Yaniv’s research broadly concerns the international and comparative politics of the Middle East and North Africa, although his recent works have also covered the Horn of Africa. His main aim has been to understand the internal dynamics of these regions, countries, and societies, putting them at the centre of his work and exploring how cases from these regions can enrich existing theories in the field of politics and develop new ones. His studies have covered various themes, including contested sovereignty, separatist violence, civil wars, diaspora politics, and, more recently, the changing nature of armed forces and their social and political roles. His recent book, Second-Generation Liberation Wars: Rethinking Colonialism in Iraqi Kurdistan and Southern Sudan, came out in 2022 as part of Cambridge University Press’s series on Intelligence and National Security in Africa and the Middle East. He is also the author of The Kurdish Liberation Movement in Iraq: From Insurgency to Statehood (Routledge, 2014). He has published articles in journals such as International Affairs, Democratization, Terrorism and Political Violence, the Middle East Journal and the International Journal of Middle East Studies. He is a regular commentator on Middle Eastern affairs and has been interviewed and quoted by the BBC, Aljazeera, i news, TRT and other news platforms.
In 2023, Yaniv won the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation Distinguished Scholar Award. This grant serves Yaniv in carrying out a research project on the role of pro-government militias in conflict and their impact on the political and social order in the countries in which they operate. In 2018-2019, Yaniv was a Conflict Research Fellow at the Conflict Research Programme at the London School of Economics and Political Science, supported by DFID and the Social Science Research Council. As part of this fellowship, Yaniv completed a research project on diaspora returnees and their integration into political and civil society activism in their homelands, focusing on Iraqi Kurdistan, Somaliland and South Sudan.
Yaniv has been a member of the school since 2016. Before that, he was a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh. He completed his PhD in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Yaniv is happy to supervise PhD students interested in every aspect of Middle East politics, broadly defined, as well as separatism and liberation struggles.