School of Politics and International Relations

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Rory Cormac

Professor of International Relations, Faculty of Social Sciences



Rory Cormac is a Professor of International Relations specialising in Secret Intelligence and Covert Action.

Rory has written four books, most recently, Disrupt and Deny: Spies, Special Forces, and the Secret Pursuit of British Foreign Policy (OUP: 2018).

Alongside Richard J. Aldrich, he has researched and fronted three documentaries for Channel 4: Spying on the Royals (2017), D-Day: The King who Fooled Hitler (2019) and The Queen and the Coup (2020).

He has appeared at the Hay, Cheltenham and Edinburgh Literary Festivals, and regularly features in national and international media outlets, including most UK newspapers, BBC Breakfast, BBC 5Live, BBC Radio 4, BBC History Magazine, and, in America, NBC and National Geographic.

Rory has spoken at the UK Cabinet Office, Home Office, Number 10 and Ministry of Defence, as well as the US State Department and Pentagon.

In 2018, he held a Leverhulme International Academic Fellowship based at Johns Hopkins University. Between 2015 and 2017, he held an AHRC Fellowship examining British approaches to covert action, 1945-1968.

Rory is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Before joining Nottingham, Rory worked at the University of Warwick and King's College London.

Expertise Summary

  • Covert Action
  • Secret Intelligence
  • Prime Ministers and Intelligence / The Royal Family and Intelligence

Teaching Summary

Rory currently teaches:

  • Secret Intelligence and International Security (BA3)
  • Covert Action and Unacknowledged Interventionism (MA)

He is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Research Summary

Rory is currently researching:

  • Covert Action and Unacknowledged Interventionism
  • Secret Intelligence and British Prime Ministers
  • Secret Intelligence and the British Royal Family

Recent Publications

School of Politics and International Relations

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