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Personal profile

Research interests


I gained my ESRC-funded PhD in Security, Conflict and Justice from the University of Exeter in 2016. My thesis examined the recent attempt to transform the British Army Reserve and is currently being re-worked into a book. Elements of the research have already been incorporated into British defence policy.

Prior to entering academia, I served in the British Army for five years as an infantry Captain, during which time I deployed to Sangin, Afghanistan. A memoir of my platoon's tour, 'Callsign Hades' was published by Simon and Schuster in 2010 and has been described as 'the first great book of the Afghan War. After leaving the army I worked as an analyst for NATO and then a private security firm. In total I have almost 15 years’ experience of working in the security sector as a practitioner, analyst and academic.

My research is informed by this experience. To date, I have published articles on British Army officer cohesion; the importance of emotions in understanding military cohesion; reserve recruitment and retention; and reserve cohesion. Other articles under review include the importance of military logistics transformation for western military effectiveness; the intra-party political origins of recent British defence policy, and how to improve transatlantic counter-terrorism co-operation. On the latter subject, I am a researcher on the GLOBSEC think-tank's high profile Intelligence Reform Initiative.

I am happy to supervise students in any of the following areas: Wider defence and international security issues (including strategy, interventions [Afghanistan, Libya and Iraq in particular] and counter-insurgency); military sociology (inc. transformation, cohesion and professionalism); and terrorism and counter-terrorism.

Research interests

  • Military sociology
  • Current counter-terrorism
  • British Army and Reserve forces
  • Military logistics
  • International Security

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military Social Sciences
group cohesion Social Sciences
logistics Social Sciences
Logistics Engineering & Materials Science
think tank Social Sciences
terrorism Social Sciences
soldier Social Sciences
intelligence Social Sciences

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Projects 2019 2023

Research Output 2015 2019

Future Reserves 2020, the British Army and the politics of military innovation during the Cameron era

Bury, P. & Catignani, S., 1 May 2019, In : International Affairs. 95, 3, p. 681-701 21 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access

Mission Improbable: The Transformation of the Army Reserve

Bury, P., 28 Feb 2019, Hampshire: Howgate. 200 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

43 Downloads (Pure)
Open Access
group cohesion
studies (academic)
9 Downloads (Pure)

Future Reserves 2020: perceptions of cohesion, readiness and transformation in the British Army Reserve

Bury, P., 2 Oct 2018, In : Defence Studies. 18, 4, p. 411-432 22 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

group cohesion