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Mike Innes trained as an historian and political scientist, and earned his PhD in Politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He is the author, most recently, of Streets Without Joy: A Political History of Sanctuary and War, 1959-2009. He is currently serving as a UN official in Iraq.

As a scholar and practitioner, he has covered conflicts across Africa, Asia and the Middle East for over twenty years. He served briefly in the army, and spent six years as a civilian analyst and advisor with NATO. He subsequently founded a boutique political risk and investigative research firm, and spent nearly ten years working on desk and field assignments, primarily for UK government clients. His work has taken him as far afield as Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cote d’Ivoire, Indonesia, Iraq, Kosovo, Lebanon, north-east Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin area of West Africa.

Affiliations (External):

  • Fellow, Royal Historical Society
  • Fellow, Royal Geographical Society
  • Associate, LSE IDEAS


Research Interests

Dr Innes’ research deals with issues of provenance, precedent, and the nature of evidence, particularly as they relate to two areas: the intersection of historical and legal practice, and the documentation of war and core international crimes.

More broadly, his research deals with regional challenges in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and real-world problems in the realms of international law, organization, relations, and security. Current and previous research has dealt with:

  • Forensic history
  • The geopolitics of information
  • Historical analogies in wartime policy decisions
  • Institutional memory and early warning
  • The broadcast communications of non-state actors
  • Issues at the intersection of geography and war



  • Conflict, Security and Development
  • State Failure and Statebuilding

Dr Innes is availabe for MA/MSc and PhD Supervision



Innes’ writing has appeared in both scholarly and popular outlets, including Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, Civil Wars, Small Wars and Insurgencies, SAIS Review, Jane’s Intelligence Review, Cultural Survival Quarterly, Transitions Online, the Jamestown Foundation’s Terrorism Monitor, and the online editions of CNN, Foreign Policy and Wired magazines.

He is currently preparing an edited book, with Joe Maiolo, on conflict archives, captured enemy records, and battlefield evidence.

For a full list of publications, see: