Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies

Dr Brett Edwards

A lecturer in security and public policy working at the intersection of technology, security and global governance

Photo of Brett Edwards

1 West North 2.2
Tel: +44 (0) 1225 38 6466

Biochemsec 2030 Twitter


Brett Edwards joined the faculty in 2015 as a Lecturer. He will be teaching on a number of international security units this year. He has a wide range of research interests and is currently involved in a number of projects examining the security implications of cutting-edge biotechnology, the governance of biological and chemical weapons as well as humanitarian intervention.

He has recently finished a project funded by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) and ESRC, working on how the convergence of the biological and chemical sciences impacts on international arms control and national resilience. The Principal Investigator on this Project was Professor David Galbreath. This project ended in January 2015. This project was part of the Science and Security programme.

Before holding this post, Dr Edwards held a number of research and teaching positions. He also completed a Wellcome funded research fellowship at the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology in 2013. He has an interdisciplinary academic background in the natural and social sciences. His PhD involved a comparative case study of national approaches to addressing security challenges raised by 'synthetic biology', which is a promising area of biotechnological innovation. Dr Edwards also holds a MA in biotechnological law and ethics.

Dr Edwards regularly contributes to expert meetings on biological and chemical weapons. Most recently this has included involvement with a civil society initiative designed to foster collaboration between UK and Chinese scientists in the area of Chemical, Biological and Nuclear verification.

Research Interests

  • Global Governance
  • Responsible Innovation
  • 'Technical Expertise' in policy making
  • Taboo weapons
  • Resilience
  • Disarmament


  • Brett has run seminars for several undergraduate modules including Political Ideologies, Key Concepts in Politics and  International History.
  • Brett has also taught on a number of MA level units in the area of international security and foreign policy analysis.
  • Currently Brett runs the Contemporary International Security MA module.


Book Sections

Edwards, B., 2017. Forthcoming. Resilience, Security and Defence. In: Handook on Defence Studies. Routledge.

Revill, J. and Edwards, B., 2015. What counts as the hostile use of chemicals. In: Rappert, B. and Balmer, B., eds. Absence in Science, Security and Policy. Basingstoke, U. K.: Palgrave Macmillan. (Global Issues)

Revill, J., Edwards, B. and Minehata, M., 2015. Dealing With Biological Weapons In The 21st Century:The role of a web of prevention 2.0. In: Bioterrorismo y Bioseguridad. University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU.


Edwards, B., 2016. Review of Chemical Control by Michael Crowley (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016). Contemporary Security Policy

Edwards, B., 2015. Escaping the False Dilemma of Strategic Nuclear and Biological Deterrence. Contemporary Security Policy, 36 (2), pp. 371-373.

Edwards, B., 2015. The "false allure" of biological weapons deterrence. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Roundtable: The wint.

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.

Edwards, B. and Kelle, A., 2012. A life scientist, an engineer and a social scientist walk into a lab: challenges of dual-use engagement and education in synthetic biology. Medicine, Conflict & Survival, 28 (1), pp. 5-18.


Revill, J., McLeish, C., Johnson, S., Ghionis, A. and Edwards, B., 2016. Syria collection:workshop summary. University of Sussex. (Harvard Sussex Program Occasional Paper)

Edwards, B. and Revill, J., 2016. Decade of Synthetic Biology in the Context of the Biological and Toxin Weapon Convention and the Chemical Weapon Convention.Vol. 10. Biochemical Security 2030 Project. (biochemical Security 2030 Project Paper Series)

Edwards, B., 2013. Science and Technology Review in the BWC and CWC:Policy Primer For the Biochemical Security 2030 Project. Biochemical Security 2030 Policy Paper Series.

Edwards, B. and Bunn, S., 2013. Cosmetic procedures:Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology: POST-Note number 444. Houses of Parliament.

Conference or Workshop Items

Edwards, B., 2014. Securitization theory:What can be learned from the policy process literature? In: ISA 2014 Conference, 2014-03-26 - 2014-03-29.

Non-academic press

Edwards, B., Revill, J. and Cartei, V., 2015. Why stopping acid attacks is a matter of chemical weapons control. The Conversation

Edwards, B. and Cacciatori, M., 2015. Chlorine attacks continue in Syria with no prospect of Assad being brought to account. The Conversation


Edwards, B. and Cacciatori, M., 2016. UN report holds Assad responsible for chemical attacks – but don’t expect justice any time soon.

Edwards, B. and Cacciatori, M., 2016. Why Boris Johnson must support continued criminal investigations into the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

Edwards, B. and Cacciatori, M., 2016. Syria and the Future of the Chemical Weapon Taboo. e-International Relations.

Edwards, B., 2016. The Threat from Biological Weapons. The Cipher Brief.

Edwards, B., 2015. Biochemical Security 2030 website.

This list was generated on Sat Oct 21 18:08:14 2017 IST.

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