As a military historian Thijs Brocades Zaalberg teaches and writes on colonial warfare, counter-insurgency and peace operations. He has studied at the University of Groningen and Trinity College Dublin and earned his PhD at the University of Amsterdam in 2005. After a short period as a defence analyst at the Clingendael Centre for Strategic Studies, he started working at the Netherlands Institute of Military History (NIMH) in The Hague. Currently he holds positions as an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Military Sciences of the Netherlands Defence Academy in Breda and as an Assistant Professor at Leiden University.
His research concentrates on the nexus between the military operations and civil authorities in crisis and armed conflict. On this topic he has authored Soldiers and Civil Power: Supporting or Substituting Civil Authorities in Modern Peace Operations and co-authored A Gentle Occupation: Dutch Military Operations in Iraq, 2003-2005. As an author and editor he also contribute to the volumes on overseas military operations in the NIMH handbook series The Military History of the Netherlands. Another book he co-authored is American Visions of the Netherlands East Indies: US Foreign Policy and Indonesian Nationalism, 1920-1949.