About Me

ABPhD Candidate, Faculty of Arts, Monash University

Email: Alexander.Burns@monash.edu

Phone: +61 467 387 241



Grad Cert of Information Technology, Swinburne University (2008); Grad Cert of Business (Project Management), Swinburne University (2007); MA (Counter-Terrorism Studies), Monash University (2007); MSc (Strategic Foresight), Swinburne University (2005); BA (Cinema Studies, Politics, Philosophy), La Trobe University (2002).




My in-progress PhD (Monash University) develops a new conceptual theory of terrorist groups as strategic subcultures. It uses case study and process tracing methods to examine Aum Shinrikyo and the Islamic State. I have contributed articles to  Contemporary Security Policy, Media International Australia, Journal of Futures Studies, and Media/Culture journals. I have held positions at The University of Queensland, Bond University, Victoria University, Swinburne University, and in the Smart Internet Technology Cooperative Research Centre.


I have presented research findings to the International Studies Association, the Association of Internet Researchers, the Telecommunications Society of Australia, the East-West Center in Washington DC, Sensis, Telstra, Westpac, and other organisations. I edited and wrote for the Disinformation website (1998-2008), and also contributed articles with original research to 21CREVelationDesktop, MarketingInformation AgeArtbyte, Playboy.com’s ‘Digital Culture’ magazines, and La Trobe University’s Rabelais student newspaper (1994-2004).



Recent Publications


  • Alex Burns and Ben Eltham. ‘Australia’s Strategic Culture: Constraints and Opportunities in Security Policymaking.’ In Jeffrey S. Lantis (ed.). Strategic Cultures and Security Policies in the Asia-Pacific. New York: Routledge, 2015, 22-45.
  • Alex Burns and Ben Eltham. ‘Australia’s Strategic Culture: Constraints and Opportunities in Security Policymaking.’ 2014. Contemporary Security Policy 35(2): 187-210.
  • Alex Burns and Stephen McGrail. ‘Examining Possible Internet Futures.’ 2012. Journal of Futures Studies 16(4): 33-49.
  • Alex Burns, ‘Doubting the Global War on Terror.’ 2011. M/C Journal 14(1) (March).
  • Alex Burns and Ben Eltham. ‘Catastrophic Failure Theories and Disaster Journalism: Evaluating Media Explanations of Australia’s ‘Black Saturday’ Bushfires.’ 2010. Media International Australia 137 (November), 90-99. (Publisher accepted version.)
  • Alex Burns and Ben Eltham. ‘The Film Finance Corporation and Hollywood’s Race to the Bottom.’ 2010. Media International Australia 136 (August), 103-118. (Publisher accepted version.)


Notable Publications


Research Interests


  • Fourth generation strategic culture
  • Terrorist organisations
  • Causality and causal inference methods (process tracing, counterfactuals, Bayesian Networks)
  • Volatility

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