Research and Knowledge Exchange

Page currently under revision

Our research has clear policy relevance, providing analysis and assessment of security practices, policies, and actors and organisations. The breadth of our research meets the demand from policymakers and practitioners for information and research tools on security issues. CeSeR designs and supports specific public events to showcase our research and its relevance to the policymaking and practitioner communities.

Some examples of our recent research output and knowledge exchange activities include:

Community Engagement and Stakeholders

Carmen Gebhard works with military and non-governmental stakeholders involved in civilian protection programs in conflicts associated with religious differences.


Andrew Neal, Richard Brodie, Andrew Hom and Oliver Turner participated in a three-day continious professional development conference at Edinburgh Castle organised by the Ministry of Defence for learning development officers in December 2016. They shared their knowledge and analytical skill-set to widen the scope of the teaching personnel’s knowledge on various security issues and geographical areas, and improve their ability to place it within conceptual context. This conference was a great opportunity to promote community engagement and strengthen the ties between two sets of security experts: security practitioners and security researchers.

Carmen Gebhard organised a workshop in the context of a special issue for European Security that brought contributors together with practitioner discussants in November 2016. The co-editors used the opportunity for a soft re-launch of Defence Studies of which PIR/CeSeR's Dr Carmen Gebhard as well as Dr Simon J Smith (Staffordshire University) will be editor-in-chief from 2017 onwards.


George Wilkes has consulted on  the British Army on military ethics policy and has worked with staff from other militaries on national ethics programmes and dialogues. Through the Relwar Project, an interdisciplinary collaboration, he has organised stakeholder exchanges focused on religion, security and conflict, for diplomats, humanitarians, atrocity prevention specialists and peacebuilders and a programme of public engagement on reconciliation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Evidence and Expert Advice

Juliet Kaarbo has given evidence to the parliamentary committees in the UK and Scottish parliaments and has made numerous public and government-sponsored presentations and media appearances on the foreign policy implications of Scottish independence. Juliet has also trained analysts at the U.S. Department of Defense and Central Intelligence Agency on leadership analysis.

Charles Raab has participated in European surveillance, privacy and security research, which is increasingly important to security agendas. He has been a partner in a number of FP7 projects, and provided evidence and expertise to the Intelligence and Security Committee and the Anderson Inquiry, as well as serving as Specialist Advisor to the House of Lords Select Committee on the Constitution for their report on ‘Surveillance: Citizens and the State’, HL Paper18, Session 2008-09.  Raab was appointed (in 2015) Co-Chair of the Independent Digital Ethics Panel for Policing (IDEPP), established by the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC).  He is a member of the EUROPOL Data Protection Experts Network (EDEN).

Research Projects


Claire Duncanson’s research project on British women soldiers in Afghanistan culminated in a workshop with key military personnel in 2015. The British Military’s Army Women in Ground Close Combat Review Team have registered their interest in the findings of Claire’s research. Duncanson is regularly asked to contribute to stakeholder conferences and seminars on the importance of gender perspectives to successful peacebuilding. As part of ongoing work with WILPF (Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom) Academic Network, Claire participated in the Scottish Parliament event to mark UN International Day of Peace and UN International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.


Andrew Neal, Juliet Kaarbo and Charles Raab led the ESRC seminar series on Scotland and security, with or without constitutional change. It engaged UK and Scottish governments, the intelligence community, and security experts from a range of European countries, in particular informing public and policy debate in the run-up to the Scottish independence referendum.

Selection of Recent Publications


Kaarbo, J., and Kenealy, D. (2017). Precedents, parliaments, and foreign policy: historical analogy in the House of Commons vote on Syria. West European Politics, 40(1), 62-79.

Wagner, W., Herranz-Surrallés, A., Kaarbo, J., and Ostermann, F. (2017). The party politics of legislative‒executive relations in security and defence policy. West European Politics, 40(1), 20-41.


