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Dr Florian Weigand is the Co-Director of the Centre on Armed Groups and a Research Associate at the London School of Economics (LSE). He has published widely on conflict zones, borderlands and other complex environments, how they function and are governed. Florian 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 also is the co-editor of the Routledge Handbook of Smuggling (Routledge, 2022).

In addition to academic roles, Florian has worked extensively in the policy sector. He served as a Political Affairs Officer for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, worked for the development agency GIZ in different roles and countries, and 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.

Florian is particularly interested in the role and perspectives of non-state actors and marginalised groups, including insurgents, rebels, criminal groups, victims of violent conflict and civil society activists. Furthermore, his work addresses methodological questions, such as how 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.