Nicolas Desgrais started reading for his PhD in International Relations at the Brussels School of International Studies in September 2016. His doctoral research focuses on the regional cooperation of African states in combatting terrorism in the Sahara-Sahel region. More specifically, he looks at how the threat of terrorism fosters the need for increased regional cooperation and the way this cooperation is institutionalized in regional organizations like the G5 Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin Commission. Dr. Yvan Guichaoua and Dr. Toni Haastrup supervise his research.
Nicolas has already worked extensively on African politics in the Sahara-Sahel region during his previous studies and jobs. He obtained his LL.B. at l'Université Paris X and his MA in Geopolitics at the French Institute of Geopolitics (IFG), writing on the mediation of Burkina Faso in the Malian crisis, the involvement of France and other countries in the Sahara-Sahel region and extraversion strategies in Africa. While studying, he also interned for the African Department at the French Ministry of the Armed Forces.
He has worked at the Institute of Strategic Research (IRSEM) and at the Defence Section of the French Embassy in Nigeria, where he focused on the military cooperation between France and Nigeria regarding counter-terrorism efforts against the Salafi-Jihadi insurgent group Boko Haram.
Nicolas has been a teaching assistant for Theories of Conflict and Violence and is currently a teaching assistant for Conflict and Security.