About Strife

What is Strife?

Strife is a dual format publication comprised of Strife academic blog, as well as the peer-reviewed academic journal, Strife Journal, which is published biannually. Strife is led by Doctoral and Graduate researchers based in the Department of War Studies, King’s College London. Our contributors are largely from within the department, though we do accept excellent contributions from outside the department as well.

Our thematic focus is ‘conflict’ in all shapes, forms and senses of the word. We combine political, historical, literary, and philosophical approaches to conflict (among other things) for our readers. We aim to provide thought-provoking, unique perspectives in all our work.


Who runs Strife?

Joana Cook – Editor-in-Chief, Strife Blog and JournalJoana headshot

Joana is a PhD Candidate in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London. Her PhD analyzes the roles of women in counterterrorism practices post-9/11. Her broader academic interests revolve around extremism and terrorism, with a focus on Canada, the US, UK and Middle East. She is also a researcher for the Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security and Society (TSAS). A former journalist, she has worked across Canada, the Middle East and Africa, as a Research Affiliate with Public Safety Canada and at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalization (ICSR). You can follow her on Twitter @Joana_Cook.

Nikolai Gourof – Managing Editor, Strife Journal N. GOUROF

Nikolai is a historian and a Doctoral researcher at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London.  Formerly a lawyer and a corporate consultant, he has first-hand knowledge of contemporary Greece and Russia. It is the early modern world, however, that has stolen his heart. His current research focuses on the evolution of the culture and practice of war in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spain. Additionally, he retains a strong interest in the history of sixteenth-century Russia, and its reception and projection in the post-Soviet world. The treatment of war and history in art, literature and cinema has been a lifelong fascination.

Harris Kuemmerle – Managing Editor, Strife Blog

Harris is a PhD Researcher in War Studies at KCL. He received a BSc in International Relations from Plymouth University and a MSc from SOAS, University of London in Asian Politics. His professional experience includes working in journalism and US congressional elections. His areas of interest include; water politics, the impacts of water on state and human security, environmental security, health and security, US foreign and domestic politics, European politics, UK politics, UK foreign affairs, South Asia, and the domestic and foreign affairs of India and China. A native of the US, he has been based in the UK since 2008.

Laurie Benson – Senior EditorScreen Shot 2015-10-14 at 10.33.10 PM

Laurie is a PhD candidate with the Department of War Studies, attached to the Research Centre for International Relations (RCIR). She holds an MA in International Conflict Studies from King’s College London  and MA (Hons) in Modern History from the University of St Andrews. Her project focuses on art practices and spaces as a site of postcolonial relations between France and Algeria. Her other activities include a role as researcher for Arts Cabinet.
She is interested in postcolonial and critical/poststructural theory, cultural politics, race relations and the politics of difference as well as theatre, film and art more generally.

Lauren Dickey – Senior EditorLDickey_photo

Lauren is a first year PhD researcher in War Studies at King’s College London and the National University of Singapore. Her research explores Chinese President Xi Jinping’s strategy toward Taiwan with an update of classical deterrence theory. Beyond cross-strait relations, she is also interested in Chinese foreign and defense policy and East Asian security issues. She is a fluent Mandarin speaker and a member of the Pacific Forum Young Leaders program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Prior to King’s, she was a research associate at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, DC. You can follow her on Twitter @lfdickey.

Lauren Mellinger – Senior EditorIMG_0098

Lauren is a first year PhD researcher in War Studies at King’s College London. Her current research project centers on Israeli counterterrorism and hybrid terrorist organizations. Prior to this, she was a Senior Research Assistant for Arab-Israeli Relations at the Brookings Institution’s Center for Middle East Policy (CMEP) in Washington, D.C. Lauren previously completed her BA in international affairs from George Washington University, and a JD/MA in international relations at Syracuse University.  Her broader academic interests relate to international security, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and U.S. national security and counterterrorism policy. You can follow her on Twitter @Lauren_M04


Henry Redwood – Senior Editor

Henry is a PhD candidate in War Studies at King’s College London where his thesis focuses on the production of history at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. With both an MA and BA in History from the University of Bristol, Henry has worked with the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), and Centre Marembo which works with street children and vulnerable persons in Kigali.

