School of Politics and International Relations

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Francis Domingo

Doctoral Researcher, Faculty of Social Sciences



Francis Domingo is Assistant Professor of International Studies at De La Salle University and concurrently a doctoral researcher at the School of Politics and International Relations in University of Nottingham where he is affiliated with the Institute of Asia and Pacific Studies and the Centre of Conflict, Security and Terrorism.

Before joining academia, he worked in government as a research analyst with the Office of Strategic and Special Studies (OSS), Armed Forces of the Philippines where he contributed to a number of assessments on political and security issues. He continues his policy research as a fellow of the Security Reform Initiative, a think tank specializing in security sector reform and military affairs. In the private sector, he coordinated nationwide field operations as the Associate Managing Director of RVDBic, a pioneering business risk and intelligence consultancy firm integrated with the Law Firm of R.V. Domingo & Associates based in the Makati City, Philippines.


MRes Strategic Studies (University of Reading, 2014)

MA Intelligence and Security Studies (Brunel University London, 2009)

Certificate in Management (Asian Institute of Management, 2005)

BA Political Science (De La Salle University, 2004)

Teaching Summary

De La Salle University (2010-2013)

  • Introduction to Global Society (undergraduate, 8 modules, 2010-2013)
  • Globalization and Development (undergraduate, 6 modules, 2011-2012)
  • Domestic Sources of US Foreign Policy (undergraduate, 3 modules, 2010 & 2012)
  • Contemporary Trends and Issues in International Relations (undergraduate, 5 modules, 2011 & 2012)
  • International Organizations (undergraduate, 1 module, 2013)
  • U.S. National Security System (undergraduate, 1 module, 2011)
  • European Intelligence and Security Systems (undergraduate, 1 module, 2012)
  • Insurgency and Counterinsurgency (undergraduate, 1 module, 2013)

Victoria University Wellington (2016)

  • Cyber Security and International Relations (undergraduate, 1 module)

Research Summary

Working Thesis Title: Small States and Strategic Utility of Cyber Capabilities


The study aims to explore the strategic utility of cyber capabilities for small states. Specifically, it draws on a combination of materials and cultural explanations advanced by existing theories to explain why small states employ computer network operations despite of the perceived strategic limitations of cyber capabilities. It compares three highly networked small states to determine the factors that influence the development cyber capabilities and evaluates the advantages and limitations of these capabilities. Furthermore, it also examines the strategic implications of having cyber capabilities by assessing their utility as foreign policy tools. The study intends to make two contributions to the foreign policy of small states. The first is since strategic thought on cyber conflict is still in its infancy the study can serve as an assessment of the utility of cyber capabilities as a foreign policy tool for small states. The second contribution is that the study also distinguishes the cyber hype (perceived utility) from cyber reality (actual utility) in the context of small states.

Recent Publications

  • "Cyber Capabilities as Favourable Instruments in the Pacific Century" Paper presented at the International Studies Association Conference, Hong Kong University, 17 June 2017

  • "The Problems with Measuring Cyber Capabilities" Paper presented at the 1st Sociology Postgraduate Research Conference, University of Leicester, 21 October 2015
  • "Explaining Great Power Competition in Cyberspace" Paper presented at the 3rd Postgraduate Research Conference, University of Nottingham, June 2015
  • "Philippine Intelligence Community: A Case for Intelligence Transparency" Paper presented at the Philippine Political Science Association Annual International Conference 2013 Mariano Marcos State University, Philippines, 10-12 April 2013
  • "The Threat of Cyber Warfare: The Case of China and ASEAN" Paper presented at the Turing 2012 International Conference, De La Salle University, Manila, 27-28 March 2012
  • "Explaining the Sustainability of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army" Paper presented at the Philippine Political Science Association Annual International Conference 2012 Xavier University, Cagayan de Oro, Philippines, 12-14 April 2012
  • "Chinese Cyber Warfare and its Implications on Selected ASEAN states" Paper presented at the 2012 International Conference on the Asia-Pacific Studies in National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, 9-10 November 2012
  • "Understanding the Sustainability of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front" Paper presented at the Philippine Political Science Association Annual International Conference 2011 University of St. La Salle, Bacolod City, 29-30 April 2011

Past Research

Intelligence Transparency in the Philippines

Democratic states, both new and established, are confronted with fundamental and inevitable dilemma in combining intelligence agencies that are effective and under democratic civilian control. This is due to the tension between the necessity of intelligence agencies to work in secret and the requirement of democratic government for accountability, obliging intelligence transparency. The ultimate challenge for policymakers and scholars is to understand this dilemma and to manage it in a consistent and productive manner.

In the case of the Philippines, basic information regarding the mandate, functions, and objectives of intelligence agencies are not available to the public due to the 'culture of secrecy' embedded in members of the intelligence community. And without the benefit of a freedom of information law which provides access to 'all information pertaining to official acts, transactions or decisions, as well as government research data used as basis for policy development…', it would be impossible for ordinary Filipinos who help fund intelligence agencies to development awareness and gain basic knowledge about the activities of the Philippine Intelligence Community.

In this context, this study provides an overview of the Philippine Intelligence Community (IC) in the context of the following questions: What are the notions of intelligence the Philippines? Why is secrecy necessary in intelligence activities? What is the structure and organization of the IC? What are the different mechanisms for intelligence oversight?

Sustainability of Militant Organizations in the Philippines

This study contends that specific organizational, operational and external factors help sustain the two dominant Philippine militant organizations, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army (CPP-NPA), in pursuing their respective objective. Using the framework of analysis first introduced by RAND Corporation in a study written by Kim Cragin and Sara Daly to assess the sustainability of militant organizations, and drawing on relevant primary and secondary sources, the author examined the general features of the four organizational factors (ideology, leadership, recruitment pools, and publicity), seven operational factors (command and control, weapons, operational space, operation security, training, intelligence, and money), and four external factors (geographic features, weak governance and prevalence of corruption, poverty and violence) and applied these factors to assess the sustainability of the MILF's and CPP-NPA's anti-government activities.

School of Politics and International Relations

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