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Christine Cheng is Lecturer in War Studies at King’s College London. Dr Cheng is the author of Extralegal Groups in Post-Conflict Liberia- How Trade Makes the State (OUP), winner of the 2019 Conflict Research Society’s Annual Book Prize. She co-edited Corruption and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding: Selling the Peace? (Routledge) with Dominik Zaum. She co-authored Securing and Sustaining Elite Bargains that Reduce Violent Conflict (with Jonathan Goodhand and Patrick Meehan), the final report of the UK Stabilisation Unit’s two-year project on Elite Bargains and Political Deals in conflict-affected countries. She is co-author on a DFID and Dutch-MFA-funded Chatham House study of Conflict economies in the Middle East and North Africa.

At King’s, Dr Cheng teaches on the MA in Conflict, Security, and Development. Previously, she was the Boskey Fellow in Politics at Exeter College, Oxford, and the Cadieux-Léger Fellow at Global Affairs Canada. She has worked for the UN and the World Bank. Dr Cheng holds a DPhil from the University of Oxford (Nuffield) and an MPA from Princeton University (Woodrow Wilson School). Previously, she was the 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. Dr Cheng holds a BASc in systems design engineering from the University of Waterloo.

She comments on international affairs for the BBC, the Wall Street Journal, and Al Jazeera. She is an advocate on gender equality issues (TEDx talk) and she is active in British party politics. Dr Cheng sits on the Conflict Research Society’s  Governing Council and the Advisory Board of Women in Foreign Policy.

She tweets @cheng_christine. 

Christine serves as the faculty advisor for the CSD Annual Conference, and founded the student-run Strife blog. She blogs and offers teaching tips to BA and MA students at


War-to-peace transitions, conflict economies, peacebuilding and peacekeeping, statebuilding, corruption, organised crime, African politics, Colombia, R2P, transitional justice, social psychology and armed conflict, cognitive frames, dangerous fieldwork, gender and politics.

PhD Students applications



Extralegal Groups in Post-Conflict Liberia: How Trade Makes the State. Oxford, Oxford University Press.)

Reviewed by the St Andrew’s Journal of International Relations and the Canadian Journal of African Studies: “This fascinating book examines post-civil war peacebuilding from a novel perspective…Her nuanced exploration of local groups in Liberia challenges core assumptions of the state-centric approach, while presenting a novel pathway through which they affect the postwar state.”

Christine Cheng and Dominik Zaum (Eds.), Corruption and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding- Selling the Peace?, Routledge.

Peer-Reviewed Articles and Reports

Forthcoming. Alison Brettle and Christine Cheng, “How Cognitive Frames Shape the American Approach to International Relations and Security Studies”, Journal of Global Security Studies.

         Part of a Special Issue on American Bias in International Relations, edited by Jeff Colgan.

  1. Tim Eaton, Christine Cheng, Renad Mansour, Peter Salisbury, Jihad Yazigi, Lina Khatib, “Conflict Economies in the Middle East and North Africa,” Chatham House Report. London: Chatham House.
  2. G. Homes, K. Wright, S. Basu, M. Hurley, M. Martin de Almagro, R. Guerrina, C. Cheng. “Feminist Experiences of ‘Studying Up’: Encounters with International Institutions”, Millennium: Vol. 47, Issue 2.
  3. Christine Cheng, Jonathan Goodhand and Patrick Meehan. Securing and Sustaining Elite Bargains that Reduce Violence. London, UK Stabilisation Unit, Her Majesty’s Government.