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Florian Weigand is the Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of Armed Groups and a Fellow in the Conflict Research Programme at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He is the author of Waiting for Dignity: Legitimacy and Authority in Afghanistan (Columbia University Press, 2022) and Conflict and Transnational Crime: Borders, Bullets & Business in Southeast Asia (Edward Elgar, 2020). He is also the coeditor of the Routledge Handbook of Smuggling (Routledge, 2022).

Florian’s research focuses on conflict zones, borderlands and other complex environments, the ways in which they function and are governed. He is particularly interested in the perspectives of non-state actors, including rebels, resistance movements, and criminal groups, as well as the views and experiences of civilians, especially victims of crime and violent conflict. In addition, his work addresses methodological questions, such as how qualitative data can be collected, how development projects can be implemented, and how humanitarian assistance can be delivered in areas that are viewed as ‘insecure’. He has conducted research on armed conflict in a number of South Asian and Southeast Asian countries, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines and Thailand.

He did his PhD at the LSE, where he explored how political authorities in conflict zones construct legitimacy. Following his PhD, he was an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow at the LSE. He holds an MSc in Development Management from the LSE and an MSc in Global Governance and Diplomacy from the University of Oxford.

Previously, Florian worked as a Political Affairs Officer for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, and for the German development agency GIZ in different roles and countries. As a consultant, he has advised organisations such as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the World Bank, the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, the Economist Intelligence Unit, the International Institute for Sustainable Development, and the Norwegian Refugee Council.