Timothy Williams holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Mannheim and an MSc in Comparative Politics (Conflict Studies) from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He has been a PhD student at the Free University since 2012, and has been awarded a doctoral scholarship from the Heinrich Böll Stiftung to conduct his research. Furthermore, he works as a research and teaching associate at the Center for Conflict Studies at the University of Marburg. Outside of academia he is the founder and Executive Director of Beyond Violence (www.beyondviolence.org), a web platform promoting non-violent conflict transformation. His research interests include the micro and meso dynamics of violence, causes of genocide, the civil and secessionist wars, particularly in Southeast Asia, as well as Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) in conflict studies.
Timothy’s PhD research focuses on the question of why people participate in genocide, seeking to understand not only the motivations for participation, but also how people come to be recruited and their pathways to violence. While there have been several excellent studies on the micro-dynamics of genocide, beyond individual cases thus far little work has been done on developing a more abstract and overarching model of why and how people come to participate in genocide across different contexts. This research project seeks to develop a model which will synthesize the concepts garnered from different case studies from across different fields, with ideas from social-psychological and sociological literature, historical and anthropological works. This model will then be tested empirically through conducting interviews with former perpetrators in the Balkans and Cambodia.