I am a social scientist (whatever it means) interested in (too) many things, including civil wars and post-conflict reconstruction, international peacekeeping, Sub Saharan Africa, elections, etc. I have lived and worked in many different countries. At the moment, I am based in a happy island of Germanic and North European civilisation called Hamburg, but thanks also to my Italian background, I have retained a certain sceptic attitude towards the world. I think this helps me to understand the settings I am usually studying, which are very different from Hamburg (conflict affected countries, countries with entrenched problems of political governance, corruption, poverty, etc.).
I have decided to open this blog not only for matters of self promotion and vanity (although I cannot deny that they played a role) but also because I have often the feeling that the format of academic publishing and its conventions constrain me. I enjoy the idea of having a space for my thoughts – better if in dispersed order. I also want to reflect a bit here about my peculiar job (how many times people have asked me: “but what do you exactly do”?), its difficulties, contradictions and why I still think that it has a meaning.