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Professors

Professor Mats Berdal

Professor of Security & Development

Mats BerdalDepartment of War Studies

King's College London
Strand
London WC2R 2LS
Email: mats.berdal@kcl.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)20 7848 2690
Fax: +44 (0)20 7848 2026
 

Office hours: Wednesdays 11.30-13.00 

 

Biography

I joined the Department in 2003 as Professor of Security and Development. From 2000 to 2003 I was Director of Studies at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London. I direct  the Conflict, Security and Development Research Group (CSDRG) and I am  the Programme Director for the MA in Conflict, Security and Development. I am member of the Academia Europaea


Research Interests
  • Strategic Studies
  • Conflict, Security and Development
  • The UN and International Security
  • Comparative Civil Wars
  • Cold War History
Research Activities

One of my principal research projects at the moment is a major study of the UN and the end of the Cold War, covering the immediate post-Cold War period and focusing in particular on the UN's involvement in the mitigation, containment and resolution of civil wars. Recent writings have focused on UN and the use of force; conceptual and practical issues raised by efforts implement the “responsibility to protect”, and the political economy of armed conflict. Other research interests include violence in post-conflict societies, strategy and the changing character of war, developments in UN peacekeeping and Philip Windsor's contribution to the study of International Relations, in particular his ideas on strategy and war. In addition to this, I retain a long-standing interest in the history of the Cold War and Nordic security. 

Recent publications include: “United Nations Peacekeeping and the Responsibility to Protect”, which appeared in Theorising the Responsibility to Protect, edited by Ramesh Thakur and William Maley for CUP, and “The State of UN Peacekeeping: Lessons from Congo”, published in the Journal for Strategic Studies in 2016.

Over the past two years I have also taken a special interest in the conflict in Afghanistan, and NATO’s involvement there since 2003. In 2015-16, I served as a Member of the “Commission of Inquiry on Afghanistan” set up by the Norwegian Government to evaluate Norway’s civilian and military involvement in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2014. The Commission Report was presented to the Government in June 2016 (En God Alliert – Norge i Afghanistan2001-2014, Norges Offentlige Utredninger, NOU, 2016:8). An English version of the report will be published in early 2017.

Research activities in the pipeline include, in collaboration with my colleague Dr Kieran Mitton, a multidisciplinary project entitled “Approaches to Understanding Atrocity in War”. The project brings together leading experts in the study of violence – drawn from various academic disciplines and backgrounds - to conduct and publish original research on the problem of war-time atrocity. The project brings together leading experts in the study of violence – drawn from various academic disciplines and backgrounds - to conduct and publish original research on the problem of war-time atrocity.

Publications

For a full list of publications, please refer to the Research Portal or download the word doc  here

Teaching

I teach and convene the following MA modules:

7SSWM140 Conflict & Security

7SSWM171 Comparative Civil Wars

PhD supervision

I supervise PhD projects in the following broad areas: 

  • Peacekeeping and peacesupport operations after the Cold War
  • The history of the United Nations
  • The political economy of armed conflict
  • The dynamics of civil war in a comparative and historical perspective
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