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Annette Idler

Annette Idler

(DPhil in Development Studies, MA in International Relations)

Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Politics and International Relations and at Pembroke College; Director of Studies, Changing Character of War Centre
+44 (0)1865 278834
Pembroke College

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 RelationsUniversity 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.


Research Interests

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:

Ongoing Projects:

Recently Completed Projects:

Civil wars Conflict management International relations International security Violence security and conflict



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 Politics17 (4), 2019, 1237-1238; A. Siaroff, Choice, 56 (10), 2019; J. Botero, SemanaApril 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.

Cover for Borderland Battles



portada Fronteras Rojas




  • “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 CrisisJournal 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)






  • Idler, A, (2018) 'Borderland Battles: Violence, Crime, and Governance at the Edges of Colombia’s War'


Journal article