Parallel session
Postwar armed group relations

Post-conflict environments are complex, and the trajectories and behavior of armed groups play an integral part for understanding stability and peace after war. This session brings together leading scholars on the dynamics of armed groups, postwar politics, the rule of law, and state building. They will explore why and when armed actors participate in elections, what we need to know about postwar elections and their relationship to stability, and how different state building efforts such as the strengthening of legal institutions can help counter violence. 


Sarah Z. Daly | Aila M. Matanock | Mara Revkin | Erica Gaston | Discussant and Q&A


Laura Torvinen | Chair

Laura Torvinen is Senior Adviser of the Department for Development Policy at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland (MFA). Torvinen was Director of the Unit for Development Financing Institutions.  At the Ministry, she has served, among other things, as Adviser in the Department for Development Policy and in the Unit for UN and General Global Affairs. She has gained experience of the Diplomatic Service in, for example, the Embassy of Finland in Maputo and Finland's Permanent Representation to the EU in Brussels. Torvinen has also served at the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Agriculture of Mozambique, Finn Church Aid,  and the Service Centre for Development Cooperation (KEPA). She joined the Ministry in 1991.

Sarah Z. Daly | Presenter

Sarah Zukerman Daly is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Columbia University. She has been a visiting associate research scholar in Latin American Studies at Princeton University, a pre-doctoral fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University, and a post-doctoral fellow in the Political Science Department and at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University. Before joining the faculty at Columbia, she was Assistant Professor of Political Science and Faculty Fellow at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies and the Kroc Institute for International Peace at the University of Notre Dame.

Aila M. Matanock | Presenter

Aila M. Matanock is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research addresses how international actors engage in fragile states. Her Cambridge University Press book, Electing Peace: From Civil Conflict to Political Participation, on post-conflict elections won the 2018 Charles H. Levine Memorial Book Prize. Her work also appears in academic journals and policy-oriented forums. 

Mara Revkin | Presenter

Mara Revkin is an incoming Associate Professor of Law at Duke University (2022-) and currently the National Security Law Fellow at the Georgetown University Law Center. Her research and teaching focus on armed conflict, peace-building, transitional justice, migration, policing, and property using empirical mixed methods (qualitative and quantitative) with a regional focus on the Middle East. Her work is informed by field research and professional experience with humanitarian and human rights organizations in Iraq, Syria, Egypt, and Oman. 

Erica Gaston | Presenter

Dr Erica Gaston is the Senior Policy Advisor and Head of the Conflict Prevention and Sustaining Peace Programme at United Nations University Centre for Policy Research. Prior to joining UNU-CPR, Dr Gaston worked for 15 years as a practitioner, lawyer and conflict analyst, focusing in particular on issues of conflict-related human rights and civilian protection, rule of law development and security sector reform, and proxy and sub-State conflict dynamics. She has significant field experience in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, and Pakistan, among others.

Olli Ruohomäki | Discussant

Olli Ruohomäki is a visiting senior researcher at FIIA. His areas of expertise are Afghanistan, Middle East, South Asia, South-East Asia, Horn of Africa, terrorism, non-state actors and asymmetric warfare, fragile states, peace processes and reconstruction, Development policy, and foresight.