Dave van Zoonen is a Junior Research Fellow at the Middle Eastern Research Institute (MERI). He attained a BSc in Finance at the University of Applied Sciences in Amsterdam (HVA) in 2011, after which he spent several years working for different financial institutions, including the Netherland’s largest sustainable bank Triodos. Dave undertook an MA in International Relations at the Free University of Amsterdam (VU) in 2013, where he graduated cum laude (with distinction). During his time at the VU, Dave also worked in the Political Science department as a Research Assistant. Here he supported research on the influence of policy-planning networks and think tanks on US grand strategy and foreign policy during the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations, with a particular focus on the rise of China and the future of US-Sino relations.
Dave’s own research focused mainly on the challenges surrounding the resolution of civil conflict and the demobilization and disarmament of rebel factions. Additionally, Dave has written extensively on issues connected to the ethics of modern warfare, in particular US war operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the use of armed drones and private military firms.