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Ronit Berger Hobson

Ronit Berger Hobson, PhD

I am a lecturer in Politics and International Relations.  

I hold a PhD and an MA in International Relations and Comparative Politics from Syracuse University, an MA in Diplomacy and Conflict Studies from Reichman University in Israel, and a Law degree (LLB) and a BA in Arts History from Tel Aviv University in Israel.  

Prior to my academic life, I practiced law in Israel, mainly in the private sector, and volunteered with refugees, helping them attain their legal and social rights. I was also a sergeant in the Israeli Military. 


QUB Research Portal (Pure)

Research Interests:  

My research interests lie within the realm of international security, broadly defined. Specifically, my research can be divided into two large fields of study – conflict processes on the one hand and the complexity of warfare on the other.  

Within conflict processes, I am interested in the inner workings of violent non state actors. In my work I try to understand under what circumstances such organisations choose violence over cooperation. I examine how factors from the conflict setting, the organisational makeup, the relationship it has with diaspora communities, and the type of leaders it has, interact in shifting organisational strategic preferences.  I focus on various aspects pertaining to the Northern Ireland conflict and to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and I conduct more general analysis of terrorist and insurgency movements using both qualitative and quantitative methods.  

Within the complexity of warfare, I examine how military innovation and development change standard operating procedures and perceptions of threat in counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations, focusing on the changes that took place with the rise of special operation forces during and since World War II. 

I am also interested in leadership and its effects on conflict processes. I use Leadership Trait Analysis to analyse leadership types and I examine leaders’ rhetoric. I compare political, military, and violent organisations’ leaders and examine whether their type and their rhetoric changes in times of contention versus times of cooperation.   

Teaching areas:  

My general teaching areas are international relations and IR theory, security studies, conflict studies and leadership studies.  


I am a consultant for Themis Group working on assessment and evaluation of police reform through performance assessment and the development of community-based relations programs. 

I am a senior research fellow at the Moynihan Institute for Global Affairs at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University, and a research fellow at the Lauder School of Government at Reichman University in Israel.  

I am a member of the International Studies Association (ISA), the American Political Science Association (APSA), and the International Society of Political Psychology (ISPP) for which I am also the co-chair for the Terrorism, Conflict and Security Section.  

  • Berger, R. (book manuscript under contract with McGill Queen’s University Press). Transforming Conflict: The Northern Ireland ‘Troubles’ from Contention to Cooperation.
  • Berger. R. & Pedhazur, A. (2022). The Munich Massacre and the Proliferation of Counter-Terrorism Special Operation Forces. Special Issue marking 50 years to the Munich Massacre in Israel Affairs.
  • Berger. R. (2022). The Tinderbox: Why I Disagree with the View of History in this documentary on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. The conversation
  • R. (2019). Dynamic Contexts of Conflict: Complicated Actors and Settings in Northern Ireland. In Golan, G., Gerard, C., Elman, M. & Kriesberg, L. Eds. Transforming Intractable Conflicts, London: U.K.: Rowman & Littlefield International.
  • Matesan, I. E. & Berger, R. (2019). Why do Rebel Groups Apologize?. The Conversation. 
  • Berger R., Wolf D. & Wyss M. (2017). How Radical is Actually Radical Leadership? Comparing Trump and Netanyahu’s Rhetoric. In Mayer K. R., The 2016 Presidential Election: The Causes and Consequences of a Political Earthquake (Voting, Elections, and the Political Process) (pp. 199-217). London, U.K.: Lexington Books 
  • Matesan, I. E. & Berger, R. (2017). Blunders and Blame: How Armed Non-State Actors React to Their Mistakes. Studies in Conflict &Terrorism, 40(5), 376-398. 
  • Berger, R. (2016). Book review: Véronique Dudouet (Ed.): Civil Resistance and Conflict Transformation: Transitions from Armed to Nonviolent Struggle: London: Routledge, 2015. Democracy and Security, Vol 12 (3), 221-223. 
  • Moghadam, A., Berger, R., & Beliakova, P. (2014). Say Terrorist, Think Insurgent: Labeling and Analyzing Contemporary Terrorist Actors. Perspectives on Terrorism, 8(5).