My latest publications

All of my publications are freely accessible, but if for some reason you can’t view them, simply send me an email and I will be happy to send you a copy.

Centre for International Policy Studies

Western countries have repeatedly deployed sanctions against Russia, targeting its activities and seeking to punish individuals and organisations. However, profiles of key security actors reveal three recurring issues with sanctions declarations: basic factual errors; the neglect of key actors; and a failure by Western countries to coordinate. Addressing these issues is relatively easy and would strengthen the normative signal that sanctions send.

European Journal of International Security (co-authored with Dr Cerwyn Moore)

The transition from one leader to the next represents a critical moment in the life cycle of insurgencies: it is a period of heightened uncertainty and vulnerability when roles and relationships are in flux. However, remarkably little scholarly attention has been paid to understanding this process. Building our case around the insurgency in Russia’s North Caucasus, we address this gap by developing a typology of key tasks that new leaders must perform in order to navigate the transition period. We argue that, within insurgencies that are weakly institutionalised, leadership can most usefully be conceived of as a negotiated relationship in which both leaders and followers have agency. Successful performance of these tasks helps ensure the maintenance of this relationship and, through this, movement continuity. Therefore, this paper contributes to both the empirical literature on insurgency and our understanding of leadership and transition within rebel movements.

Post-Soviet Affairs (co-authored with Lala Jumayeva, Aleksey Gunya, Lidia Kurbanova, and Nino Kemoklidze)

There is growing recognition that diversity and representation matter to the intellectual health of fields and disciplines. This article takes stock of knowledge production on the Caucasus region, paying particular attention to the question of who has “voice” in academic debates on the North and South Caucasus. Through analysis of publications in, and the editorial boards of, “leading” International Relations (IR) and Area Studies journals, we examine the biographies of scholars, the topics covered, and citation levels. We demonstrate the marginality of the Caucasus within IR and limited representation for scholars educated and employed in the region within Area Studies, as well as distinct differences according to background in the topics covered. This research provides a foundation for further exploring disciplinary inequalities and their consequences in relation to the Caucasus.

My full research archive

Peer-reviewed academic articles

Replacing the standard bearer: Theorising leadership transition in insurgency,’ European Journal of International Security (2023). Co-authored with Cerwyn Moore.

Voices of the Caucasus: mapping knowledge production on the Caucasus region,’ Post-Soviet Affairs (2023). Co-authored with Lala Jumayeva, Aleksey Gunya, Lidia Kurbanova and Nino Kemoklidze.

Crossing the Rubicon: The Limits of Insurgent Violence in Kabardino-Balkaria,’ Perspectives on Terrorism, Vol. 14, No. 6 (2020), pp. 106-121.

Violent Mobilization and Non-Mobilization in the North Caucasus,’ Perspectives on Terrorism, Vol. 14, No. 2 (2020), pp. 2-10. Co-authored with Julie Wilhelmsen.

Ideology Along the Contours of Power: The Case of the Caucasus Emirate,’ Perspectives on Terrorism, Vol. 14, No. 2 (2020), pp. 11-26.

Broader, vaguer, weaker: The evolving ideology of the Caucasus Emirate leadership,’ Terrorism and Political Violence, Vol. 31, No. 2 (2019), pp. 367-389.

Building “terrorism studies” as an interdisciplinary space: Addressing recurring issues in the study of terrorism,’ Terrorism and Political Violence, Vol. 32, No. 5 (2018), pp. 1091-1105.

Between Caucasus and caliphate: The splintering of the North Caucasus insurgency,’ Caucasus Survey, Vol. 4, No. 3 (2016), pp. 194-217.

Policy briefs

“Russian-Speaking” Fighters in Syria, Iraq and at Home: Consequences and Context,’ Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats Policy Brief (2017). Co-authored with Cerwyn Moore.


‘Interpreting the ideological evolution of an insurgency: Lessons from the North Caucasus, 2007-2015,’ PhD thesis, University of Birmingham (2019) (PhD embargoed due to forthcoming book publication).

Podcast appearances

Insurgency in the North Caucasus and Azerbaijanis grow weary of conflict,’ The Caucasus Digest by OC Media (2023).

Is this the end of academic freedom in Russia?,’ The World Stage by the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (2022).

Jihad in the Northern Caucasus,’ The Loopcast (2018).

Media and other publications

Addressing Errors and Inconsistencies in Russia-Related Sanctions Declarations.’ Centre for International Policy Studies (2023).

Displaced Conflict: Russia’s Qualified Success in Combatting Insurgency,’ Russia Matters (2021). Co-authored with Cerwyn Moore.

Learning From Ideological Variance And Change,’ Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats (2017).

Guide: The Caucasus Emirate,’ Radicalisation Research (2017). Co-authored with Cerwyn Moore.

Explainer: The Chechen Conflict,’ Radicalisation Research (2017). Co-authored with Cerwyn Moore.

Lessons From The Decline Of The North Caucasus Insurgency,’ Crest Security Review, 4 (2017).

After St Petersburg: Russia and the Threat from Central Asian Terror Networks,’ Royal United Services Institute (2017). Co-authored with Dr Cerwyn Moore.

Russia’s domestic terrorism threat is serious, sophisticated and complex,’ The Conversation (2017). Co-authored with Dr Cerwyn Moore.

The North Caucasus Insurgency’s Syrian Balancing Act,’ Jihadology (2013).