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.
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.
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).