(DPhil in Development Studies, MA in International Relations)
Dr Annette Idler is Director of Studies at the Changing Character of War Centre, Senior Research Fellow at Pembroke College, and Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford. She is also Visiting Scholar at Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and Research Associate at the Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding, Graduate Institute Geneva. She holds a doctorate from the Department of International Development and St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford.
Her work focuses on global International Relations, especially global security. She researches the interface of armed conflict and transnational organised crime, and the implications for security architectures, peace building and governance. She is particularly interested in the role that diverse types of violent non-state groups play in these dynamics. Among other areas, she focuses on the political economy of borderlands as spaces where criminal, terrorist and conflict dynamics converge. Methodologically, she is fascinated by the use of ethnographic methods in Political Science and International Relations, as well as multi-methods research. She has conducted extensive fieldwork in war-torn and crisis-affected regions, including in and on Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Myanmar and Kenya (on Somalia).
Her projects include:
- The Changing Character of Conflict Platform: Understanding, Tracing and Forecasting Change across Time, Space and Cultures, funded by AHRC/ESRC (Principal Investigator)
- Transitions and Social Cohesion in Contexts of Multiple Crises, funded by the OX/BER Initiative (Principal Investigator, with Sérgio Costa)
- From Conflict Actors to Architects of Peace: Promoting Security and Development across Borders, funded by Canada Global Affairs (Principal Investigator)
- From Conflict Actors to Architects of Peace: Justice, Peace, and Politics in the Creation of a Lasting Peace in Colombia’s Marginalised Regions, funded by the Oxford-Berlin Research Partnership Seed Grant (Principal Investigator, with Sérgio Costa)
- Beyond the War on Drugs: The International Drug Control Regime in the 21st Century (in collaboration with Juan Carlos Garzón, Woodrow Wilson Center)
Recently Completed Projects:
- From Conflict Actors to Architects of Peace: Changing Security Landscapes Viewed from the Margins, funded by the UK Global Challenges Research Fund, Higher Education Funding Council for England (Principal Investigator)
- From Conflict Actors to Architects of Peace: Promoting Human Security in Colombia and Internationally, funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Principal Investigator)
- Implementing a Ceasefire and Ending Armed Conflict: How to enhance human security and cross-border development in Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela (Principal Investigator, in collaboration with UN Colombia)
- Putting Frontier Research into Action: Tackling Violent Non-state Groups in Peripheral Spaces (in collaboration with UN Colombia and the UN System Staff College)
- Towards Sustainable Peace in Colombia and the World: A Critical Perspective on Army Transformation
- Dynamics of War and Peace: Drama, Poetry, Music and Dance (in collaboration with Rama Mani, Theatre of Transformation)
- Negotiating with Armed Actors: Peace Communities in Colombia (in collaboration with Cécile Mouly and Belen Garrido, FLACSO Quito)
- ‘‘Borderland Battles: Violence, Crime, and Governance at the Edges of Colombia’s War” (New York: Oxford University Press, 2019).
Selected Reviews: J. Coltman-Cormier, Democracy and Security, January 2021; M. Brilman, Human Rights Quarterly, 42 (4), 2020; T. Long, International Affairs, 96 (2), 2020, 562-564; F. Cepeda, El País, February 2020; A. Steele, Perspectives on Politics, 17 (4), 2019, 1237-1238; A. Siaroff, Choice, 56 (10), 2019; J. Botero, Semana, April 2019; J. Vorrath, Sirius, 3 (3), 2019, C. Beach, Border Criminologies, October 2019; J. Puente, H-Borderlands, January, 2020; A. Rettberg, Harvard Review of Latin America, 2020.
Recognitions: Named as Top 5 Books in March 2020 by International Affairs, Named as Top 10 Books by Women published in 2019 by International Affairs.
- Transforming the War on Drugs: Victims, Warriors, and Vulnerable Regions (New York/London: Oxford University Press/Hurst Publishers, forthcoming in 2021). Co-edited with Juan Carlos Garzón Vergara.
