Key Research Interests and Expertise

Lee’s research is situated within critical approaches to security studies and International Relations, and focuses on constructions of, and responses to, security threats such as terrorism. Specific interests include: 

1. The politics of counter-terrorism. Lee's work explores how politicians discuss, justify and 'sell' counter-terrorism policy to various audiences, as well as the impact of such efforts upon communities and citizens. This has included the ESRC-funded project Anti-terrorism, Citizenship and Security (with Michael Lister), the AHRC-funded project British [Muslim] Values: Conflict or Convergence (with Lee Marsden and Eylem Atakav). It also includes ongoing work on the proscription or listing of terrorist organisations (with Tim Legrand). You might be interested in this article on counter-terrorism policy's implications for citizenship, or in this piece on how politicians debate whether or not to blacklist terrorist groups.

2. Cybersecurity. Lee has worked on issues around the definition, threat and response to cybersecurity challenges, especially cyberterrorism. Much of this work is inter-disciplinary in scope - bringing in partners from Law, Engineering, Computer Science, Criminology and beyond - and emerges out of the Cyberterrorism Project which he co-founded and continues to co-direct with Stuart Macdonald and Tom Chen. You might be interested in this article on competing understandings of 'cyberterrorism'.

3. Critical terrorism studies and critical security studies. Lee's work offers a conceptual and methodological contribution to these fields. This includes agenda-setting work on the parameters and core commitments of each, conceptual work around 'vernacular security studies' and 'stakeholder security', and through the introduction of relatively new methods such as digital storytelling and focus groups. You might be interested in his recent inaugural lecture - Terrorism, counter-terrorism, and critique - which offered a new heuristic of critical strategies for those disatisfied with the politics of counter-terrorism, or in this article on the 'vernacular turn' within International Relations and Security Studies.

 4. Social constructions and memories of terrorism. Lee's work also explores how 'terrorism' is constructed, situated and remembered across different social and cultural sites. Here he has worked on texts as diverse as memorial webpages, videogames, news media coverage, political rhetoric, and obituaries of dead 'terrorists', exploring how these constitute or frame their subjects. You might be interested in Lee's co-authored book, Terrorism: A Critical Introduction.

As this suggests, Lee's research is often collaborative and frequently inter-disciplinary in nature. You can find citation information for Lee's work via google scholar here.

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