Core Team

Meet the Core Programme Team

Professor Christine Bell, FBA, FRSE

Programme Director, Steering Committee

Professor Christine Bell is Assistant Principal (Global Justice), and Professor of Constitutional Law, School of Law, University of Edinburgh.  She is the Principal Investigator and Director of the Political Settlements Research Programme (PRSP). Her research interests lie in the interface between constitutional and international law, gender and conflict, and legal theory, with a particular interest in peace processes and their agreements.


Dr Harriet Cornell, FSA Scot, FHEA

Programme Manager, Steering Committee

Dr Harriet Cornell is the Programme Manager at the PSRP. Harriet completed a PhD in Economic and Social History, an MSc by Research and an MA (Hons) in History at the University of Edinburgh. Harriet’s interest in global justice stems from her research on power, authority, law and the State in early modern Scotland, including the implications of ‘Statecraft’ for the lives of ordinary people. From March 2019, she is seconded from the Global Justice Academy to the PSRP. Harriet is a Steering Committee Member of the Global Justice Academy and genderED, as well as for PSRP.



Dr Sanja Badanjak

Chancellor’s Fellow in Global Challenges

Dr Sanja Badanjak is a Chancellor’s Fellow in Global Challenges at the University of Edinburgh’s School of Law, and an affiliate of the Political Settlements Research Programme, where she has been working as data manager for PA-X Peace Agreements Database and Dataset. Her research interests include the applications of quantitative and text-as-data methods in the study of institutions, elections, and peace processes. She completed her PhD in political science at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and holds and MA degree in political science from the Central European University, and a BA in political science from the University of Zagreb.

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Dr Juline Beaujouan

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Dr Juline Beaujouan is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Political Settlements Research Programme, based at the University of Edinburgh. Juline’s research explores the inclusion of non-state actors and minorities in peace agreements, particularly in the MENA region. Juline received her Ph.D from Durham University where she was awarded the al-Sabah doctoral fellowship. Juline has also completed an MSc in Defence, Development and Diplomacy at Durham University, an MA in International Studies from University Paris-Sud XI, and a double BA in International Law, Languages and Civilisations from the same university. She completed a certificate in Arabic and History of the Near and Middle East at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.


Devanjan Bhattacharya

Train@Ed Postdoctoral Fellow

Devanjan is a Train@Ed Postdoctoral Fellow with the Political Settlements Research Programme, focusing on collaborative map visualisations for participation and mediation in peace processes. Devanjan holds a PhD and Masters degree in Geomatics Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology. His research interests include geospatial data analytics, digital mapping, smart cities applications, spatial data infrastructure, internet of things, and artificial intelligence in geoinformatics.

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Allyson Doby

Communications Manager

Allyson Doby is the Communications Manager with the Political Settlements Research Programme, based at the University of Edinburgh. She holds an MSc in Human Rights from The London School of Economics and Political Science and a BA in International Affairs and Spanish from James Madison University. Her research interests include women’s rights, global inequality, and social justice. Prior to joining the PSRP, Allyson worked in international development and youth empowerment organisations in the UK and Central Asia.


Dr Kathryn Nash

Chancellor’s Fellow

Dr Kathryn Nash is a Chancellor’s Fellow, based at the University of Edinburgh. Her research interests include regional approaches to peace processes. Previously she has researched regional organisations in Africa and normative and institutional change. Kathryn received her PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London and has a Master’s degree from Georgetown University in Conflict Resolution.  Prior to beginning her PhD, she worked for several years at the U.S. Department of State, first in the Bureau of African Affairs and then in the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilisation Operations.

Dr Asanga Welikala

Dr Asanga Welikala is Lecturer in Public Law at the School of Law, University of Edinburgh, and Associate Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Constitutional Law. His research interests lie broadly in comparative constitutional law, applied constitutional theory, and Commonwealth constitutional history, and more specifically in the constitutional accommodation of national pluralism. He is involved in and advises the peace processes and concepts theme projects of GJA.

Laura Wise

Research Fellow and Programme Co-ordinator

Laura Wise is a Research Fellow and Prorgamme Co-ordinator with the Political Settlements Research Programme, based at the University of Edinburgh. Her research explores the intersections between minority and territorial politics in the context of peace processes and post-conflict societies. She focuses on sub-national political settlements, local peace agreements, non-dominant minorities, and kin-state politics in borderlands, with a particular interest in Southeastern Europe. Laura holds an MA in Comparative Ethnic Conflict from Queen’s University Belfast and a BSc Econ in International Politics from Aberystwyth University.