- Fronteras Rojas: Una Mirada al Conflicto y el Crimen desde los Márgenes de Colombia, Ecuador y Venezuela (Bogotá: Penguin Random House), May 2021 (Spanish, updated version of Borderland Battles).
- The Logic of Illicit Flows in Armed Conflict: Explaining Variation in Violent Non-state Group Interactions in Colombia, World Politics, 72 (3), 2020.
- Gendering the Border Effect: The Double Impact of Colombian Insecurity and Venezuelan Mass Migration, Third World Quarterly, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1080/01436597.2020.1744130 (with Julia Zulver).
- “From the Margins of War to the Center of Peacebuilding: How Gendered Dynamics of Conflict Matter”, Journal of Global Security Studies, 2019 4 (2): 279–285.
- Preventing Conflict Upstream: Impunity and Illicit Governance across Colombia’s Borders, Defence Studies, 2018, 18 (1).
- “Jiu-Jitsu en Contexto de Conflicto Armado” (Translation: Jiu-Jitsu in the Context of Armed Conflict), Ciudad Paz-Ando, 2016 (9), 2: 155-167 (with Belén Garrido and Cécile Mouly).
- “How Peace Takes Shape Locally: The Experience of Civil Resistance in Samaniego, Colombia”, Peace and Change, 2016, 41 (2), 129-166 (with Cécile Mouly and Belén Garrido).
- “Peace Territories in Colombia: Comparing Civil Resistance in Two War-Torn Communities”, Journal of Peacebuilding and Development, 2015, 10(3), 1-15 (with Cécile Mouly and Belén Garrido).
- “Behavioral Patterns among (Violent) Non-State Actors: A Study of Complementary Governance”, Stability, 2015, 4(1):2, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/sta.er. (with James Forest)
- “Zones of Peace in Colombia’s Borderlands”, International Journal of Peace Studies, Summer 2015, 20 (1), 51-63. (with Cécile Mouly and Belén Garrido)
- “Power Unpacked: Domination,Empowerment and Participation in Local Guatemalan Peace Forums”, Journal of Peace, Conflict and Development, Issue 21, 2015. (with Lenin Miranda and Cécile Mouly)
- “Exploring Arrangements of Convenience made among Violent Non-state Actors’, Perspectives on Terrorism, September 2012, 6 (4-5).
- “Arrangements of Convenience in Colombia’s Borderlands: An Invisible Threat to Citizen Security?’, St. Antony’s International Review, 2012, 7 (2).
JOURNAL ARTICLES, BOOK REVIEWS AND BOOK CHAPTERS
- “Tracing Cocaine Supply Chains from Within: Illicit Flows, Armed Conflict, and the Moral Economy of Andean Borderlands”, in Arias, Desmond and Grisaffi, Thomas (eds.) The Governance of the Global Narcotics Trade, Duke University Press, forthcoming.
- “Mutual Recognition in the Context of Contested Statehood – Evidence from Tumaco, Colombia”, in Anna Geis, Maéva Clément, and Hanna Pfeifer, (eds.) Recognition of Armed Non-State Actors: Risks and Opportunities for Conflict, Manchester University Press, forthcoming (with Jan Boesten).
- COVID-19 in Colombia’s Borderlands and the Western Hemisphere: Adding Instability to a Double Crisis, Journal of Latin American Geography, 19 (3) (with Markus Hochmüller)
- Colombia: Organised Crime, Politics, and Convenience, in Allum, Felia and Gilmour, Stan, eds., Handbook of Organised Crime and Politics (Northampton: Edward Elgar Publishing), 2019.
- “Challenges in Colombia’s Changing Security Landscape: Toward a Shared Vision of Peace”, LASA Forum, 49 (3), 2018, 75-79 (with M. Alba Niño, J. Boesten, J. Masullo, A. B. Tickner and J. Zulver).
- “Between Shadow Citizenship and Civil Resistance: Shifting Local Orders in a Colombian War-Torn Community”, in Christopher Mitchell and Landon Hancock (eds.), Legitimacy and Local Peacebuilding, Routledge, 2018 (with C. Mouly and B. Garrido).
