CSTPV Director

Tim Wilson

CSTPV Director, Senior Lecturer

Tim Wilson was born in 1971, going to school in Cambridge and university in Oxford. His intellectual interests in conflict derive from working as a community worker in both North Belfast and East London in the later 1990s. Trained as an historian, his chief interest is in the widely differing effects political violence can have across different contexts. In over ten years of teaching and researching at top universities (Oxford, St Andrews, Queen’s Belfast) he has worked widely both on terrorism committed by governments, and by their opponents.

Both his teaching and research have been recommended for prizes: indeed, his first book Frontiers of Violence – a grassroots comparison of different patterns of ethnic violence – was nominated for the Royal Historical Society’s prestigious Whitfield Prize in 2010. He is currently working upon a second book that seeks to ask why militant violence in Western societies has taken the forms that it has over the past 150 years, provisionally entitled: Terrorists: A Social History of Political Violence.

He assumed the Directorship of CSTPV in September 2016.

Follow Tim Wilson on Twitter.

E: tkw2@st-andrews.ac.uk
T: (0)1334 462879


Killing Strangers: How Political Violence Became Modern (Oxford University Press, 2020) 

‘Fatal Violence in Upper Silesia, 1918–1922’ in J. Bjork, T. Kamusella, T. Wilson and A. Novikov (eds.), Creating Nationality in Central Europe, 1880–1950: Modernity, Violence and (Be)longing in Upper Silesia (Routledge, 2016)

‘The Strange Death of Loyalist Monaghan, 1912–1921’ in S. Paseta (ed.), Uncertain Futures: Essays about the Irish Past for Roy Foster (Oxford University Press, 2016)

‘State Terrorism: an historical overview’ in G. Duncan, O. Lynch, G. Ramsay and A. Watson (eds.), State Terrorism and Human Rights: International Responses since the end of the Cold War (Routledge, 2013), pp. 14–31

Frontiers of Violence: Conflict and Identity in Ulster and Upper Silesia, 1918–1922 (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2010) ‘”Almost Frantic with Joy”: the Nicholson Revival and the Belfast Troubles, 1922–3’ in B. Griffin (ed) Irish Studies in Britain: New Perspectives on History and Literature (Cambridge, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010)


Turbulent Stasis: Comparative Reflections upon Intercommunal Violence and Territoriality in the Israel/Palestine Conflict, Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, 19:1 (2013), pp. 58–79 ‘Frank Wright Revisited’, Irish Political Studies, Vol. 26, No. 3 (September 2011)

‘“The most terrible assassination that has yet stained the name of Belfast”: the McMahon Murders in Context’, Irish Historical Studies, Vol. 37, No. 145 (May 2010)

‘The Polish-German Ethnic Dispute in Upper Silesia, 1918–1922: A Reply to Tooley’, Canadian Review of Studies in Nationalism, 32 (2005)

‘Ritual and Violence in Upper Silesia and Ulster, 1920’, Journal of the Oxford University History Society, 1 (2004)

  • CSTPV 25th Anniversary Lecture: “Killing Strangers: How Violence Became Modern”
  • Key note speaker for the conference, ‘Sectarianism and Beyond: New Perspectives in Modern Irish History’, Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, 25th January 2014
  • Contributor to the recent Radio 4 ‘Terror through Time’ series
  • Delivered the Frank Wright Memorial Lecture, Queen’s University, Belfast, 6th March 2013 under the title: ‘Vibrating with Murder: Frank Wright and the Idea of Representative Violence’
  • Queens University Belfast Podcast with Prof Richard English on the book ‘Killing Strangers: How Political Violence Became Modern’ 
  • This module addresses: conceptual and definitional issues concerning terrorism; the relationship of terrorism to other forms of political violence; the origins, dynamics and development of contemporary terrorism; the efficacy of terrorism as a political weapon; the dilemmas and challenges of liberal democratic state responses to terrorism; and case studies in terrorism and counter-terrorism. The module is convened by specialists from the Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (CSTPV) and the School of International Relations.

    “As we go hi-tech, terrorists get more primitive”, The Sun, 5th November 2019

    “UK terror threat at 5-year low, says Priti Patel”, Financial Times, 4th November 2019

    “St Andrews terrorism expert ‘extremely worried’ about Brexit ignorance at ‘highest levels’ of British government”, The Courier, 5th October 2019

    ‘We are told total strangers might slaughter us’The Courier, 24th September 2019

    “St Andrews academic highlights terrorism fears at New Zealand mosque attack inquiry”The Courier, 15th August 2019