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Professor Mats Berdal

Professor of Security & Development

Mats BerdalDepartment of War Studies

King's College London
London WC2R 2LS
Tel: +44 (0)20 7848 2690
Fax: +44 (0)20 7848 2026

Office hours: Friday 9.30-11.00 



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

My areas of research cover:

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

I completed Building Peace after War in 2009, a critical assessment of international efforts, from Cambodia to Iraq, to consolidate peace in the aftermath of war. This was followed up with the publication of a jointly edited volume, Ending Wars, Consolidating Peace: Economic Perspectives, arising out of my involvement in a two-year research programme on “Economics and Conflict Resolution” at the IISS. In 2010, I completed a multi-year research project on post-war violence and peacebuilding together with Astri Suhrke of the Chr. Michelsen Institute in Norway. The project resulted in an edited volume, The Peace in Between: Post-War Violence and Peacebuilding, which was published by Routledge in 2011. More recently, I have completed, in collaboration with Dominik Zaum of Reading University, another large-scale research project. It resulted in The Political Economy of Peacebuilding: Power after Peace (Routledge), a paperback edition of which was published in 2013.

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. 


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


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
N.B: I am currently not taking on any new PhD/MPhil students.
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