- Review of Drugs, Thugs, and Diplomats: U.S. Policymaking in Colombia, by Winifred Tate, Journal of Latin American Studies, February 2017 49 (1): 200-202, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022216X16002054.
- “Colombia and the Responsibility to Protect: Illustrating Pillars One and Two”, in Serrano, Mónica and Fuentes, Claudio, eds., The Responsibility to Protect in Latin America: the New Map, Routledge, forthcoming. (with Diego Dewar)
- “El Carácter Cambiante de la Guerra: El Mapa Actual de los Retos a la Seguridad” (Translation: The Changing Character of War: The Current Map of Security Threats), Transformación Militar. Revista de Difusión y Análisis, 2016, 1, 18-23.
- “When Peace Implies Engaging the Terrorist. Peacebuilding in Colombia by Talking to the Enemy?”, in Tellidis Y. and Toros H. eds., “The Nexus between Terrorism Studies and Peace and Conflict Studies” (Abingdon: Routledge), 2015. (with Borja Paladini)
- ‘‘Espacios Invisibilizados: Actores Violentos No-Estatales en las Zonas Fronterizas de Colombia” (Translation: Invisible Spaces: Violent Non-state Actors in Colombia’s Borderlands), in Koehler, Romy and Ebert, Anne (eds.), Las Agencias de lo Indígena en la Larga Era de la Globalización. Microperspectivas de su producción y representación desde la época colonial temprana hasta el presente. Estudios Indiana, Ibero-American Institute, (Berlin: Gebr. Mann Verlag), 2015, pp. 213-234.
- ‘‘The Transnationality of Conflict: Lessons Learned from Borderlands”, in Kalogeresis, A.,ed. Proceedings of the 2010 European Conference of the Association for Borderlands Studies (Thessaloniki: University of Thessaloniki), 2011, 185-204. (with Lindsay Scorgie)
POLICY BRIEFS AND REPORTS
- A borderland lens on hubs of protracted conflict, In Depth, Oxford Policy Management, May 2019. (with Natasha Leite and Yadaira Orsini)
- Violent Non-state Groups in the Future, in Global Trends to 2030: Shaping the Future in a Fast-Changing World, European Strategy and Policy Analysis System, November 2018, p. 14.
- Strategic Resources in 2030: Three Challenges for the Future of International Security. Background paper prepared for the World Economic Forum’s Geopolitics Series at Davos 2018, December 2017.
- The Future of International Security: Challenges for Responses to the World’s Changing Security Landscape. Discussion paper prepared for the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on International Security, November 2017.
- ‘Borders vulnerable as peace stalls in Colombia’, Jane’s Intelligence Review, November 2016.
- ‘Criminal Groups Hinder International Peacebuilding’, Oxford Analytica, October 2016.
- ‘Securing Peace in the Borderlands: A Post-Agreement Strategy for Colombia’, DPIR, University of Oxford, August 2016.
- ‘Poor Peacebuilding Risks Power Vacuums in Colombia’, Oxford Analytica, April 2016.
- ‘Stability Indexes can be Deceptive Tools‘, Oxford Analytica, October 2015.
- ‘State Neglect Fosters Global Illicitly-governed Spaces’, Oxford Analytica, July 2015.
- Organised Crime and Fragility: The Role of the Broker. Report for the Sector Programme Peace and Security, GIZ, January 2015.
- ‘Chávez’ Re-election: A Delusive Continuity?’, RUSI Newsbrief, November 2012, 32 (6).
- ‘Post-Americas Summit Outlook: Walking the Walk?’, RUSI Newsbrief, May 2012, 32 (3).
- ‘Citizen Security at the Summit of the Americas: Why Europe should Care.’, RUSI Newsbrief, March 2012, 32 (2).
ANALYSIS, COMMENTARY, AND OPINION PIECES
- Venezuelan migrants face crime, conflict and coronavirus at Colombia’s closed border, The Conversation, June 2020 (with Markus Hochmüller).
