his MPhil and doctorate, specializing in the history of ideas. He has expertise in the ways that digital technologies are transforming research and teaching in the humanities, and in the development of user interfaces that can assist in the understanding of complicated processes. He has held various teaching and research positions at the University of Oxford, and since April 2016 has served as the AH DAR at DCDC in a part-time capacity.

Dr Nicholas Cole is a Senior Researcher at Pembroke College, Oxford, where he runs a multi-disciplinary project using computers to model the process of multi-party negotiations, such as the creation of modern constitutions, treaties or legislation. He read Ancient and Modern History at University College, Oxford, where he also completed his MPhil and doctorate, specializing in the history of ideas. He has expertise in the ways that digital technologies are transforming research and teaching in the humanities, and in the development of user interfaces that can assist in the understanding of complicated processes. He has held various teaching and research positions at the University of Oxford, and since April 2016 has served as the AH DAR at DCDC in a part-time capacity.

DR NICHOLAS COLE

Senior Research Fellow, Pembroke College Oxford

nicholas.cole@history.ox.ac.uk

 
 Scott Atran is the Directeur de Recherche, Anthropologie, CNRS / Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris; Co-Founder and Research Director, ARTIS International; Research Professor of Psychology and Public Policy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Founding Fellow, Centre for the Resolution of Intractable Conflict, Harris Manchester College.  Scott received his B.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology from Columbia University (and an M.A. in social relations from Johns Hopkins). He is tenured as Research Director in Anthropology at France’s National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), Institut Jean Nicod − Ecole Normale Supérieure, in Paris. Scott is a founding fellow of the Centre for Resolution of Intractable Conflict, Harris Manchester College, and Department of Politics and International Relations and School of Social Anthropology, University of Oxford. He is also Research Professor of Public Policy and Psychology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and co-founder of Artis Research and Risk Modeling and Artis International,  Previously, Scott was assistant to Dr. Margaret Mead at the American Museum of Natural History; Coordinator “Animal and Human Communication Program,” Royaumont Center for a Science of Man, Paris (Jacques Monod, Dir.); Visiting Lecturer, Dept. Social Anthropology, Cambridge Univ.; Chargé de Conférence, Collège International de Philosophie and Centre de Recherche en Epistémologie Appliquée, Ecole Polytechnique, Paris; Visiting Prof., Truman Institute, Hebrew Univ., Jerusalem; Leverhulme Distinguished Visiting Prof. of Anthropology, Univ. of London-Goldsmiths.; Presidential Scholar, John Jay College of Criminal Justice.  Scott has experimented extensively on the ways scientists and ordinary people categorize and reason about nature, on the cognitive and evolutionary psychology of religion, and on the limits of rational choice in political and cultural conflict. He has repeatedly briefed NATO, HMG and members of the U.S. Congress and the National Security Council staff at the White House on the Devoted Actor versus the Rational Actor in Managing World Conflict, on the Comparative Anatomy and Evolution of Global Network Terrorism, and on Pathways to and from Violent Extremism. He has addressed the United Nations Security Council on problems of youth and violent extremism and currently serves in advisory capacity to the Security Council and Secretary General on combatting terrorism and on ways to implement UN Resolution 2250 to engage and empower youth to promote peace. He has been engaged in conflict negotiations in the Middle East, and in the establishment of indigenously managed forest reserves for Native American peoples.  Scott is a recurrent contributor to The New York Times, The Guardian and Foreign Policy, as well as to professional journals such as Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, and Nature Human Behaviour. His work and life have been spotlighted around the world on television and radio and in the popular and scientific press, including feature and cover stories of the  New York Times Magazine ,  The Chronicle of Higher Education ,  Nature  and  Science .

Scott Atran is the Directeur de Recherche, Anthropologie, CNRS / Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris; Co-Founder and Research Director, ARTIS International; Research Professor of Psychology and Public Policy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Founding Fellow, Centre for the Resolution of Intractable Conflict, Harris Manchester College.

Scott received his B.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology from Columbia University (and an M.A. in social relations from Johns Hopkins). He is tenured as Research Director in Anthropology at France’s National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), Institut Jean Nicod − Ecole Normale Supérieure, in Paris. Scott is a founding fellow of the Centre for Resolution of Intractable Conflict, Harris Manchester College, and Department of Politics and International Relations and School of Social Anthropology, University of Oxford. He is also Research Professor of Public Policy and Psychology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and co-founder of Artis Research and Risk Modeling and Artis International,

Previously, Scott was assistant to Dr. Margaret Mead at the American Museum of Natural History; Coordinator “Animal and Human Communication Program,” Royaumont Center for a Science of Man, Paris (Jacques Monod, Dir.); Visiting Lecturer, Dept. Social Anthropology, Cambridge Univ.; Chargé de Conférence, Collège International de Philosophie and Centre de Recherche en Epistémologie Appliquée, Ecole Polytechnique, Paris; Visiting Prof., Truman Institute, Hebrew Univ., Jerusalem; Leverhulme Distinguished Visiting Prof. of Anthropology, Univ. of London-Goldsmiths.; Presidential Scholar, John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

