Professor Stefan Wolff

Professor Stefan Wolff

Department of Political Science and International Studies
Professor of International Security

Contact details

+44 (0)121 414 8230
+44 (0)121 414 3496
View my research portal
Department of Political Science and International Studies
School of Government
Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

A political scientist by background, Stefan Wolff specialises in the management of contemporary security challenges, especially in the prevention and settlement of ethnic conflicts and civil wars and in post-conflict state-building in deeply divided and war-torn societies.

Stefan Wolff Personal Webpage

Feedback and office hours

Mondays and Thursdays 9-10.30 during term time and excluding reading weeks.


  • Erstes Staatsexamen (Leipzig)
  • PhD (LSE)
  • MPhil (Cantab.)

Postgraduate supervision

Professor Wolff is happy to discuss research proposals related to:

Ethnic conflict and conflict resolution, including post-conflict reconstruction and international/humanitarian intervention
EU common security and defence policy, and European security more generally
German history and politics, including former East Germany, reunification, and German relations with Eastern Europe


Stefan Wolff is a political scientist by background, and specialises in the management of contemporary security challenges, especially in the prevention and settlement of ethnic conflicts and civil wars, and in post-conflict reconstruction, peace-building and state-building in deeply divided and war-torn societies. He has extensive expertise in Northern Ireland, the Balkans, Central and Eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union, and has also worked on a wide range of other conflicts elsewhere, including the Middle East, Africa, and Central, South and Southeast Asia. Bridging the divide between academia and policy-making, he has been, and is, involved in various phases of conflict settlement processes, including in Iraq, Sudan, Moldova, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Kosovo.

Other activities

Academically, other activities include my co-editorship of the journal Ethnopolitics and co-chairmanship of the PSA Specialist Group Ethnopolitics. I am also involved in a number of research projects, including a programme on Climate Change and African Political Stability Led by Professor Alan Kuperman at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the  Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law at The University of Texas at Austin.

Beyond academia, I regularly consult to governments and international organisations, particularly on issues of conflict management and resolution. Currently (and for the past several years), on of my main focal points in this respect is conflict resolution in Moldova.

I also write a semi-regular blog on a range of topics in international affairs and contribute UK and international print mediaand electronic media, including for The Conversation.

In July 2010 I gave a talk at the TEDGlobal conference on civil wars and ethnic conflict.

There is also a video interview I gave to PeerIndex in which I talk about the way in which social media have added a whole new and very valuable dimension to my work as an academic and conflict resolution practitioner that enables me to connect more and better with a broader audience.

I also write a regular column on intertational security -- Lupus de Bello -- for The Conversation


Recent publications


Malyarenko, T & Wolff, S 2018, The Dynamics of Emerging De-Facto States: Eastern Ukraine in the Post-Soviet Space. 1 edn, Routledge.

Wolff, S (ed.) 2018, Ethnic Conflict: Critical Concepts in Political Science. Critical Concepts in Political Science, 1st edn, Routledge.

Cordell, K & Wolff, S (eds) 2016, The Routledge handbook of ethnic conflict: Second edition. Taylor & Francis.


Fontana, G, Kartsonaki, A, Neudorfer, N, Walsh, D, Wolff, S & Yakinthou, C 2020, 'The dataset of political agreements in internal conflicts (PAIC)', Conflict Management and Peace Science.

Wolff, S 2020, 'Enhancing the robustness of causal claims based on case study research on conflict zones: observations from fieldwork in Donbas', Nationalities Papers.

Farooq, T, Lucas, S & Wolff, S 2020, 'Predators and Peace: Explaining the Failure of the Pakistani Conflict Settlement Process in 2013-4', Civil Wars.

Kemoklidze, N & Wolff, S 2019, 'Trade as a confidence-building measure in protracted conflicts: the cases of Georgia and Moldova compared', Eurasian Geography and Economics, pp. 1-27.

Malyarenko, T & Wolff, S 2018, 'The logic of competitive influence-seeking: Russia, Ukraine, and the conflict in Donbas', Post-Soviet Affairs, pp. 1-22.

Csergo, Z, Roseberry, P & Wolff, S 2017, 'Institutional Outcomes of Territorial Contestation: Lessons from Post-Communist Europe, 1989-2012', Publius, vol. 47, no. 4, pp. 491-521.

Beyer, J & Wolff, S 2016, 'Linkage and leverage effects on Moldova's Transnistria problem', East European Politics, vol. 32, no. 3, pp. 335-354.

Yakinthou, C, Wolff, S & Lucas, W 2016, 'Syria: Laying the Foundations for a Credible and Sustainable Transition', Journal of the Royal United Services Institute, vol. 161, no. 3, pp. 22-32.

Rodt, AP, Whitman, RG & Wolff, S 2015, 'The EU as an international security provider: The need for a mid-range theory', Global Society, vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 149-155.

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Cordell, K & Wolff, S 2016, The study of ethnic conflict: An introduction. in K Cordell & S Wolff (eds), The Routledge Handbook of Ethnic Conflict. 2nd edn, Routledge, pp. 1-12.

Wolff, S & Kupferberg, K 2015, Sudan: ‘Successful’ Constitutional Reform Spurs Localized Violence. in AJ Kuperman (ed.), Constitutions and Conflict Management in Africa: Preventing Civil War Through Institutional Design ., 5, National and Ethnic Conflict in the 21st Century Series, University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, pp. 96-114.


Wolff, S & Cordell, K 2016, Consociationalism. in S Wolff & K Cordell (eds), The Routledge Handbook of Ethnic Conflict: Second Edition. 2nd edn, Routledge, pp. 289-299.

View all publications in research portal


Foreign, security and development policy

Stefan Wolff is an expert in international conflict management who has worked as advisor on several peace processes, including in Yemen, Iraq, Cyprus, and Moldova. He is also frequently consulting to the UK government, the EU, the OSCE, and the UN.