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Dr Christine Cheng

Lecturer in International Relations

Cheng-2014Department of War Studies

Room K6.55

King's College London


London WC2R 2LS





Contact Details

Tel: 020 7848 2944


I am on sabbatical in 2016-17 and I will not be holding office hours. To get in touch, please tweet @cheng_christine or email


Christine Cheng is Lecturer in War Studies at King’s College London. Her research on post-conflict transitions sits at the intersection of international relations and comparative politics (with a focus on the politics of West Africa). Dr Cheng is the co-editor of Corruption and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding: Selling the Peace? (with Dominik Zaum). Her forthcoming book on Extralegal Groups (Oxford University Press) explores how ex-combatants affected statebuilding processes after the end of civil war in Liberia. It will be published by Oxford University Press. Christine is the Course Director for the MA in Conflict, Security, and Development (CSD), and she is affiliated with King's Centre for Politics, Philosophy, and Law, and King's Gender Studies.

Christine holds a DPhil from Oxford (Nuffield College) and an MPA from Princeton University (Woodrow Wilson School). Previously, she was the Bennett Boskey Fellow in Politics at Exeter College, University of Oxford. In 2009, she was the Cadieux-Léger Fellow at Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Christine has an undergraduate degree in systems design engineering (BASc) from the University of Waterloo. She has worked for the UN Commission on Human Security, the World Bank's Gender Group, Environment Canada, and the Wildlife Conservation Society. She is a commentator on international affairs for a variety of media outlets including the BBC, the Wall Street Journal, al Jazeera, Radio France International, and Real Clear World.

Christine serves as the faculty advisor for the CSD Annual Conference, as well as the student-run Strife blog and journal. She blogs at and tweets @cheng_christine.

Research Interests

Extralegal groups: This project examines ex-combatant groups that have taken over natural resource areas in the aftermath of war and the impact these groups have on statebuilding and stability. For this project, I conducted field research in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Côte d’Ivoire. I am interviewed about this work here.

Corruption and peacebuilding: This project (with Dominik Zaum) provides a more complex look at how corruption affects peacebuilding efforts and also how peacebuilding practices, especially those of the international community, can unwittingly foment corruption. The findings from this project were published in Corruption and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding: Selling the Peace? (Routledge 2011).

Women in Politics: This project (with Margit Tavits) tested the idea that the gender of party gatekeepers matters for recruiting women to run for office. In other words, women candidates are more likely to be nominated when the gatekeeper—the local party president—is a woman rather than a man. Using an original dataset based on Canadian election data, we found support for this hypothesis. This study underlines the importance of informal factors for understanding women’s political underrepresentation.


My publications are available on the Research Portal and on myblog.  My c.v is available here.


I teach the following MA modules:

  • 7SSWM140 Conflict, Security, and Development.
  • 7SSWM068 State Failure and Statebuilding

I also co-convene the War Studies Research Seminar (for staff, PhD students, postdocs, researchers). 

PhD Supervision

I am currently unable to take on new PhD students.

I supervise PhD and MA students with an interest in armed conflict

  • Peacekeeping
  • African politics
  • Statebuilding
  • Corruption
  • DDR
  • R2P

MA thesis students are encouraged to use this resource page to guide them through the process of choosing a research question and conducting their research.

Current PhD students

First Supervisor

  • Alison Brettle. The Impact of Social Networks on the Reintegration Of Ex-Combatants in Rwanda.
  • Nita Yawanarajah. When Does Mediation Achieve Durable Ceasefire Agreements?
  • Andrew Collins. Collaborative Security: Local Ownership And The Legitimacy Of International Peacebuilding Interventions.
  • Felicia Fara. The Responsibility To Protect: Constructing the Case for Intervention In Libya.
  • Chanda Creasy. Local Governance and Community Policing in Fragile States- A Somalia Case Study.

Second Supervisor

  • Richard Milburn. Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Exploitation in the DRC.
  • Francisco Mazzola. Clientelism and Citizenship in Lebanon.
  • Katherine Stone. Insurgency and Corruption.
  • Fernanda Figueiredo. Understanding the fight against corruption involving government workers in Brazil.
Expertise and Public Engagement

I regularly comment on international affairs for a variety of media outlets (TV, radio, print) including the BBC, the Wall Street Journal, al Jazeera, the International Herald Tribune, the New York Times, Radio France International, and Real Clear World.  

I am deeply committed to engaging policy makers. I have briefed a variety of organizations on my research including the UNDP, the UK government (FCO, DFID, MOD), the Canadian government (DFAIT). I am open to collaborative projects with government departments, NGOs, international organizations, the private sector, and other academic institutions.


Twitter @cheng_christine.

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