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Thornton, Dr Rod

Contact Details


Research Interests

  • Russian military
  • Asymmetric warfare
  • Cyber warfare
  • Information warfare
  • Reflexive control
  • Terrorism and insurgencies
  • Organisational change in militaries
  • The Kurds

Doctoral Supervision

Dr Rod Thornton is happy to offer PhD supervision in the following areas: Russian military issues; terrorism and insurgencies; issues related to asymmetric warfare; issues related to Iraq, the Kurdish region of northern Iraq and Kurdish issues more generally; issues related to organisational change within militaries.


Prior to academia, Dr Thornton served as a sergeant in an infantry regiment of the British Army. He saw service on Germany, Cyprus, Canada, Northern Ireland and Bosnia, and is the holder of a Queen’s Gallantry Medal.
On leaving the Army in 1988 he took an undergraduate degree in Russian and Serbo-Croat. He then rejoined the Army for a year (1992-93) to serve as an interpreter in Bosnia. He became a civilian again and took two masters degrees (MSocSc in Russian and East European Studies and an MA in Security Studies). He has studied at the following universities: Nottingham, Birmingham, Johns Hopkins, Sarajevo and at the Kiev Institute of Aeronautical Engineering.
Dr Thornton’s PhD is from the University of Birmingham (supervised by Professor Terry Terriff) and involved a comparison of British, Russian and US peace support operations. On completion, he began working for King’s College London at the UK Defence Academy (2002-2007) where he was the subject matter expert for terrorism and insurgencies.
Between 2007 and 2012 Dr Thornton taught at the University of Nottingham. He specialised in international security issues and, specifically, terrorism/insurgencies. After leaving Nottingham, he spent one year at the University of Kurdistan in Erbil, Iraq, where he taught Kurdish history and politics and Middle Eastern history and politics. He then spent three years (2013-16) working again for King’s College London at the Qatari Command and Staff College.

Dr Rod Thorton publications (PDF)


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