Natasja Rupesinghe is a PhD fellow in the Research group on peace, conflict and development. She is also a DPhil candidate in International Relations in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford at Nuffield College. At Oxford she is a member of the T. E. Lawrence Program on the study of conflict.
Her research focuses on conflict, political violence, civilian agency and protection issues, as well as how states and international organisations like peace and counter-insurgency operations respond to violence and instability. She has conducted fieldwork in Mali, Somalia, Ethiopia and Sri Lanka.
Natasja Rupesinghe’s PhD project examines jihadist insurgencies in the Sahel region of West Africa, focusing on the cases of Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger. This research explores a number of interrelated questions including: why do jihadist insurgencies mobilise and develop local systems of rule in some localities and not others? Why do some establish local rule through the use of force and violence, while others employ legitimacy-building techniques, such as providing local justice? Why and how do some communities prevent jihadists from developing a presence in their villages, when doing so involves taking considerable risks? Her project is funded through the Norwegian Research Council’s FRIPRO (funding scheme for independent projects), as part of the NUPI-led international project “Jihadist Insurgent Governance in the Sahel”.
Prior to starting her doctorate, Rupesinghe has been a Research Fellow at NUPI on the Training for Peace Programme and was seconded as a policy officer to the African Union Peace Support Operations Division, at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa. She has an MSc in Conflict Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a BA in European Social and Political Studies specialising in International Relations and French at the University College London.
University of Oxford DPhil Candidate, Department of Politics and International Relations
London School of Economics and Political Science MSc in Conflict Studies
University College London Bachelor in European Social and Political Studies specialising in International Relations and French
Oslo International School International Baccalaureate
2018- Research Fellow, NUPI
2017 Policy Officer, Peace Support Operations Division, African Union Commission (seconded by Training for Peace Programme)
2016-2018 Junior Research Fellow, NUPI
2013 Intern, Human Rights Watch, London
2009 Intern, Relief International, Colombo
Publications All publications
Publication : Popular scientific article | 2021
The way jihadist insurgents in the Sahel governs differs between but also within groups. Jihadists do not follow strict ideological templates for imp1
Publication : Policy brief | 2021
The policy brief examines the rise of ad-hoc security initiatives (ASIs) as an established type of collective security mechanism. ASIs are intended t1
Publication : Report | 2019
Until 2016 MINUSMA managed to strengthen stability in northern Mali, decreasing the number of civilians killed in the conflict, and allowing large nu1
Publication : Report | 2019
This policy brief examines the processes of violent extremist mobilisation and radicalisation in Mopti, Central Mali. Specifically, it looks at the s1
Projects All projects
Research project | 2020 - 2024 (Ongoing)
This project is about jihadist insurgent governance in West Africa's Sahel region....
Research project | 2018 - 2021 (Ongoing)
NUPI together with 40 partners from across the globe have established an international network to undertake research into the effectiveness of peace operations....
Research project | 2017 - 2021 (Ongoing)
The aim of this project is to strengthen the ability of UN peace operations to respond to global security challenges and improve their effectiveness....
Research project | 2011 - 2019 (Completed)
The Training for Peace Programme (TfP Programme) is an international programme that contributes towards capacity building within the broader ambit of peace operations in Africa....
Events All events
EventTue 22 Jun 2021Time: 11:00 Europe/Oslo | Location: Microsoft Teams
Often depicted as “Islamic terrorists”, jihadist insurgent governance has rarely been systematically researched in the academic literature. In this seminar, we will discuss what the research tells us about how jihadists govern and why their governance differs not only between different groups but also within the same group.
EventTue 28 May 2019Time: 11:30 Europe/Oslo | Location: NUPI
On the occasion of the International Day of Peacekeeping, NUPI has the pleasure of inviting you to a seminar with a focus on the effectiveness of the UN missions in Mali and South Sudan.
Articles All articles
3 Jan 2022
What can we do to prevent war? How can countries emerging from conflict avoid relapse? How well do international peace operations actually work?