Nicholas Allen joined the department in September 2009 as Lecturer in Politics. He completed his doctorate at the University of Essex in January 2008 and has held teaching positions at the University of Essex and University College London. His research interests include the British prime ministership, parliamentary misconduct, public attitudes towards political ethics and the changing British constitution.
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Akil N. Awan is Lecturer in Political Violence and Terrorism in both the Department of History and the Department Politics & International Relations at Royal Holloway. He previously held the RCUK Fellowship in the 'Contemporary History of Faith, Power and Terror'. His current research interests are focused around the history of terrorism; youth radicalization; political violence, 'illegitimate' politics; social movements and protest; new media; and contemporary religion, and has published widely on these subjects. Akil has worked in an advisory capacity with numerous working groups for The Home Office, the US Military (CTC), RICU, The Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the Office for Security & Counter Terrorism, Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre, Wilton Park, the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, International Institute of Strategic Studies, and the Royal United Services Institute. He also served as key academic expert witness on Radicalisation to the UK Parliament, and as academic expert on Political Violence & Genocide accompanying the House of Lords delegation to Srebrenica.
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Oliver Heath joined the Department in September 2008, having previously held a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Essex and an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Methodology Institute LSE. He has held visiting positions at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi, India; Universidad Simon Bolivar, Caracas, Venezuela; and the Centre for the Study of Political Change, Siena, Italy. His research interests include democratisation, political stability and electoral change in second wave democracies; political participation, public opinion and electoral behaviour in Britain; and research methods.
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Ben O'Loughlin is Professor of International Relations and Co-Director of the New Political Communication Unit at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is Specialist Advisor to the House of Lords Committee on Soft Power and the UK's Influence. He is co-editor of the Sage journal Media, War and Conflict. In the next year he will publish two volumes on strategic narratives. In December 2013 Routledge in New York will release the monograph: Strategic Narratives: Communication Power and the New World Order. This is followed in July 2014 by an edited volume, Forging the World: Strategic Narratives and International Relations, published by University of Michigan Press and drawing together leading experts in communication and IR. His previous books include Radicalisation and Media: Terrorism and Connectivity in the New Media Ecology (2011) and War and Media: The Emergence of Diffused War (2010). He has carried out projects on media and security for the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council and the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure. He has contributed to the New York Times, Guardian, OpenDemocracy, Sky News and Newsweek. Alongside the completion of a book on Strategic Narratives, Ben is currently completing a study of global responses to the 2012 London Olympics with the BBC.
Cristian Vaccari studies political communication in comparative perspective, with a particular focus on digital media. In particular, he studies the ways in which citizens acquire information about and participate in politics on the internet and the factors that cause these forms of political engagement, which are particularly popular among young people. Cristian is the Principal Investigator of a three-year research project that investigates the role of social media in citizens' and politicians' practices of political communication in Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom from 2013 until 2016. He maintains a double appointment with the Department of Political and Social Sciences at the University of Bologna and previously taught at New York University Florence, as well as being a visiting scholar at the University of Oxford, Columbia University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and American University.