Dr Kristin M. Bakke
Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations
Kristin 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, Dr. 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 has also been a Research Associate at the Peace Research Institute, Oslo (2008-2009).
She is an Associate Editor at Journal of Peace Research and serves on the international advisory board of Nations and Nationalism.
Dr. 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.
Dr. Bakke’s work on institutions and intrastate conflicts 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. This work 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), Dr. Bakke spent ten months conducting fieldwork in Russia, India, and Canada.
While her work on institutions explores how conflicts can be avoided, Dr. Bakke’s current research interests also include post-conflict developments. She has published articles that examine the aftermaths of violent conflicts (with Michael D. Ward, John O’Loughlin, and Xun Cao). Based on surveys carried out in Bosnia and Russia’s North Caucasus region, this collaborative work investigated inter-ethnic attitudes and trust in conflict-affected societies. For 2012-2014, Dr. Bakke has been awarded an ESRC grant that explores state-building and the legacies of violence in so-called de facto states in the post-Soviet world—places like Abkhazia, Nagorno Karabakh, and Transdniestria—relying on both surveys and in-depth case studies.
Dr. Bakke’s recent publications begin by questioning 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 Dr. Bakke’s presentation at TEDx UCL. In a separate project on the Chechen wars, she draws on the literatures on intrastate conflicts, social movements, and transnationalism to examine the processes through which transnational insurgents affect domestic insurgents and their ability to fight the state.
Refereed Journal Articles
- “Convincing State-Builders? Disaggregating Internal Legitimacy in Abkhazia” (with John O’Loughlin, Gerard Toal, and Michael D. Ward). International Studies Quarterly, forthcoming (2014).
- “A Plague of Initials: Fragmentation, Cohesion, and Infighting in Civil Wars” (with Kathleen G. Cunningham and Lee 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 G. Cunningham and Lee 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.
- “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 (forthcoming 2013).
- “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
- Preserving Peace? Decentralization and Intrastate Struggles. Book manuscript, R&R.
- “Acceptance and Resistance to Foreign Ideas: Transnational Insurgents’ Impact on the Chechen Separatists.” Article manuscript, R&R.
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.
Teaching for 2013-2014 Session
- Conflict Resolution and Post-War Development (SPP)
- International Relations Theories (SPP/ESPS)
- Political Violence and Intrastate Conflicts (ESPS)
- IR section of Introduction to European History, Law, Politics and Philosophy (ESPS)