Department of Political Science


Professor Neil Mitchell

Neil Mitchell

Professor Neil Mitchell

Professor of International Relations

Find out more


Neil Mitchell joined UCL in September 2011. He was previously professor of politics at the University of Aberdeen and before that at the University of New Mexico. 

He works on delegation, accountability and the role of non-state actors in conflict and repression.  He is the author of Agents of Atrocity and Democracy’s Blameless Leaders. With Sabine Carey at the University of Mannheim, he has developed a global database on pro-government militias. These data are now the basis for examining the incentives to outsource as well as monopolise violence, the role of the individual agents and plausible deniability in the violation of human rights, the use of armed non-state actors to ‘coup-proof’ leaders in coup-prone places, and what the organisation of the security sector can tell us about conflict outcomes and legacies. With UCL colleagues, he is investigating the role of civil society in holding governments accountable for human rights abuses, the role of governments in restricting the activities of NGOs, and the consequences for public goods.  

Back to top.

Recent articles

· ‘Pro-Government Militias’  Annual Review of Political Science 2017 (with Sabine Carey).

· ‘Pro-Government Militias and Conflict’ Oxford Research Encyclopedia Politics, 2016 (with Sabine Carey).

· Risk Mitigation, Regime Security, and Militias: Beyond Coup-proofing International Studies Quarterly, 2015, (with Sabine Carey and Mike Colaresi).

· ‘Governments, informal links to militias, and accountability’ Journal of Conflict Resolution, 2015 (with Sabine Carey and Mike Colaresi).

· ‘The Impact of Pro-Government Militias on Human Rights Violations’ International Interactions Online October 2014 (with Sabine Carey and Christopher Butler)

· ‘States, the Security Sector, and the Monopoly of Violence” Journal of Peace Research, March 2013, 50: 249-258 (with Sabine Carey and Will Lowe).

Back to top.