Participant Info

First Name
Kristin M.
Last Name
University College London
Political violence, civil war, self-determination conflicts, post-conflict societies, de facto states, foreign fighters, civil society
Media Contact

Personal Info

About Me

Based in London, Kristin M. Bakke is Professor in Political Science and International Relations at University College London and Associate Research Professor at the Peace Research Institute in Oslo. She holds a PhD in political science from the University of Washington, Seattle. Prior to joining UCL, she was a post-doctoral research fellow at Harvard University and an Assistant Professor at Leiden University, Holland. She is from Norway.


Focusing on civil war political violence, Professor Bakke’s research has explored decentralization’s “peace-preserving” effect, fragmentation within opposition and separatist groups, the impact of foreign fighters on domestic insurgencies, and the dynamics of post-war state-building and stability. She has conducted fieldwork in several countries, including Canada, India, and Russia, as well as in the post-Soviet de facto states Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, and Transdniestria.


Ongoing research includes a project on state restrictions of civil society (with colleagues at UCL and Oxford) and a large collaborative project on “Attitudes to Peace” (with colleagues at PRIO and SINTEF in Norway), which employs public opinion surveys to investigate attitudes to peace processes and post-war governance in Guatemala, Nepal, and Northern Ireland.


Professor Bakke is the author of Decentralization and Intrastate Struggles: Chechnya, Punjab and Québec (Cambridge University Press, 2015), which received the Conflict Research Society’s Book of the Year Award in 2016. Her work has been published in journals such as Annals of American Association of Geographers, International Security, International Studies Quarterly, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Peace Research, Nations and Nationalism, Perspectives on Politics, Political Geography, Regional and Federal Studies, and World Politics, as well as in edited volumes. She also writes about conflict and post-war stability for a general audience through outlets such as The Conversation and The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage.


Professor Bakke is an Associate Editor at Journal of Peace Research and serves on the advisory board of Nations and Nationalism and the editorial board of Journal of Global Security Studies. She sits on the council of the British Conflict Research Society and is a member-at-large of the governing council of the International Studies Association.

Recent Publications


Decentralization and Intrastate Struggles: Chechnya, Punjab, and Québec. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2015).


Refereed Journal Article

“Dynamics of State-Building after War: External-Internal Relations in Eurasian de facto States” (with Andrew Linke, John O’Loughlin, and Gerard Toal). Political Geography, forthcoming (2017).

“E Pluribus Unum, Ex Uno Plures: Competition, Violence and Fragmentation in Ethnopopolitical Movements” (with Lee J.M SEymour and Kathleen Gallagher Cunningham). Journal of Peace Research, vol. 53, no. 1 (January 2016), pp. 3-18.

“Convincing State-Builders? Disaggregating Internal Legitimacy in Abkhazia” (with John O’Loughlin, Gerard Toal, and Michael D. Ward). International Studies Quarterly, vol. 58, no. 3 (September 2014), pp. 591-607.

“Help Wanted? The Mixed Record of Foreign Fighters in Domestic Insurgencies.” International Security, vol. 38, no. 4 (Spring 2014), pp. 150-187.

“A Plague of Initials: Fragmentation, Cohesion, and Infighting in Civil Wars” (with Kathleen Gallagher Cunningham and Lee J.M. Seymour). Perspectives on Politics, vol. 10, no. 2 (June 2012), pp. 265-284.

“Shirts Today, Skins Tomorrow: Dual Contests and the Effects of Fragmentation in Self-Determination Disputes” (with Kathleen Gallagher Cunningham and Lee J.M. Seymour). Journal of Conflict Resolution, vol. 56, no. 1 (February 2012), pp. 57-93.

“The Perils of Policy by P-Value: Predicting Civil Conflicts” (with Michael D. Ward and Brian Greenhill). Journal of Peace Research, vol. 47, no. 4 (July 2010), pp. 1-13. (Selected as the 2010 JPR Article of the Year.)

“Reconciliation in Conflict-Affected Societies: Multilevel Modeling of Individual and Contextual Factors in the North Caucasus of Russia” (with John O’Loughlin and Michael D. Ward). Annals of American Association of Geographers, vol. 99, no. 1 (December 2009), pp. 1012-1021.

“State, Society, and Separatism in Punjab.” Regional and Federal Studies, vol. 19, no. 2 (May 2009), pp. 291-308.

“Social Distance in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the North Caucasus Region of Russia: Inter and Intra-Ethnic Attitudes and Identities” (with Xun Cao, John O’Loughlin, and Michael D. Ward). Nations and Nationalism, vol. 15, no. 2 (April 2009), pp. 229-255.

“Diversity, Disparity, and Civil Conflict in Federal States” (with Erik Wibbels). World Politics, vol. 59, no. 1 (October 2006), pp. 1-50.


Book Chapters

“Copying and Learning from Outsiders? Assessing Diffusion from Transnational Insurgents in the Chechen Wars.” In Transnational Dynamics of Civil War, ed. Jeffrey Checkel. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2013), pp. 31-62.

“The Turn to Violence in Chechnya and Punjab: Self-Determination Struggles in Decentralized States.” In Rethinking Violence, ed. Adria Lawrence and Erica Chenoweth. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press (2010), pp. 221-248.

“After the War Ends: Violence and Viability of Unrecognized States.” In Unrecognized States in the International System, ed. Nina Caspersen and Gareth Stansfield. London: Routledge (2010), pp. 90-109.

Media Coverage

“What Happens after Civil Wars End?” Talk at the Pint of Science Festival, London, May 24, 2016.

“What the People of Nagorno-Karabakh Think about the Future of their Homeland” (with Lee J.M. Seymour), The Conversation, April 20, 2016.

“How ISIS Rule and Mobilisation Matters for the Military Response to the Paris Attack,” UCL European Institute blog, December 16, 2015.
“The Problem with Fragmented Insurgencies” (with Kathleen Gallagher Cunningham, Lee J. M. Seymour), The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage, May 13, 2015.

“Islamic State: No-one Wants to Talk to Terrorists, but We Always Do—and Sometimes it Works” (with Govinda Clayton), The Conversation, October 14, 2014.

“Foreign Fighters Don’t Always Help,” The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage, May 28, 2014.

“When the Enemy of My Enemy Is Not My Friend: Why Rebels Sometimes Target Their Own.” Talk at TEDxUCL, June 2012.

Country Focus
Russia, Eurasian de facto states (Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Transdniestria), some work on India, Canada (Quebec), Northern Ireland, and Guatemala

Research Areas

If this is your entry, please click here to request a link to edit your information.