Robert Wilson

Research Fellow and Policy Co-ordinator

Robert Wilson is a Research Fellow and Policy Co-ordinator with the Political Settlements Research Programme. His research explores local peace processes, examining the impact of inter-group dynamics on processes and the agency of traditionally marginalised local groups, with a particular focus on Yemen. He is also part of supporting research into using experiences and findings of peacebuilding as a source of rapid reaction policy advice. Robert holds an MA Hons. in Politics and History and an MSc. in International Relations from the University of Glasgow.

Dr Jan Pospisil

ASPR Research Director, Steering Committee

Dr Jan Pospisil is a Research Director at the Austrian Study Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution, and a researcher at the Political Settlements Research Programme. His research interests are international security- and development policy, resilience, state legitimacy, state fragility and statebuilding, peace processes and theories of International Relations.

Dr Monalisa Adhikari

Dr Monalisa Adhikari is a Lecturer in International Relations at the School of Social, Political and Global Studies, Keele University. Prior to joining Keele, she was a Research Fellow with the Political Settlements Research Programme at the University of Edinburgh. She obtained her PhD in International Relations from the University of Edinburgh in 2020. Her primary research interests include peace processes, international interventions in fragile and conflict-affected states, rising powers engagement in the global governance of peace and security, and foreign policies of India and China.  She has conducted research in China, India, Myanmar and Nepal.

Dr Rebecca Sutton

Programme Associate

Dr Rebecca Sutton is a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow at the University of Edinburgh Law School, where she teaches human rights and conflict resolution subjects at the graduate level, and an Associate of the Political Settlements Research Programme. Rebecca has previously been a Visiting Fellow at the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict, a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Faculty of Law at McGill University, a Kathleen Fitzpatrick Fellow at Melbourne Law School, a SSHRC Fellow, and a Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation Fellow. Rebecca is a licensed Barrister and Solicitor in Canada, having been called to the Ontario Bar in 2014.

Professor Michael Semple

Professor Michael Semple is Practitioner Chair at The Senator George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice, Queens University Belfast. He works on innovative approaches to peace-making and engagement with militant Islamic movements in Afghanistan and South Asia. His interests include the political culture of the Afghan Taliban and kindred militant Islamic movements, the role and potential of dialogue and social media in conflict transformation, and the challenge of pluralism in the post 9/11 Muslim world.

Professor Louise Mallinder

Professor Louise Mallinder is a Professor of Law at Queens University Belfast. Before taking up this post, she was Professor of Human Rights and International Law at TJI at Ulster University. Her research interests include amnesty laws, transitional justice, international criminal law, international humanitarian law, international human rights law, restorative justice, database research and socio-legal research.

Aden Abdi

Africa Department Director

Aden Abdi is Africa Department Director at Conciliation Resources, covering the Horn of Africa, East and Central Africa and West Africa. Aden has over 14 years of experience supporting and implementing governance and peacebuilding programmes in Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia. He has worked with a wide range of local, regional and national governments, opposition groups, civil society actors, local communities and donor governments in the Horn of Africa region.

Dr Alexander Ramsbotham

Director of Research and Innovation, Steering Committee

Dr Alexander Ramsbotham is Director of Research and Innovation, Conciliation Resources. He worked as specialist adviser to the House of Lords European Union (EU) Select Committee in its inquiry into the EU Strategy for Africa. Before that he was Head of the Peace and Security Programme at the United Nations Association-UK. He is responsible for the production of Accord and related products, as well as the dissemination across Conciliation Resources’ projects.

Sumit Bisarya

Former Head of Constitution-Building Processes, Steering Committee.

Sumit Bisarya is the Head of Constitution-Building Processes at International IDEA. He is currently seconded to the UN until January 2022. Bisarya develops global comparative knowledge, policy and advocacy resources and provides technical support to in-country constitution reform programs.  Previously, he worked with the International Development Law Organization based in Rome, Italy where he was manager of IDLO’s field programmes. He designed, managed and implemented rule of law assistance programmes in Afghanistan and East/Horn of Africa (Ethiopia, South Sudan, Kenya and Somalia). Bisarya has been engaged in constitution-building assistance programmes in a range of countries and contexts including Tunisia, Nepal, Myanmar, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and most recently in Chile and Ukraine.



