Mark Erbel

Mark Erbel

Mr, Dr

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Personal profile

Research interests (short)

  • International Relations & Security, especially USA & Middle East
  • Defence Acquisition, especially Military Outsourcing & Private Military and Security Companies
  • Foreign and Defence Policy-Making
  • US Empire and Imperialism
  • Armed Non-State Actors

Research interests

Doctoral Project

“Contractors & Defence Policy-Making”

The aim of this project was to examine the role of military outsourcing in and its contribution to defence policy-making. The purpose was to shift attention away from the dominant focus on extreme behaviour by armed contractors who, while important and pointing to issues in urgent need of reform, represent only a numerical minority of the industry. By concentrating on outsourced supply and training, this project covered the vast majority of potentially influential and generally representative service contracts and the industry. It mapped the relevant policy networks and traced how policy is made therein. By improving our understanding of these issues, the project clarifies the relationship between outsourcing and policy-making, advances our understanding of the defence policy process in its wider strategic, security, and economic contexts, and extends our knowledge of the linkages between state and non-state actors.

 

Wider Research Interests

Beyond the specific issues addressed in my dissertation, my wider research interests include the international relations and security of the Middle East, Europe, and North America. More specifically this includes the mechanics of U.S. "empire", the role of militaries in Middle Eastern states, military-to-military relationships between Western and Arab states and how they affect local decision-making, armed non-state actors in the political process, and defence policy-making in 'the West' and the role of non-state actors therein.

Biographical details

Dr Mark Erbel completed his PhD in War Studies at King's College London, and took up a lectureship position at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in May 2014. He holds an MA (2:1) in International Relations (King’s College London) and a BA (Distinction) in History (major), Middle Eastern Studies, and English (minors) (Free University of Berlin). He went to school in Germany, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. During his university studies, he was a fellow of the German National Academic Foundation, worked as a research assistant and a mentor in the Free University’s Department of History, and interned at the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation’s Cairo Office. He also interned at the British Council’s Think Tank Counterpoint in London and Beirut, where his work included research on radicalism and mentoring a group of young researchers in Lebanon. He is a founding member of the Private Military and Security Research Group (PMSRG) at King’s, a founding member of the London/Berlin Integration Forum, which intends to further debate on integration and multiculturalism, and a member of OMRAS e.V. (Organisation for Human Rights in the Arab States) in Berlin. He was a teaching assistant for the BA modules “War in International Order”, "International Relations Theory", and "Causes of War", and now teaches at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

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