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Dr Mark Hilborne joined King’s Defence Studies Department at the Joint Services Command and Staff College in September 2004. He spent a brief time at the Air Power Studies Division, where he was Assistant Head of Air Power Studies and Director of Research and Teaching. He returned to the Staff College in April 2008.

Prior to coming to King's he was a lecturer at the University of Birmingham and a Visiting Researcher at the United Nations Institute of Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) in Geneva. He received his PhD in International Relations from Cambridge University in 2000. He also holds an M.Phil from Cambridge and a B.A from the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver.

Dr Hilborne’s research concentrates on strategic stability, deterrence and arms control, with an emphasis on nuclear weapons and outer space. In 2014 he set up the Space Security Research Group to further the understanding of the space domain.

In addition to his work in the Defence Studies Department, Dr Hilborne also taught the MA in Air Power in the Modern World for nine years. He also served as Chair of the Exam Board for four years.

Research Interests

Mark is currently in the final stages of an ESRC-funded report on UK space policy. This is designed to be the first in a series of reports focused on the UK’s future direction in space. He is also currently writing on deterrence in space and the military-commercial nexus in space.


  • ‘Space: Ambiguity, Vulnerability and Changing Character’, Future Warfare, Canberra, forthcoming.
  • Guiding Principles for the Development and Use of LAWS, contributing author, document presented to UN Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on LAWS within the framework of the United Nations Convention of Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), August 2019.
  • ‘Conventional Prompt Global Strike: Enhancing Deterrence?’, Air Power Review. Jul 2017, 20, 2, p. 182-190.
  • ‘Mitigating Disinformation Campaigns Against Air Power: The UK’, NATO’s Journal of the Joint Air Power Competence Centre. May 2017. p. 83-101
  • ‘China’, Space Policy. Aug 2016, 37, 1, p. 39-45
  • ‘The Impact of China’s Rise in Space, ESPI Yearbook on Space Policy, Vienna, 2015.
  • ‘China’s Rise in space and US policy responses: A collision course?’, Space Policy, May 2013, pp 121-127.
  • ‘The NPT’, in Harsh, P. (ed.). Handbook of Nuclear Proliferation. 2012, Abingdon: Routledge, p. 251-260
  • ‘UK Space Policy’, Air Power Review, 2009, 12, 2.
  • ‘Space Weapons: Technological Folly?’, in Rappert, B. (ed.), Technology and Security: Governing Threats in the New Millennium. 2007, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 171-192

Dr Mark Hilborne PURE Profile


  • Teaches principally on the Higher and Advanced Courses, and all RAF Division courses
  • MA Special Subject: Arms Control and Disarmament
  • Operational Studies: Gulf War I
  • Air Power Studies, War Studies Online