Kimana Zulueta-Fülscher

Acting Head of Constitution-Building, Steering Committee

Kimana Zulueta-Fülscher is the Acting Head of Constitution-Building at International IDEA and a PCREP Steering Committee member. Her research and work focuses on comparative constitutional process and design, with a special emphasis on constitution-building processes in fragile and conflict-affected settings. Amongst others, she developed the database on constitution-building processes in conflict-affected settings, and published papers on Sequencing Peace Agreements and Constitutions in Political Settlement Processes (co-authored with Prof. Christine Bell, November 216), Substate Constitutions (co-authored with Dr Asanga Welikala, November 2017), and (S)electing Constitution-Making Bodies in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Settings (co-authored with Sumit Bisarya, forthcoming). She is also the former head of the Democracy, Conflict and Security unit, where, amongst others, she managed a project on the nexus between organized crime and politics, and developed International IDEA’s institutional policy on mainstreaming conflict sensitivity.

Erin Houlihan

Programme Officer

Erin Colleen Houlihan is a Programme Officer with the Constitution-Building Programme at International IDEA. Houlihan supports governments and civil society actors engaged in constitution-building processes around the word. Her research and advising work focus on fragile and conflict-affected contexts, and particularly on democratization and post-conflict transitions. She provides technical support to in-country constitution reform efforts in the areas of process design and constitutional content, including support to forge political consensus around contentious issues. Houlihan also develops global comparative knowledge products, policy and advocacy resources, and educational materials on comparative constitutional concepts and issues. Houlihan founded the annual Women Constitution-Makers Dialogue series in partnership with the Political Settlements Research Programme of the University of Edinburgh.

Professor Mary Kaldor

Professor Mary Kaldor is Professor of Global Governance and Director of the Conflict and Civil Society Research Unit in the LSE Department of International Development. Professor Kaldor also directed the unit’s largest research project, the Conflict Research Programme (CRP), now known as LSE IDEAS, an international FCDO-funded partnership investigating public authority, through a theoretical lens of the political marketplace and the concept of civicness, across a range of countries in Africa and the Middle East.

Dr Matthew Benson

Dr Matthew Benson is the Research Manager on the Conflict Research Programme, now LSE IDEAS. He is a researcher in the CRP-South Sudan Team examining how people have experienced, and shaped, public authority and relations between the centre and the peripheries in South Sudan & Sudan by bargaining over taxes in these countries.

Professor Alex De Waal

Research Programme Director, Steering Committee

Professor Alex De Waal is Executive Director of the World Peace Foundation and Research Programme Director with the Conflict Research Programme (now LSE IDEAS) at LSE. He also contributes to CPAID research at the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa. Prof de Waal is one of the foremost experts on Sudan, South Sudan and the Horn of Africa with particular reference to humanitarian crisis and response, conflict, mediation and peacebuilding. He has served with the African Union mediation team on Darfur and as an advisor to the African Union High Level Implementation Panel for Sudan.

Dr Rim Turkmani

Research Fellow, Director of Syria Conflict Research Programme (CRP)

Dr Rim Turkmani is a Research Fellow at the Conflict and Civil Society Research Unit in the Department of International Development at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She directs the Syria conflict research programme at the Unit. Her policy-oriented research work focuses on identity politics, legitimate governance, transforming war economy it into peace economy and the relationship between local and external drivers of the conflict. She is a member of the Women’s Advisory Board to the UN special envoy to Syria and sits on the advisory board of which monitor the International coalition strikes against ISIS. She directed the project: ‘Crowd-sourcing Conflict and Peace ‘Events’ in the Syrian conflict’ which produced a detailed database of instances of violence and peace-making.

Professor Toby Dodge

Professor, Steering Committee

Professor Toby Dodge is a Professor in the Department of International Relations at LSE, where he is Deputy Head of the Department (PhD and Research). He is also Kuwait Professor and Director of the Kuwait Programme, Middle East Centre. Toby currently serves as Iraq Research Director for the DFID-funded Conflict Research Programme (CRP), now LSE IDEAS.

Omar Al Jaffal

Omar Al Jaffal is an Iraqi journalist, researcher and poet. He worked as a researcher on several projects on Iraq as part of the Conflict Research Programme (CRP) at the London School of Economics (LSE). He also works as a journalist for several Arabic and foreign outlets. He was awarded the Mostafa al-Hosseiny Prize in 2017 and was shortlisted for the Arab Journalism Award for Youth the same year.