Bart Klem

About Bart Klem

My research is focused on question of political order amidst and after civil war. I am interested in state institutions, de facto sovereignty of rebel movements and public authority. Sri Lanka has been my main country specialization, but I also work on Northern Cyprus and I have done some work on Indonesia (mainly Kalimantan). More details may also be found on my personal website.

Before joining Gothenburg University in 2020, I was lecturer at the University of Melbourne and the University of Zurich.

Key themes include - Civil war and post-war transition - Rebel governance and de facto sovereignty - Legal identity and documents - Borders and frontiers - Mediation and peace interventions - Development processes and international aid.

Current research

My book “Performing Sovereign Aspirations: Tamil Insurgency and Postwar Transition in Sri Lanka” is coming out with Cambridge UP. This marks the completion of a research project on the role of the Sri Lanka's provincial councils in conflict and peace (funded by the Australian Research Council/DECRA).

Currently, my main research focus comprises a (Swedish Science Council-funded) project on legal identity under unrecognized states, with case studies North Cyprus and the Syrian Interim Government. I am working on this together with Marika Sosnowski. We are now completing this effort with several publications coming out, including a special issue in Citizenship Studies and an article in Migration Studies (accepted). For details, please see also the project page. See also, this blog.


I am involved in several bachelor's and master's courses at the School of Global Studies. In terms of thesis supervision, I am interested in the following themes: conflict analysis, insurgencies, sovereignty, peace building, aid and conflict, nationalism, Sri Lanka.