Sebastian van Baalen

PhD student at Department of Peace and Conflict Research

+4618-471 7192
Visiting address:
Gamla Torget 3, 1tr
753 20 Uppsala
Postal address:
Box 514
751 20 UPPSALA

Short presentation

Sebastian van Baalen is a doctoral candidate in peace and conflict research at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University. His research interests primarily relate to the dynamics of civil war and its short- and long-term consequences, with a special focus on rebel governance. His dissertation focuses on explaining variation in the responsiveness of rebel governance during the civil war in Côte d'Ivoire. He has previously worked at Sipri and as a freelance journalist.

Keywords: south africa postwar violence legacies of civil war rebel governance ivory coast fieldwork

My courses


  • MSSc in Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University (2015)
  • BA in Political Science, Uppsala University (2013). Minored in Peace and Conflict Research and Philosophy.
  • Exchange studies at Stellenbosch University, South Africa (2012).
  • Assistant editor-in-chief at Mänsklig Säkerhet (2015–2016)


Why is rebel governance more responsive to the interests of the civilian population in some localities than in others? Sebastian's dissertation project explores the role of civilian agency in accounting for variation in the nature of rebel governance, focusing primarily on the case of Côte d'Ivoire. The project focuses on how the social organisation of local elites influence civilian bargaining leverage in negotiations over rebel governance, employing a combination of qualitative case analysis, fieldwork, and quantitative methods.

Related working papers (available upon request)

Guns and Governance: Local Polarisation and Civilian Exposure to Violence in Rebel-Held Côte d'Ivoire. Last presented at the International Studies Association's (ISA) 60th Annual Convention, March 27-30th, 2019, Toronto, Canada.

Understanding Good Rebel Governance: Evidence from Côte d'Ivoire. Last presented at the Development Research Conference, August 22-23th, 2018, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Guns and Governance: Local Elites, Accountability, and Responsive Rebel Governance in Côte d'Ivoire.

Blog Posts, Op Eds and Popular Science Articles

Sebastian van Baalen, 2017. Politisk maktkamp hotar freden i Elfenbenskusten. Utrikesmagasinet, 15/12 2017.

Johan Brosché, Kristine Höglund & Sebastian van Baalen, 2017. Jasaffären i Botswana strider mot Sveriges mål. Svenska Dagbladet, 23/3 2017. Updated and republished in Mänsklig säkerhet, 20/6 2017.

Sebastian van Baalen, 2016. Underskatta inte IS administrativa makt. Mänsklig Säkerhet, 25/10 2016.

Sebastian van Baalen & Malin Mobjörk, April 2016. Climate change and violent conflict in East Africa – implications for policy. Policy brief. Stockholm: Stockholm University, The Swedish Institute of International Affairs & Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri).

Malin Mobjörk, Sebastian van Baalen, Niklas Bremberg, Lisa Maria Dellmuth, Maria-Therese Gustafsson & Hannes Sonnsjö, November 2015. The role of multilateral organisations in addressing climate change and its security risks. Policy brief. Stockholm: Stockholm University, The Swedish Institute of International Affairs & Stockholm Resilience Centre.

Sebastian van Baalen, 2015. ”Debatt: Ett välkomnande flyktingmottagande värnar allas säkerhet”, Tranås Posten 18/11 2015.

Sebastian van Baalen, 2015. "Sydafrikas moraliska förfall", Mänsklig Säkerhet 2/11 2015.

Sebastian van Baalen 2015. "Fredsarbete måste se till relationen mellan det lokala och nationella", Mänsklig Säkerhet 16/6 2015


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