Professor Mark Duffield

Professor Mark Duffield

Professor Mark Duffield
Emeritus Professor

11 Priory Road, Clifton, Bristol
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School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies

Personal profile

Mark Duffield is Professor Emeritus and former Director of the Global Insecurities Centre.  He is also an Honorary Professor in the School of Government and Society, University of Birmingham.  Duffield has taught at the Universities of Khartoum, Aston and Birmingham and held Fellowships and Chairs at Sussex, Leeds and Lancaster. He recently completed eight years as a member of the Scientific Board of the Flemish Peace Institute, Brussels and is a Fellow of the Rift Valley Institute, London and Nairobi.  Outside of academia, during the 1980s, he was Oxfam’s Country Representative in Sudan.  Duffield has advised government departments including DFID, EU (ECHO), the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA); also NGOs such as CAFOD, International Alert, Comic Relief and Oxfam; and UNICEF, UNOCHA, UNDP and UNHCR.  His books include Global Governance and the New Wars: The Merging of Development and Security (2001, reissued in 2014 in Zed Books presitigious Critique Influence Change series) and Development, Security and Unending War: Governing the World of People (2007, reissued 2013). He is currently completing a book for Polity Press with the working title, The Disconnect: Capitalism, Disasters and Decay


In recent years, my research focused on the critique of liberal interventionism. In particular, understanding humanitarian emergencies in terms of the changing international assemblages of power, governance and risk they call forth.  This has included critical work on the relationship between development and security, and the rise to dominance of resilience-thinking.

I am currently completing a book for Polity Press (2018 publication) on the digitalisation and automation of humanitarian intervention.  Focusing on the trend for international aid organisation to replace direct terrestrial engagement with combinations of remote management, smart technology and data informatics, it critically explores the wider governmental and existential implications of this shift.  The working title is The Disconnect: Capitalism, Disasters and Decay



I have taught on development and security, the changing nature of humanitarian intervention, the political economy of internal war, and a stand-alone course on the Sudans from the perspective of their being a laboratory for the changing nature of international interventionism.  

Recent Publications and Transcripts

If you have difficult getting copies of my articles or chapters, please drop me an email.

'Is the Earth Curved or Flat?' - presentation prepared for workshop on 'Mapping, Mercator and Modernity: The impact of the digital', Duisburg, Germany, 25 April 2017

'Captialism and Liberal Zombification', - prepared for seminar on 'Theorising (Dis)Order: Governing in an uncertain world', World Peace Foundation, Tufts University, 2-3 March 2017

'Resilience of the Ruins: towards a critique of digital humanitarianism.' 2016. Resilience, published first online 15 March

'The Digital Development-Security Nexus: Linking Cyber-Humanitarianism and Drone Warfare.' 2015, in Paul Jackson (ed), Hanbook on International Security and Development. Cheltenham & Northhampton, Massachusetts: Edward Elgar.

'From immersion to simulation: remote methodologies and the decline of area studies.' 2014. Review of African Political Economy 41 (sup1), s75-s94.

With Sarah Collinson, 'Paradoxes of Presence: Risk Management and Aid Culture in Challenging Environments', ODI, Humanitarian Policy Group, 2013

Disaster-Resilience in the Network Age: Access Denial and the Rise of Cyber-Humanitarianism.  DIIS Working Paper, 2013: 2.

'How Did we Become Unprepared?Emergency and resilience in an uncertain world, 2013, British Academy Review, (21), 55-58:

'Challenging Environments: Danger, Resilience and the Aid Industry', 2012, Security Dialogue, 43 (5), 475-92.

'Risk Management and the Bunkering of the Aid Industry', 2012, Development Dialogue - The End of the Development-Security Nexus? The Rise of Global Disaster Management, 58, 21-36.

 With Brad Evans, 'Bospheric Security: The Development-Security-Environment- Nexus (DESNEX), Containment and Retrenching Fortress Europe', 2011, in Peter Burgess and Serge Gutwirth (eds.), A Threat Against Europe? Security, Migration and Integration (Brussels: VUB Press), 93-110.

'Environmental terror: Uncertainty, resilience, and the bunker' , 2011, SPAIS Working Paper No. 06-11 (pdf, 600 KB)

Latest publications

  1. Evans, B & Duffield, MR, 2011, ‘Bio-Spheric Security: The Development-Security-Environment-Nexus [DESNEX], Containment and Retrenching Fortress Europe’. in: Peter Burgess, Serge Gutwirth (eds) A Threat Against Europe? Security, Migration and Integration. VUB Press, pp. 93-110
  2. Duffield, M & Evans, B, 2011, ‘Biospheric Security: The Development-Security-Environment-Nexus (DESNEX): Containing and Retrenching Fortress Europe’. in: P Burges, S Gutwirth (eds) A Threat Against Europe? Security, Migration and Integration. VUB Press, pp. 93 - 110
  3. Duffield, M, 2010, ‘The Development-Security Nexus in Historical Perspective: Governing the World of Peoples’. in: Sorensen , Jens Stilhoff (eds) Challenging the Aid Paradigm: Western Currents and Asian Alternatives. Palgrave Macmillan Ltd., pp. 25 - 46
  4. Duffield, M, 2010, ‘Insurgencia Global y Contrainsurgencia: El Nexo Entre Desarrollo y Seguridad Desde Una Perspectiva Mas Amplia’. in: Carjaval , P E (eds) Las Raices Históricas de los Conflictos Armados Actuales. Universitat de València, pp. 21 - 48
  5. Duffield, M, 2009, ‘Liberal Interventionsim and Fragile States: Linked by Design?’. in: MR Duffied, V Hewit (eds) Empire, Development and Colonialism: The Past in the Present. James Currey & Boydell and Brewer Inc, pp. 116 - 129

Full publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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