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Dr Thomas Maguire
Dr Thomas Maguire

Dr Thomas Maguire

  • Visiting

Visiting Fellow with the King's Intelligence and Security Group in the Department of War Studies

Research subject areas

  • International relations
  • History
  • Security
  • Conflict

Contact details


Tom Maguire is a Visiting Fellow with the King's Intelligence and Security Group in the Department of War Studies, King’s College London (KCL), and Assistant Professor of Intelligence and Security in the Institute of Security and Global Affairs, Leiden University.

Prior to joining Leiden, Tom was a Teaching Fellow in the Department of War Studies and a Research Fellow at Darwin College and the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) at the University of Cambridge. His PhD thesis completed at POLIS, awarded the Lisa Smirl Prize for best thesis in his year, forms the basis for a forthcoming book with Oxford University Press, The intelligence-propaganda nexus: British and American covert action in Cold War Southeast Asia (2022). This explores how interactions between intelligence and propaganda shape states’ approaches to using covert action as a foreign policy tool, focusing comparatively on British and American practice.

Tom's concurrent ongoing research is interrogating the aims, nature, and impacts of relationships between the security sectors of states in Africa and Asia and overseas states – especially the UK – since 1945. This particularly focuses on security assistance partnerships and draws on principal-agent and patron-client theories to interrogate post-colonial legacies, better understand Britain’s global security footprint, and identify lessons for contemporary practice and scrutiny.

Tom was formerly the John Garnett Visiting Fellow within the National Security & Resilience Studies programme at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI), a defence and security think tank on Whitehall, focusing on conflict, violent extremism and organised crime in East Africa.

Tom is also a co-convenor of the UK Study Group on Intelligence and the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar and a lecturer on the Cambridge International Security and Intelligence programme. He holds a BA (Hons.) in History from Durham University and an MPhil in International Relations at POLIS.


Research Interests

  • Intelligence, propaganda and covert action in foreign policy and domestic security
  • Security sector reform and assistance
  • International security cooperation
  • The Cold War and decolonisation
  • Counter-insurgency and violent extremism



Tom currently guest lectures on the following MA modules:

  • 7SSWM142 Intelligence in Peace and War
  • 7SSWM135 The Past and Present of British Intelligence
  • 7SSWM082 Political Violence, Counter-terrorism, and Human Rights




  • T.J. Maguire, The intelligence-propaganda nexus: British and American covert action in Cold War Southeast Asia (Oxford University Press, 2022)
  • T.J. Maguire, Legacies of empire: the politics of security assistance in Cold War Southeast Asia, in preparation
  • T.J. Maguire, with David V. Gioe, ‘Mixed Signals: Assessing Japan’s Prospects to Join the Five Eyes Intelligence Alliance’, under review by RUSI Journal
  • T.J. Maguire, ‘Cultural intermediaries as psychological warriors: agency, authority, and control in covert action’, in preparation for Journal of Strategic Studies
  • T.J. Maguire, ‘Expose, justify, influence: using intelligence as propaganda in international and domestic politics’, in preparation for International Studies Quarterly
  • T.J. Maguire, ‘Managing complicity: Britain, international counter-terrorism cooperation, and human rights since 9/11’, in preparation for International Affairs



  • T.J. Maguire, with A. Glazzard, S. Jesperson, and E. Winterbotham, Conflict, Violent Extremism and Development: New Challenges, New Responses (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018)

Journal articles and chapters:

  • T.J. Maguire, with H. Franklin, ‘Creating a Commonwealth security culture? State-building and the international politics of security assistance in Tanzania’, International History Review, 43, 1 (2021, forthcoming): DOI:10.1080/07075332.2020.1748681 (2020)
  • T.J. Maguire, with A. Glazzard, S. Jesperson, and E. Winterbotham, ‘Islamist Violent Extremism: A New Form of Conflict or Business as Usual?’, Stability: International Journal of Security and Development, 6, 1 (13) (2017), pp. 1-19
  • T.J. Maguire, ‘Kenya’s “war on poaching”: militarised solutions to a militarised problem?’, in T. Reitano, S. Jesperson and L. Bird Ruiz-Benitez de Lugo (eds), Militarised Responses to Transnational Organised Crime: The War on Crime (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)
  • T.J. Maguire, with C. Haenlein and K. Somerville, ‘Poaching, Wildlife Trafficking and Terrorism’, in C. Haenlein and M.L.R. Smith (eds), Poaching, Wildlife Trafficking and Security in Africa: Myths and Realities (RUSI Whitehall Paper, 2016)
  • T.J. Maguire and C. Haenlein, An Illusion of Complicity: Terrorism and the Illegal Ivory Trade in East Africa (RUSI, 2015)
  • T.J. Maguire and C. Haenlein, ‘Countering Poaching and Wildlife Crime: Engaging from the Ground Up’, RUSI Newsbrief, 35, 4 (Jul 2015)
  • T.J. Maguire, ‘The hydra-headed challenge of Al-Shabaab’s financing’, RUSI Newsbrief, 35, 1 (Jan 2015)
  • T.J. Maguire, ‘Counter-subversion in early Cold War Britain: the Official Committee on Communism (Home), the IRD and “state-private networks”’, Intelligence and National Security, 30, 5 (2015), pp. 637-66
  • T.J. Maguire, ‘Interrogation and “psychological intelligence”: the construction of propaganda during the Malayan Emergency, 1948-1958’, in S. Tobia & C. Andrew (eds), Interrogation in War and Conflict (Routledge, 2014), pp. 132-52
  • T.J. Maguire, ‘Transnational Threats and “State-Private Networks”: IRD Counter-Subversion in Early Cold War Britain’, Inteligentsia Y Seguridad, Special Issue - The Threat From Below: How Intelligence Counters Irregular Threats, 13 (Jan-Jun 2013), pp. 61-100