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 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 in complex deterrence (nuclear non-proliferation in a multipolar world) and to understand terrorist organisations. This builds on PhD work and Masters research including on North Korea’s nuclear weapons development program¬†(Monash University, 2006). As part of this, I am also interested in the role of Metis (cunning intelligence) in foreign policy, investigative journalism, hedge fund, and special warfare contexts.


This research program builds on an earlier research period (1999-2011) in which I studied 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.


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.