Chuck Thiessen


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Personal profile


Dr Chuck Thiessen is a scholar and practitioner whose academic research has focused on international peacebuilding processes in Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Israel/Palestine, Northern Ireland, Somalia, and other war-torn contexts. He is currently interested in:

  • The growing use of 'preventing violent extremism' (PVE) approaches to peacebuilding across the globe.
  • The ethics of international intervention in contexts of war with a special focus on local ownership.
  • The way that new emerging interveners relate to conventional interveners in post-war contexts.

Dr Thiessen has consulted for the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund and several other international and local organisations in Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan and has managed a variety of peacebuilding and development projects in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Palestine, and Turkey. He is currently the Principal Investigator for two UK Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) projects: 1) a UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) project exploring intervention and economic justice in 5 conflict zones and 2) a British Academy project exploring international intervention and preventing violent extremism in the Sahel, Africa. Prior to his current position, Dr Thiessen worked as the Research Manager for a peacebuilding NGO in Kabul, Afghanistan.


Research Interests

  • Post-war international development and peacebuilding interventions; conflict and development; statebuilding; the prevention of violent extremism; international norms and civil society; local ownership; international organizations; and international conflict resolution and analysis.

Vision Statement

I am quite concerned with the growing dissatisfaction with and local resistance to international peacebuilding interventions across the globe. It appears that some of this discontent results from the international-domestic relationship in these war-affected contexts. Thus, I am interested in contributing to current peacebuilding/intervention literature by exploring potential revisions to current peacebuilding practice and agendas that ensure increased local ownership of peacebuilding activities and are inclusive of a broader range of local actors. Methodologically, I aim to provide an active voice to on-the-ground development and peacebuilding leaders and local populations in my research.


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