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News > Alumni News > Meet the Brachers

Meet the Brachers

Wayne and Mark share where life took them after WBS
24 Nov 2013
Alumni News
Mark Bracher
Mark Bracher
Starting with my brother Wayne: He went straight from West Buckland School Sixthform to Cardiff University to Study for a BEng in Civil and Environmental Engineering. After completing this degree he took a year out working in a structural engineer's office in Exeter. After this year out he returned to Cardiff University where he undertook a MEng in Structural Engineering -  in which he achieved a distinction. He is now working as a Structural Engineer in Portishead for Capita Symonds. 
After completing my A Levels at West Buckland School, I went straight to Swansea University where I completed a BA and MA in War and Society. I finished the MA with a Merit overall and a distinction in my dissertation - "the Arab Spring and its implications for Arab identity" - which has directly influenced my PhD aspirations.
I was offered a place to study for a PhD at Exeter in January 2013. However due to difficulties with funding I had to defer my place until September 2014. I spent last academic year (June 2012-September 2013) working in a hotel while applying for PhD funding. I am now self-funding a Masters Degree in Middle East Politics at Exeter University, with the hope of starting my PhD on completion of this degree. However as of yet I am still yet to secure funding. 
My PhD is investigating how extremist Islamist social movements are affecting the democratic transitional process in post-revolutionary Libya and Tunisia. This is a new phenomenon across the region that is so far very little studied. It is my intention to spend time within Libya and Tunisia to aid in these studies. It is an extremely important issue as such movements have declared their loyalty to al-Qaeda, and there is growing evidence of transnational cooperation between these different movements. Mainstream public opinion in Tunisia and Libya has so far largely rejected such movements. However as formal governments fail to provide security and services, these groups are gaining increasing traction by offering shadow state security and humanitarian services to those in need. As such, these groups present a significant threat of undermining the legitimacy of national governments in the region. This humanitarian strategy poses a far greater threat to transitional governments in the region than traditional al-Qaeda terrorist strategy ever did.  

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