I am especially interested in activism by civilians, social organizations, and rebel groups challenging the existing power structure. In many cases, this activism is pivotal in changing governance arrangements and social hierarchies, but it also constitutes a challenge for a state’s security. Based on my previous work, I primarily focus on two research areas: (1) contentious political activism in civil wars and (2) religion in conflicts.

Religion: Peace and Conflict


Religion is of great importance for our understanding of today’s conflicts. My research investigates the role of religious organizations in civil wars and the role of religion for the prevention or the de-escalation of violent conflicts.

Related publications:

2016 (with Matthias Basedau, Birte Pfeiffer): Bad Religion? Religion, Collective Action, and the Onset of Armed Conflict in Developing Countries, Journal of Conflict Resolution 60: 3, 226-255.

2015 (with Alexander De Juan, Jan H. Pierskalla): The Pacifying Effects of Local Religious Institutions: An Analysis of Communal Violence in Indonesia, Political Research Quarterly 68: 2, 211-224.

2015 (with Birte Pfeiffer, Matthias Basedau): Measuring the Ambivalence of Religion: Introducing the Religion and Conflict in Developing Countries (RCDC) Dataset, International Interactions 41: 5, 857-881.


Religion and Conflict in Developing Countries (RCDC) (see




2015 –    Senior Research Fellow, Department of Politics and Public Administration, University of Konstanz

2008-2014 Research Fellow, GIGA Institute of African Affairs, Hamburg

2009-2012 Ph.D. studies (Dr. rer. soc.), University of Tübingen

2006-2008 Master Peace Research and International Politics, University of Tübingen

2003-2006 Bachelor History and Political Science, Ruhr University Bochum