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Dr Charles Laurie is a Director and Head of Politics at Verisk Maplecroft, a risk analysis company in the UK. He leads 35 analysts covering the company’s global coverage of key political, social and economic risks on behalf of governments, NGOs and many of the world’s leading companies. Charles specialises in assessing political stability, conflict, migration and human rights conditions.

Charles earned a doctorate in political sociology from the University of Oxford and an MPhil in social and political science from the University of Cambridge. His doctorate was funded in part by a fellowship from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation in New York. He was a Research Associate at the African Studies Centre at the University of Oxford and has also advised and conducted research at the University of Warwick.

Charles has extensive field experience in sub-Saharan Africa both in a professional and academic capacities. Having grown up on a farm in Zimbabwe, he also has a deep understanding of the political and social context within the country.

His doctoral research focused on the violent takeover of commercial farms in Zimbabwe between 2000 and 2008. He investigated why Robert Mugabe’s government targeted its commercial farming sector, the extent to which farm seizures were driven by political objectives, and why the state deployed such extensive violence against a largely unarmed population.