Dr Alex Waterman
Please note - for Semester Two 2018/2019, my office hours are as follows
- Friday 11.30-12.30, Social Sciences Building 14.31
- Friday 2.30-3.30, Social Sciences Building 14.31
My research interests are broadly located in the study of insurgency and counterinsurgency, developing novel and non-traditional frameworks for understanding the complex politics of how insurgents and counterinsurgents grapple with the environments in which they operate.
I recently completed my doctorate in November 2018. The thesis, titled 'Managing Insurgency:' Counterinsurgency and Order Negotiation in Northeast India utilised the concept of 'order' to open up the nuanced politics of COIN and insurgency that are frequently missed out in conventional theoretical approaches. The theoretical framework explores the politics of order across three spatial levels of analysis - macro, meso and micro - and applied these to both existing debates in the COIN literature (such as the problem of unity of effort) and emergent themes. It draws upon novel empirical data from the Assam and Naga case studies in Northeast India, based on five months of fieldwork in India. In November 2018, the thesis was examined and passed without correction.
I am also interested in the field of rebel governance, hybrid/non-linear warfare, non-Western counterinsurgency and civil war in South Asia more broadly.
- 2019 (April 2019).‘Managing War Amongst Peoples.’ In: Brown, D., Murray, D, Riemann, M. Rossi, N. and Smith, M.2019. War Amongst the People: Critical Assessments. Foreword by Gen. Sir Rupert Smith. Havant: Howgate. ISBN: 9781912440023.
- 2017. Compressing Politics in Counterinsurgency (COIN): Implications for COIN Theory from India’s Northeast. Strategic Analysis. 41(5), pp. 447-463. Available from:
- 2017. Perception Management in Asymmetric Warfare: Lessons for Democratic Practitioners from Ukraine (2014–16) and Gaza (2014). Journal of Defence Studies. 11 (1), pp. 81-110. Available from: https://idsa.in/system/files/jds/jds_11_1_2017_perception-management-in-asymmetric-warfare_0.pdf
- Waterman, A. 2017. Review: Managing Conflicts in India: Politics of Coercion and Accommodation. Civil Wars. 5 (1). Available from:
- Waterman, A. 2016. Review: Unheeded Hinterland: Identity and Sovereignty in Northeast India. Strategic Analysis. 41 (1), pp. 118-120. Available from:
- Waterman, A. 2015. Review: India and Counterinsurgency: Lessons Learned. Civil Wars [Online]. 15 (3) [Accessed 19/01/17], pp. 369-372. Available from:
Select Contributions & Commentaries
- International Institute for Strategic Studies, 2016-2019 (2019 forthcoming) Armed Conflict Survey, India: Assam, Manipur, Nagaland chapters.
- 2018. India’s Counterinsurgency in the Northeast Challenges the Relationship Between Time and Insurgent Success. Eleventh Column. 30 October. Available from:
- 2017. Marriages of Insurgent Convenience along the Indo-Myanmar Border: A Continuing Challenge. Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses Comment. 10 August. Available from: http://www.idsa.in/idsacomments/marriages-of-insurgent-convenience-along-the-indo-myanmar-border_awaterman_100817
- 2016. Premature Prospects for Peace in Nagaland. IISS Voices. Available from: https://www.iiss.org/en/iiss%20voices/blogsections/iiss-voices-2016-9143/march-71d7/nagaland-peace-process-89fd
Associate Fellow, UK Higher Education Academy
Joint Reviews Editor, Civil Wars
International Visiting Fellow, Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), New Delhi, India - May-October 2016
Research Affiliate, Tata Institute for Social Sciences, Guwahati, India - August-October 2016
Research Consultant, Armed Conflict Database (Kashmir, Northeast India conflicts), International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS)