Kristen A Harkness, Lecturer


Dr Kristen A Harkness is a lecturer in the School of International Relations at the Univeristy of St Andrews. She was previously a postdoctoral fellow at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame after earning her PhD in Comparative Politics and International Relations from Princeton University in 2012.

Research areas

Dr Harkness' research interests lie at the intersection of ethnic politics and conflict studies, with a regional focus on Africa. She is engaged in several ongoing research projects that share a substantive focus on understanding the role of ethnicity in shaping the causes and dynamics of violence and a methodological focus on creating original large-N datasets through intensive archival research.


Peer-reviewed articles:

  • "Military Loyalty and the Failure of Democratization in Africa: How Ethnic Armies Shape the Capacity of Presidents to Defy Term Limits." Forthcoming. Democratization.
  • The Ethnic Army and the State: Explaining Coup Traps and the Difficulties of Democratization in Africa." 2016. Journal of Conflict Resolution 60(4): 587-616.
  • US Security Assistance in Africa: The Case for More.” 2015. Parameters 45(2): 13-24.
  • Military Maladaptation: Counterinsurgency and the Politics of Failure” (with Michael Hunzeker). 2015. Journal of Strategic Studies 38(6): 777-800.
  • The Strategy Project: Teaching Strategic Thinking through Crisis Simulation” (with Michael Hunzeker). 2014. PS: Political Science & Politics 47(2): 513-17.



  • Issues in IR (IR2006) - contributes lectures on Ethnic Conflict
  • Rebellion and Revolution (IR3060)
  • Force and Statecraft (IR4548)
  • International Security (IR5001)
  • Research Methods in IR (IR5601) - contributes lectures on Causal Inference
  • Curriculum Design and Assessment (ID5102) - contributes a case study on innovative teaching practice.

PhD supervision topics

Topics include:

  • civil-military relations
  • ethnic conflict
  • african politics
  • democratization.

Further information

You may also be interested in Dr Harkness' personal website.