Nikolas Kosmatopoulos

Stavros Niarchos Postdoctoral Fellow

Columbia University

Nikolas Kosmatopoulos is a cultural anthropologist who specializes in questions of contemporary government by expertise and technopolitics, with a specific focus on the Middle East and the Mediterranean. He holds a PhD in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Zurich (summa cum laude) as well as a Master in Cultural Anthropology from the Free University in Berlin and a degree in Economics and Political Economy from the University of Piraeus. He has taught in Athens (Panteios), Berlin (Free University), Zurich U, Paris (Sciences Po) and New York City (Columbia University).

His research adopts an ethnographic and historical approach to shifting patterns and expanding powers of global government in questions of post-welfare development, peace making, state building, crisis resolution, unrest control, and security. Based on over twenty months of ethnographic fieldwork and archival research, his doctoral dissertation, Pacifying Lebanon: Violence, Power and Expertise in the Middle East, examined the emergence of a particularly novel kind of power, which he suggests calling 'the power to pacify' and which ultimately contributes to the continuation of the status quo of endemic violence and omnipresent perceptions of crisis in the contemporary Middle East.

Nikolas is currently working on two book projects. The first is based on his doctoral research and is tentatively called "Master Peace: Governing Violence and Crisis in Contemporary Lebanon". The second, entitled "A.N.T.s at War" is based on his ethnography of the Gaza Flotilla.