Dr Mark Currie, Senior Fellow


Dr Mark Currie has been a research and senior fellow in The Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (CSTPV) in the School of International Relations since 2010.

His first degree was in anthropology at the University of Cambridge. He then studied at Oxford for a post-graduate diploma in theology and comparative religion, and completed his doctorate on aspects of Islam in South Asia. Between full time education and employment at St Andrews, he was a UK civil servant working in defence and diplomacy.

Research areas

Mark’s research interests are reflected in his current teaching, recent publications and lectures, which can be seen below in 'Publications'. 



Extreme Right-Wing Political Violence and Terrorism, jointly edited with Professor Max Taylor and Dr Donald Holbrook, Bloomsbury, 2013. Concluding chapter by Mark Currie

Terrorism and Affordance, jointly edited with Professor Max Taylor, Continuum, 2012. Concluding chapter by Mark Currie.

Dissident Republican Terrorism, jointly edited with Professor Max Taylor, Continuum, June 2011. Concluding chapter by Mark Currie

Ajmer: Pilgrimage Centre in South Asia, Encyclopaedia of Islam, Brill, 2009

The Shrine and Cult of Muin al-din Chishti of Ajmer (Oxford University Press 1989 (re-issued 1993, 2006 and 2012)).

Forthcoming: Mark Currie is currently working on a volume which will focus on the topics of his Masters’ level teaching (see below).


Mark convenes Fundamentals of Terrorist Violence: Motives, Enablers and Implications for State Responses (IR5921). This module examines how combatants in terrorist groups are able to overcome inhibitions to killing. The nature of these inhibitions is examined, as is the range of circumstances which enable them to be overcome so that lethal violence can be justified, compelling and a source of satisfaction.

The module draws not only on terrorism studies but also on scholarship from a wide range of subject areas including war studies, psychology, sociology, theology, anthropology, history and art. The focus is more on individuals’ aims, aspirations, and ways of imagining themselves and their actions, than organisational and instrumental purposes. Theory is explored through case studies.

Resulting insights are used to adduce principles for state responses to political violence. The module thus builds on the tradition of scholarship at St Andrews that examines how political violence may be effectively countered in ways that are consonant with liberal democracy. This module is taught by Mark Currie along with Professor Stephen Reicher, Drs Nick Brooke, Jeffrey Murer and Gilbert Ramsay.

Mark has also contributed on counterterrorism to International Terrorism (IR3008) and Terrorism and Liberal Democracy (IR5007).

Beyond these programmes, he has also recently lectured in St Andrews on The Constitutional Period Begins, Afghanistan, 1963 to 1973: Some reflections on optimism, foreign interference and oral tradition, and Magdala: The British Rescue of Diplomatic Hostages from Abyssinia, 1867 to 1868. In both, lessons are illustrated that are relevant to countering political violence in the contemporary world.

Research students

Mark Currie regularly supervises Masters-level dissertations (there is currently a mid-year gap in allocations).

PhD supervision topics

Mark Currie is unable to act as first supervisor for PhD students as he is not a permanent member of staff. He is happy to act as second supervisor on topics that relate to the interests outlined above in 'Teaching'.