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Annamaria joined the Russia Institute in October 2019. Prior to coming to King’s Annamaria worked for five years as a Research Fellow at the Center for European Neighborhood Studies (CENS) at Central European University. She received her B.A. degree in International Relations and her M.A. in Russian Studies, both from the Eötvös Lóránd University.

Annamaria’s doctoral research project is funded by a studentship from the Economic and Social Research Council (ECRC). Annamaria is the co-founder and co-convener of the British International Studies Association Working Group on political violence, conflict and transnational activism.

Research interests

  • Russian foreign- and security policy
  • North and South Caucasus
  • Terrorism
  • Transnational social movements and high-risk activism

PhD supervisors

Professor Samuel Greene and Dr Cerwyn Moore (University of Birmingham)

Title: Understanding Russian perceptions of transnational armed mobilisation

Abstract: Why would one join someone else’s civil war? Renewed interest in ’foreign fighters’ (FFs) as a form of transnational high-risk activism takes place in compartmentalised academic disciplines like contentious politics, civil war or terrorism studies, with few cross-references. Conceptual definitions are often based on the assumed motivations of the FFs, further contributing to this disconnect. Importantly, the policies of their home countries do not feature prominently. Yet, actors taking up arms and leaving to fight in somebody else’s civil war can be affected by the state policies both directly and indirectly. Using the case-study of Russian FFs leaving to fight in Syria and Iraq (not to be confused with PMCs or mercenaries), this project aims to understand this particular mobilisation and the Russian perception of this phenomenon. Thus, Annamaria’s thesis applies a Social Movement Theory framework to understand high-risk transnational activism and the state’s perceptions. Her research combines interviews, open source biographical data, legal documents, and ethnographic fieldwork.

Selected publications

Kiss, A – Rácz, A (2020), ‘Brittle Balance and the Illusion of Stability After the Nagorno-Karabakh War: Time to Abandon the Term “Frozen Conflicts’, in: Transatlantic Futures: Towards #NATO2030/ Ed. by Andris Sprūds, Mārtiņš Vargulis – Riga: Latvian Institute of International Affairs pp.73-86.

Kiss, A. (2019), Terrorism in Russia, in: Jones, David M. et al (eds): Handbook of Terrorism and Insurgency Post 9/11, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, pp. 304-315