Kristin M. Bakke

Keywords : Conflicts Politic post-conflict developments

Country : United Kingdom

Organization : University College London


Google scholar profile :

Biography :

ristin M. Bakke holds a PhD and MA in political science from the University of Washington, Seattle, and has a BA in journalism and political science from Indiana University, Bloomington. She is from Norway.

Prior to joining UCL, Professor Bakke was a post-doctoral research fellow at Harvard University, at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs (2007-2008) and an Assistant Professor in political science at Leiden University (2008-2009). She is a Senior Research Associate at the Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO).

She is an Associate Editor at Journal of Peace Research and serves on the editorial board of Journal of Global Security Studies and advisory board of Nations and Nationalism. She is a member of the management committee of the European Network of Conflict Research and sits on the council of the British Conflict Research Society.

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Professor Bakke’s research focuses on political violence. The questions and topics that motivate her research include why some states are better able to avoid conflicts within their borders than others, how institutions can (or cannot) promote intrastate peace, the dynamics within self-determination movements, and post-war state-building. 

Professor Bakke’s 2015 book Decentralization and Intrastate Struggles: Chechnya, Punjab, and Québec aims to better understand decentralized states’ diverse capacity to contain the often violent struggles between ethnic minority groups and the states in which they live. The book combines statistical analysis of intrastate conflicts with case studies of self-determination struggles in three federations: Chechnya’s relationship to Moscow, Punjab’s relationship to Delhi, and Québec’s relationship to Ottawa. With support from the National Science Foundation (USA) and the Chr. Michelsen Institute (Norway), Professor Bakke spent ten months conducting fieldwork in Russia, India, and Canada. The book was the recipient of the Conflict Research Society’s Book of the Year Award, 2016. 

While her work on institutions explores how conflicts can be avoided, Professor Bakke’s current research interests also include post-conflict developments. She has published articles that examine the aftermaths of violent conflicts (with John O’Loughlin, Gerard Toal,  Michael D. Ward, Andrew Linke and Xun Cao). Based on surveys carried out in Bosnia, Russia’s North Caucasus region, and the post-Soviet de facto states, these collaborative projects investigates inter-ethnic attitudes and legitimacy in conflict-ridden and post-war societies. For 2012-2014, Professor Bakke held an ESRC grant that explored state-building and the legacies of violence in the de facto states in the post-Soviet world—places like Abkhazia, Nagorno Karabakh, and Transdniestria—relying on both surveys and in-depth case studies. For 2015-2017, she is co-investigator of the collaborative project “Attitudes for Peace” (with Karin Dyrstad, Helga Malmin Binningsbø, and Arne Eide), which will examine post-conflict public opinion in three states: Burundi, Guatemala, and Nepal. The project is based at SINTEF and PRIO in Norway.

Much of Professor Bakke’s research questions the often underlying assumption that the non-state actors in intrastate conflicts are unitary. In several collaborative articles with Kathleen Gallagher Cunningham and Lee Seymour, she examines how divisions within self-determination movements affect conflict dynamics both within these groups and between these groups and the governments they are fighting. For an introduction to this research, see Professor Bakke’s presentation at TEDx UCL. In separate projects on the Chechen wars, she examines the processes through which transnational insurgents affect domestic insurgents and their ability to cohesively fight the state. For her Google Scholar profile, please go here.

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  • Decentralization and Intrastate Struggles: Chechnya, Punjab, and Québec. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2015).


