My research interests span the fields of comparative politics and international relations with a focus on: nationalism and ethnic conflicts; state-building and strategic studies; and competitive authoritarianism and democratization. I specialize in the geographic area of post-Soviet Eurasia.
In the doctoral dissertation, I examined the efforts of the Georgian government following the Rose Revolution to integrate two borderlands, one populated by Armenians (Javakheti) and the other by Azeris (Kvemo Kartli). Findings from this project won the Best Doctoral Student Paper Award (Category: Caucasus-Russia-Ukraine) at the 2014 ASN Conference. I received a PhD from Uppsala University in 2016 and then obtained a postdoctoral grant from the Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund (SYLFF). After a period spent working at the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI) I joined Malmö University as a Senior Lecturer in 2018.
I am principal investigator of a project funded by Formas, where we compare the mechanisms through which transborder minorities are integrated into their respective host states, Estonia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan: "Planning for Integration: Landscapes of Power in Borderland Governance" [InBorder]. I am also associated with the Department of Security Studies at Charles University and with the School of Social Sciences at Södertörn University. From there, I manage a project funded by Östersjöstiftelsen: "Conscription as Political Socialization in Divided Societies? Evidence from post-Soviet Estonia and post-independence Finland" [CoDS]. I collaborate with the Tallinn-based International Centre for Defence and Security (ICDS) in this context.
My most recent articles have been published in Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, Europe-Asia Studies, Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict, Nations and Nationalism, and Journal of Language and Social Psychology. I have contributed with chapters to several edited books, and written for Foreign Policy.
I have earlier been a visiting scholar at the George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs (IERES), the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), the Institute of International Relations (IIR) Prague, and at several universities and think-tanks in the Caucasus.