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International Law & Security PhD Candidate, University of Sussex

Katerina is a third year PhD candidate at University of Sussex School of Law. Her thesis “The Use and Regulation of Private Military Companies” builds on international law and historical sociology, analysing the use and legal status of mercenaries in different governmental forms from the fifteenth century onwards.

It focuses on the evolving relationship between the state and the military to understand the historical variability of the normative approaches to public and private military power.

Her research identifies patterns between the type of governance and the type of military it deploys, or is likely to deploy. In the current legal context, Katerina's enquiry challenges the widely accepted norm against the use of private force based on ethics and explains the discrepancy between the legal norms and state practice. She assesses if Private Military Companies could and should be a part of domestic and international security system, and whether the current regulation under International Law is fit to perform this function.

Finally, Katerina aims to propose implementable solutions that can be used in policy to drive regulatory change across the security sector and ensure appropriate classification of military actors.
Her research is supported by the Modern Law Review Scholarship and was presented at Harvard Law School Conference (IGLP) in 2015.

May 2013 – Sep 2016
PhD in Law and International and Security, University of Sussex
Thesis: The Use and Regulation of Private Military Companies

Sep 2009 – Sep 2010
LLM Law and International Security (Distinction), University of Sussex
Disseration: Post-Conflict Reconstruction in Kosovo

Sep 2005 – Jul 2009
BA (Hons) International Relations and French, University of Sussex

Sep 2007 – Jun 2008
Certificate in European Political Studies, Univérsité R. Schuman, Strasbourg, France


  • –present
    International Law & Security PhD Candidate, University of Sussex


  • 2010 
    University of Sussex, Distinction/LLM Law & International Security


  • 2016
    The Legal Issues Journal, Comanies of Past and Present. Lessons from the East India Company
  • 2016
    The Conversation, Why there's a case for bringing private armies in from the cold

Professional Memberships

  • Sussex Centre for Conflict and Security Research
  • Sussex Centre for Human Rights Research