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Alex Jeffrey MA PhD

Alex Jeffrey MA PhD

Reader in Human Geography and Fellow of Emmanuel College

Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Geography

Political and legal geographer interested in state-building after conflict, particularly within the former Yugoslavia. His research has sought to contribute to debates concerning critical geopolitics, civil society and transitional justice.


Over the past decade Alex has sought to examine the nature and consequences of international intervention after conflict, particularly focusing on the former Yugoslavia. This work has been roughly divided into three areas of inquiry:

  1. Geographies of state formation. This research has explored the role of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in fostering democratic participation after violent conflict. Over several periods of residential fieldwork in Bosnia and Herzegovina Alex has sought to investigate how donors, new state institutions and intervening agencies shape the agendas of NGOs. This work has been funded by an ESRC Studentship (R42200134266), an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship (PTA-026-27-0576) and internal funding from Newcastle University. Key outputs include papers in Political Geography (2006) and Development and Change (2007) and a research monograph entitled The Improvised State: Sovereignty, Performance and Agency in Dayton Bosnia (2013, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford).
  2. Legal Geopolitics. Focusing specifically on the experience of Bosnia and Herzegovina, this strand of research has explored the process of establishing a domestic War Crimes Chamber with jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute crimes undertaken during the 1992-5 war. Key publications exploring this area of work include papers in Environment and Planning D: Society and Space (2009), Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers (2011), Annals of the Association of American Geographers (2014), Political Geography (2015), Space and Polity (2017) and Progress in Human Geography (2018). Between 2011-13, Alex was Principal Investigator on a two-year ESRC First Grant (RES-061-25-0479, FEC £267 248) entitled Localising International Law exploring how the War Crimes Chamber in Sarajevo has communicated with victim populations.
  3. Citizenship in Divided Societies. This strand of research seeks to explore how ideas of citizenship are negotiated, contested and learnt following periods of political instability. Between 2012-2017 Alex was an Academic Fellow on a European Research Council Advanced Grant entitled Youth Experiences of Citizenship in Divided Societies: Between Cosmopolitanism, Nation, and Civil Society" (Principal Investigator Professor Lynn Staeheli, FEC €2.5M) and has co-authored work in edited book collections and Political Geography (2017).

Research supervision

I am interested in hearing from scholars who wish to conduct masters, doctoral or post-doctoral work on state formation, geographies of law and justice, transitional justice, and/or the role of non-governmental organisations after conflict. Please look at my current and recent research interests, my current graduate students and the titles of my past PhD students' theses and MPhil students' dissertations, then get in touch with me with your ideas about research topics that I may be able to supervise.


[Publications will load automatically from the University's publication database...]


  • 1A Human Geography: People, Place and the Politics of Difference (Part C: Geopolitics and Political Geography)
  • 1B Citizenship, Cities and Civil Society
  • Part II Legal Geographies
  • Geography Director of Studies at Emmanuel College (2020/21: Part IA and Part II)
  • Recipient of a Pilkington Prize for Teaching in 2018

External activities