- The ‘border effect’ is allowing Venezuela’s crisis to fuel political violence in Colombia, LSE Blog, July 2019.
- Venezuela: a humanitarian and security crisis on the border with Colombia, The Conversation, February 2019.
- Colombia’s New Presidency and the Protection of Social Leaders, e-International Relations, August 2018 (with Jan Boesten).
- Venezuela’s instability has far broader implications – here’s what’s at stake. Washington Post, August 2017.
- Santos got the Nobel Prize for not giving up on peace – here’s why all Colombians won. The Conversation, October 2016.
- Colombia just voted no on its plebiscite for peace. Here’s why and what it means. Washington Post, October 2016.
- La verdadera prueba para la paz en Colombia empieza después del proceso de desmovilización. ¿Por qué?, OpenDemocracy and democraciaAbierta, September 2016 (also available in English).
- Why the real tests for Colombia’s peace begins after the demobilization process, Washington Post, September 2016.
- A momentous peace deal with the FARC – so what next for Colombia? The Conversation, August 2016.
- How Nonviolent Resistance Works: Factors for Successful Peacebuilding in Samaniego, Colombia, Political Violence @ a Glance, July 2016 (with Cécile Mouly and Belén Garrido)
- What will the peace process mean for Colombia’s border regions? The government will have to start governing, Washington Post, June 2016
- La línea entre la paz y la guerra está en las fronteras, Silla Vacía, April 2016
- Megateo, the armed groups and the future of Colombia’s Catatumbo, openDemocracy, October 2015 (also available in Spanish and Portuguese).
- ¿Qué significa la muerte de ‘Megateo’ para la gente del Catatumbo?, Semana, October 2015.
- Colombia’s Deal with the FARC could bring peace – or create a power vacuum, The Conversation, October 2015.
- A Humanitarian and Diplomatic Crisis is Unfolding on the Colombia-Venezuela Border, The Conversation, September 2015.
- The Colombia-Venezuela border crisis: the civilian backdrop, openDemocracy, September 2015.
- La población civil, víctima de la crisis fronteriza entre Colombia y Venezuela, democraciaAbierta, September 2015.
- El Índice Global de Paz 2015: ¿cómo vamos en Colombia?, Razon Publica, August 2015.
- Violent Non-state Actors and Complementary Governance: What ISIS, Hizballah and FARC Have in Common, Centre for Security Governance, June 2015.
- From The Field: Intuitive Trust Matters: Researching Conflict and Crime across Borders. Border Criminologies, June 2015.
- “Narco-brokers and Financiers: the Key Elements in the Cocaine Business”, EU Cocaine Route Programme: Combatting Transnational Organised Crime, March 2015.
- “Narco-brókers y Financieros: Piezas Claves del Narcotráfico”, Razón Pública, August 2014.
- “The Margins at the Centre of the FARC’s Future. A Response to Ivan Briscoe’s Piece on the Transition of the FARC in Colombia”, DAG-3QD Online Symposia on Peace & Justice, February 2014.
- “Security and the Post-Chávez Bolivarian Project: A Convenient Revolution for Free-riders?”, Politics in Spires, University of Oxford and University of Cambridge, March 2013.
- “Arrangements of Convenience among Violent Non-state Actors”, Extremis Project, December 2012.
TALKS AND PODCAST AVAILABLE ONLINE
- Borderland Battles: Violence, Crime, and Governance at the Edges of Colombia’s War, Harvard Center for International Development, Harvard University, February 2020, US.
- The Double Crisis: Insecurity and Humanitarian Plight at the Colombia-Venezuela Border, Harvard Growth Lab, Harvard University, December 2019, US.
- “International Security: Scholarship and Practice”, Panel Discussion at the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford, November 2015, Oxford, UK.
- “Fragile Alliances among Colombian Violent Non-state Actors”, Talk at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London, January 2015, London, UK.
