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Dr Christian Tripodi received his PhD from the Department of War Studies, King's College London.  After working at the International Institute of Strategic Studies, he joined the Defence Studies Department and was appointed Senior Lecturer in 2012.  

Dr Tripodi's research focuses primarily upon the contemporary and imperial age, and the development by western militaries and colonial administrators of techniques designed to build knowledge of 'alien' societies. It involves deconstructing the ways in which western militaries treat knowledge, the ways in which their doctrine seeks to accommodate issues of vast complexity, and their use of external expertise in the form of social science to further inform their ability to accurately understand their operational surroundings. It also encompasses the psychological processes underpinning decision-making at the political level, and which by its nature sets the context for military actors to employ these forms of understanding. In particular his research focuses upon the complex, unpredictable and often paradoxical consequences that result when military power is instrumentalised on this basis for wider political or military purposes. In addition Dr Tripodi writes on broader aspects of strategic theory, particularly its utility to a better and more intellectually profitable understanding of military history.

‘Dr Tripodi’s latest book, ‘The Unknown Enemy: Counterinsurgency, the Quest for Understanding, and the Illusion of Control’, will be published by Cambridge University Press in early 2021

Research Interests

  • Western interventions and mechanisms of knowledge and understanding
  • Influence building during the colonial era 1870-1945
  • 19th and early 20th century irregular warfare
  • Counterinsurgency
  • Western interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan 2001-2014

Doctoral Supervision

Dr Tripodi is happy to receive PhD proposals on any of the above.


Dr Chris Tripodi PURE Profile