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Gina Vale is a PhD Candidate in War Studies at King’s College London. Concurrently she is also a Research Fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) and an Associate Fellow at M&C Saatchi World Services. Her research interests centre on gender-sensitive analyses of terrorism and extremist violence. Beyond her doctoral research, she also studies and consults on issues such as women and minors’ (de)radicalisation; female- and minor-focused propaganda; and the roles of female and underage extremists and combatants.

Gina has academic and professional experience in Europe, the Middle East, and Sub-Saharan Africa. She holds an MA in Terrorism, Security and Society with Distinction from King’s College London, and a BA (Hons) in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Cambridge for which she spent over a year living and working in Jordan.


Research Interests

  • Terrorism
  • Violent Extremism
  • Radicalisation
  • (In)Security
  • Rebel Governance
  • Feminist Security Studies
  • Sexual and Gender-based Violence
  • Children and Extremist Violence.


Doctoral Research

Gender-sensitive Analysis of Rebel Governance: Impacts of Islamic State Rule on Local Women in Iraq and Syria, 2013-17

Gina’s thesis explores the (disproportionate) impacts of Islamic State governance on local Sunni Muslim and Yazidi women in Iraq and Syria. The study seeks to move beyond reporting on the sensationalised and exceptional aspects of the group’s rule, instead uncovering the myriad ‘everyday’ experiences of its female ‘citizens’ and captives. Forming an empirical baseline, Gina has compiled a unique dataset of 625 multimedia items of IS’ gendered governance – drawn from the group’s official propaganda, internal documentation, and female supporters’ social media accounts. As a critical counter-point to IS’ own state-building narratives, in March-April 2019, she conducted fieldwork in Northern Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan, interviewing 71 women who have first-hand experience of IS’ governance.


Professor Peter Neumann (Primary), Dr Shiraz Maher (Secondary)



Book Chapters:

  • 2019 ‘A Minor Issue? Trajectories of Islamic State’s Underage Members,’ in D. Martin Jones et al. (eds.), Handbook of Terrorism and Counter Terrorism Post 9/11, Cheltenham: E. Elgar, 160-176.

Peer-reviewed Articles:

Policy Papers

Gina Vale Research Profile