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Prof Kristin Bakke
Room 2.06, the Rubin Building
School of Public Policy, UCL
29/30 Tavistock Square
Tel: + 44 (0)207 679 4983
Fax: +44 (0)20 7679 4969
  • Professor of Political Science and International Relations
  • Dept of Political Science
  • Faculty of S&HS

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, Prof. 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 has been a member of the management committee of the European Network of Conflict Research and sits on the council of the British Conflict Research Society.
Research Groups
Research Themes
Research Summary

Prof. 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.

prof. 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), Prof. 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, Prof. 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, Dr. 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 Prof. 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 Dr. 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.

Teaching Summary

In the School of Public Policy/Department of Political Science, Prof. Bakke teaches an MSc course on Conflict Resolution and Post-War Developments, as well as a BA course on International Relations Theories.

In the program on European Social and Political Studies, she teaches a course on Political Violence and Intrastate Conflicts, as well as the International Relations section of the core course Introduction to European History, Law, Politics and Philosophy.

01-OCT-2016 Professor Department of Political Science University College London, United Kingdom
01-OCT-2013 – 30-SEP-2016 Senior Lecturer Department of Political Science University College London, United Kingdom
01-SEP-2009 – 30-SEP-2013 Lecturer Department of Political Science University College London, United Kingdom
01-AUG-2008 – 31-AUG-2009 Assistant Professor Department of Political Science Leiden University, Netherlands
01-JAN-2008 – 31-DEC-2009 Research Associate Centre for the Study of Civil War Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO), Norway
01-SEP-2007 – 31-JUL-2008 Post-Doctoral Research Fellow Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs Harvard University, United States
Academic Background
2007 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Political Science University of Washington Seattle
2003 MA Master of Arts – Political Science University of Washington Seattle
2000 BA Bachelor of Arts – Journalism Indiana University
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