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Dr Thomas Martin

Profile summary

Professional biography

I joined the Open University in July 2020. Prior to this appointment, I held posts at the University of York and the University of Sussex, where I completed my PhD in International Relations (2017).

Research interests

​My research interests lie in critical security and terrorism studies, with an empirical focus on the security policies of the global north. My doctoral research analysed the UK's counter-radicalisation policy, Prevent. This research informed my book, published with Manchester University Press in 2019, which advanced a Foucauldian critique of the policy, arguing it has had important and problematic consequences for political expression in the UK. I continue to be interested in debates concerning terrorism and counterterrorism. I am currently developing a research project that critically assesses the discipline of terrorism studies and its failure to conceptualise and adequately respond to far-right terrorism. 

Alongside this interest, I am working on a project that seeks to articulate a critical security politics, foregrounding the role of current security policy in producing insecurity, and developing an evidence base to support alternative, progressive approaches. Working with Dr Nick Ritchie and Dr Elizabeth Schweiger (both at the University of York), we ask: what could, and should, a critical approach to security policy look like? We argue that, in the context of rising populisms, climate emergency and growing global insecurities and inequalities, now more than ever, the security consensus that has governed the post-9/11 era needs reassessing. The project seeks to engage with policy, NGO and academic communities to develop a robust network and evidential base which can inform and articulate an alternative vision for security policy, rooted in values of inclusivity, social justice, internationalism, feminism, anti-racism, anti-militarism and environmentalism. The report of our first workshop can be found here:

Doctoral Supervision

I enjoy doctoral supervision and would very much welcome inquiries from students working on critical engagements with terrorism, security and conflict. 

Teaching interests

I currently have two primary teaching responsibilities: I am a module team member for International Relations: Continuity and Change in Global Politics (DD313); and I am part of the production team for the MA in International Relations qualification. 


The radical ambitions of counter-radicalization (2021-03)
Martin, Thomas
British Journal of Sociology, 72(2) (pp. 270-285)

Identifying potential terrorists: Visuality, security and the Channel project (2018-08-01)
Martin, Thomas
Security Dialogue, 49(4) (pp. 254-271)

Governing an unknowable future: the politics of Britain’s Prevent policy (2014)
Martin, Thomas
Critical Studies on Terrorism, 7(1) (pp. 62-78)

Counter-radicalisation policy and the securing of British identity: The politics of Prevent (2019-04)
Martin, Thomas
ISBN : 978-1-5261-4008-1 | Publisher : Manchester University Press

Challenging the separation of counter-terrorism and community cohesion in Prevent (2015)
Martin, Thomas
In: Baker-Beall, Christopher; Heath-Kelly, Charlotte and Jarvis, Lee eds. Counter-Radicalisation: Critical Perspectives (pp. 190-205)
ISBN : 9781315773094 | Publisher : Routledge