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Dr Nina Caspersen

Formerly at Lancaster University

Nina Caspersen

Research Interests

Nina Caspersen is a Lecturer in Peace and Conflict Studies. She joined the Department of Politics in September 2005 after completing her doctoral thesis at the LSE. Her research interests are primarily centred on ethnic conflicts in the Balkans and the Caucasus, dynamics within ethnic groups and internal developments in unrecognised states. Instead of viewing ethnic groups as homogeneous and static, her research focuses on internal divisions, political rivalry and popular mobilisation, which significantly influence the development of conflicts and the prospect for peaceful settlements. More broadly, her research focuses on elite behaviour in ethnic conflicts, peace processes and conflict management, democratisation, statehood and sovereignty.

Nina has published a number of articles relating to this research and is a frequent presenter at international conferences and workshops. She, moreover, reviews articles for academic journals, such as the Journal of Peace Research, Millennium and Review of International Studies; she is a member of the Executive Committee of the Association for the Study of Nationalities;an Honorary Fellow at the Exeter Centre for Ethno-Political Studies; on the Editorial Board of the journals East European Politics and Ethnopolitics, and a member of the ESRC Peer Review College. Nina was, in 2008, awarded an 'Early Career Award' by Lancaster University, in recognition of 'the highly promising start that Dr Caspersen has made to her academic career'.

Nina is currently working on two main projects:

Unrecognised/De Facto States:

An ESRC-funded project on unrecognised states entitled 'The Politics of Unrecognised States' (RES-000-22-2728: £58,877). This project, which was graded Outstanding by the ESRC,draws on a range of examples (from Abkhazia to Somaliland) and on two in-depth case studies: Nagorno Karabakh (Azerbaijan) and Republika Srpska Krajina (Croatia). The aim of this project is to improve our understanding of unrecognised states and thereby engage with, and question, dominant conceptions of sovereignty, statehood, democratisation and conflict resolution. The total output from this project will be: a monograph, an edited volume, two book chapters, five journal articles, a project website and a leaflet. Visit the project website

Intra-communal rivalry in ethnic conflicts and wars

A comparative analysis of competition within ethnic groups in situations of ethnic conflict and war: what are the sources of such leadership rivalry and does it make a peaceful settlement less likely? Cases: Croatia, Bosnia, Abkhazia and Nagorno-Karabakh. This project started out as a PhD thesis, but has since then been expanded and has resulted in a monograph and a number of journal articles.

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