I am Professor of International Security in the Department of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Birmingham, England, UK. A political scientist by background, I specialise in the management of contemporary security challenges, especially in the prevention and settlement of ethnic conflicts and in post-conflict state-building in deeply divided and war-torn societies. I have extensive expertise in the former Soviet Union and the Middle East, and have also worked on a wide range of other conflicts elsewhere, including in Africa and in Central, South and Southeast Asia. Bridging the divide between academia and policy-making, I have been involved in various phases of conflict settlement processes, including in the disputed territories in Iraq, in Transnistria and Gagauzia (Moldova), and in Yemen.


The OSCE’s Afghanistan Challenge

8 September 2021

The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan poses three specific sets of challenges for the OSCE and its participating States: instability in Afghanistan; the resultant threats to regional security and stability; and the impact of the evolving local and regional situations on the entire OSCE area and relations among OSCE participating States and hence the ability of the Organisation to develop an approach to Afghanistan in line with its mandate for comprehensive and cooperative security.

China: A Challenge or an Opportunity for the OSCE?

China has become a significant actor in the OSCE area at a time of deep divisions among participating States. As China, Russia, and the West now represent three rival great powers competing for influence in Eurasia, participating States’ narratives on China are polarised, driven, in part, by fundamentally different underpinning value systems. However, regardless of whether the ever-increasing Chinese presence are considered a challenge or an opportunity for the OSCE, the Organization needs to face China, not ignore it.

Libya: Amid Hope for Peace, Regional Rifts Still Pose Hurdles

2021 is meant to be Libya’s transitional year. The new interim government faces huge tasks.