The Team

Core Project Participants

Jonathan Luke Austin
Lead VIPRE Researcher & Designer

Jonathan Luke Austin is a political sociologist exploring the global ontologies of political violence. Austin’s earlier published and forthcoming work exploring the conditions of possibility for violent human rights abuses forms the core theoretical, conceptual, and empirical base of the VIPRE Initiative. On that work see and/or Austin is the Lead Researcher for the VIPRE project carrying out all core project research, coordinating among participants, and supervising the work of the doctoral students in the Initiative. His expertise is focused on contemporary social theory and sociological approaches to the study of world politics, Middle Eastern conflict and politics, and the causes, consequences, and prevention of human rights violations, and war crimes. 

Austin possess a decade of research and field experience on and in the Middle East (Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Palestine) and has regularly consulted for both international and local non-governmental organisations, as well as the media, on ongoing world conflicts, the prevention of human rights violations, and related matters. Presently, Austin is a PhD candidate in International Relations and Political Science at the Graduate Institute, Geneva. Between 2015-2016 he was a Visiting Scholar at the University of Copenhagen’s Centre for the Resolution of International Conflicts (CRIC) and, earlier, a research affiliate at the Max Weber Foundation’s Orient-Institut Beirut (OIB) in Lebanon.

CV | | Personal Website

Professor Keith Krause
Co-Principal Investigator

Keith Krause is Professor of International Relations at the Graduate Institute and  Director of its Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding (CCDP). Until 2016, he was also Programme Director of the Small Arms Survey, an internationally-recognized research NGO he founded in 2001. Professor Krause obtained his D.Phil in International Relations in 1987 from Balliol College, Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. Between 1987 and 1994 he was an Assistant and then an Associate Professor at York University (Toronto), where he was also Deputy Director, and (in 1993-94) the Acting Director of the York Centre for International and Strategic Studies. His research concentrates on international security and political violence, as well as post-conflict peacebuilding and security governance. He has published Arms and the State (Cambridge), edited or co-edited Critical Security Studies (Minnesota), Culture and Security, and Armed Groups and Contemporary Conflicts, as well as having authored dozens of journal articles and book chapters. He has been a consultant for various international agencies and governments, comments on international issues for the local and international media, and speaks regularly at scholarly and policy meetings and conferences.

Krause was a co-applicant for the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) grant funding the VIPRE project and will coordinate the implementation of its second work package focused on military training and practitioners.


Professor Anna Leander
Co-Principal Investigator

Anna Leander is Professor MSO at Copenhagen Business School’s Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy and Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-RIO). Leander’s research focuses on the role of business in international politics and especially on the role of private military and security companies. Her publications direct attention to the politics of commercial security and develop theoretical approaches and methodologies suited for studying it. In recent work she has explored the transformation of politics through commercial security expertise, risk-models, and regulatory arrangements drawing on and developing sociological practice approaches. Her present projects explore the politics of commercial security knowledge as re-produced in marketing, web-communication and digitized/big data. This work is developed in the context of collaborative projects about security knowledge/expertise more generally.

Leander was a co-applicant for the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) grant funding the VIPRE project and will coordinate the implementation of its third work package focused on visual data analysis.


Professor Riccardo Bocco
Co-Principal Investigator

Riccardo Bocco is Professor of Political Sociology at the Graduate Institute, Geneva. Professor Bocco’s main geographical area of fieldwork for the last 30 years has been the Near East with a particular focus on Jordan and Palestine. In addition to his PhD, he has degrees in cultural anthropology, development studies and the Arabic language. He is former director of the Centre for Research on the Contemporary Middle East, based in Amman, and was Research Director at the Graduate Institute for Development Studies. He has led large-scale research projects focusing on international aid and the socio-economic conditions of Palestinian refugees for the Swiss Development Agency and United Nations agencies. Three main research topics have successively shaped his work: tribes, nationalism, development policies and state-building; refugees, humanitarian policies and Palestinian identity in the Near East; and the role of international aid in conflict and post-conflict contexts.

Bocco was a co-applicant for the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) grant funding the VIPRE project and will supervise the implementation of its fourth work package focused on developing the VIPRE project in the context of Middle Eastern conflicts.


Alice Baroni
Doctoral Candidate

Alice Baroni is a Ph.D. Candidate in International Relations and Political Science at the Graduate Institute, Geneva, and a Research Assistant for the Violence Prevention (VIPRE) Initiative. Alice’s work investigates the way in which settler colonial ideologies inform security policies through discursive practices, with a comparative focus on Israel and the United States. Her work is situated at the intersection between security studies, political sociology and belief systems theory. Alice has previously worked as a research consultant and as a project officer for non-governmental organizations both in Italy and Palestine.  


Basil Farraj
Doctoral Candidate

Basil Farraj is a PhD Candidate in Anthropology and Sociology at the Graduate Institute, Geneva and a research assistant for the VIPRE Initiative. Basil’s work focuses on political prisoners, violence directed against them, and ways in which they resist the incarcerating regimes. His work reaches for the intersections of memory, resistance and art by prisoners and others at the receiving end of violence. Basil has previously conducted fieldwork in a number of countries including Chile and Colombia.



Advisory Board

Scientific Board

Jef Huysmans Professor, Queen Mary University London.
Ole Wæver Professor, Copenhagen University; Centre for the Resolution of International Conflicts (CRIC).
Rebecca Adler-Nissen Professor, Copenhagen University.
Christian Bueger
Reader, Department of Politics and International Relations, Cardiff University.
Mark Salter
Professor, University of Ottawa.
Isabel Bramsen The University of Copenhagen
Vincent Pouliot Professor, McGill University

Practitioner board

Dr Michelle Parlevliet  Assistant Professor of Conflict Resolution, University of Amsterdam.
Professor Steffen Jensen The Danish Institute Against Torture (DIGNITY) and Aalborg University.
Koenraad Van Brabant Navigation360: Pathways into a changing world
Tobias Kelly The University of Edinburgh
Olivier Chow International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)