Michael Jones

Research FellowTerrorism and Conflict


Michael is a Research Fellow in the Terrorism and Conflict team examining political violence, governance by non/pseudo-state armed groups, and the convergence of violent extremism and insurgent militancy in East and sub-Saharan Africa. He has led investigative fieldwork across various countries including Sudan, Kenya and Lebanon; managed conflict focused projects looking into Darfur and Somalia; and worked in RUSI’s Nairobi Office on a range of projects related to the EU’s STRIVE Horn of Africa and STRIVE II programming. 

He is a co-author of the 2019 book Human Trafficking: An Organised Crime? (Hurst/Oxford University Press), assessing slavery, smuggling markets and the political economies of Sudan and Eritrea. Additionally, Michael was accredited as a member of DFID’s conflict advisor cadre in 2020, and has worked as a consultant analysing peacekeeping in Somalia and corruption in Sudan for Saferworld and Transparency International, respectively.

In 2018 Michael was selected as a member of the Commonwealth CVE Panel of Experts. Before starting at RUSI, he was a Resident Researcher and subsequent Lead Researcher for the Africa programme in the Institute of Islamic Strategic Affairs, analysing the intersections between crime, local militancy and transnational terrorism in Sub-Saharan Africa. He holds an MSc in Conflict Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science, where his dissertation explored the hybridisation of jihadism in Somalia and Yemen, and a BA Joint Honours in History and Politics from the University of Warwick.

Implementing the GCTF Good Practices on Strengthening National-Local Cooperation in Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism Conducive to Terrorism

Report mapping the strengths and challenges in East and Southern Africa by Christopher Hockey, Michael Jones, and Timothy Kimaiyo

Understanding Social Ecosystems Supporting Violent Extremism in Kenya
World Day Against Trafficking in Persons: Human Trafficking in Sudan
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Report: The Impacts of Covid-19 on Human Trafficking in Sudan

This report, jointly produced with University of Nottingham Rights Lab in April 2021, provides a case study of pandemic in transition.

External publications

'The Limits of 'Shabaab-CARE': Militant Governance Amid COVID-19' CTC Sentinel, June 2020, Volume 13, Issue 6 - Michael Jones and Christopher Hockey

Reviewing the Evidence Base for Reintegrating Populations Displaced by Conflict, Strenthening Resilience and Response to Crises - Department for International Development, November 2019, Michael Jones and Aaditya Dave

Sudan in transition: Two broad factors that will determine what happens nowAfrican Arguments, by Michael Jones, 25 April 2019

With Ethiopia’s border now open, why are Eritreans still fleeing to Sudan?African Arguments, by Michael Jones, 15 January 2019

Sudan: From People Smuggling to Human Trafficking’, Delta 8.7, by Sasha Jesperson and Michael Jones, 9 January 2019

Podcast: Strategic Errors? Are Communications Interventions Effective in Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism?

Exploring Extremism is a podcast series produced by UNDP’s Oslo Governance Centre. In this episode RUSI Research Fellow Michael Jones discusses the impact of communication interventions and considers what actually works and the metrics for measuring success.