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Thomas Rid

Professor in Security Studies


Room K7.18

Department of War Studies


London, WC2R 2LS


Phone: 00 44 (0) 207 848 1156

Office hours: Meetings should be arranged via email.

Biography Research Interests

My areas of interest cover:

  • Cyber security and conflict
  • Subversion, insurgency, and terrorism
  • Counterinsurgency
  • Counterterrorism
  • New technologies and irregular conflict
  • War and media, including social media
  • Deterrence
  • Rise of the Machines
    Out in North America in June 2016 with W. W. Norton, in the UK and Australia with Scribe, in German as Maschinen­dämmerung with Propyläen Ullstein, and in Mandarin with China Machine Press, a Beijing trade publisher. Recorded Books is doing the audiobook. “A common theme connects war machines, computer networks, social media, ubiquitous surveillance, and virtual reality. For […]
  • Cryptopolitik and the Darknet
    “Cryptopolitik and the Darknet,” with Daniel Moore, Survival, 2016, February/March, vol 57, iss 1, 7–38, DOI 10.1080/00396338.2016.1142085 Encryption policy is becoming a crucial test of the values of liberal democracy in the twenty-first century. The trigger is a dilemma: the power of ciphers protects citizens when they read, bank and shop online — and the power of ciphers […]
  • Attributing Cyber Attacks
    “Attributing Cyber Attacks,” with Ben Buchanan, Journal of Strategic Studies, 2015, February, vol 39, iss 1, p. 4-37, DOI:10.1080/01402390.2014.977382 Who did it? Attribution is fundamental. Human lives and the security of the state may depend on ascribing agency to an agent. In the context of computer network intrusions, attribution is commonly seen as one of the most intractable technical problems, […]
  • Cyber War Will Not Take Place
    Rid, T. Cyber War Will Not Take Place, London: Hurst/Oxford University Press (2013) 256p  ‘This book will be welcomed by all those who have struggled to get the measure of the “cyber war” threat. As Thomas Rid takes on the digital doomsters he also provides a comprehensive, authoritative and sophisticated analysis of the strategic quandaries created by new […]
  • Deterrence Beyond the State
    Rid, T (2012) “Deterrence Beyond the State. The Israeli Experience” Contemporary Security Policy, April, vol 33, iss 1,  p. 124-147, DOI:10.1080/13523260.2012.659593 Israel’s experience with deterrence is unique: it is older, more diverse, and more experimental than that of any other state. How did Israel’s strategy of deterrence evolve? How was it adapted to fit the non-state threat? […]
  • Cyber-Weapons
    Rid, T and P McBurney (2012) "Cyber-Weapons" The RUSI Journal, vol 157, iss 1, February, 6-13, DOI:10.1080/03071847.2012.664354  What are cyber-weapons? Instruments of code-borne attack span a wide spectrum, from generic but low-potential tools to specific but high-potential weaponry. This distinction brings into relief a two-pronged hypothesis that stands in stark contrast to some of the […]
  • Think Again: Cyberwar
    Rid, T (2012) "Think Again: Cyberwar" Foreign Policy, March/April, p. 58-61 Don’t fear the digital bogeyman. Virtual conflict is still more hype than reality. Read more
  • 战争2.0
    War 2.0 is available in paperback in Chinese, published by the People’s Liberation Army Press. 战争2.0 信息时代的非常规战, 托马斯 里德 (作者), 马克 海克 (作者), 金苗 (译者), 出版社: 解放军出版社; 第1版 (2011年5月1日), 302页
  • Cyber War Will Not Take Place
    Rid, T (2012) "Cyber War Will Not Take Place" Journal of Strategic Studies, vol 35, no 1, 5–32, February, DOI:10.1080/01402390.2011.608939* Out soon: significantly expanded and updated version as a book. For almost two decades, experts and defense establishments the world over have been predicting that cyber war is coming. But is it? This article argues in […]
  • More Cracks in the Jihad
    Rid, T (2011) "Cracks in the Jihad" in T. Badey (ed) Annual Editions: Violence and Terrorism 12/13, Columbus, OH: McGraw-Hill “Cracks in the Jihad” is an essay originally published in The Wilson Quarterly and reprinted in Thomas Badey’s Violence and Terrorism, September 2011.

Download a full list of publications

PhD Supervison

I welcome PhD students who wish to study topics that fall into these subjects:

  • Cyber security
  • Subversion and insurgency
  • Irregular war and counterinsurgency
  • Terrorism and counter-terrorism
  • Deterrence
  • Military and the media, new and old
Expertise and Public Engagement


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