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Stanislava Mladenova is a doctoral student at King’s College London. Her area of focus is exploring the interaction between military and civilian entities in military operations other than war. Prior to her current study, Stanislava was a Program Officer at the United States Institute of Peace’s Justice and Security Dialogue Program, where she focused on implementing projects targeted to establish dialogue and cooperation between the police forces, gendarmerie and local communities in six West African countries. Prior to USIP, Stanislava was an Advisor and Operations Officer for the Afghanistan Rising Initiative (ARI) at the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC, where she oversaw all daily activities in standing up the ARI Program. She also served as a Political Adviser to the NATO Senior Civilian Representative in Kabul, Afghanistan, where she was responsible for advising the NATO Ambassador on economic issues, governance, corruption, disaster management, gender, humanitarianism and the recruitment of boy soldiers. Prior to her work in Afghanistan, Stanislava was responsible for reforming business processes across NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium where her main task was to align NATO's organizational reform initiatives with the Alliance's political and structural objectives. 

Thesis Title

How do recipients of assistance understand the military’s role in non-warfare operations?


Among the many facets of the civil-military nexus is a complex intricacy of Military Operations Other Than War (MOOTW) where the military operates under restrictive rules of engagement with NGOs, in conducting humanitarianism, stabilization and reconstruction efforts, resulting in blurring of lines between conflict and peace. These actors’ shared physical space, and oftentimes differing objectives and doctrine, unveil questions about differing cultures and opposing philosophies, especially in conflict contexts. What is still missing is how in these ambiguous spaces, NGOs and the military operate vis-à-vis the populations which they both seek to assist, and consistently fail to consult, for almost entirely different reasons. My research departs from the moral and political discourse of why interventions are justified through the eyes of those who intervene, to inquiring about how interventions materialize at the tactical level through the lens of local populations they are supposed to benefit.

Research Interests

Civil-military coordination, humanitarianism, stability operations, conflict prevention, multilateralism


Dr David Betz

Dr Amanda Chisholm