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Christopher Michael Faulkner

Postdoctoral fellow - National Security Affairs Department - U.S. Naval War College, US Naval War College

I am currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in the National Security Affairs (NSA) Department at the United States Naval War College where I teach courses on Foreign Policy Analysis as part of the National Security Decision Making and Theatre Security Decision Making core curriculum.

Previously, I served as a Postdoctoral Researcher with the University of Central Florida (May-July 2021) and as 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, and Global Health.

I earned my Ph.D. in Security Studies from theSchool 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 research interests, but my primary area of research examines the determinants and dynamics of rebel groups’ recruitment of child soldiers as well as the consequences for states that employ children in their national military or paramilitary units. In my research I often utilize a mixed-methods approach including statistical modeling, case-studies, and semi-structured interviews. In my dissertation research and several follow-up projects I examine rebel group behavior across a global sample of violent non-state armed groups with specific attention given to a number of distinct rebel groups operating within sub-Saharan Africa as well as Kurdish militants in Turkey, Syria, and Iraq.

In addition to my research on child soldiering and civilian victimization in conflict, my ongoing research projects include addressing questions on rebel financing and conflict dynamics private military/security companies (PMSCs) and civil war, civil-military relations and prospects for democratization or democratic backsliding, and terrorism and counterterrorism effectiveness. To date, my research has been published or is forthcoming in outlets such as African Security, Africa Spectrum, Civil Wars, Conflict Management and Peace Science, the Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, Democratization, European Journal of International Relations, International Studies Quarterly, Small Wars & Insurgencies, and Third World Quarterly. I also aim to contribute to several academic/policy outlets such as The Conversation, Duck of Minerva, 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
    Making Waves: Militant Maritime Operations Along Africa's Eastern Coast, War on the Rocks
  • 2020
    Mutiny in Africa 1950-2018, Democratization
  • 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
    Funding, capabilities and the use of child soldiers, Third World Quarterly
  • 2019
    Unwelcomed? The Effects of Statelessness on Involuntary Refugee Repatriation in Bangladesh and Myanmar, The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs
  • 2019
    Reassessing private military and security company (PMSC)‘competition ‘in civil war: lessons from Sierra Leone, Small Wars and Insurgencies
  • 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