The overarching question of my research is: “How can armed conflicts be terminated?”. More specifically, in terms of research themes, my work can be summarized in two categories.
First, I want to know how the policies to terminate armed conflicts are designed. In my PhD thesis I analyzed why the European Union took specific policies to end the trade in natural resources that fund armed conflicts (“conflict resources”). For this reason, I have still a special interest in both European Union foreign policy and the link between natural resources and armed conflicts. I participate in the project EU-NORMCOM (Normative contestation in Europe: Implications for the EU in a changing global order) and I am a member of the research group “Observatory of European Foreign Policy” (both headed by Professor Esther Barbé). My current project, COEUS, goes to a more micro-level than my PhD thesis by analyzing the ideas and perceptions of individuals (experts, policymakers, the general public) about policies to terminate armed conflicts.
My second topic is to see what policies to terminate armed conflicts actually work. In my postdoctoral research project, GLONEXACO, I explored to what extent the local dynamics of such armed conflicts are influenced by external economic factors (sanctions, due diligence requirements, but also economic shocks…). In the project EU-SCAT I studied with two colleagues to what extent external threats or incentives influence the preferences of domestic audiences. In both cases, the effects were rather limited.