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 come from a wide range of backgrounds including graduate and doctoral researchers, staff and faculty at King’s, and leading experts from around the world.

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?

Andrea Varsori – Editor-in-Chief, Strife Blog and Journal 

Andrea is a PhD candidate at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London, as well as the Editor-in-Chief of Strife. His research focuses on the strategy of urban armed groups in the Global South, in particular on their decision-making processes and their methods of territorial control. Andrea holds an MA in International and Diplomatic Sciences from the University of Bologna; he is also an alumnus of the Institute of Advanced Studies at the same university. His main interests include criminal organisations, drug trafficking networks, urban riots, and urban insurgencies. You can follow him on Twitter @Andrea_Varsori.



Nikolai Gourof – Managing Editor, Strife Journal

Nikolai is a historian and a PhD 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.


William Moray – Managing Editor, Strife Blog

William is an MA candidate in Intelligence & Intelligence Security at King’s College London. He previously completed his BA in War Studies from King’s, and also was Strife‘s BA representative in 2016-17. William is a French and British binational. His research interests include intelligence and the history of intelligence, terrorism, nuclear proliferation and the relations between Russia and the West. He has achieved a King’s Undergraduate Research Fellowship (KURF) during his BA. Prior to King’s, he has worked in the media, HR and the charity sector in France and the UK. You can follow him on Twitter @WilliamMoray.



Jente Althuis – Senior Editor

Jente is a doctoral researcher in the King’s Centre for Strategic Communications, part of the Department of War Studies at King’s College London. She specialises in urban warfare, strategic communications, and related urban security topics in African and Middle Eastern cities. Her PhD project assesses insurgents’ use of urban space to convey revolutionary messages and mobilise urban populations, currently focusing on Johannesburg, South Africa. She has previously worked with the University of Leiden, the Africa Programme at Chatham House, and the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence in Riga, Latvia, for which she is co-editor and contributing author of the join KCSC-NATO SratCom COE publication Fake News: A Roadmap. She holds an undergraduate degree in Policy Science and International Development from the University of Leiden, and a postgraduate degree in Conflict, Security and Development from the Department of War Studies. You can follow her @JenteAlthuis.


John A. Pennell – Senior Editor

John is a doctoral researcher in the Defence Studies Department (DSD) within the School of Security Studies at King’s College London. His PhD is focused upon asymmetric warfare as it relates to Russia’su intervention in Ukraine. In addition to specific research interests in Ukraine, Russia, and other former Soviet states, his broader research interests include the role of soft power in conflict; strategic thought; unconventional warfare; and the Middle East.

John is also a Career Member of the U.S. Senior Foreign Service, currently serving in Kyiv, Ukraine. His prior assignments have included Afghanistan, El Salvador, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, and Uzbekistan. He has an M.S. in National Security Strategy from the National Defense University/National War College (Washington, DC), an M.A. in Political Science from American University (Washington, DC), and a B.A. in Politics from The Catholic University of America (Washington, DC).

You can follow him on Twitter @jpennell1970 .


Daria Platonova  – Senior Editor

Daria is a PhD student at King’s College London. Her research focuses on violence and the unfolding of conflict across several regions in eastern Ukraine, 2013 – 2014. She also leads one of the Causes of War seminars at the War Studies Department. Prior to joining King’s, she worked as a teacher. She graduated with a degree in History from the University of Cambridge in 2011. Her broader interests include European history, war studies, and interdisciplinary methods.


