Giuseppe Spatafora

Research Topic:

When proxy strategy fails: Why foreign sponsors directly engage in combat
International Relations Network
Kellogg College
DPhil International Relations

Giuseppe Spatafora started his DPhil in International Relations at Oxford in 2019. His research interest lies in the area of international security, civil wars, and alliance theory. For his DPhil project, Giuseppe researches variation in external support for armed groups in a civil war: why do foreign actors choose to support warring parties? How does support vary, and why? And what consequences does it have for the evolution of the conflict and relations among armed actors and external sponsors? In order to answer these questions, Giuseppe follows a mixed method research design, combining in-depth case studies with quantitative analysis. His research is kindly funded by the AHCR Open-Oxford-Cambridge Doctoral Training Program Studentship and by the Scatcherd European Scholarship.

Before starting the DPhil, Giuseppe earned an MPhil in International Relations as a Kellogg Scholar at Oxford. His MPhil dissertation on the effect of interstate alliances on immediate and general deterrence was awarded the highest mark in his cohort. He also has a BA in International Affairs, Economics and History (summa cum laude) from John Cabot University in Rome. He has worked as research assistant at DPIR, at International Affairs Institute (IAI) in Rome, and at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) in Kuala Lumpur. He is a former theme editor of St Antony's International Review issue on "Individuals in Conflict: Agency, Rights, and the Changing Character of War" (2018/19).


Giuseppe's research interests include:

  • Institutions and organisations,
  • Violence, security and conflict,
  • Civil wars,
  • Institutions and organisations,
  • International cooperation,
  • International security,
  • Violence security and conflict


Giuseppe teaches the following papers to PPE and History and Politics students:

  • 213 International Relations in the Era of the Cold War
  • 214 International Relations
  • 299 International Security and Conflict
Giuseppe Spatafora