I was born in Hackney, East London, in 1972. My dad was a signwriter; my mum was a cleaner, secretary and librarian. I went to Daubeney and Raines Foundations Schools from the ages of 4 - 16: all 'inner city' state schools, and I am the first person in my family to have gone to University.
I left home at 17 and did many odd jobs, with the high point working in Hackney dole office signing people on during the 90s recession.
I finished my degree at London University in the late 1990s and left London when I was 24. I lived and worked in Bosnia, where I helped establish an NGO focussed on ethnic reconciliation in the still conflict-prone town of Brcko. Whilst nearly killed several times, it was a walk in the park compared to my formative years in Hackney.
Upon returning to the UK, I started my post-grad education in Bristol, where I spent five happy years. Since then, I've lived and moved across the UK and ended back in the beautiful West Country, my favourite bit of the UK by a long way.
An abiding interest of mine has been researching the role that actual and latent organised violence can play as a 'social relation', helping structure relationships, often between states and social groups. My first book examined US counterinsurgency warfare in post-Cold War Latin America; my second was on US coercive statecraft's role in global energy markets.
My next book examines the rise of the 'decolonisation' movement across British institutions, especially in our Universities. I argue that illiberal technocratic elites across the Anglophone world have weaponised moral panics to maintain power and what this portends for academic freedom and human dignity in an era of rising authoritarianism.
Aside from international relations, I enjoy cooking, keeping fit and combat sports.