Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies

Conflict, Security & International Order


Cluster MOOC: Warfare in the 21st Century

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We are concerned with understanding and explaining the whole of the conflict cycle, from the origins of violent conflict to the development of peaceful cooperation. Our core themes are:

  • International security and inter-cultural dialogue
  • Contemporary European security and foreign policy
  • War, politics and society

Conflict and insecurity are complex social phenomena that pose challenging analytical and theoretical problems.

Conflict is manifest at the domestic, transnational and international level, and has serious consequences for both existing forms of governance and representation; and for patterns of identify formation and political allegiance. Patterns of conflict, security and cooperation are also key determinants of international and regional order.






Research focus

  • The causes of violent conflict and insecurity
  • The changing nature of war and violent conflict
  • Processes of conflict resolution and peace building
  • The nature of ‘peace’ (including ‘stable peace’), ‘durable peace’ and ‘just peace’
  • The ethics of war and peace
  • The transformation of foreign and security policy
  • Cooperation between the EU, OSCE and NATO
  • Peacebuilding Dynamics in Asia
  • Transnational organised crime groups

We take a broad and comprehensive approach to the contemporary security agenda, and embrace researchers utilising a variety of theoretical approaches and methodologies. At the same time, research on conflict and security involves a series of collaborative links across the Faculty and the University, and extensive networks with academics and practitioners nationally and internationally.

Student research

Some of our student research projects also relate to this cluster.

View some of our research surrounding the history of warfare, technology and the future of war in the digital age.

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Publications & Activity

European Security journal cover

European Security is a quarterly academic journal.

Editor-in-Chief, Professor David Galbreath

Dr Felia Allum

  • With Alessandro Colletti, Debate piece 'Italian mafias in Europe: An Information Gap?' in The European Review of Organised crime, vol 2, n. 1, (2015) 149-160.
  • With M. Den Boer, ‘The EU and Organised Crime: a political object constructing a complex criminal activity’ in The Journal of European Integration, Volume 35, Issue 2, 2013.
  • 'Italian Mafias in the UK: Continuing the debate, Policing, A Journal of Policy and Practice, Oxford, OUP, 2013.
  • 'Italian Mafias in the UK’, Policing, A Journal of Policy and Practice, Oxford, OUP, 2012.
  • With S. Gilmour (co-editor) The Routledge Handbook of Transnational Organized Crime, (Routledge, 2011)
  • With F. Longo, D. Irrera and P. Kostakos (co-editors) Defining and Defying Organised crime: Discourse, Perceptions and Reality (2010, Routledge).

Dr Wali Aslam

Professor Anna Bull

Mattia Cacciatori

Andrea Delgado

  • Delgado, A., Skinner, M., & Calvi, P. (2013, April). Disasters and diversity: a study of humanitarian financing for older people and children under five. Retrieved from HelpAge International

Professor Bill Durodie

  • War on Terror or a Search for Meaning? pp.21-30 in Looking Back, Looking Forward: Perspectives on Terrorism and Responses to it, US Joint Chiefs of Staff/Department of Defense Strategic Multi-Layer Assessment White Paper, Arlington, VA, September 2013
  • The Changing Nature of Riots in the Contemporary Metropolis from Ideology to Identity: Lessons from the Recent UK Riots, Journal of Risk Research (Impact Factor 1.24 ISI), Vol. 15, No. 4, pp.347-354, May 2012

Dr Brett Edwards

  • Edwards, B., 2014. Taking stock of security concerns related to synthetic biology in an age of responsible innovation. Frontiers in Public Health, 2, 79.
  • Edwards, B., Revill, J. and Bezuidenhout, L., 2014. From cases to capacity? : a critical reflection on the role of 'ethical dilemmas' in the development of dual-use governance. Science and Engineering Ethics, 20 (2), pp. 571-582.

Professor David Galbreath

Professor Timo Kivimaki

Dr Scott Thomas

  • Scott M Thomas, ‘Culture, Religion, and Violence: Rene Girard’s Mimetic Theory,’Millennium, 43, 1 (2014): 308-327.
  • Scott M Thomas, ‘The Religious Turn in the Study of International Relations,’ The Review of Faith & International Affairs, 12, 4 (2014): 76-82

Dr Sophie Whiting

Dr Bryan Wong



Staff Research interests Email
Dr Felia Allum
  • Transnational organised crime groups
  • Italian Mafias in Europe/world
  • Women in organised crime groups
  • Anti-organised crime policies
Dr Wali Aslam
  • International Security
  • Asian Security
  • International Relations theory
  • United States foreign policy
Professor Anna Bull
  • Political violence/terrorism
  • Memory of conflict
  • Post-conflict reconciliation
Professor Bill Durodie
  • Risk
  • Resilience
  • Radicalization
  • Politics of Fear
Dr Brett Edwards
  • Arms control and non-proliferation
  • Non-traditional security issues
  • Science and technology
Professor David Galbreath
  • Contemporary international security
  • Defence studies
  • War studies
  • National security
  • Technology and science
Professor Timo Kivimaki
  • Trends in warfare
  • The long peace of East Asia and the rise of China
  • Pragmatist meta-theory in peace research
Dr Yukteshwar Kumar
Dr Oliver Walton
  • The role of NGOs in peacebuilding
  • Post-Conflict governance
  • Third party mediation and conflict resolution
  • Sri-Lankan Politics
Dr Sophie Whiting
  • Conflict and reconciliation
  • Gender politics
  • British politics and parties
Dr Bryan Wong
  • China and East Asia in the World
  • Statecraft and geopolitics in the Indo-Pacific region
  • The biblical notion of the ‘Principalities and Powers’ and the possibility for a ‘prophetic social science’ in East Asia
Dr Scott Thomas
  • culture, religion, and international relations, focusing especially on international conflict and international cooperation
  • mimetic theory, culture, religion, and violence in international relations
  • religion, peacemaking, and peace building

