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Dr Rob Geist Pinfold
Rob Geist

Dr Rob Geist Pinfold

  • Visiting
  • Research fellows

Visiting Research Fellow


Dr. Rob Geist Pinfold is a Visiting Research Fellow at the Department of War Studies, where he is affiliated to the Centre for Grand Strategy.

Additionally, he is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in International Relations at the University of Haifa and a Teaching Fellow in the Defence Studies Department, King’s College London. Previously, he served as a Research Fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, Israel. He received his PhD in War Studies from King’s College London under the supervision of Dr. Reinoud Leenders and Professor Michael Rainsborough. A British-Israeli, he divides his time between the UK and Israel.

Rob’s research broadly concerns territorial conflict and the study of strategy, with a regional focus on the Middle East. His jointly-edited book, Understanding Israel, provided a broad overview of the security, societal and foreign policy challenges facing the contemporary State of Israel. He is presently scrutinizing the decisive role of ‘hard power’ in the Syrian Civil War, as well as how Israel has engaged with powers within its periphery as a core component of its grand strategy.

Rob’s PhD addressed why states withdraw from territory. Examining the role that territory plays in states’ grand strategies, the PhD focused on Israeli withdrawals from the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip and southern Lebanon. Currently, Rob is working to transform the PhD into a book manuscript, provisionally titled Understanding Territorial Withdrawal: Israeli Occupations and Exits.

Concurrently, Rob has written on how existing IR theories, as well as strategic theory, approach and frame the relationship between states and territory.

Selected Publications

Rob Geist Pinfold. 2019. ‘Territorial Withdrawal as Multilateral Bargaining: Revisiting Israel’s “Unilateral” Withdrawals from Gaza and Southern Lebanon’. The Journal of Strategic Studies, published online, DOI: 10.1080/01402390.2019.1570146.

Anat Ben Haim and Rob Geist Pinfold. 2019. ‘The Diplomatic Process for Resolving the War in Syria: A Fig Leaf?’. Strategic Assessment 24 (4): 41-53. 

Joel Peters and Rob Geist Pinfold (eds.). 2018. Understanding Israel: Political, Security and Societal Challenges (London: Routledge).

Rob Geist Pinfold and Udi Dekel. 2018. ‘The Day After the Islamic State: The Problem of Power Vacuums’. Strategic Assessment 21 (1): 21-32.

Rob Geist Pinfold. 2017. ‘The Israeli Withdrawals from Southern Lebanon and the Gaza Strip: A Comparative Analysis’. Strategic Assessment 20 (3): 83-95.

Joel Peters and Rob Geist Pinfold. October 2015. ‘Consolidating Right-Wing Hegemony: The Israeli Election, 2015’. Mediterranean Politics 20 (3): 405-412. 


Rob is a Teaching Fellow at the Defence Studies Department, King’s College London, where he teaches an MA module on International Security Studies.

Previously, Rob taught on the module ‘Statecraft, War and Diplomacy’ at the War Studies Department at King’s College London, as well as on the Junior Officer Development Course at the Joint Services Command and Staff College at Shrivenham.

Areas of Research

  • International relations theory
  • Strategy in theory and practice
  • Grand strategy
  • Territory and territorialism
  • Israeli foreign and security policy


Rob regularly works with non-academic and policy-focused audiences. During his time at the Institute for National Security Studies, he produced several policy papers, explaining Israeli security and territorial policy as well as the impact of diplomacy on the Syrian Civil War. He is also a regular panellist covering security and the Arab-Israel conflict on the Tel Aviv-based news channel, I24 News. Rob has been quoted in and has written for Vice Magazine, Fathom Journal and the Daily Telegraph, amongst others.