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Past Lectures

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Constraining Violence

A CSTPVxCREST round table featuring Dr Tim Wilson, Dr Sarah Marsden, Dr Ben Lee, Dr Joel Busher, Dr Bart Schuurman, and Dr Sarah Carthy.

How Political Violence Became Modern: A discussion of Killing Strangers

A bewildering feature of so much contemporary political violence is its stunning impersonality. Every major city centre becomes a potential shooting gallery; and every metro system a potential bomb alley. Victims, just happen (as the saying goes) to be in the wrong place, at the wrong time. But how did such a strange form of violence emerge in the first place? Where does it come from historically? And what does it tells us about our own society and its values? Dr Tim Wilson is the Director of CSTPV. His new book ‘Killing Strangers: How Political Violence Became Modern’ has just been published by Oxford University Press in September 2020. Recorded 8 October 2020.

Dr Max Abrahms – Rules for Rebels

For the final lecture in the CSTPV Seminar Series in 2018 we were joined by Dr Max Abrahms to discuss his new book, Rules for Rebels. Dr. Abrahms is a professor of political science at Northeastern University and the author of Rules for Rebels: The Science of Victory in Militant History (2018). He frequently fields interviews about terrorism and counterterrorism with the Atlantic, Associated Press, BBC, Bloomberg, CNN, CNN International, Newsweek, New York Times, Voice of America, Washington Post, and other media outlets.

Does Terrorism Work? – Professor Richard English Inaugural Wardlaw Lecture

On 10 April 2013 CSTPV Director Richard English delivered his Inaugural Lecture as the Bishop Wardlaw Professor of Politics at the University of St Andrews entitled simply ‘Does Terrorism Work?’. These professorships are named after the founder of St Andrews University; and are awarded only to those who have made a particularly distinguished contribution to their field. Such inaugural lectures are occasions of great pageantry: but also of real intellectual substance. By tradition, they provide an occasion to showcase ground-breaking new research. On this occasion the lecture unveiled the outline of what became the classic study Does Terrorism Work? A History (OUP, 2016).

Dr Erin Saltman – CSTPV Postgraduate Workshop 2021

The transnational and cross-platform nature of terrorism and violent extremism – and ways to counter it Dr. Erin Saltman is the Director of Programming at the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT). She was formerly Facebook’s Head of Counterterrorism and Dangerous Organizations Policy for Europe, the Middle East and Africa; working with multi-sector stakeholders and building out CVE programs for Facebook in partnership with international NGOs. Dr Saltman’s background and expertise includes both far-right and Islamist extremist processes of radicalization within a range of regional and socio-political contexts. Her research and publications have focused on the evolving nature of online extremism and terrorism, gender dynamics within violent extremist organizations and youth radicalization. Previous roles include Senior Research and Programs positions at Quilliam Foundation and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD Global), where she remains a Research Fellow. Dr Saltman is a graduate of Columbia University (BA) and University College London (MA and PhD). Recorded 18/2/21 as part of the CSTPV Postgraduate Workshop 2021

Dr Joanna Cook – CSTPV Postgraduate Workshop 2021

Gender analysis in terrorism and counterterrorism Joana Cook is an Assistant Professor of Terrorism and Political Violence at Leiden University, and a Senior Project Manager at the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT, the Hague), as well as Editor in Chief of the ICCT journal. Joana is also an adjunct lecturer at Johns Hopkins University where she teaches on Radicalization in Terrorist Networks. Her additional affiliations include as non-resident fellow on the Program on Extremism at George Washington University; Research Affiliate with the Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security and Society (TSAS); and Digital Fellow at the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (MIGS) at Concordia University. Her first book, “A Woman’s Place: US Counterterrorism Since 9/11” was released in 2020 with Oxford University Press. Recorded 18/2/21 as part of the CSTPV Postgraduate Workshop 2021

Lord Carlile of Berriew CBE, QC – CSTPV Postgraduate Workshop 2021

More and more Law; but are we any nearer to learning how to de-radicalise? Alex Carlile was born in Wales in 1948. After education at Epsom College he graduated LLB AKC at King’s College London. Lord Carlile was called to the Bar by Gray’s Inn (where he is now a Bencher) in 1970 and became a Q.C. in 1984, at the age of 36. Until 2009 he was the Honorary Recorder of the City of Hereford. He sat as a Recorder of the Crown Court, a Deputy High Court Judge, and Chairman of the Competition Appeal Tribunal. Between 2001-2011, he was the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation; the Independent Reviewer of the Government’s new PREVENT policy and the independent reviewer of National Security policy in Northern Ireland. From 1983-1997 he was the Liberal (then Liberal Democrat) MP for Montgomeryshire in Mid Wales. During that time he served as spokesperson on a range of issues, including Home Affairs and the Law. He was Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats from 1992-7. He is now a Cross-Bench Peer. He was appointed a Life Peer in 1999 and was awarded the CBE in 2012 for services to national security. Lord Carlile is involved in numerous charities. He chairs Addaction and the White Ensign Association, and is President of the Royal Medical Foundation of Epsom College. He has a particular interest in mental health issues, and was a co-founder of the Welsh charity Rekindle. He is the Chairman of the Lloyd’s of London Enforcement Board. He is chairman of the not for profit company Design for Homes and is a founder director of SC Strategy Ltd, a strategy and public policy consultancy. Lord Carlile is the President of The Security Institute, a Fellow of King’s College London, and a Fellow of the Industry and Parliament Trust. He holds Honorary Doctorates of Laws and Philosophy in universities in Manchester, Wales, Chester and Hungary. He has long experience of child safeguarding issues. Recorded 18/2/21 as part of the CSTPV Postgraduate Workshop 2021

Global Collaboration against Terrorism in the 1970s

Silke Zoller is an assistant professor of history at Kennesaw State University. She holds a Ph.D. from Temple University and a M.A. from Tuebingen University, Germany. Silke has researched counterterrorism history in postdoctoral fellowships at the Clements Center for National Security and the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding.