Refereed Journal Articles


  • “E Pluribus Unum, Ex Uno Plures: Competition, Violence and Fragmentation in Ethnopopolitical Movements.” (with Lee J.M SEymour and Kathleen Gallagher Cunningham). Journal of Peace Research, vol.53, no. 1 (January 2016), pp. 3-18.
  • “Convincing State-Builders? Disaggregating Internal Legitimacy in Abkhazia” (with John O’Loughlin, Gerard Toal, and Michael D. Ward). International Studies Quarterly, vol. 58, no. 3 (September 2014), pp. 591-607.
  • “Help Wanted? The Mixed Record of Foreign Fighters in Domestic Insurgencies.” International Security, vol. 38, no. 4 (Spring 2014), pp. 150-187. 
  • “A Plague of Initials: Fragmentation, Cohesion, and Infighting in Civil Wars” (with Kathleen Gallagher Cunningham and Lee J.M. Seymour). Perspectives on Politics, vol. 10, no. 2 (June 2012), pp. 265-284.
  • “Shirts Today, Skins Tomorrow: Dual Contests and the Effects of Fragmentation in Self-Determination Disputes” (with Kathleen Gallagher Cunningham and Lee J.M. Seymour). Journal of Conflict Resolution, vol. 56, no. 1 (February 2012), pp. 57-93.
  • “The Perils of Policy by P-Value: Predicting Civil Conflicts” (with Michael D. Ward and Brian Greenhill), Journal of Peace Research, vol. 47, no. 4 (July 2010), pp. 1-13. (Selected as the 2010 JPR Article of the Year.)
  • “Reconciliation in Conflict-Affected Societies: Multilevel Modeling of Individual and Contextual Factors in the North Caucasus of Russia” (with John O’Loughlin and Michael D. Ward), Annals of American Association of Geographers, vol. 99, no. 1 (December 2009), pp. 1012-1021.
  • “State, Society, and Separatism in Punjab,” Regional and Federal Studies, vol. 19, no. 2 (May 2009), pp. 291-308.
  • “Social Distance in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the North Caucasus Region of Russia: Inter and Intra-Ethnic Attitudes and Identities” (with Xun Cao, John O’Loughlin, and Michael D. Ward), Nations and Nationalism, vol. 15, no. 2 (April 2009), pp. 229-255.
  • “Diversity, Disparity, and Civil Conflict in Federal States” (with Erik Wibbels), World Politics, vol. 59, no. 1 (October 2006), pp. 1-50.


Book Chapters

  • “Copying and Learning from Outsiders? Assessing Diffusion from Transnational Insurgents in the Chechen Wars.” In Transnational Dynamics of Civil War, ed. Jeffrey Checkel. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2013), pp. 31-62.
  • “The Turn to Violence in Chechnya and Punjab: Self-Determination Struggles in Decentralized States.” In Rethinking Violence, ed. Adria Lawrence and Erica Chenoweth. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press (2010), pp. 221-248.
  • “After the War Ends: Violence and Viability of Unrecognized States.” In Unrecognized States in the International System, ed. Nina Caspersen and Gareth Stansfield. London: Routledge (2010), pp. 90-109.

Work in Progress

  • “From War-Making to State-Making in de facto States: The Effects of War-Time Fragmentation on Post-War Violence,” article manuscript.
  • “External Patrons, Violence, and Internal Legitimacy in de facto States: Abkhazia, Nagorno Karabakh, South Ossetia, and Transdniestria Compared” (with John O’Loughlin, Andrew Linke, and Gerard Toal), article manuscript.
  • “International Commitments, Accountability, and the Political Control of Civil Society” (with Neil Mitchell and Hannah Smidt), article manuscript.

Reviews, Commentaries, and Shorter Works

  • Review of Rebel Rulers: Insurgent Governance and Civilian Life During War, by Zachariah Cherian Mampilly, Perspectives in Politics, vol. 10,  no. 4  (December 2012), pp. 1129-1130.
  • “Chechnya: A Military Suppression of a Secession at a Cost.” In The Ashgate Research Companion to Secession, ed. Aleksander Pavković and Peter Radan. Farnham, UK: Ashgate (2011), pp. 535-538.
  • Review of Asymmetric Autonomy and the Settlement of Ethnic Conflicts by Marc Weller and Katherine Nobbs, eds., Journal of Peace Research, vol. 48, no. 2 (March 2011), p. 269.
  • Review of The Robust Federation: Principles of Design by Jenna Bednar, The Journal of Politics, vol. 72, no. 2 (2010), pp. 599-600.
  • Review of State Collapse and Reconstruction in the Periphery: Political Economy, Ethnicity and Development in Yugoslavia, Serbia and Kosovo by Jens Stilhoff Sörensen, Nordisk Østforum, vol. 24, no. 2 (2010), pp. 224-227.
  • “Commentary: Beslan and the Study of Violence,” Political Geography, vol. 28, no.1 (January 2009), pp. 16-18.
  • Review of Religion, Civilization and Civil War by Jonathan Fox, International Studies Review, vol. 7, no. 1 (March 2005), pp. 87-89.

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Teaching for 2016-2017 Session

  • International Relations Theories (SPP/ESPS)
  • Political Violence and Intrastate Conflicts (ESPS)
  • IR section of Introduction to European History, Law, Politics and Philosophy (ESPS)
  • Conflict Resolution and Post-war Developments (MSc, SPP).