Peter Lehr, Lecturer in Terrorism Studies

Dr Peter Lehr is a Lecturer in Terrorism Studies at The Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (CSTPV) in the School of International Relations, University of St. Andrews, and Visiting Lecturer at the South Asia Institute, University of Heidelberg, Germany. He also is the academic advisor for the CSTPV/Informa Group distance learning course on terrorism.

Before taking up his current position in September 2007, he worked on the nexus between piracy and maritime terrorism as Informa Group Research Fellow, also at the CSTPV, from September 2004 to August 2007.

Prior to that, he was a Lecturer at the Department of Political Science, South Asia Institute, University of Heidelberg, and Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Strategic and International Studies (ISIS), Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.

Research areas

Dr Lehr has considerable research and teaching experience in the subject areas of terrorism and political violence in general, and Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) (with a focus on air-and-seaport security) in particular.

Regarding CIP, he is currently working on a book manuscript for the Springer Advanced Science and Technologies for Security Applications series. This book will critically examine the impact of counter-terrorism technologies on our societies, while also developing a ‘critical’ CIP approach.

In his capacity as a regional specialist on the Indo-Pacific, Dr Lehr currently specializes in research on so-called ‘violent grey area phenomena’ (GAP), such as terrorism, piracy, and organized crime. Of particular interest is the rise of religious militancy other than Islamism. In this context, he is working on a second book project for Palgrave Macmillan focusing on the rise of militant Buddhism in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Burma and Thailand.

Research activities include:

  • Indo-Pacific security relations (maritime and naval security)
  • violent grey area phenomena in south and southeast Asia (political violence and terrorism, organized crime)
  • political Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism
  • Critical Infrastructure Protection (mass transport security, maritime security, aviation security).



Lehr, Peter. 2019. Sound of War Drums: The Rise of Militant Theravāda Buddhism. Palgrave Macmillan (manuscript in preparation, due July 2018)

Lehr, Peter. 2018. Like a Parcel of Furies. London and New York: Yale University Press. Forthcoming (full manuscript submitted, currently working on revisions)

Lehr, Peter and Wilfried A. Herrmann, eds. 2016. ASEAN Looks West: ASEAN and the Gulf Region. Bangkok: White Lotus

Lehr, Peter, ed. 2011. Violence at Sea: Piracy in the Age of Global Terrorism. New York: Routledge (paperback)

Book chapters

Lehr, Peter. 2016. “(No) Princes of the Sea: Reflections on Maritime Terrorism.” In Routledge Handbook of Naval Strategy and Security, edited by Joachim Krause and Sebastian Bruns, 202-214. New York and London: Routledge

Lehr, Peter. 2016. “Maritime Grey Area Phenomena in the Persian Gulf Region and Beyond: Implications for ASEAN.” In ASEAN Looks West: ASEAN and the Gulf Region, edited by Wilfried A. Herrmann and Peter Lehr, 69-92. Bangkok: White Lotus

Lehr, Peter. 2016. “Holy Wars along the Maritime Silk Road: Extremist Islamism, Hinduism, and Buddhism.” In ASEAN Looks West: ASEAN and the Gulf Region, edited by Wilfried A. Herrmann and Peter Lehr, 115-140. Bangkok: White Lotus

Lehr, Peter. 2013. “Somali piracy and international crime.” In Globalizing Somalia: Multilateral, International, and Transnational Repercussions of Conflict, edited by Emma Leonard and Gilbert Ramsay, 116-137

Lehr, Peter. 2013. “Still Blind in the Right Eye? A Comparison of German Responses to Political Violence from the Extreme Left and the Extreme Right.” In Extreme Right Wing Political Violence and Terrorism, edited by Max Taylor, PM Currie & Donald Holbrook, 187-214. London: Bloomsbury

Lehr, Peter and Javier Argomaniz. 2013. “Obstacles to international actions against state terror in the post-Cold War international system.” In State Terrorism and Human Rights. International responses since the end of the Cold War, edited by Gillian Duncan et al., 54-72. London and New York: Routledge

Lehr, Peter. 2013. “Maritimer Terrorismus.” In Maritime Sicherheit, edited by Sebastian Bruns, Kerstin Petretto and David Petrovic, 115-127. Heidelberg: Springer


Lehr, Peter and Javier Argomaniz. 2016. “Political Resilience and EU Responses to Aviation Terrorism.” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, Vol. 39, No. 4, 363-379


Current modules:

  • Fundamental Issues and Structures of Terrorism (IR5901)
  • Terrorism Electives - online distance-learning course (IR5954)
  • International Terrorism (IR3008) 
  • Asian Security (IR3111).

Previous modules:

  • Terrorism: How to Respond (IR5903).

Research students

First supervisor:

  • Nicholas Bradley
  • Erika Brady
  • Jefferey Fiorito
  • Surekha Talari
  • Roger Warren.

PhD supervision topics

Dr Lehr is especially interested in supervising research on topics concerning:

  • terrorism and political violence
  • Critical Infrastructure Protection
  • organized crime, including maritime piracy
  • religious extremism (Islamism, Hinduism/Hindutva, militant Sikhism, militant Buddhism)
  • Asian security.