Patrick Bury
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Personal profile

Research interests


Dr Patrick Bury is a Senior Lecturer in Security in the PoLIS department, having joined the university in 2017. Currently, he is a UK Research and Innovation Future Leaders Fellow examining the Transformation of Transatlantic Counter-Terrorism, 2001-25, in partnership with an international network of experts. The project is developing innovative theoretical approaches to understanding counter-terrorism change since 2001, combined with a trust and capacity building programme for practitioners. He is a researcher on the GLOBSEC think-tank's high profile Intelligence Reform Initiative, and a member of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT).

Dr Bury’s scholarly publications have appeared in International Affairs (multiple times), The British Journal of Sociology, European Security, Armed Forces and Society (multiple times), Defence Studies, The RUSI Journal, and Oxford University Press volumes, amongst others, including War on the Rocks (multiple times). He has been invited to lecture at numerous international security institutions, and has appeared on BBC News, Sky News, BBC Hardtalk, BBC 5 Live, RTE News; is a regular contributor to British and Irish national and regional radio; and has regularly written for The Irish Times, and The Guardian and The Independent, amongst others.  He also appeared on every series of National Geographic’s global hit Nazi Megastructures programme and has contributed to numerous television documentaries and podcasts such as The History Hit.

Patrick gained his ESRC-funded PhD in Security, Conflict and Justice from the University of Exeter in 2016. His thesis, supervised by Professor Anthony King, examined the recent attempt to transform the British Army Reserve, and was published by Howgate in 2019 as Mission Improbable. Elements of this research were incorporated into British defence policy, and Dr Bury has appeared as an expert witness to the British Defence Select Committee, and the Doctrine and Training Centre of the Polish Armed Forces.

Prior to entering academia, Patrick served in the British Army as an air assault infantry Captain. A memoir of his platoon's tour in Sangin, Afghanistan, Callsign Hades, was published by Simon & Schuster in 2010 and has been described as 'the first great book of the Afghan War’. After leaving the army, he worked as an analyst for NATO and then a private security firm. In total, Dr Bury has over 15 years’ experience of working in the security sector as a practitioner, analyst and academic.

He is happy to supervise students in any of the following areas: counter–terrorism, terrorism, and military sociology (inc. transformation, cohesion and professionalism; reserve forces; special forces; and logistics).

Research interests

  • Transatlantic counter-terrorism (transformation; liaison; trust)
  • Terrorism (esp impact of information technology)
  • Military sociology (transformation; cohesion; special forces; logistics)
  • British Army and reserve forces

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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