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Professor David Betz obtained his BA and MA at Carleton University, Ottawa and his PhD at the University of Glasgow. He joined the Department immediately after completing my PhD in 2002. His 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. He was the academic director of the War Studies Online MA  for its first five years.

Research Interests

His 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


His 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. His book written with Dr 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


He currently teaches the following MA modules:

  • Evolution of Insurgency
  • Strategy and Communications 

  • Contemporary Conflicts

His 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

He 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

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

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