Research

Citations

I have a h-index of 9 and 468 citations to-date (Google Scholar,  2020).

 

Strategic Culture in Terrorist Organisations (PhD Thesis)

My PhD thesis at Australia’s Monash University (conferred on 29th April 2020) develops a new midrange, analytical theory of strategic subcultures. I seek to understand why certain terrorist organisations can persist, survive, and develop a counter-elite. My case study is Japan’s Aum Shinrikyo. I use process tracing and new tests to examine three posited causal mechanisms: cultural transmission, social learning, and folklore. I have published original articles from this research in Contemporary Security Policy and M/C Journal. I have presented at the International Studies Association’s annual convention in Toronto, in 2014, and to the Australian International Political Economy Network’s 11th Workshop in 20209.

 

Research Program

My research program focuses on the development of strategic subcultures at the nexus of strategic studies, terrorism studies, and political economy. I focus on two projects:

 

Project 1Formal Models for Strategic Culture, Foreign Policy and Crisis Decision-Making: this project will develop new formal models and process tracing tests of strategic culture (the use of force) to inform decision-makers in defence and foreign policy institutions.

Project 2 – Computational Strategic Culture and Decision Elite Subgroups: this project will integrate computational social science methods (such as agent-based modelling) with the corpus of fourth generation literature and the study of decision elite subgroups (in terrorist organisations, and in the political economy context of hedge funds, central banks, and white collar crime).

 I have recently launched a new blog called Vega Theory to advance this research program. I also have a subscription-based newsletter on politics, terrorism, and political economy.

 

Methodologically, I use causal mechanisms, counterfactuals, process tracing, and computational social science for theory integration and empirical case studies. This research agenda is also informed by personal autoethnographic experiences, undergraduate tutoring about politics and foreign policy, and earlier research on theory-testing in internet, journalism, digital media, and foreign policy decision-making.

 

Earlier Publications

I have published on a range of other subjects: the 2000 dotcom crash; the 2000 and 2004 United States presidential elections; the 11th September 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States; interviews with United States design, media, and subculture figures; contemporary political and social issues in the United States and Australia; and strategies for grant applications and research program development.

 

Policy Expertise

I have policy expertise in counterterrorism and foreign policy. I have tutored undergraduate units on Australian foreign policy, Australian politics, and critical perspectives on terrorism studies. I have also written  on Australian media, and defence and national security policy, Asia-Pacific security, United States-Australian discourses on the Global War on Terror as grand strategy, and contributed as a civilian researcher to United States debates on irregular and unconventional warfare.