Zoha Waseem – Senior EditorZoha_Picture-smaller

Zoha is a PhD candidate at the Department of War Studies, and head of the Afghan Research Group at King’s College London. Her research explores the relationship of urban violence with the state, society and individuals in mega-cities of the global South. Her primary area of research is Karachi, Pakistan, but she is broadly interested in South Asian politics, foreign policy, religious extremism and organised crime. You can follow her on Twitter @ZohaWaseem

Fernanda Ribeiro – Graduate Representative and Editor

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Fernanda is currently reading for an MA in International Peace and Security at
King’s College London. She holds a BA in Law from Universidade Federal da Bahia (Brazil) and an MA in International Public Law and Administration from the École Nationale d’Administration (France). As part of the Brazilian Foreign Service, she has lived in Switzerland, Myanmar, and France and travelled extensively before moving to London. She is particularly interested in security issues, conflict resolution, and gender and post-conflict governance.

Yuji Develle – Undergraduate Representative and Editor

A French and Japanese binational reading a B.A. (Hons) in War Studies, Yuji has dedicated himself towards research on the edges of conflict studies: in emerging security issues and geopolitics/economics. Having previously been President of the KCL United Nations Association and currently Editor of Dialogue Magazine’s Emerging Securities Section, he hopes to rely on this experience towards opening up Strife Blog to an even greater share and quality of audience. You can follow him on Twitter @YDevelle.

Dimitris Baltakos – Series Editor


Dimitris has served as Head of Operations and Training at the Antiterrorism Unit of the Greek Navy Seals, overseeing and conducting Direct Action and VBSS operations. He graduated from the Hellenic Naval Academy and is currently pursuing postgraduate studies at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London. In parallel, he is a Research Assistant at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence (ICSR). Upon completion, he will join the Changing Character of War Programme, as Visiting Research Fellow, at Pembroke College, Oxford.  He is a graduate of the ‘Leadership in Crisis: Preparation and Performance’ program at Harvard University and of the ‘Special Operations Planning Course’ at Joint Special Operations University (JSOU), Unites States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). His academic interests include Immigration and Violent non-State Actors, both from a security and legal perspective. In his free time, he enjoys free-falling, participating in Ironman Triathlons and diving with Rebreathers. You can follow him on Twitter @DimBaltakos.

Cheng Lai Ki – Series Editorimage1

Formerly with the Singapore Armed Forces, Cheng holds a Bachelor’s Honors degree in Criminology. He is currently undertaking his MA in International Intelligence an Security at King’s where his academic interests revolve around private military and security companies and their roles as security by proxy in the contemporary security theatre, and more broadly in international security and intelligence sectors.

Andrea Varsori – Series Editor 


Andrea is an MPhil candidate at the Department of War Studies. His research project focuses on security issues in mega-cities of the Global South: in particular, he is interested in understanding the role of the urban environment in shaping organized political violence. Andrea holds an MA in International and Diplomatic Sciences from the University of Bologna; he is also an alumnus from the Institute of Advanced Studies at the same university. His main interests include the evolution of insurgency, urban riots, the crisis of classic state sovereignty, civil wars and, generally, all forms of global mayhem.

Annabelle Vuille – Series Editor AV_TS-050

Annabelle is currently based in Switzerland and in her final year of the MA programme in International Relations and Contemporary War at the Department of War Studies at King’s College London. Having studied International Business in Rome, she is specifically interested in applying her economic background to the sphere of conflict and security. Her main research interest is the interplay between geopolitics and energy security, particularly in the maritime domain.

Alexandria Reid – Social Media Coordinator 

Alexandria is currently a 3rd year undergraduate in War Studies. Her academic interest focuses on East Asian politics, looking at the theoretical and practical possibility that cooperation over non-traditional security issues including energy, food security and environmental issues can help mitigate some of the barriers to integration and cooperation faced by the region. You can follow her on Twitter @AlexHREID

Pablo de Orellana – Founder

Pablo de Orellana is PhD Candidate at the War Studies Department, King’s College London. His interests include diplomacy, critical theory, nationalism, part-taking in democracy and contemporary fine art. Pablo is the founder of the Strife initiative and served as Editor-in-Chief in the first year of Strife’s existence.


Strife would also like to thank, for all their wonderful work, the previous editorial committee: Charlie de Rivaz, Thomas Colley, Eugenio Lilli, Christy Quinn, Sebastian Åsberg, Maya Ehrmann, Isobel Petersen, Marike Woolard, Talar Demirdjian and those before them. We are also grateful to the Department of War Studies at King’s College London, as well as Dr. Christine Cheng, Professor Vivienne Jabri, Professor Mervyn Frost, Professor Jack Spence, OBE and Professor Joe Maiolo for their continuous support.


DISCLAIMER: The views expressed on this blog are attributable to their individual authors writing in their personal capacity only, and not to any other author, the editors, or any other person, organizations or institutions with which the author might be affiliated unless explicitly stated as such.