Strategic Culture in Terrorist Organisations (PhD Thesis)


In my in-progress PhD thesis at Monash University, I develop a fourth generation strategic culture framework to understand how strategic subcultures might evolve in terrorist organisations. I use case studies and process tracing to analyse Aum Shinrikyo and Islamic State in three dimensions: cultural transmission, social learning, and folklore. I have published original articles from this research in Contemporary Security Policy and M/C Journal, and presented at the International Studies Association’s annual convention in Toronto, in 2014.


Research Program


My research program develops fourth generation strategic culture frameworks to understand the innovation, growth and decline of terrorist organisations. My research lies at the cross-domain intersection of strategic studies, terrorism studies, nuclear deterrence, and international political economy. This builds on in-progress PhD work, and a Masters mini-thesis on North Korea’s nuclear weapons development program (Monash University, 2006).


In an earlier research period (1999-2011) I examined how global risk events and journalist skills-building intersected in the internet, media and finance industries. I have published original articles in Media International Australia, Journal of Futures Studies, and M/C Journal.


I am interested in Metis (craft, skill, wisdom, cunning intelligence) in foreign policy, investigative journalism, and hedge fund contexts. I am the current Director of the Metis Element in the Temple of Set : an international practitioner group that explores the ethical, mindful cultivation of Metis for greater self-agency (Element Statement).


Policy Expertise


I have policy expertise in counterterrorism and foreign policy. I have written on Australian defence and national security policy, Asia-Pacific security, and United States-Australian discourses on the Global War on Terror.