- “Peace and Security in Colombia: Challenges Ahead”, Panel Discussion at International Institute of Strategic Studies, March 2014, London, UK
- “Illicitly Governed Spaces: Drugs, Conflict and Peace in Colombia”, Talk at the OxPeace 2013 Conference “The Future of Peace Building”, May 2013, Oxford, UK
NON-TEXTUAL RESEARCH OUTPUTS
- “The Dynamics of War and Peace“, multi-media performance, Enacting Global Transformation Initiative, Oxford and Geneva, 2016.
- Idler, A, (2018) 'Borderland Battles: Violence, Crime, and Governance at the Edges of Colombia’s War'
- Idler, A, (2019) 'Colombia: Organised Crime, Politics, and Convenience'
- Idler, A, (2018) 'Improving Responses to Protracted Conflict: Why Borderlands Matter for Upstream Engagement'
- Idler, A, Mouly, C, Belén Garrido, M, (2018) 'Between shadow citizenship and civil resistance: Shifting local orders in a Colombian war-torn community', p43-62
- Idler, A, Adell, BP, (2015) 'When peace implies engaging the 'terrorist': Peacebuilding in Colombia through transforming political violence and terrorism', p124-145
- Idler, A, (2020) 'The logic of illicit flows in armed conflict: explaining variation in violent non-state group interactions in Colombia', World Politics, vol. 72 (3) p335-376
- Zulver, J, Idler, A, (2020) 'Gendering the border effect: the double impact of Colombian insecurity and the Venezuelan refugee crisis', Third World Quarterly, vol. 41 (7) p1122-1140
- Idler, A, (2019) 'From the margins of war to the center of peace-building: How gendered security dynamics matter', Journal of Global Security Studies, vol. 4 (2) p279-285
- Idler, A, Mouly, C, Garrido, MB, (2018) 'Jiu-Jitsu en Contexto de Conflicto Armado', Ciudad Paz-Ando
- Idler, A, (2018) 'The Para-State: An Ethnography of Colombia's Death Squads', JOURNAL OF LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES, vol. 50 (4) p984-986
- Alba Niño, M, Boesten, J, Idler, A, Masullo, J, Zulver, J, (2018) 'Challenges in Colombia's changing security landscape: toward a shared vision of peace', Latin American Studies Association Forum, vol. 49 (3) p74-93
- Idler, A, (2018) 'Preventing conflict upstream: impunity and illicit governance across Colombia’s borders', Defence Studies, vol. 18 (1) p58-75
- Idler, A, (2017) 'Drugs, Thugs, and Diplomats: US Policymaking in Colombia', JOURNAL OF LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES, vol. 49 (1) p200-202
- Mouly, C, Garrido, MB, Idler, A, (2016) 'How Peace Takes Shape Locally: The Experience of Civil Resistance in Samaniego, Colombia', Peace & Change, vol. 41 (2) p129-166
- Idler, A, Belén Garrido, M, Mouly, C, (2015) 'Peace Territories in Colombia: Comparing Civil Resistance in Two War-Torn Communities', Journal of Peacebuilding and Development, vol. 10 (3) p1-15
- Idler, A, Mouly, C, Garrido, B, (2015) 'Zones of Peace in Colombia’s Borderlands', International Journal of Peace Studies
- Idler, A, Mouly, C, Miranda, L, (2015) 'Power unpacked: domination, empowerment and participation in local Guatemalan peace forums', Journal of Peace, Conflict and Development, vol. 21 p1-40
- Idler, A, Forest, JJF, (2015) 'Behavioral patterns among (violent) non-state actors: A study of complementary governance', Stability, vol. 4 (1)
- Idler, A, (2012) 'Exploring Arrangements of Convenience among Violent Non-state Actors', Perspectives on Terrorism
- Idler, A, (2012) 'Arrangements of Convenience in Colombia’s Borderlands: An Invisible Threat to Citizen Security?', St Antony's International Review
Dr Idler has appeared in numerous TV and radio interviews with media outlets such as BBC and Al Jazeera.