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Durham University

Durham Global Security Institute

DGSi PhD Students

Alice Alunni

Alice Alunni is a PhD Candidate at the School of Government and International Affairs at Durham University and an International Development Consultant. Her PhD research focuses on theories of nationalism, diaspora and civil society in the Arab World with an emphasis on Libya. She acquired extensive experience in the past 10 years researching the MENA region - with a focus on Libyan politics, security, economy and society in the last 5 years - and collaborating with private institutes and international organisations such as the Overseas Development Institute, the German Marshall Fund, the International Labour Organisation, the SAIS Bologna Institute for Policy Research and the Centre for American Studies in Rome.

As an advisor to the British Council Middle East and North Africa Society team, since August 2015, and to the Libya team in Tripoli, where she was based in 2013 and 2014, she provides strategic and analytical insight by conducting scoping, evaluative, desk and field research, producing research outputs to inform civil society, governance, security and gender programming, and designing regional and country programmes. More recently, on the occasion of academic symposia, she consulted the UK National Security Council and UK military on the Islamic State, counter-terrorism strategies, SSR and DDR in Libya. She received her M.A. in International Relations and International Economics from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University (Bologna '09-Washington D.C. '10). She speaks English, Italian, French and studies Arabic.


Minako Asakura

Minako Asakura joined Durham University as a PhD candidate in 2014, specialising in policing in Uganda and South Sudan. Prior to moving to the United Kingdom, she worked for two separate police reform projects of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Afghanistan where she was involved in capacity building of local police.

As part of her doctoral research, in 2014 she conducted fieldwork on community-oriented policing initiatives in three locations in Uganda , including in the regions bordering with South Sudan. This fieldwork was supported by research grants from the School of Government and International Affairs (SGIA) and the Norman Richardson Postgraduate Research Fund (Ustinov College).

She holds a Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution from the Division of Peace Studies, University of Bradford.


Matteo Capasso

Matteo Capasso joined Durham University in 2013 as a PhD student in International Relations at the School of Government and International Affairs, being granted a 3.5 years ESRC award scholarship. He received his previous MA at Lund University in Sweden and worked under the supervision of Professor Eric Hooglund and Mark LeVine.

His research focuses on the practises of everyday resistance and defiance under the last two decades of the Qadhdhafi regime. The project tries to mould a multiplicity of theoretical perspectives, ranging from the Lacanian psychoanalytical tradition, through Foucault’s notion of governmentality, to J.C. Scott’s understanding of resistance. His interests include Libyan history and politics, psychoanalysis and study of power and capitalism, the struggle of the Palestinians under apartheid state, football and art of the Middle East. He is editor assistant of Middle East Critique.


Raphaela Kormoll

Raphaela Kormoll is a Doctoral Research Student in the School of Government and International Affairs and works as editor of the DGSi Working Paper Series. Her current research is centred on the analysis of relations between India and Pakistan in the Punjab borderland, drawing on Pierre Bourdieu's practice theory.

Before joining Durham University, she completed her MA in International Relations: International Studies at Leiden University (NL, 2012-13), after graduating from the BA (Hons) in Politics with International Relations at the University of York (UK, 2010-12). Her BA and MA theses focused on the role and influence of interpreters and nonverbal behaviour on international negotiations and involved the analysis of negotiation training programmes.

Lianne Vostermans

Lianne Vostermans joined Durham University as a PhD candidate in 2014. Her doctoral research concerns social mobilisation in the Lebanese civil war (1975-1990), paying particular attention to religious and secular currents.

Lianne holds an Msc in Defence, Development and Diplomacy at the Durham Global Security Institute. She additionally completed a postgraduate degree in Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Cambridge, where she researched the social psychological and cognitive neurological underpinnings of religious extremism. Her BA in Liberal Arts and Sciences was obtained at University College Utrecht.

Lianne’s doctoral research is supported by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).