Kars de Bruijne

Senior Research Fellow


  • Conflict and Fragility
  • Security and Justice
  • Security and Defence
  • Strategic Foresight

Kars de Bruijne is a Senior Research Fellow with the Clingendael's Conflict Research Unit. He is the Head of the Sahel programme focusing on the role that local and customary authorities can play on governance provision and stability. His academic research on West Africa explores the effect of information asymmetry on political violence, how armed actors target customary authorities, and how regimes control subnational power.

Kars obtained a PhD in Conflict Studies at the University of Groningen (2016). He has held various positions that revolved around understanding and mitigating violent conflict, including leading various desks at ACLED (Syria, South America, West Africa). He is also a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Sussex on African regimes and elite violence (since 2018). His work is driven by a commitment to evidence-based research where he prefers mix-method research with a quantitative twist. Kars controls a wide range of research-methods including oral history interviewing, deep hanging out, FGDs, process-tracing, archival research, regression analysis, content analysis, and game theory. He carried out fieldwork in Ghana (2012), Turkey (2008/2009), and Slovenia (2014) and extensive research in Cote d’Ivoire (2019), Vanguard members of the Revolutionary United Front (2012-2015), Sierra Leone street gangs, and party militias (2018-2019).

A list of selected publications can be found here

My work



Conflict and Fragility

Despite military progress, it’s not going well in Northern Benin

06 December 2023 - 12:02
Conflict and Fragility

Chief or Big-Man Politics in Post-War Sierra Leone?

21 July 2023 - 10:07
Conflict and Fragility

Twilight Institutions

10 May 2023 - 18:00
Europe in the World

Christmas reads & must-watch videos 2022

22 December 2022 - 09:00
Conflict and Fragility

Malian army communications after massacres

21 December 2022 - 13:32
Conflict and Fragility

Self-defence groups, politics and the Sahelian State

14 December 2022 - 10:20
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