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Christopher Michael Faulkner

Assistant Professor of National Security Affairs in the College of Distance Education, US Naval War College

I am currently an Assistant Professor of National Security Affairs in the College of Distance Education at the United States Naval War College. Before joining the College of Distance Education I was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the National Security Affairs (NSA) Department at the Naval War College from July 2021-August 2022.

Previously, I served as a Postdoctoral Researcher with the University of Central Florida (May-July 2021) working on several projects related to the human right to water and sanitation and was a Visiting Assistant Professor in International Studies at Centre College (August 2019-July 2021) where I instructed courses in Comparative Politics, International Relations, Research Design, National and International Security, African Politics, Child Soldiering, and Global Health.

I earned my Ph.D. in Security Studies from the School of Politics, Security, and International Affairs (August 2019) at the University of Central Florida. During the 2018-2019 academic year I was selected as a Minerva-Jennings Randolph Peace and Security Scholar at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP).

I have several overlapping research interests broadly focused on conflict dynamics and processes. My primary research centers on human security in armed conflict with specific attention on rebel recruitment strategies, militant financing and tactics, and foreign policy in combatting non-state armed groups. In my research I often utilize a mixed-methods approach including statistical modeling, case-studies, and semi-structured interviews.

In addition to my research on human security and militant behavior in conflict, my ongoing projects focus on private military and security companies (PMSCs), civil-military relations and prospects for democratization or democratic backsliding, maritime terrorism, and counterterrorism effectiveness. To date, my research has been published or is forthcoming in outlets such as African Security, Africa Spectrum, the British Journal of Politics & International Relations, Civil Wars, Conflict Management and Peace Science, the Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, Democratization, the European Journal of International Relations, International Studies Quarterly, Small Wars & Insurgencies, Third World Quarterly, and Water. I also aim to contribute to several academic/policy outlets such as The Conversation, Duck of Minerva, the Modern War Institute, the Combatting Terrorism Center, Political Violence at a Glance, and War on the Rocks.

I hold a B.A. (2008) in Political Science, MPA with a concentration on public management (2010), M.A. and Graduate Certificate in International Conflict Management and Resolution with a focus on International Security (2013) from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, and a Graduate Certificate in Intelligence and National Security (2018) from the University of Central Florida.


  • 2021–present
    Postdoctoral fellow, U.S. Naval War College
  • 2021–2021
    Postdoctoral research associate, University of Central Florida
  • 2019–2021
    Visiting assistant professor, Centre College
  • 2018–2019
    Peace and Security Scholar, United States Institute of Peace
  • 2016–2018
    Graduate Teaching Associate, University of Central Florida
  • 2014–2016
    Graduate Teaching Assistant, University of Central Florida
  • 2011–2014
    Adjunct faculty, University of North Carolina Wilmington


  • 2019 
    University of Central Florida, PhD - Security Studies
  • 2018 
    University of Central Florida, Graduate Certificate - Intelligence and National Security
  • 2013 
    University of North Carolina Wilmington, MA - Conflict Management and Resolution - National and International Security
  • 2010 
    University of North Carolina Wilmington, MPA - concentration in Public Management
  • 2008 
    University of North Carolina Wilmington, BA - Political Science


  • 2021
    Rebel Fragmentation and the Recruitment of Child Soldiers, International Studies Quarterly
  • 2020
    Mutiny in Africa 1950-2018, Democratization
  • 2020
    Making Waves: Militant Maritime Operations Along Africa's Eastern Coast, War on the Rocks
  • 2019
    Funding, capabilities and the use of child soldiers, Third World Quarterly
  • 2019
    Buying Peace? Civil War Peace Duration and Private Military & Security Companies, Civil Wars
  • 2019
    Rebel funding and child soldiers: Exploring the relationship between natural resources and forcible recruitment, European Journal of International Relations
  • 2019
    Reassessing private military and security company (PMSC)‘competition ‘in civil war: lessons from Sierra Leone, Small Wars and Insurgencies
  • 2019
    Unwelcomed? The Effects of Statelessness on Involuntary Refugee Repatriation in Bangladesh and Myanmar, The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs
  • 2018
    Give them toys? Military allocations and regime stability in transitional democracies, Democratization
  • 2017
    Mutiny in Côte d'Ivoire, Africa Spectrum
  • 2016
    Money and Control Rebel Groups and the Forcible Recruitment of Child Soldiers, African Security
  • 2014
    The Emergence of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the Effectiveness of US Counterterrorism Efforts., Global Security Studies

Grants and Contracts

  • 2018
    Minerva Research Initiative - United States Institute of Peace Dissertation Fellowship
    Peace and Security Scholar
    Funding Source:
    U.S. Department of Defense; United States Institute of Peace