Scott has experimented extensively on the ways scientists and ordinary people categorize and reason about nature, on the cognitive and evolutionary psychology of religion, and on the limits of rational choice in political and cultural conflict. He has repeatedly briefed NATO, HMG and members of the U.S. Congress and the National Security Council staff at the White House on the Devoted Actor versus the Rational Actor in Managing World Conflict, on the Comparative Anatomy and Evolution of Global Network Terrorism, and on Pathways to and from Violent Extremism. He has addressed the United Nations Security Council on problems of youth and violent extremism and currently serves in advisory capacity to the Security Council and Secretary General on combatting terrorism and on ways to implement UN Resolution 2250 to engage and empower youth to promote peace. He has been engaged in conflict negotiations in the Middle East, and in the establishment of indigenously managed forest reserves for Native American peoples.

Scott is a recurrent contributor to The New York Times, The Guardian and Foreign Policy, as well as to professional journals such as Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, and Nature Human Behaviour. His work and life have been spotlighted around the world on television and radio and in the popular and scientific press, including feature and cover stories of the New York Times Magazine, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Nature and Science.

SCOTT ATRAN

Research Fellow

scott.atran@hmc.ox.ac.uk

  Richard Davis  is a Research Fellow at the Changing Character of War Centre. He is also a Founding Fellow of the Centre for the Resolution of Intractable Conflicts at Harris Manchester College and the Department of Politics and International Relations in the University of Oxford, a Professor of Practice at the School of Politics and Global Studies at Arizona State University, and the Managing Senior Fellow at Artis International where he leads multidisciplinary teams in field-based scientific research in conflict zones.  Richard holds several active appointments, which include: Senior Research Fellow, Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford; Senior Research Associate, Centre for International Studies, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford; Senior Research Associate, Department of Anthropology, University of Oxford; Chair, Permanent Monitoring Panel on Intergroup Conflict, World Federation of Scientists; and Chairman of two community development boards.  Richard served at The White House as the Director of Prevention (terrorism) Policy. Prior, he was the Director of the Task Force to Prevent the Entry of Weapons of Mass Effect (framework for the prevention of the smuggling of nuclear materials) and the Director of the Academe, Policy and Research Senior Advisory Committee for two different Secretaries at the United States Department of Homeland Security.  Richard has been a Senior Policy Fellow at RTI international, a Senior Associate at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, led a non-profit international development organization dedicated to the education and development of youth, including crime prevention, prevention of radicalization and conflict mitigation.  Richard has authored or co-authored articles and publications on energy, international security, political violence and terrorism. He wrote the book, “ Hamas, Popular Support & War in the Middle East,” which was  published by Routledge in 2016. The book details the dynamics between armed group violence and support from host populations.  Richard has a PhD from the London School of Economics; an MPA from Harvard University; an MA from the Naval War College; and an MA from Azusa Pacific University. He holds Baccalaureate Degrees in Finance and Social Science from Hope International University.

Richard Davis is a Research Fellow at the Changing Character of War Centre. He is also a Founding Fellow of the Centre for the Resolution of Intractable Conflicts at Harris Manchester College and the Department of Politics and International Relations in the University of Oxford, a Professor of Practice at the School of Politics and Global Studies at Arizona State University, and the Managing Senior Fellow at Artis International where he leads multidisciplinary teams in field-based scientific research in conflict zones.

Richard holds several active appointments, which include: Senior Research Fellow, Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford; Senior Research Associate, Centre for International Studies, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford; Senior Research Associate, Department of Anthropology, University of Oxford; Chair, Permanent Monitoring Panel on Intergroup Conflict, World Federation of Scientists; and Chairman of two community development boards.

Richard served at The White House as the Director of Prevention (terrorism) Policy. Prior, he was the Director of the Task Force to Prevent the Entry of Weapons of Mass Effect (framework for the prevention of the smuggling of nuclear materials) and the Director of the Academe, Policy and Research Senior Advisory Committee for two different Secretaries at the United States Department of Homeland Security.

Richard has been a Senior Policy Fellow at RTI international, a Senior Associate at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, led a non-profit international development organization dedicated to the education and development of youth, including crime prevention, prevention of radicalization and conflict mitigation.

Richard has authored or co-authored articles and publications on energy, international security, political violence and terrorism. He wrote the book, “Hamas, Popular Support & War in the Middle East,” which was published by Routledge in 2016. The book details the dynamics between armed group violence and support from host populations.

Richard has a PhD from the London School of Economics; an MPA from Harvard University; an MA from the Naval War College; and an MA from Azusa Pacific University. He holds Baccalaureate Degrees in Finance and Social Science from Hope International University.

Richard Davis

Research Fellow

richard.davis@hmc.ox.ac.uk


Administrative Staff

 

LIZ ROBSON

CCW Programme Administrator

info@ccw.ox.ac.uk

Benjamin Tams

Project Administrator:
From Conflict Actors to Architects of Peace, & The Changing Character of Conflict Platform

ben.tams@politics.ox.ac.uk