Skip to main content
KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico


I obtained my BA and MA at Carleton and my PhD at Glasgow. I joined the Department immediately after completing my PhD in 2002. My main research interests are insurgency and counterinsurgency, information warfare and cyberwar, propaganda, also civil-military relations and strategy and especially fortifications both historic and contemporary (which I think are essentially the same thing in practice).  I am head of the Insurgency Research Group and was the academic director of the War Studies Online MA  for its first five years.

Research Interests

My areas of research cover:

  • Strategy
  • Insurgency and counterinsurgency
  • Information warfare and cyberwar
  • Propaganda
  • Civil-military relations
  • Russia
  • Hybrid warfare
  • Historic and contemporary theory and practice of fortification


My writing is on a diverse range of subjects including information warfare, the future of land forces, the virtual dimension of insurgency, propaganda of the deed, cyberspace and insurgency, and British counterinsurgency in such journals as the Journal of Strategic Studies, the Journal of Contemporary Security Studies, and Orbis. My book written with PhD student Tim Stevens, Cyberspace and the State was published by the International Institute for Strategic Studies in 2012.

For a list of publications, please download the follwing document: Dr David Betz publications or refer to the Research Portal


I currently teach the following MA modules:

  • Evolution of Insurgency
  • Strategy and Communications 

  • Contemporary Conflicts

My previous teaching includes: 

  • Insurgency and Counterinsurgency
  • History of Contemporary Warfare; The Early Cold War, 1945-19752 and From Cold War to ‘New World Order’, 1975-91
  • Conduct of Contemporary Warfare
  • Strategic Dimensions of Contemporary Warfare
  • Regional Security: Middle East
  • History of Contemporary Warfare Part 1: 1945-91 & Part 2: 1991-Present
  • The Revolution in Military Affairs

PhD Supervision

I will consider supervision of excellent candidates in any of the above research areas but am particularly interested in applicants wishing to work in the area of fortifications (broadly defined), walls, war, and strategy in general

Expertise and Public Engagement

I  head a 2-year US Defense Department Minerva-funded project on ‘Strategy and the Network Society. Beyond the department I am also a Senior Fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute.

I have advised or worked with the UK MOD and GCHQ on strategic issues, counterinsurgency and stabilization doctrine, cyberspace and cyber strategy and advised British commanders in Afghanistan. Ilecture abroad (United States, Israel and Italy) as well as at the UK at the Defence Academy to the Advanced and Intermediate Command and Staff