Dr Makena Micheni

Dr Makena Micheni

PhD alumnus

Department of International Relations

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Key Expertise
Sub-Saharan terrorism/Political Violence, Ethnicity

About me

Born in Kenya and holding both Kenyan and British citizenship, Makena holds a BA in Politics and International Relations from Lancaster University and a Masters in Terrorism and Political Violence from St Andrews University.

Makena has prior experience in countering violent extremism research with the Royal United Service Institute (RUSI) Nairobi on their Strengthening Resilience against Violent Extremism in the Horn of Africa (STRIVE) program. 

Since commencing her doctoral study, Makena has worked as a part-time personal assistant to Professor Mary Kaldor CBE, a programme assistant for The Advancing Research on Conflict (ARC) Consortium, and a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the Department of International Relations.

Research topic

Exploring the role and effect of tribalism on religious terrorist groups in sub-Saharan Africa

Makena’s research explores the role of identity in conflict, focusing predominantly on sub-Saharan Africa. She seeks to better understand the complex social and political relationships that undergird armed group mobilization, viability, and conflict consequences. In scrutinizing both religion and ethnicity through the lens of social and political power and organization, she aims to situate our understanding of religious conflict within the socio-historical context and advance our understanding of mobilization, resilience, and the organization of violence.

Academic supervisors

Dr Milli Lake
Professor Tomila Lankina

Research Cluster affiliation

Security and Statecraft Research Cluster


Read or download Makena Micheni's CV


Expertise Details

Sub-Saharan terrorism/Political Violence; Ethnicity