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Rob is a Royal Air Force officer, conducting part-time PhD research. He currently serves as the UK’s first resident Defence Attaché to the Republic of Moldova. He graduated with a BSc Econ (Hons) in International Politics with German and MSc Econ in Intelligence Studies with Russian from the Universities of Wales and Munich. Rob has been employed in a variety of international roles, serving as the Personal Staff Officer to the RAF’s Commander in the Middle East, as a surveillance director, linguist and operational planner. His academic interests are broad, spanning surveillance and intelligence, political philosophy and sociology.

Research Interests 

Surveillance, Intelligence, Political Philosophy and Sociology

Thesis Title

Battling Imperceptible Threats: Surveillance Policy and Contemporary Operations


My project seeks to address three key research questions:

  1. Has surveillance theory hampered the development of contemporary policy?
  2. What might an improved model of surveillance and oversight look like?
  3. Which case studies could be employed to test this new model?


Conceptual Framework – Part One

The impact of Foucault's Panopticon and social hierarchies of power on the development of surveillance theory and policy.


Conceptual Framework – Part Two

Advancing social constructivism, as a conceptual bridge between Sociology and IR in Surveillance Studies. Highlighting the importance of exposing social norms to broader political discourse.


Empirical Framework – Part One

The development of alternative models of surveillance and oversight. Identifying the legal, operational and ethical requirements, and tolerance levels, for contemporary surveillance operations. How can existing models of intelligence oversight (e.g. Joint Intelligence Committee or Five Eyes Community) offer promise for surveillance?


Empirical Framework – Part Two

Case studies to test a new model of surveillance. How can security or environmental challenges such as migration, wildfires or pandemics be addressed more effectively through surveillance? 



Prof Greg Kennedy and Dr Christina Goulter