The Global Initiative Network

GIN Member

Annette Idler

Director of the Global Security Programme, Senior Research Fellow

Dr Annette Idler is the Director of the Global Security Programme, and Senior Research Fellow at Pembroke College and at the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford. She is also adjunct faculty at Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government, where she teaches on global security and transnational organised crime.

Dr Idler is Visiting Scholar (2019 – 2021) at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, where she is also affiliate at the Weatherhead Research Cluster on Comparative Inequality and Inclusion.

Her work focuses on global security in the contemporary world. She studies evolving security dynamics in the context of armed conflict and the global illicit economy, transitions from war to peace, and state responses to insecurity. She is particularly interested in the connections between localized conflicts and insecurities and global shifts in order and power, and the political economy of borderlands as spaces where criminal, terrorist, and conflict dynamics converge. Dr Idler is Principal Investigator of the Conflict Platform Project and of CONPEACE.

She is the author of Borderland Battles: Violence, Crime, and Governance at the Edges of Colombia’s War (Oxford University Press, 2019), which appeared in Spanish in an expanded version as Fronteras Rojas: Una Mirada al Conflicto y el Crimen desde los Márgenes de Colombia, Ecuador y Venezuela by Penguin Random House (2021), and co-editor of Transforming the War on Drugs: Warriors, Victims, and Vulnerable Regions (Oxford University Press/Hurst Publishers, 2021). Her work has appeared in journals such as World PoliticsThird World Quarterly, and the Journal of Global Security Studies.

Dr Idler’s work has been recognised among others by APSA’s International Security Best Article 2021 Award and LASA’s Defense, Public Security & Democracy Section Best Article Award 2021. She also won the 2020 University of Oxford’s Vice Chancellor Innovation Award for her work on “Re-thinking Conflict, Building Peace”.

Before taking up her current role, she was the Director of Studies at the Changing Character of War Centre at Oxford, and also served as Fellow on the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on International Security.

She holds a doctorate from the Department of International Development and St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford. In order to enhance the impact of her academic work, she advises governments and international organizations. She is also a regular expert for internationally renowned media outlets. Prior to her academic career, she worked with UNDP’s Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, and the German development cooperation.

