Dr Anna Matveeva
Honorary University Fellow
I published extensively on the issues of politics and security in Central Asia and the Caucasus, and also write for the Guardian’s Comment is Free column on Russian politics and society.
My main research areas are
Islamist appeal among the youth in the North Caucasus – this research theme developed out of the recent Saferworld project and field research conducted in
Gender aspects of conflict and international peacebuilding: a quest from society, an essential tool for peacebuilding or a donor-driven agenda? This research theme has two sides: firstly, the roles that women take in violent conflict situations and how gender issues work in conflict escalation; and secondly, the exploration of what women’s peacebuilding amounts to, and to what extend it is viable of its own accord, when it is not propped up by the international community.
I am a Soviet Russian by birth and live in North London. Prior to settling in the UK, I graduated from the School of Oriental and African Studies of the Moscow State University, did my PhD at the Institute of Oriental Studies, specialising in Afghanistan, and worked as a lecturer at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. In Britain I first worked as an academic at the London School of Economics International Relations Department, and subsequently moved into practical conflict resolution, taking a position as a head of the Former Soviet Union Programme at International Alert (IA), a UK NGO working on issues of conflict and peace globally. My focus at IA was on problem-solving between ethnic and political entrepreneurs in Dagestan, and I set up the first confidence-building process between Georgian and Abkhaz civil society actors. I then joined the policy world by taking an appointment at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, where my first major academic works were published: a short book on ‘The North Caucasus: Russia’s Fragile Borderlands’ and ‘Democratisation, Legitimacy and Political Change in Central Asia’ in International Affairs.
After that, I worked at Saferworld, which took me to the conflicts in the Balkans, and at UNDP, for whom I continue to work as a consultant. My consultancy career in conflict analysis and peacebuilding has taken me outside the former Soviet area to countries including Indonesia (Aceh), Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, China, Colombia and Ghana.
I returned to academia to be an associate senior fellow at the Crisis States Research Centre at the Department of International Development of the LSE.