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Dr Geoffrey Swenson

Senior Lecturer in International Politics (Security)

School of Arts and Social Sciences, Department of International Politics

Contact Information


Visit Geoffrey Swenson

D509, Rhind Building

Postal Address

City, University of London
Northampton Square
United Kingdom



Geoffrey Swenson is a Senior Lecturer in International Politics at City, University of London, an External Affiliate of Ostrom Workshop at the University of Indiana, Bloomington, and a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Geoffrey's current research focuses on issues related to post-conflict reconstruction, democracy and the rule of law, legal pluralism, international relations theory, and foreign aid.

Geoffrey has held fellowships at the London School of Economics, Stanford University, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Previously, he was an in-country program manager for the Asia Foundation in Timor-Leste and Nepal, the founder and in-country director of Stanford Law School's Timor-Leste Legal Education Project, and a global political party development specialist with the National Democratic Institute.

Geoffrey completed a DPhil in International Relations at Oxford as a Clarendon Scholar and won the Bapsybanoo Marchioness of Winchester Prize for most outstanding thesis. He holds an MA in Comparative Ethnic Conflict from Queen's University Belfast as a Mitchell Scholar, and a JD from Stanford Law School.

Geoffrey's research has been published in leading journals including International Security, World Development, International Studies Review, PS: Political Science & Politics, Disasters, and the Columbia Human Rights Law Review.


  1. DPhil, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
  2. JD, Stanford Law School, United States
  3. MA, Queen's University Belfast, United Kingdom
  4. BA, Grinnell College, United States



  1. Swenson, G. Contending Orders: Legal Pluralism and the Rule of Law after Conflict (Under Contract, Oxford University Press).

Internet publications (6)

  1. Swenson, G. (2018). The Last Best Aid? Rethinking Paralegal Assistance. Political Violence @ a Glance.
  2. Swenson, G. (2017). Trump says ‘our troops will fight to win’ in Afghanistan. Here’s why peace and stability are so elusive. Washington Post Monkey Cage.
  3. Swenson, G. and Iordache, A. (2016). Rodrigo Duterte – the Philippines’s Human Rights Wild Card. Oxford Human Rights Hub.
  4. Swenson, G. (2016). Timor-Leste's Dangerous Political Union. The Diplomat.
  5. Swenson, G. (2016). Afghanistan Corruption No Gaffe. The Hague Institute for Global Justice.
  6. Swenson, G. and Iordache, A. (2016). Breaking Afghanistan’s Election Crisis Cycle. The Hague Institute for Global Justice.

Journal articles (9)

  1. Swenson, G. and Roll, K. (2020). Theorizing Risk and Research: Methodological Constraints and Their Consequences. PS: Political Science & Politics, 53(2), pp. 286–291. doi:10.1017/s104909651900177x.
  2. Roll, K. and Swenson, G. (2019). Fieldwork after conflict: contextualising the challenges of access and data quality. Disasters, 43(2), pp. 240–260. doi:10.1111/disa.12321.
  3. Swenson, G. (2018). Legal Pluralism in Theory and Practice. International Studies Review, 20(3), pp. 438–462. doi:10.1093/isr/vix060.
  4. Bartz, E., Momand, K. and Swenson, G. (2018). Correspondence: Debating the Rule of Law in Afghanistan. International Security, 43(1), pp. 181–185. doi:10.1162/isec_c_00316.
  5. Swenson, G. (2018). The promise and peril of paralegal aid. World Development, 106, pp. 51–63. doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2018.01.017.
  6. Swenson, G. (2017). Why U.S. Efforts to Promote the Rule of Law in Afghanistan Failed. International Security, 42(1), pp. 114–151. doi:10.1162/isec_a_00285.
  7. Swenson, G. and Campbell, M. (2016). Legal Pluralism and Women's Rights after Conflict: The Role of CEDAW. Columbia Human Rights Law Review, 48(1), pp. 112–146.
  8. Swenson, G. and Sugerman, E. (2011). Building the Rule of Law in Afghanistan: The Importance of Legal Education. Hague Journal on the Rule of Law, 3(01), pp. 130–146. doi:10.1017/s187640451110007x.
  9. Swenson, G. (2007). Book Review: Can Might Make Rights?: Building the Rule of Law After Military Interventions. Stanford Journal of International Law, 43, pp. 216–219.


  1. Swenson, G. (2016). Understanding and engaging informal justice. The Hague: Clingendael Institute.