  • Borderland Battles: Violence, Crime, and Governance at the Edges of Colombia’s War (New York: Oxford University Press), 2019.
  • Fronteras Rojas: Una mirada al conflicto y el crimen desde los márgenes de Colombia, Ecuador y Venezuela (Bogotá: Penguin Random House), 2021 (revised, updated Spanish version of Borderland Battles).
  • Transforming the War on Drugs: Warriors, Victims, and Vulnerable Regions (co-edited with Juan Carlos Garzón Vergara) (New York; London: Oxford University Press; Hurst Publishers), 2021.
  • “The Logic of Illicit Flows in Armed Conflict: Explaining Variation in Violent Non-state Group Interactions”, World Politics, 2020, 72 (3), 335–76.
  • “Community Responses to a Changing Security Landscape in the Colombian Borderlands” (with J. Masullo and J. Zulver), Journal of Human Rights Practice, forthcoming in 2021.
  • “Gendering the Border Effect: The Double Impact of Colombian Insecurity and Venezuelan Mass Migration” Third World Quarterly, 41 (7), 2020, 1122-1140 (with J. Zulver).
  • “From the Margins of War to the Center of Peacebuilding: How Gendered Dynamics of Conflict Matter”, Journal of Global Security Studies, 2019, 4 (2), 279–285.
  • “Preventing Conflict Upstream: Impunity and Illicit Governance across Colombia’s Borders”, Defence Studies, 2018, 1 (1), 58-75.
  • “Jiu-jitsu in the Context of Armed Conflict: The Power of Nonviolent Resistance” Ciudad Paz Ando, 2016, 9, (2), 155-167 (with B. Garrido and Cécile Mouly, in Spanish).
  • “How Peace Takes Shape Locally: The Experience of Civil Resistance of Samaniego in Colombia”, Journal of Peace and Change, 2016, 41 (2), 129-166 (with B. Garrido and C. Mouly).
  • “Zones of Peace in Colombia’s Borderlands”, The International Journal of Peace Studies, 2015, 20 (1), 51-63. (with C. Mouly and B. Garrido).
  • “Peace Territories in Colombia: Comparing Civil Resistance in Two War-Torn Communities”, Journal of Peacebuilding and Development, 10 (3), 1-15, 2015, (with C. Mouly and B. Garrido).
  • “Power Unpacked: Domination, Empowerment and Participation in Local Guatemalan Peace Forums”, Journal of Peace, Conflict and Development, 21, March 2015 (with L. Miranda and C. Mouly).
  • “Behavioral Patterns among (Violent) Non-State Actors: A Study of Complementary Governance”, Stability: International Journal of Security and Development 4(1):2, 2015 (with J. Forest).
  • “Exploring Arrangements of Convenience among Violent Non-state Actors”, Perspectives on Terrorism, 2012, 6 (4-5).
  • “Arrangements of Convenience in Colombia’s Borderlands: An Invisible Threat to Citizen Security?”, St. Antony’s International Review, 2012, 7 (2).
  • “Illicit Flows, Armed Conflict, and the Moral Economy of the Andean Borderlands”, in Arias, D. and Grisaffi, T. (eds.) Cocaine: From Coca Fields to the Streets, Duke University Press, forthcoming in 2021.
  • “The Intersections of Smuggling Flows”, in Gallien, M. and Weigand, F. (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Smuggling, London: Routledge, forthcoming in 2021.
  • “Local Peace Processes in Colombia”, in Political Settlements Research Programme (ed.), Local Peace Processes, London: British Academy, forthcoming (peer reviewed).
  • “Mutual Recognition in the Context of Contested Statehood”, in Geis A., Clément, M. and Pfeifer, H. (eds.) Recognition of Armed Non-State Actors, Manchester University Press, 2021 (with J. Boesten).
  • “Prologue”, in Alba-Niño, M. et al. (eds), Migration: A Binational Perspective with a Humanitarian Approach, Ediciones Universidad Simón Bolívar, 2021 (in Spanish).
  • “Colombia: A Free-Rider with a Vested Interest in the (Non)-Development of R2P?”, in Serrano M., and Fuentes, C. (eds.), The Responsibility to Protect in Latin America, Routledge, forthcoming (with D. Dewar).
  • “Organised Crime and Politics in Colombia” in Allum, F. and Gilmour, S. (eds.), Handbook on Organised Crime and Politics, Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, 2019.
  • “Improving Responses to Protracted Conflict: Why Borderlands Matter for Upstream Engagement”, in Johnson, R. and Clack, T. (eds.), Before Military Intervention, Palgrave, 2018.
  • “Between Shadow Citizenship and Civil Resistance: Shifting Local Orders”, in Mitchell C. and Hancock, L.  (eds.), Legitimacy and Local Peacebuilding, Routledge, 2018 (with C. Mouly and B. Garrido).
  • “When Peace Implies Engaging the “Terrorist””, in Tellidis, Y. and Toros, H., eds., The Nexus between Terrorism Studies and Peace and Conflict Studies, Routledge, 2015 (with B. Paladini Adell).
  • ‘‘Invisible Spaces: Violent Non-state Actors in Colombia’s Border Zones”, in Köhler and Ebert (eds.), Indigenous Agencies in the Long Era of Globalization. Berlin: Gebr. Mann Verlag 2014 (in Spanish).
  • “The Transnationality of Conflict: Lessons Learned from Borderlands”, in Kalogeresis, A. ed. European Conference of the Association for Borderlands Studies (Thessaloniki: University of Thessaloniki), 2011, 185-204 (with L. Scorgie).
  • “COVID-19 in Colombia’s Borderlands and the Western Hemisphere: Adding Instability to a Double Crisis”, Journal of Latin American Geography, 19 (3) (with M. Hochmüller).
  • “A Borderland Lens on Hubs of Protracted Conflict”, In Depth, Oxford Policy Management, May 2019 (with N. Leite and Y. Orsini).
  • Review of Aldo Cívico, “The Para-State: An Ethnography of Colombia’s Death Squads” (Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2015), Journal of Latin American Studies, 2018, 50 (4): 984-986
  • “Challenges in Colombia’s Changing Security Landscape: Toward a Shared Vision of Peace”, LASA Forum, 49 (3), 2018, 75-79 (with M. Alba Niño, J. Boesten, J. Masullo, A. B. Tickner and J. Zulver).
  • Review of Winifred Tate, “Drugs, Thugs, and Diplomats: U.S. Policymaking in Colombia” (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2015), Journal of Latin American Studies, February 2017 49 (1): 200-202.
  • “The Changing Character of War: An Overview of Contemporary Challenges to Security”, Transformación Militar. Revista de Difusión y Análisis, 2016, 1, 18-23 (in Spanish).

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