Dr Johnson, members of CCW, and University of Oxford colleagues mentor professional Visiting Fellows of the CCW Centre. The Visiting Research Fellows to CCW are drawn from across the academic and professional worlds, with senior officers of the United States, European and United Kingdom armed forces especially strongly represented. 

Our VRFs often join CCW prior to taking up a major new appointment, using their time with us to develop their thinking, broadening their understanding and engaging with some of the most respected academic specialists. In other cases, senior visitors have had the opportunity, through CCW, to articulate and test their ideas, and obtain rigorous feedback. Amongst these, James de Waal, a senior civil servant, was able to develop his work on civil-military relations and its effect on the making of policy. CCW is also assisting the British Army on future doctrine.

“After a life largely outside academic circles, I needed considerable guidance and this was readily and generously given by my supervisor at Oxford University, Sir Hew Strachan… I worked at Oxford within the Changing Character of Warfare Programme…and I am grateful for the considerable help given by the Directors, Dr Rob Johnson and Dr Jan Lemnitzer, and the programme coordinator Ruth Murray as I unravelled what the University had to offer.”
— Major-General (rtd) Christopher Elliott, in the Prologue to High Command (Hurst, 2015)

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Let the Generals Say No: An Argument for Morally Better Law

An officer in the Royal Australian Navy, Richard is serving as the inaugural Chief of Navy Fellow at the Australian Defence Force Academy. His research is focused on the special case of the general - the supreme military commander. Generals serve in ways ordinary soldiers do not, and generals are trusted in ways soldiers are not. The entire spread out chain of command is united in the general, who offers the only connection between the military and politics. Yet Australian law makes it impossible for the general to resist unconscionable political injustice. Richard was an Australian Fulbright Scholar (philosophy) to Yale University. His doctorate is from the University of Western Australia.

People Power: How can the Armed Forces protect and enhance employee – employer loyalty and nurture vocation in the transactional climate?


Group Captain Chantal Baker joined the RAF as a Personnel Support Officer in 1999 on a University Cadetship. A personal specialist, she has served on Main Operating Bases including RAF Lossiemouth, RAF Coningsby and the Home of the RAF Regiment at RAF Honington. She has deployed twice to Afghanistan in support of Operation HERRICK, serving with NATO allies and latterly embedded with the US Marine Corps. She was also the combined personnel lead for the Operational Headquarters for Operation ATALANTA, based at Permanent Joint Headquarters. She has served in outer office appointments as ADC and more recently as the Deputy Personal Staff Officer to Commander-in-Chief AIR before being awarded the Chief of Air Staff Fellowship to study International Policy at the Elliott School of International Affairs, Washington DC. Following completion of Advanced Command and Staff College in 2013 she served as a Career Manager Supervisor in Air Manning, responsible for all engineer and logistics trades. She returned to RAF Lossiemouth as Officer Commanding Base Support Wing in 2015 and was Air Officer Commanding Number 1 Group’s Fellowship lead before posting to the Remuneration policy team, as the MOD’s interface with the Armed Forces’ Pay Review Body, responsible for leading the Armed Forces’ Pay Round. She moved to her current role as Assistant Head Strategy and Holding to Account for Training, Education, Skills, Recruitment and Resettlement (TESRR) in MOD on promotion in August 2018. She is an active member of the Chief of Defence Staff’s Strategic Thinking Forum and alumni of the Windsor Leadership Trust. 

Exploring Changes in the Trilateral Interaction among the State, Rebel Groups, and Local Population


Dr Kazuhiro Obayashi is an Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Law at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo. He was previously a visiting researcher at the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO) in 2007 and 2012, and a consultant for the World Bank in 2006-2007. He is the author of Rebel Recruitment and Information Problems (Routledge, 2018), which explores the conditions under which rebel groups tend to rely more on coercion and inducement for recruitment. He is also a co-editor of Power Shift and Global Governance (Yuhikaku Publishing, 2018) published in Japanese. His articles have appeared in journals such as Asian Journal of Comparative Politics and International Area Studies Review. As a visiting fellow at the CCW, he is primarily conducting research on the state’s choice of counterinsurgency techniques that are intended to exploit the agency problems inside rebel groups. He is also engaged in research on the role of legislatures in conflict-ridden semi-democracies as well as a survey project on the relationship between war-time rebel governance and the postwar state legitimacy. Obayashi received his PhD in political science from the George Washington University, and MA in International Relations from the University of Chicago.

Ideology and Vulnerable adults: The evolution of terrorism?

Sam is a Parachute Regiment Officer, currently serving in the Ministry of Defence. His research is focused on examining the relationship between ideology and vulnerable adults.  This research is likely to revolve around objectively defining what is rational and irrational behaviour, within a given socio-economic, religious and national context. It may indicate a change in the character of terrorism, and in turn, result policy recommendations. Sam has served in the British Army since 2002. He holds a BSc in Psychology and an MA in Applied Security Strategy. 

Proxy War in Syria and Its Impacts on State Behaviour and Alliances

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Lt.Col.Dr. Hasan YÜKSELEN graduated from Turkish Air Force Academy in 1999 with a degree on Industrial Engineering. He also gained M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from Middle East Technical University, Ankara on International Relations with high honours. He completed his Command and Staff Course in 2014 at National Defence University Air Force Institute (former Turkish Air War College). He served 18 years in different tactical, operative and strategic units in Turkish Air Forces including Turkish General Staff (TGS) HQ. He deployed to Bosnia (EUFOR), Afghanistan (NATO ISAF) and Qatar (Operation Inherent Resolve) in support of operations. He also has teaching experience in Turkish Armed Forces Intelligence School on Intelligence Analysis. Currently, he is assigned to NATO Intelligence Fusion Centre as the Deputy Chief of Analysis Division.

His research interests cover the studies on the concept of strategy from a theoretical perspective which incorporates critical realism, Russian Foreign Policy, and war studies. While at CCW he will explore the changing nature of Proxy War and non-state actors in Syria and their impacts on state behaviour and alliances.