I am an early-career academic and I research topics at the intersection of International Relations, Critical Peace & Security, and International Development, including topics in international interventions, state formation, political violence and order, conflict transitions/transformations, democratisation, governance and governmentality, and the political economy of statebuilding and peacebuilding. My current research agenda comprises two core (and long-term) studies: first, I am working towards publishing my first book (based on my PhD dissertation), titled ‘The Legitimacy Puzzle: Statebuilding in Post-Conflict Afghanistan’. The book investigates the tensions in legitimation strategies between local and international actors, and its effects on state-society relations and statebuilding. Second, concurrently, I have developed a follow-on study that uses political economy analyses to focus attention on the ‘vernacular’ of local politics and how notions of legitimacy are coded and gain meaning in particular contexts.
In May 2018 I joined the School of Social Sciences, UNSW (Sydney), as Lecturer in International Relations. Previously, I was a European Union COFUND (Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action) Fellow at the School of Government and International Affairs, Durham University (UK). Prior to that, I was Prime Minister's Australia-Asia Endeavour Postgraduate Award scholar at The Australian National University (ANU), where I earned my PhD in Politics and International Relations. I also consult as a geopolitics, security, and NGO analyst. In my different professional capacities, I work with public-sector experts, government officials, diplomats, UN and INGO representatives, activists, and even armed groups.
I am co-Editor of 'Hybridity on the Ground in Peacebuilding and Development: Critical Conversations' (The ANU Press, 2018), 'Critical Hybridity in Peacebuilding and Development' (Third World Thematics: a TWQ Journal 2:4, 2017/2018), 'Afghanistan--Challenges and Prospects' (Routledge, 2017), and 'Elections and the State: Critical Perspectives on Democracy Promotion in Afghanistan' (Conflict, Security and Development 16:6, 2016). In the past, I participated as research and drafting consultant with The Liaison Office, Kabul, on various projects including, assessing the 'Protection Needs and Vulnerabilities of Urban Displaced Youth in Afghanistan' (funded by Norwegian Refugee Council) and 'State Legitimacy in Afghanistan and the Role of the International Community' (funded by DfID, UK).