She completed her BA (honours) in Political Science at the University of Toronto; MSc. in Comparative Government at the London School of Economics; and PhD in International Relations at the London School of Economics. Her book Russian Foreign Policy and the CIS; Ideas, Policies and Actions, a revised version of her PhD dissertation was published by Routledge in 2003. It systematically examines Russia’s political debates concerning military conflicts in the former Soviet states (separatist wars in Georgia and Moldova, and civil war in Tajikistan) to determine the extent to which ideas and debates influenced foreign policy choice.
After completing her PhD, Nicole was Security and Defence Forum post-doctoral fellow at the Centre for Security and Defence Studies, Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University, Ottawa, 2001-02, where her postdoctoral research project and several publications examined the implications of new threats on Russia-NATO relations.
Nicole’s most recent post was Human Security Fellow at the Centre of International Relations, Liu Institute for Global Issues, University of British Columbia. Her work analyses the role of the international community in countering clandestine transnational activities (arms, narcotic and human trafficking and “terrorism”) in post-Soviet Central Asia; and critically assesses international organizations’ promotion of human, state and global security. Articles from this project have been published by the Canadian Consortium on Human Security and are forthcoming in Central Asia Survey and Third World Quarterly.
Currently, Nicole is continuing this research on security and Central Asia, specifically on assessing how and why underlying conditions may lead to the growth of extremism, terrorism and criminal networks; and how international norms, policies and actions may promote global security and protect vulnerable states. She is also involved in a Ford-sponsored project on securitisation and illegal migration in Asia with IDSS Singapore and the University of Hong Kong.
Nicole has held numerous research awards and has conducted extensive fieldwork in Russia and Central Asia.