Less than the sum of its parts: Europe’s fixation with Libyan border security.

I'm delighted to launch my latest Policy Brief for the Institute for Security Studies: “Less than the sum of its parts: Europe’s fixation with Libyan border security."

The brief argues that European focus on counter migration programming in Libya puts at risk efforts to create an effective and accountable security sector capable of addressing the needs of Libyans. It ends with a short set of recommendations.

The brief can be accessed here.

From Mr. to Dr. : A PhD Thesis Successfully Defended.

On April 9th, I successfully defended my PhD thesis at the Fletcher School. The thesis is titled “From Contraband to Conflict Links between Smuggling and Violence in the Borderlands of Meso-America and North Africa.”

The following is the abstract:

“In the wake of the Cold War, the global illicit economy surged. Contraband commodity chains now cross borders, nations, and sometimes continents. Smuggling is mainly a peaceful pursuit, conducted by large numbers of men, women, and children, each of whom earns only limited rewards for their efforts. Rather than seeking to end the contraband trade, government officials often seek to profit from it.

However, in a small number of instances, smuggling has transformed into something far more violent and dangerous. Tens of thousands have been killed in “crime wars” in Mexico and Central America over the last twenty years, conflicts that frequently mirror civil wars in their intensity and transgressive use of violence. At other points across the globe, similar conflicts linked to smuggling percolate. This investigation represents an effort to analyze and understand how and why smuggling ecosystems that have been peaceful and controlled transform into situations of violent conflict.

The investigation builds a new theory by modifying theoretic tools developed to explain the impact of primary commodity extraction and applies it to smuggled goods in transit. It utilizes a diverse range of case studies, including the U.S.-Mexico, Mexico-Guatemala, Tunisia-Algeria, and Algeria-Morocco borders.”

The next steps will involve adapting the academic text into a book.

Recent Interviews on Tunisia's Security Situation

In addition to my writings on Tunisia’s security dynamics and challenges, I’ve provided interviews in recent months to The New York Times, Jeune Afrique, The Washington Post, and Le Monde which offer further analysis on the situation.

  • World Politics Review, “Is Tunisia’s Post-Arab Spring ‘Success Story’ Only Skin-Deep?,” 23 April 2019. Click here for the article.

  • Mediapart, “A Kasserine, le pari de la résilience face au terrorisme,” 16 March 2019. Click here for the article.

  • The New York Times, “U.S. and Tunisia Are Fighting Militants Together. Just Don’t Ask Them About It,” 02 March 2019. Click here for the article.

  • Jeune Afrique, “Attentat de Tunis : « Cette attaque ne fait pas de la Tunisie un pays moins sûr »,” 31 October 2018. Click here for the article.

  • The Washington Post, “Tunisia feared the return of militants from abroad. The threat now is those who never left,” 08 September 2018. Click here for the article.

  • Jeune Afrique, “Tunisie: « Il faut mener à bien la réforme globale du secteur de la sécurité »,” 14 July 2018. Click here for the article.

  • Le Monde, “La plus grande menace des djihadistes de l’Ouest tunisien est leur capacité de résilience,” 10 July 2018. Click here for the article.