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Ronit Berger Hobson

Lecturer Politics and International Relations, Queen's University Belfast

I am a lecturer in Politics and International Relations at Queen's University Belfast.

I hold a PhD and an MA in International Relations and Comparative Politics from Syracuse University, an MA in Diplomacy and Conflict Studies from Reichman University in Israel, and a Law degree (LLB) and a BA in Arts History from Tel Aviv University in Israel.

Prior to my academic life, I practiced law in Israel, mainly in the private sector, and volunteered with refugees, helping them attain their legal and social rights. I was also a sergeant in the Israeli Military.

My research interests lie within the realm of international security, broadly defined. Specifically, my research can be divided into two large fields of study – conflict processes on the one hand and the complexity of warfare on the other.

Within conflict processes, I am interested in the inner workings of violent non state actors. In my work I try to understand under what circumstances such organisations choose violence over cooperation. I examine how factors from the conflict setting, the organisational makeup, the relationship it has with diaspora communities, and the type of leaders it has, interact in shifting organisational strategic preferences. I focus on various aspects pertaining to the Northern Ireland conflict and to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and I conduct more general analysis of terrorist and insurgency movements using both qualitative and quantitative methods.

Within the complexity of warfare, I examine how military innovation and development change standard operating procedures and perceptions of threat in counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations, focusing on the changes that took place with the rise of special operation forces during and since World War II.

I am also interested in leadership and its effects on conflict processes. I use Leadership Trait Analysis to analyse leadership types and I examine leaders’ rhetoric. I compare political, military, and violent organisations’ leaders and examine whether their type and their rhetoric changes in times of contention versus times of cooperation.


  • –present
    Lecturer School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics, Queen's University Belfast