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Francesco Bruno

Mr Francesco Bruno

PhD Student


Francesco Bruno is a PhD candidate in the Defence Studies Department at King’s College London. His research focuses on the organisational and management practices of Al-Qaeda to maintain efficiency across its broad network.

He is an alumnus of the University of Manchester where he was awarded a Master of Arts (MA) in Peace and Conflict Studies in 2017. In the same period, he conducted fieldwork research in conflict-affected societies such as Rwanda and Bosnia & Herzegovina exploring the current state of the state-building processes in these countries.

He was awarded a first-class Bachelor Degree of Economic and Social Science (BscEcon) in International Politics from Aberystwyth University in Wales.


Research Interests

  • Terrorism
  • Counterterrorism
  • Social Networks
  • Religious Terrorist Organizations
  • Organizational and Management Theories





Investigation concerning Al-Qaeda’s core structure and ability to maintain effectiveness and efficiency within a polycentric network

My research focuses on understanding how Al-Qaeda is able to maintain efficiency across a polycentric network. Specifically, the research focuses on the organizational choices between Al-Qaeda’s core and its network of over 30 different organizations across multiple countries. Since its initial strategy of expansion, Al-Qaeda can now count among its ranks between 30,000 and 40,000 soldiers across a number of branches in the Middle, South Asia and Africa. The research focuses on two points. First, it aims to uncover the localized strategies adopted by Al-Qaeda to enable the creation of such networks while keeping in mind their national and international strategies. Second, it aims to understand the relation between Al-Qaeda and the local population in terms of coexistence and support.