Anna Plunkett – Senior Editor

Anna is a doctoral researcher in the Department of War Studies, King’s College London. She received her BA in Politics and Economics from the University of York, before receiving a scholarship to continue her studies at York with an MA in Post-War Recovery. She was the recipient of the Guido Galli Award for her MA dissertation. Her primary interests include conflict and democracy at the sub-national level, understanding how minor conflicts impact democratic realisation within quasi-post conflict states. Her main area of focus is Burma’s ethnic borderlands and ongoing conflicts within the region. She has previously worked as a human rights researcher focusing on military impunity in Burma and has conducted work on evaluating Bosnia’s post-war recovery twenty years after the Dayton Peace Accords. You can follow her in Twitter @AnnaBPlunkett


Kamaldeep Sandhu – Senior Editor

Kamaldeep Singh Sandhu is a part-time doctoral student at the Defence Studies Department, King’s College London. He is currently researching on India’s defence diplomacy in the 21st century. His other research interests include South Asian security and military culture. Kamaldeep is an alumni of National Defence Academy, Pune as well as Army War College, Mhow. He has served as an officer with the Indian army’s Parachute Regiment for ten years. Thereafter he graduated in MA, ‘War in the Modern World’ from the department of War Studies at King’s College London in 2014.
You can find him on Twitter @kamal_sandhu78


Shivali Bhatt – Series Editor

Shivali is currently pursuing her MA Intelligence and International Security at Department of War Studies, King’s College London. She is also a Creative Writer at cybersecurity startup PixelPin, where she contributes articles on ‘Thought Leadership’, encouraging readers to approach security issues through innovative means. Prior to that, she spent some time in Hong Kong under the InvestHK and EntrepreneurHK organisations, engaging with the cybersecurity and tech scene on the East Coast. Her core research interests include modern warfare and contemporary challenges, cybersecurity, and strategic policy analysis. You can follow her  on @shivalinbhatt


Andrea Fischetti – Series Editor

Andrea (@A_Fischetti) is a MEXT scholar and conducts research on Japan’s national identity and East Asian Security at the University of Tokyo. He recently earned his MA in War Studies from King’s College London. Andrea previously earned a BA with First Class Honours in International Relations, Peace and Conflict Studies and worked for a year in the House of Commons. A recipient of the JASSO Scholarship (日本学生支援機構) he was a visiting student at the Hiroshima Peace Institute of Hiroshima City University. More information about Andrea can be found at www.about.me/afischetti



Felix Manig – Series Editor

Following his undergraduate studies in Political Science and North American Studies at Freie Universität Berlin and Duke University, Felix is currently pursuing his MA in International Relations at the Department of War Studies. His research focuses on global governance, conflict resolution, and cybersecurity in international relations. He previously worked for the United Nations Association of Germany and the Center for Strategic Studies in Amman, Jordan. You can follow him on Twitter @felix_manig.


Marissa Young – Series Editor

Marissa is pursuing her MA in Conflict, Security, and Development. Previously, she completed her undergraduate studies in Political Studies and History at Queen’s University, Canada. Additionally, she is the former the Program Editor for Women in Security with the NATO Association of Canada, and has also conducted research at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto in G7/20 Diplomacy and Global Health Security. Her research interests centre around gender, where she focuses on sexual misconduct within the armed forces and UN operations. You can follow her on twitter @Marissa_JYoung.


Giulia Monteleone – Masters Representative

Giulia is pursuing an MA in Conflict, Security and Development in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London, where she completed her BA in International Relations in 2017. She works as Graduate Research Assistant in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at KCL, researching on the Egyptian uprising and the Egyptian diaspora in the UK. She previously gained work experience in foreign affairs at governmental level and broadcasting at community media level.
Her academic interests focus on social movements and popular politics, Arab Uprisings, diaspora & migration studies. You can follow her on Twitter: @GiuliaMonteleon.


Carlyn Greenfield – Undergraduate Representative

Carly is a final year student reading International Relations in the Department of War Studies. She focuses primarily on security in Latin America, with her research centering on transnational criminal organizations, human security, and gendered experiences. While studying she has interned at the United States Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of State, with work related to Mexico and Central America. You can follow her on Twitter @carlygreenpeel.


Strife would also like to thank, for all their wonderful work, the previous editorial committee: Harris KuemmerleHemant Shivakamur, Devorah Margolin, Bradley Lineker, Sabina Ciofu, Lauren Dickey, Lauren Mellinger, Sarah Choong Ee Mei, Iona Allan 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.

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