I have a h-index of 9 and 453 citations to-date (Google Scholar, 2020).
Strategic Culture in Terrorist Organisations (PhD Thesis)
My PhD thesis at Australia’s Monash University (submitted 22nd November and currently under examination) develops a new 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, and have presented at the International Studies Association’s annual convention in Toronto, in 2014.
Early Career Academic Research Program
My Early Career Academic research program focuses on the development of strategic subcultures at the nexus of strategic studies, terrorism studies, political economy, and cultural criminology. I am working on the following projects: (1) advancing a fourth generation strategic culture understanding of the multipolar world; (2) studying terrorist organisations that may have developed strategic subcultures – building on social learning mechanisms in cultural criminology; (3) examining the political economy roots of mobilisational counter-power in the context of inequality; and (4) translating my strategic subcultures framework into a white-collar and corporate crime context, such as hedge fund fraud. I have recently launched a research program blog called Vega Theory to advance this research program.
Methodologically, I use counterfactuals, qualitative case studies, event studies, and process tracing. This research agenda is also informed by personal autoethnographic experiences, undergraduate tutoring about politics and foreign policy, and insights from my earlier research on theory-testing in internet, journalism, digital media, and foreign policy decision-making.
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.
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.