Eliza Urwin


PhD Researcher in International Relations & Political Science
Centre on Conflict, Development & Peacebuilding
Areas of expertise
  • Armed Non-State Actors
  • State fragility and hybrid political orders
  • Armed Conflict and Peacebuilding
Geographical Region of Expertise
  • Central Asia
  • North Africa
  • South America

PhD Thesis


Title: Negotiating the State: Communities and Social Order in Conflict

PhD Supervisor and Co-Supervisor: Keith Krause and Elisabeth Prügl




Eliza is a PhD candidate in the International Relations / Political Science department. Her doctoral research explores how governance transpires in spaces where the state is largely absent. She is particularly interested in how other actors fill governance roles - armed groups, criminal organizations, traditional leaders, and civil society. Extending from this, her research examines the different ways that people resist this authority, and generally, navigate spaces of institutional and political multiplicity. She also explores participatory research methods, in particular focusing on the measurement of subjective, difficult-to-measure concepts. Since 2017, she has worked as a researcher and board member of the Everyday Peace Indicators project, carrying out research, training, and developing indicators for projects in Colombia, Tunisia, Afghanistan and Pakistan. From 2013 to 2017 Eliza lived in Afghanistan, working as a Senior Program Officer for the United States Institute of Peace. There, she managed a portfolio of peace and conflict research and programming, piloting projects and exploring research methods for evaluating program effectiveness. Eliza holds a Master in Political Science from the University of Paris, and a bachelor's degree from Concordia University in Montreal and the American University in Cairo.