Blair Welsh

Postgraduate Research Student
Department of Government
 Blair Welsh



I am a PhD Candidate in the Department of Government, University of Essex. My research focuses on the micro-dynamics of militant violence and restraint. In particular, I study militants tactic selection, target selection, and use of terrorism in civil war. I am interested, more broadly, in rebel governance and the spatial profile of violence. My PhD project examines strategies of hostage-taking in civil war. I also take an interest in quantitative methods (causal inference, spatial econometrics, survey experiments, and text-as-data) and machine learning. My doctoral research is funded by theĀ Economic and Social Research Council and affiliated with the Urban Violence Research Network. I am also a member of the Conflict and Change Group in the Department of Political Science, University College London, and an Expert for the Policy Lab at UNESCO. My research is forthcoming in the Journal of Peace Research and the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of International Studies.


  • MA International Relations University of Essex (2020)

  • BA (Honours) Law and Politics University of Strathclyde (2018)

Research and professional activities

Research interests


Civil Conflict

Political Violence

Spatial Analysis



Colchester Campus