Centre for the Study of Subversion, Unconventional Interventions and Terrorism

Centre Activities

Our centre members are very active in their field. Below is a summary of some of their recent work and collaborations. 

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SUIT provide written evidence to the House of Commons Defence Select Committee's inquiry on 'Defence in the Grey Zone'

Members of SUIT responded to a call from the Defence Committee to provide evidence on defence in the grey zone

The grey zone is defined as coercive activities that “…fall below perceived thresholds for military action and across areas of responsibility of different parts of the government”. SUIT emphasised that it is vital to integrate Defence into wider cross-government activity, that grey zone activities are a force multiplier and can only ever be a contributing factor to any particular outcome, and that the invasion of Ukraine in 2022 demonstrates that Russia does not view such activities as a way of warfare that is distinct from, or an alternative to, armed conflict.

The evidence report was co-authored by SUIT members Rory Cormac, Sean Fleming, Dan Lomas, Andrew Mumford, Alexander Piechowski, Wyn Rees, and Bettina Renz.

Read the full document.


image showing Rory Cormac, Louise Kettle, Jason Klocek and Andrew Mumford

SUIT members visit Washington

In June 2023, a SUIT delegation visited Washington DC. Rory CormacLouise KettleJason Klocek and Andrew Mumford held a busy week of talks, meetings and roundtables to further develop existing international partnerships and develop exciting new international research collaborations.

Highlights included meeting with colleagues from Johns Hopkins and Georgetown, and a roundtable at the United States Institute of Peace at which Jason is a Senior Researcher. The delegation also enjoyed meeting analysts at CNA in Arlington, whilst Rory delivered talks for the Smithsonian Associates and the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress.

SUIT Director, Rory Cormac, said: "We are incredibly grateful to be given the opportunity to visit DC en masse. The approach worked really well and turned into a very productive trip. We are looking forward to building on the success by engaging in further international collaborations. Watch this space!"



Afghanistan: Prospects and Challenges

Members of the Centre for the Study of Subversion, Unconventional Interventions, and Terrorism have recently contributed to a new report outlining the future direction of Afghanistan foreign policy. 

Experts from across four of the University of Nottingham’s research centres (Centre for the Study of Subversion, Unconventional Interventions, and Terrorism; Human Rights Law Centre; Asia Research Institute; and The Rights Lab) have collaborated to provide an analysis of the current state of affairs in Afghanistan, including discussions on foreign intervention, security and regional powers. 

The report includes contributions from SUIT members Rory Cormac, Louise Kettle, Andrew Mumford and Bettina Renz.


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Professor Rory Cormac

In the past two years Professor Cormac has published two books based on his research expertise in secret intelligence and covert action. The Secret Royals: Spying and the Crown from Victoria to Diana (Atlantic) was published in 2021 and How To Stage a Coup (Atlantic) in 2022.

Rory has received a number of accolades linked to the success of these publications. Spying and the Crown was named as a best paperback of 2022 by the Times, as well as being named as a Daily Mail Book of the Year. In May 2023 he was invited to attend the Hatchard's 'Authors of the Year' reception in recognition of the success of How To Stage a Coup.


Louise Kettle

Dr Louise Kettle

Louise Kettle is currently working on a commissioned report for the Cabinet Office on security strategy. She has also has been accepted onto the University of Nottingham's Institute of Policy and Engagement’s Policy Impact Pathways Programme

Louise is also taking part in a RUSI-led UK-Russia Expert Dialogue on the Foreign Policy Challenges in the Middle East and North Africa and has recently completed a commissioned report for the Cabinet Office on security strategy." 

In 2022 Dr Kettle was appointed as an Associate Fellow at RUSI.



Dr Jason Klocek

Jason Klocek is currently working on a monograph that explores how governments construe and respond to religious rebellions with an empirical focus on British insurgency wars during the early postwar period.

Other ongoing projects explore the characteristics, causes, and consequences of religious violence and discrimination. His recent publications include an article in the Journal of Peace Research on regime change and religious persecution, a Review of Faith and International Affairs article that discusses subnational measurement of religious freedom violations, and the co-authored report Religious Freedom Violations Against Indigenous Communities in Latin America, which was released by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom in June 2023.

Jason also works regularly with the U.S. Institute of Peace to advance evidence-based approaches to strategic religious engagement


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Dr Natalie Martin

In Spring 2022 Natalie Martin hosted an ESRC IAA-funded workshop "Information Wars: Power, Politics and the News Media". The project examined the political use of disinformation, misinformation and malinformation.

It aimed to clarify the distinction between different terms amidst discussion of wider issues - helping journalists better understand the threat posed to wider “liberal” democracy. 

An output of the project was the Information Wars podcast series. Across the four episodes in the series, Natalie discusses the issue of “disinformation” in mainstream and social media with experts in the field.


Andrew Mumford

Professor Andrew Mumford

Andrew Mumford completed a part-time secondment with the House of Commons International Affairs Unit 2020-2022. He worked with policymakers and civil servants to support the analysis of the Integrated Review of the UK foreign, defence and security policy.

The fellowship ran until July 2022 and was funded by the ESRC Impact Fund.

In the summer of 2022 Andrew was elected to the BISA executive committee. Professor Mumford has been a member of the association for twenty years.



Centre for the Study of Subversion, Unconventional Interventions and Terrorism

School of Politics and International Relations
Law and Social Sciences building
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

+44 (0)115 74 87195