Riaan Visagie is a PhD candidate and German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) scholarship holder of the Institute of Political Science at the University of Heidelberg in Germany (2019-current). Riaan holds a research-based Master's degree in Political Science from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa (2017-2018), and – as a Commonwealth Scholar – a taught Master’s degree in Intelligence and International Security from King’s College London in the United Kingdom (2015-2016). Previously Riaan received both an Honours and Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from his alma mater in South Africa (2014, and 2011-2013 respectively).
Riaan’s research interests include intrastate armed conflicts, conflict causation, and conflict strategies, and is reflected in his PhD project: “Means and Ends in Politics and War: Towards a New Model for Understanding the Recurrence of Conflict in Post-Conflict Societies” (working title, under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Aurel Croissant). This study aims to identify the relationship between the strategic cultures of violent non-state actors (VNSAs) and the phenomenon of armed conflict recurrence in societies which have previously suffered from two or more incidents of intrastate armed conflicts.