Sophie Haspeslagh


Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science


Brief Biography

 Sophie Haspeslagh is an assistant professor at the American University in Cairo. Her research lies at the nexus of critical terrorism and security studies and conflict and peace studies. She focuses on the impact of counterterrorism on conflict resolution and the transition of armed actors away from violence.

Haspeslagh was the head of policy at conciliation resources until August 2012. She has also worked for various organizations including the International Crisis Group and the United Nations in Algiers, Bogotá, Brussel, London, and Rome. Sophie holds a PhD in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Masters in International Relations from SAIS Johns Hopkins University.

She has received a number of awards for her research including the Runner-up for the Boulding Award (2019 International Studies Association) and the Global South Doctoral Fieldwork Research Award, LSE (2015). She was the recipient of an LSE School scholarship (2013-2017) and a Fulbright scholarship from the Belgian-American Fulbright Commission (2002-2003).

Her monograph Proscribing Peace: How listing armed groups as terrorists hurts negotiations will be published by Manchester University Press in 2021.


Haspeslagh, S. “The ‘linguistic ceasefire’: negotiating in an age of proscription”, Security Dialogue (Forthcoming).

Haspeslagh, S. and V. Dudouet. “Conflict resolution practice in conflicts marked by terrorist violence: a scholar-practitioner perspective”. In I. Tellidis and H. Toros (eds.) Researching Terrorism, Peace and Conflict Studies: Interaction, synthesis, and opposition. London and New York: Routledge, pp.103-123.

Haspeslagh, S. and Z. Yousuf. 2015. Local engagement with armed groups: in the midst of violence. London: Conciliation Resources, Accord Insight 2.

Haspeslagh, S. 2015. “Expert analysis: between fighting and talking”. In S. Haspeslagh and Z. Yousuf (eds.). Local engagement with armed groups: in the midst of violence. London: Conciliation Resources, Accord Insight 2.

Haspeslagh, S. 2013.“Listing terrorists”: The Impact of Proscription on Third-Party Efforts to Engage Armed Groups in Peace Processes – a Practitioner’s Perspective”, Critical Studies on Terrorism, Vol.6, No.1, pp.189-208.

Public engagement:

What next for the peace negotiation between the Colombian government and the FARC? LSE Global South Unit Policy Brief 1/2015

Can Colombia’s FARC turn to politics? Open Democracy (16 September 2016)

Why criminalize dialogue with terrorists? Open Democracy (22 July 2010)

The Way Forward: What the ‘No’ Vote Means for Peace in Colombia Justice in Conflict (11 October 2016)

Striking the Right Balance: Truth at the Heart of Transitional Justice in Colombia Justice in Conflict (25 September 2015)

Research Interest
  • Conflict Resolution
  • (Critical) Security and Terrorism
  • Negotiations and Mediation
  • Transition of Armed Groups
  • International Organizations
  • Foreign policy of non-state actors
  • Colombia
  • North Africa
  • PhD International Relations, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK
  • Postgraduate Certification in Teaching for Higher Education, Associate Level, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Masters of Arts in International Relations and International Economics, Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies, Bologna, Italy & Washington, USA
  • Bachelor of Science in Politics, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK