Dr Nicholas Barker BA, MSc, MPhil, DPhil

Dr Nicholas Barker

Department of Political Science and International Studies
Teaching Fellow

Contact details

Department of Political Science and International Studies
Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Nicholas completed a DPhil in International Relations at the University of Oxford and his Post-Doctoral project entitled 'Who rules where over whom when the fighting stops? Advancing research on war to peace transitions and post-war environments', is based on and will extend his doctoral research, explaining state and secessionist strategies in aftermath of separatist wars, with a regional focus on the Caucasus and the Balkans. His primary research interests are the causes, character and consequences of armed conflict with wider interests in international security, conflict management, and qualitative research methods and research ethics, particularly in relation to field research in conflict-affected areas.


  • DPhil in International Relations, University of Oxford, 2020
  • MPhil in Political Science, Central European University, 2013
  • MSc in Global Politics, Birkbeck, University of London, 2010
  • BA in Philosophy, University of Bristol, 2008


Nicholas is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow currently undertaking an ESRC-funded project based on his doctoral research. In addition to completing a DPhil at the University of Oxford (Nuffield College), he has studied and held visiting positions at the Peace Research Institute Oslo, the Caucasus Research Resource Centre (Tbilisi), Yale University, Central European University, the University of London, and the University of Bristol. He has worked as a research assistant at the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict and he is a member of the ECPR Research Network Statehood, Sovereignty and Conflict.

Nicholas has conducted field research in Georgia, Abkhazia, Serbia and Kosovo, and archival research at the United Nations. He is one of the founders and co-organisers of the Workshop on Conflict Dynamics, an annual workshop organised by and for early career researchers. Outside of academia, he has worked for a political polling company, as a Teacher of English as a Foreign Language, and has worked for a local peacebuilding NGO in Georgia as part of a European Voluntary Service project.


Research interests

  • Armed conflict and war to peace transitions, particularly secessionist conflicts
  • international security and conflict management
  • qualitative research methods and research ethics

Current projects

'Who rules where over whom when the fighting stops? Advancing research on war to peace transitions and post-war environments' (ESRC-funded postdoctoral research fellowship).