Leadership Fellows

Professor David Miller

University of Bath

Understanding and Explaining Terrorism: Expertise in Practice

David Miller is Professor of Sociology at the University of Bath. His research interests include the role of communication in the constitution and reproduction of power relations. He sits on the editorial board of the BSA Journal Sociology, is a director of the non-profit company Public Interest Investigations (which runs the campaigning website Spinwatch.org and the wiki-based Powerbase.info).

Project Summary

David’s Global Uncertainties Leadership Fellowship is entitled Understanding and Explaining Terrorism: Expertise in Practice. It explores which people and institutions are designated as ‘experts’ in a variety of arenas, what impact their expertise has and addresses the question of whether there is such a thing as genuine expertise in terrorism and how we might identify it.

This study uses an innovative, mixed method approach and will measure, compare and contrast the prominence of different terrorism experts in different domains, including academia, the media, the internet, the criminal justice system and the national and the international policy community.

It will analyse the historical and institutional development of the use of terrorism experts by courts, governments and the media. It will also explore the ideological and institutional origins and affiliations of terrorism expertise by investigating the various think-tanks and private research institutes which provide support and funding.

The research will provide an empirically grounded evidence base that can better inform public debate and policy decisions. The overall aim is to better understand terrorism expertise and to enable academics and other research users to more effectively make use of ‘evidence based’ research on terrorism.

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