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Insecurity, Political Violence and Change

Unit(s) of assessment: Social Work and Social Policy

Research theme: Safety and Security of Citizens and Society

School: School of Social Sciences


Scholars within this group engage in research covering a broad range of related issues including: terrorism, insurgency and civil wars; radicalisation and counter-radicalisation; regional foreign and security policy; democratisation and conflict resolution; and the politics of identity. The cluster is characterised by a strong interest in interpretive approaches to international relations, with a focus on the analysis of security issues using critical methods of social inquiry.

This cluster is part of the Politics and International Relations academic team.

The research group has strengths in the traditional areas of Strategic Studies, Security Studies and Terrorism Studies, as well as in the emerging fields of Critical Security Studies and Critical Terrorism Studies. There is a strong regional focus within the research cluster, with scholars engaged in research that focuses on: the emerging role of the European Union (EU) as a security actor; the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and wider Asian security policy; as well as security issues in the Middle-East and North Africa (MENA) region.

The Insecurity, Political Violence and Change (IPVC) research cluster at Nottingham Trent University is concerned with examining the relationship between our understanding of insecurity (both in practice and theory), the manifestation of these insecurities as political violence (Physical and structural, state and non-state), and of the impact of these forces in shaping and changing contemporary international politics. Recent projects have engaged with questions such as:

  • What impact have images and rhetoric had in shaping and reinforcing our understandings of, and responses to, security?
  • To what extent have distorted interpretations of “insecurity” been appropriated to facilitate the political activities of state, and non-state, elites?
  • What influence does terrorism research have on the direction of state-based counter-terrorism policies?
  • What factors facilitate a "peaceful" transition to democracy after authoritarian rule?

The aims of the research cluster include:

  1. to promote the study of security issues, including terrorism and political violence, within the UK and internationally
  2. to cooperate and collaborate with other external groups and organisations interested in research into contemporary security issues; and to establish strong networks with those external groups and organisations in order to further promote the research being conducted within the group
  3. to produce high quality research that is internationally recognised in terms of originality, significance and rigour
  4. to communicate the content of this research to our students and to external audiences
  5. to attract graduate students of the highest quality to work at Nottingham Trent University
  6. to organise and host conferences, workshops and speakers that will help to promote the research conducted by the research group


The IPVC Research Cluster aims to develop professional relations with a number of national and international organisations and agencies through our research activities.

We currently have links with:

The research cluster aims to foster links with individuals and groups working on similar research activities at other academic institutions, as well as to foster engagement beyond the social scientific community – including with policy-makers, civil society groups, think-tanks and other research centred organisations. Our intention is that research produced within the cluster will retain relevance beyond the narrow confines of academic debate, with the aim of contributing to the formulation of public policy in the broadly defined field of security policy.