New Report: "‘La mal vie’: the routes, drivers and politics of North African irregular migration."

I'm delighted to launch my latest report for the Institute for Security Studies: ‘La mal vie’: The routes, drivers and politics of North African irregular migration.

The report details the routes and methods employed by North African irregular migrants to get to Europe, the factors driving and enabling increased migration, and the responses by North African and European governments. It ends with a short set of policy recommendations.

It can be accessed here.

Terrorism in Tunisia: more than just foreign connections

This article for the Institute for Security Studies looks at the 27 June terrorist bombings in Tunis, analyzes the larger security challenges facing the country, and argues that the state and donors need to reemphasize whole of government approaches to the problem, and not double down on a security-first strategy.

It can be accessed here.

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.