Allinson, J. (2016) The Struggle for the State in Jordan, the Social Origins of Alliances in the Middle East, London: I.B. Tauris & Co. Ltd

Beasley, R. K., and Kaarbo, J. (2016). Casting for a sovereign role: Socialising an aspirant state in the Scottish independence referendum. European Journal of International Relations.

Birdsall, A. (2016). But we don’t call it ‘torture’! Norm contestation during the US ‘War on Terror’. International Politics, 53(2), 176-197.

Birdsall, A. (2015, March). The Responsibility to Prosecute and the ICC: A Problematic Relationship?. In Criminal Law Forum (Vol. 26, No. 1, pp. 51-72).

Chen, W., Aspinall, D., Gordon, A. D., Sutton, C., and Muttik, I. (2016). On robust malware classifiers by verifying unwanted behaviours. International Conference on Integrated Formal Methods (pp. 326-341).

Cuhadar, E., Kaarbo, J., Kesgin, B., and Ozkececi-Taner, B., (2016) Examining Leaders’ Orientations to Structural Constraints: Turkey’s 1991 and 2003 Iraqi War DecisionsJournal of International Relations and Development.

Duncanson, C (2016) Gender and Peacebuilding, Cambridge: Polity Press.

Duncanson, C., and Woodward, R. (2016). Regendering the military: Theorizing women’s military participation. Security dialogue, 47(1), pp.3-21.

Hom, A., Angst Springs Eternal: Dangerous Times and the Dangers of Timing the “Arab Spring”, Security Dialogue 47(2): 165-183.

Hom, A., ‘Timing, Identity, and Emotion in International Relations’, in Andrew R. Hom, Christopher McIntosh, Alasdair McKay, and Liam Stockdale, eds. ‪A Space for Time: Essays on Time, Temporality and Global Politics. Bristol: E-International Relations Publishing (with Ty Solomon) .

Hom, A. Child’s Play: Temporal Discourse, Counterpower, and Environmental Politics’, chapter in Anna M. Agathangelou and Kyle Killian (eds.), Time, Temporality and Violence in IR: (De) Fatalizing the Present, Forging Radical Alternatives. Abingdon: Routledge Interventions Series (with Brent J. Steele).

Kaarbo, J. and Kenealy, D. (2016) No, Prime Minister:  Explaining the House of Commons Vote on Intervention in Syria, European Security.

Pan, C. and Turner, O. (2016), ‘Neoconservatism as Discourse: Virtue, Power and US Foreign Policy’, European Journal of International Relations.

Pospisil, J., and Gruber, B. (2016) Resilience and the transformation of sovereign security: A look at policy challenges and interests, Resilience: International Policies, Practices and Discourses, Vol 4, pp202-216.

Syed, Shahida N., Marie J. Ducrotoy, and Till T. Bachmann (2016)  Antimicrobial resistance diagnostics: time to call in the young?.The Lancet Infectious Diseases 16.5, pp.519-521. 

Thaler, M. (2016). Unhinged Frames: Assessing Thought Experiments in Normative Political Theory. British Journal of Political Science, 1-23. 

Thaler, M. (2016) A Pragmatist Defence of the Ban on Torture: From Moral Absolutes to Constitutive Rules of Reasoning. Political Studies 64, no. 3.

Turner, O. (2016), ‘China, India and the US Rebalance to the Asia Pacific: The Geopolitics of Rising Identities’, Geopolitics.

Turner O. (2016), ‘The US and China: Obama’s Cautious Engagement’, in Holland, J. and Bentley, M. (eds.) The Obama Doctrine: Legacy and Continuity in US Foreign Policy. London: Routledge.


Duncanson, C. (2015). Hegemonic masculinity and the possibility of change in gender relations. Men and Masculinities, 18(2), pp.231-248.

Gandi, S. K., Watson, D., Kersaudy-Kerhoas, M., Desmulliez, M. P., Bachmann, T., and Bridle, H. (2015). Impact of microfluidic processing on bacterial ribonucleic acid expression. Biomicrofluidics, 9(3).

