Lecture - Prosecuting a President: The Rios Montt case, transitional justice and the role of civil society in Guatemala.

5pm Thursday 13 November 2014

Arts Lecture Theatre

Susan Kemp

"Prosecuting a President: The Rios Montt case, transitional justice and the role of civil society in Guatemala."


Gilbert Ramsay - An 'Even Newer' Terrorism?

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, who seems to have been the person responsible for shooting dead Corporal Nathan Cirillo and opening fire in the Canadian parliament seems to be more of a (would be) mass shooter than a serious terrorist. Amidst all the high-level discussions, ramping up of security and rhetoric about Canada refusing to be intimidated, it is important to remember that. When Major Nidal Malik Hassan opened fire in Fort Hood Army base in Texas and killed thirteen people, the action was presented as a manifestation of a frightening Al Qaeda strategy of leaderless jihad, and leading Al Qaeda figures were happy to claim it as such. But Hassan’s also bears striking similarities to incidents such as the Kanadahar massacre in 2012, when a US soldier killed sixteen Afghans in a gun rampage, or indeed a more recent spree shooting in Fort Hood itself.


Donald Holbrook introduces his new book - The Al-Qaeda Doctrine

Donald Holbrook introduces his book The Al-Qaeda Doctrine from CSTPV on Vimeo.

Donald Holbrook introduces his new book The Al-Qaeda Doctrine. The Book is available to purchase from Bloomsbury at http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/the-al-qaeda-doctrine-9781623563141/

Until December 2015 those who purchase the book from the above link using the discount code GLR BQ8 will receive a 35% discount.

Rashmi Singh Interview on ‘US Federal Grand Jury To Issue New Indictment Against Libyan Militant, Ahmed Abu Khatallah’, 18 October 2014

On 18 October 2014 Dr Rashmi Singh was interviewed on Radio Voice of Russia World Service (Moscow Bureau).

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Rashmi Singh Interviewed on Charging British Jihadists with Treason

In an interview with Radio Voice of Russia UK Dr Rashmi Singh, a lecturer in terrorism studies at the University of St Andrews, suggests that British jihadists who go to Syria and Iraq should only be punished for the crimes that they have committed:

“I think there needs to be a continued engagement with the Muslim communities in Britain. There needs to be a very clear stance that Britain is not going to support any kind of involvement with the Islamic State. But it’s less to do with the policy and more to do with the language. If we are going to say that we are adopting the language of treason, then we are basically adopting the idea that somehow these people have to choose between this or that identity. Instead of saying that, say that this is not acceptable as a Briton to go out and fight for Islamic State. Certainly try them for the crimes that they have committed, but do not use language that will inflame the situation further.”

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Donald Holbrook interviewed on his new book - The Al-Qaeda Doctrine

CSTPV Research Fellow Dr Donald Holbrook was interviewed by New Books in National Security in which he discussed his new book The Al-Qaeda Doctrine: The Framing and Evolution of the Leadership’s Public Discourse.

The interview can be listened to here.

Handa Studentship and Bursary - MLitt and PhD Students

PhD Studentship

Applications are invited for the Dr Haruhisa Handa PhD Studentship, for full-time PhD research into any aspect of Terrorism and Political Violence, with study to commence on 1 September 2015. The successful candidate will be supervised by one of the academic staff at CSTPV, a research centre located within the School of International Relations at the University of St Andrews. The successful candidate will receive a Studentship of approximately £13,000 per annum for a period of three years; during which time their tuition fees (home or international) will also be paid in full.

Further Information

MLitt Bursary

Applications are invited for the Dr Haruhisa Handa MLitt Bursary at the University of St Andrews, for full-time, residential study on the MLitt in Terrorism & Political Violence during the academic year 2015-16. The successful candidate will have their full MLitt fees (home or international) paid, the bursary being funded by the generous donation of funds by Dr Haruhisa Handa.

Further Information

Sarah Marsden - A Social Movement Theory Typology of Militant Organisations: Contextualising Terrorism

CSTPV lecturer Dr Sarah Marsden latest article “A Social Movement Theory Typology of Militant Organisations: Contextualising Terrorism” has been published in Terrorism and Political Violence.

Typologies are ubiquitous in terrorism studies, illustrating their continued appeal as a tool to further our understanding of this form of political violence. Despite this, to date, the promise of an empirically derived typology has largely been neglected. In addressing this gap, this article sets out a typology developed from Social Movement Theory. Using a novel statistical technique to derive a three-dimensional framework for categorising militant groups, the typology incorporates both organisational characteristics and the wider political context. The result is a typology defined by three conceptual constructs: political capacity, war-making capacity, and network capacity. Alongside these organisational features, imposing measures of the wider political opportunity structure reveals eight types of militant organisation. To explore the utility of the framework, a preliminary analysis interprets the typology in light of the presence of wider conflict. That a robust relationship is found between the various types and whether groups were operating in peacetime, civil war, or low-intensity conflict, goes some way to demonstrating its utility as an analytical tool. Conclusions draw attention to the importance of contextualising militant groups in their socio-political setting, and the benefits of combining theory alongside empirical analysis to develop robust characterisations of violent organisations.

Full article (subscription required)