I am a comparative political scientist and I welcome inquiries from journalists, policy-makers, and students in the following areas:
Conflict, violence, and security: I specialize in the study of genocides and ethnic conflicts, and know a little also about other forms of political violence such as civil wars and terrorism.
Ethnic and religious integration: I am interested in strategies that promote co-existence and cooperation across group boundaries in diverse, multi-ethnic societies.
African and south-east Asian politics: I have area expertise in central Africa – primarily Rwanda, Burundi, the D.R.C., and Uganda - and developing knowledge of south-east Asia, in particular the Philippines. These are all countries of which I have many fond fieldwork memories (as the website banners are supposed to convey!)
My substantive interests lie in the study of conflicts and violence that are framed along ascriptive boundaries. I am particularly interested in understanding how and why divisions arise between groups that are defined in ethnic and religious terms within societies. More recently, my research has broadened to include the study of the converse, that is understanding how and why ethnic and religious groups achieve coexistence, conciliation, and even cooperation in diverse societies.
My work is multidisciplinary and lies at the intersection of politics and sociology. Its focus is also often at the ‘bottom’ on non-elite actors, ordinary individuals. I work primarily on sub-Saharan Africa and more recently on south-east Asia. My research typically involves fieldwork, sometimes for extended periods of time, and I have field experience in Africa's Great Lakes and in Mindanao in the southern Philippines.