Gebhard, C., and Smith, S. J. (2015). The two faces of EU–NATO cooperation: Counter-piracy operations off the Somali coast. Cooperation and conflict, 50(1), pp.107-127.

Gruber, B., and Pospisil, J. (2015) ‘Ser Eleno’: Insurgent identity formation in the ELN,  Small Wars & Insurgencies, Vol 26, pp.226-247.

Jones, R., and Sparks, R. (2015) Punishment. London: Routledge.

Molony, T. (2015) 'Julius Kambarage Nyerere: His formative years'. In Remembering Julius Nyerere in Tanzania: History, Memory, Legacy, ed. M.-A. Fouéré, pp.65-72. Dar es Salaam: Mkuki na Nyota.

Perugini, N., & Gordon, N. (2015). The human right to dominate. Oxford University Press.

Pospisil, J., and Kuehn, F. (2015) The Resilient State: New Regulatory Modes in International Approaches to Statebuilding? Third World Quarterly, Vol 37, pp.1-16.

Raab, C. Jones, R., and Székely, I. (2015), Surveillance and Resilience in Theory and Practice. Media and Communication, Vol 3, pp.21-41.

Stein, E. (2015) Intellectual dynamics in the Middle East and North Africa, London: Routledge.

Stein, E., and Kendall, E. (Eds) (2015) Twenty-First Century Jihad: Law, Society and Military Action, London: IB Tauris.

Volpi, F., and Stein, E. (2015). Islamism and the state after the Arab uprisings: Between people power and state power. Democratization, 22(2), pp.276-293.


Aradau, C., Neal, A., Huysmans, J., and Voelkner, N. (Eds.) (2014) Critical Security Methods: New Frameworks for Analysis. London: Routledge.

Fielding, P. (2014). Black Books: Sedition, Circulation, and The Lay of the Last Minstrel, ELH, 81(1), pp.197-223.

Marks, Z. (2014) Sexual Violence in Sierra Leone’s Civil War: “Virgination”, rape, and marriage, African Affairs, 113(450), pp. 67-87.

Pospisil, J., and Besancenot, S. (2014) EU Donor Policies in Situations of Fragility: Promoting ‘Resilience’?, European Journal of Development Research, Vol 26, pp 614-628.

Stein, E. (2014) Studying Islamism after the Arab Spring, Journal of Mediterranean Politics, Volume 19 Issue 1.

Thaler, M., and Mihai M. (2014) On the Uses and Abuses of Political Apologies. Basingstoke/New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Thaler, M. (2014) On Time in Just War Theory: From Chronos to Kairos. Polity 46, no. 4, pp.520–546.

Thaler, M. (2014) Political Imagination and the Crime of Crimes: Coming to Terms with ‘Genocide’ and ‘Genocide Blindness’.Contemporary Political Theory 13, no. 4.

Thaler, M. (2014) Neo-Grotian Predicaments: On Larry May’s Theory of International Criminal Law. Journal of International Political Theory 10, no. 3, 345–60.

Turner, O. (2014), American Images of China: Identity, Power, Policy. London: Routledge.

Turner, O. (2014), ‘The US Pivot to the Asia Pacific’, in Parmar, I., Miller, L. and Ledwidge, M. (eds.) Obama and the World: New Directions in US Foreign Policy, 2nd edition, London: Routledge, pp.219-230.


Gebhard, C., & Galbreath, D. J. (Eds.). (2013). Cooperation Or Conflict?: Problematizing Organizational Overlap in Europe. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd..

Turner, O. (2013), ‘Threatening China and US Security: The International Politics of Identity’, Review of International Studies 39(4), pp.903-924.

Turner, O. (2013), ‘Finishing the Job: The UN’s Special Committee on Decolonization and the Politics of Self-Governance’, Third World Quarterly 34(7), pp.1193-1208.