Out of the Frying Pan: Abu Shekau’s Death and Implications for Boko Haram and Security in North East Nigeria Join omeni as he explores the implications of the death of Abu Shekau on Boko Haram and the security environment in northeast Nigeria. Shekau’s presence within Boko Haram since 2010 saw a variety of changes and challenges as splinter groups emerged and Boko Haram officially aligned itself with the Islamic State’s interest in West Africa. Would Shekau’s reported death in May 2021, supposedly at the hands of the Islamic State West Africa (IS-WA) faction of Boko Haram, make things better or worse for security in Nigeria? First broadcast 2 June 2021.
Security in Post-Military Nigeria A round table discussion about current and future security threats facing Nigeria as a post-military nation. Featuring: Chair: Dr Akali omeni, Lecturer at CSTPV Ambassador John Campbell, former US Ambassador to Nigeria IGP Solomon Arase, former Inspector General of the Nigerian Police Professor ‘Funmi Olonisakin, Vice-President and Vice-principal (International) Kings College London Professor ‘Funmi Olonisakin is Vice-President and Vice Principal International and Professor of Security, Leadership & development at King’s College London. ‘Funmi Iyanda, Film and Television Producer
Insurgency and War in Nigeria: A Conversation on Nigerian Army Adaptions (July 2017 – Date) Dr Akali Omeni presents his research on Boko Haram in Nigeria and how the Nigerian army have adapted to the new threats and tactics of Boko Haram over the past three years.

The British Army and the Troubles. 1966-1975
Dr Huw Bennett (Cardiff) Joint event with ISWS.

When Operation Banner was launched in 1969 civil war threatened to break out in Northern Ireland and spread over the Irish Sea. Uncivil War reveals the full story of how the British army acted to save Great Britain from disaster during the most violent phase of the Troubles but, in so doing, condemned the people of Northern Ireland to protracted, grinding conflict. Huw Bennett shows how the army’s ambivalent response to loyalist violence undermined the prospects for peace and heightened Catholic distrust in the state. British strategy consistently underestimated community defence as a reason for people joining or supporting the IRA whilst senior commanders allowed the army to turn in on itself, hardening soldiers to the suffering of ordinary people. By 1975 military strategists considered the conflict unresolvable: the army could not convince Catholics or Protestants that it was there to protect them and settled instead for an unending war.

Solidarity with Belarus

Belarus has been under the ever-tightening authoritarian grip of Alyaksandr Lukashenka since 1994, including a series of deeply flawed elections. But the presidential election on 9 August 2020 propelled the country into a phase of unprecedented popular mobilisation for democracy and human dignity – joint opposition candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya confounded the regime’s presumption of dominance through patronage and fear with a resounding electoral victory.

The rigged official results, unsurprisingly, saw Lukashenka named as the winner. The surprise which followed was the massive, snowballing popular rejection of the electoral theft. These demonstrations were met by unprecedented levels of violent repression, including documented rapes, brutal beatings, murders in security force custody, and mass detentions.

Tsikhanouskaya, now operating from Vilnius, has designated 7 February 2021 the Day of Solidarity with Belarus. The Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (CSTPV), together with the Schools of International Relations and History at the University of St Andrews, has assembled a panel to discuss the current situation, what the democratic world’s policy responses should be, and how ordinary citizens can show solidarity.


Andrei Dynko, editor of Nasha Niva

Alexandra Logvinova, head of public outreach for Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya

Dr Tomasz Kamusella, Reader at University of St Andrews School of History

Professor Rick Fawn, Professor at University of St Andrews School of International Relations

Dr Tim Wilson, Director of CSTPV
Stephen Gethins, Professor in Practice at University School of International Relations

Dr Kurt Bassuener, Seniro Associate at Democratisation Policy Council

First Broadcast 5/2/21

Going Mainstream: How Extremists are Taking Over

Julia Ebner (Oxford)

Incels. Anti Vaxxers. Conspiracy theorists. Neo-Nazis. Once, these groups all belonged on the fringes of the political spectrum. Today, accelerated by a pandemic, global conflict and rapid technological change, their ideas are becoming more widespread: QAnon proponents run for U.S. Congress, neo-fascists win elections in Europe, and celebrity influencers spread dangerous myths to millions. Going Mainstream asks the question: What is happening here?

Going undercover online and in person, UK counter-extremism expert Julia Ebner reveals how, united by a shared sense of grievance and scepticism about institutions, radicalised individuals are influencing the mainstream as never before. Hidden from public scrutiny, they leverage social media to create alternative information ecosystems and build sophisticated networks funded by dark money.

Ebner’s candid conversations with extremists offer a nuanced and gripping insight into why people have turned to the fringes. She explores why outlandish ideas have taken hold and disinformation is spreading faster than ever. And she speaks to the activists and educators who are fighting to turn the tide.


Constraining Violence

A CSTPVxCREST round table featuring Dr Tim Wilson, Dr Sarah Marsden, Dr Ben Lee, Dr Joel Busher, Dr Bart Schuurman, and Dr Sarah Carthy.