PhD Students

Student Research interests Email
Derek Bolton
  • International security and inter-cultural dialogue
  • Contemporary European security and foreign policy
  • War, politics and society
Mattia Cacciatori
  • Transitional Justice
  • Post-Conflict Societies
  • International Tribunals
Luke Cahill
Andrea Delgado
  • Arms export control regimes and International trade of arms
  • Non-proliferation regimes, arms embargoes, arms trade fuelling arms conflict
  • quantitative analysis for social sciences
Richard Guthrie
Diorella Islas
  • The Transnationalisation of Mexican Cartels
Neville Li
Dimitrios Machairas
  • Cyberwarfare
  • Deterrence theory
  • Technology and war
Syed Shah

Past Events


Title Date
International Conference on American Foreign Policy 15-16 September 2016
Conference on Contemporary Security Challenges in Asia 12 June 2015
Conference on Contemporary Security Challenges in Asia 25 April 2014


The table below provides links to further details following past seminar events. You can also access a full listing of past research cluster seminars at the bottom of the listings page.


Title Speaker Date
Raising Silent Voices: How cultural expression of conflict can inform analysis and intervention strategies in Myanmar Dr. Rachel Julian, Senior Lecturer in Peace Studies, Leeds Beckett University 14 March 2017
Following The Wires Dr Daniele Rugo, Senior Lecturer in Film at Brunel University London 21 February 2017
US unipolar preponderance and the nuclear revolution Professor Campbell Craig, Professor of International Relations, Cardiff University 24 November 2016
"You can’t go back." Navigating the Central Mediterranean during Europe’s Refugee Crisis Dr Simon Macmahon, University of Coventry 15 November 2016
Sexual Violence against Men (in conflict) Professor Marysia Zalewski (University of Cardiff) 3 November 2016
Human rights advocacy, war and false narrative: Rwanda revisited Dr Barrie Collins (Independent researcher) 27 October 2016
US Foreign Policy and the 2016 Election: Does it matter? Professor Robert Singh (Birkbeck, University of London) 11 October 2016


Title Speaker Date
The Global Village Myth: Distance, War and the Limits of Power Professor Patrick Porter (University of Exeter) 5 April 2016
A New Discourse for the Palestine Question? Professor Ilan Pappe (University of Exeter) 8 March 2016
The Politics of Subjectivity in American Foreign Policy Discourses Dr Ty Solomon (University of Glasgow) 25 February 2016
Genocide and the Ending of a War Dr Klejda Mulaj (University of Exeter) 18 February 2016
Security Communities in South America: ABC countries and cooperation towards the Region Dr Jaime Baeza Freer (University of Chile) 9 February 2016
Future Spooks: Secret Intelligence in 2025 Professor Richard Aldrich (University of Warwick) 28 January 2016
State Security Structures: Paramilitaries and Pro-government militias Dr Govinda Clayton (University of Kent) 3 December 2015
The Paradox of Conflict Tourism: The Commodification of War, or Conflict Transformation in Practice? Professor Feargal Cochrane (University of Kent) 1 December 2015
The Restless Reservist: Gendered Labour and the Reproduction of Britain’s Warfighting Capacity Dr Victoria M Basham (University of Exeter) 24 November 2015
Triumph and Tradgedy: The Victory of Just War Dr Cian O'Driscoll (Glasgow University) 20 October 2015
Targeted killings and drones: The morality of lesser evils (Skype event) Professor Akbar S. Ahmed (American University in Washington)
Dr Brian Glynn Williams (University of Massachusets, Dartmouth, USA)
Ms Jenufer Gibson (Reprive's coordinator on drone strikes in Pakistan)
6 October 2015


Title Speaker Date
Foundations of the American Century: Ford, Carnegie and Rockefeller Foundations in the Rise of American Power Professor Inderjeet Parmar (City University London) 7 May 2015
Obama the "innovating ideologist": imminence and justifications for counter-terrorism from Bush to Obama Dr Luca Trenta (Swansea University) 5 May 2015
Twin Births, Divergent Democracies: The Historical Origins of Indian and Pakistani Politics Today Maya Tudor (University of Oxford) 28 April 2015
Anthropologists at War: The United States Army’s Human Terrain System in Iraq and Afghanistan Christopher Sims, King's College London 14 April 2015
Cross-Conflict Dialogue: Testing the Contact Hypothesis with Israelis and Palestinians Professor Rosemary Hollis (City University London) 3 March 2015
Transforming Insecurity from the Grassroots Dr Eric Herring (University of Bristol) 9 December 2014
The creation of governments-in-waiting: the Arab Uprisings and legitimacy in the international system
Dr Glen Rangwala (University of Cambridge) 4 December 2014
Nation States and the Political Geography of the Middle East, 1800-2040 Dr William Gallois (University of Exeter) 25 November 2014
Jerusalem: Microcosm of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict Professor Mick Dumper (University of Exeter) 19 November 2014
The Gulf Monarchies: From Arab Spring to Counter-Revolution Dr Chris Davidson, Durham University 11 November 2014
IS in Iraq and Syria: The Militant Subject Dr Faisal Devji, University of Oxford 7 October 2014