Claire Metelits, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Strategic Studies
Command and Staff College

Contact Information

Areas of Expertise:
  • Non-state armed groups
  • Statebuilding
  • Africa
  • Critical security studies
  • Gender and conflict


  • Ph.D. Political Science, 2007, Northwestern University
  • M.A. International Studies, 2002, University of Denver
  • B.A. Liberal Arts, 1999, Arizona State University


Dr. Metelits joined Marine Corps University in 2018. Prior to that she taught in the School of International Service at American University and Davidson College. She also worked as an advisor to US Army TRADOC and US Africa Command from 2009-2013. Dr. Metelits has conducted research on insurgent groups in Western Sahara, Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan, Uganda, Angola, Turkey, and Colombia and has interviewed members of the Taliban, the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK), the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), and the Polisario Front. She is the author of Inside Insurgency (2010), Security in Africa (2016), and co-editor of Democratic Contestation on the Margins: Regimes in Small African Countries (2015). She has published both scholarly and non-scholarly works. She received her Doctorate in Political Science from Northwestern University. Her research focuses on Africa, non-state armed actors, non-state governance, and gender and conflict.

Selected Publications

  • Claire Metelits and Gabriel Delsol. 2020. “A New Type of Threat: Russia, China, and Digital Authoritarianism in West Africa” Georgetown Journal of International Affairs. December 26.
  • Claire Metelits. 2018. “Bourdieu’s Capital and Insurgent Group Resilience: A Field-Theoretic Approach to the Polisario Front” Small Wars and Insurgencies 29(4): 680-708.
  • Claire Metelits. 2016. Security in Africa: A Critical Approach to Western Indicators of Threat. Rowman Littlefield.
  • Claire Metelits. 2016. “Challenging U.S. Security Assessments in Africa.” African Security.
  • Claire Metelits and Stephanie Matti, editors. 2015. Democratic Contestation on the Margins: Regimes in Small African Countries. Lexington Books.
  • Claire Metelits. 2015. “Back to the Drawing Board: What the Recent Peace Agreement Means for South Sudan.” Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs.
  • Claire Metelits. 2014. “Déjà vu All Over Again: South Sudan’s Return to Conflict.” Culture, Language and International Security.
  • Claire Metelits. 2014. “Security Threats in Africa: A Critical Perspective.” Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs.
  • Menkhaus, Ken, and Claire Metelits. 2015. “Djibouti.” In Oxford Bibliographies in African Studies. Ed. Thomas Spear. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Claire Metelits. 2010. Inside Insurgency: Violence, Civilians, and Revolutionary Group Behavior. New York University Press
  • Claire Metelits. 2009. “The Logic of Change: Pushing the Boundaries of Insurgent Behavior Theory.” Defense and Security Analysis 25(2): 105-118.
  • Claire Metelits. 2009. “The Consequences of Rivalry: Explaining Insurgent Violence Using Fuzzy Sets.” Political Research Quarterly 62(4): 673-684.
  • Claire Metelits. 2004. “Reformed Rebels? Democratization, Global Norms, and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army.” Africa Today 51(1) Fall: 65-82.
  • Nils Petter Gleditsch and Claire Metelits. (2003). “Replication in International Relations Journals: Policies and Practices.” International Studies Perspectives 4(1): 72-76.
  • Nils Petter Gleditsch, Claire Metelits, and Havard. Strand. (2003). “Posting Your Data: Will You be Scooped or Will You be Famous?” International Studies Perspectives 4(1): 89-95.


  • Co-lead, Gray Scholars Program, Marine Corps University Command and Staff College
  • Co-chair, Women, Peace and Security Committee, Marine Corps University
  • Co-lead, Women, Peace and Security Scholars Program, Krulak Center

Professional memberships

  • Women in International Security
  • International Studies Association
  • African Studies Association
Marine Corps University