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Teaching Fellows

Dr Thomas Colley

Teaching Fellow 

Colley2018Office K6.42

Department of War Studies

King's College London


Phone: 020 7848 5250



Dr. Thomas Colley is a Teaching Fellow in the Department of War Studies whose research interests include propaganda, strategic communication and their historical and contemporary use in war. His research is driven by a fascination with how to understand better what publics actually think, and thus how they might be persuaded or resist persuasion. His doctoral research investigated the similarities in how British citizens construct stories about war. He has spoken about his research on BBC television and radio in the context of international terrorism, and written several articles for the Daily Telegraph. He is currently working on a project with Dr. Nicholas Michelsen investigating the role of strategic communication professionals in international relations.Perhaps unusually for a War Studies staff member, Thomas read Sport and Exercise Science at Loughborough University and was awarded the GV Sibley Prize for the outstanding undergraduate in the faculty. After five years teaching in the British secondary education system, he spent two years as a head of department in an international school in Uganda. On his return, he undertook an MA and PhD in War Studies at King’s courtesy of the Sir Evelyn De Rothschild War Studies Scholarship.


Thomas has contributed lectures and seminars in numerous modules in the department, including MA Theory and Practice of War, MA Evolution of Insurgency, MA Strategic Communication, BA Military Strategy and BA War and Global Conflict in the Contemporary World. He has also supervised several Masters students from Imperial College London as part of a research programme investigating climate change strategic communication.In 2017 Thomas was awarded KCL’s prestigious ‘Rising Star’ Teaching Excellence Award.


  • Colley, Thomas. ‘Britain’s Public War Stories: Punching Above its Weight or Vanishing Force?’ Defence Strategic Communications, Vol. 2, 2017, pp. 162-190.
  • Colley, Thomas. ‘Is Britain a force for good? Investigating British citizens’ narrative understanding of war’, Defence Studies, Vol. 17, No. 1, 2017, pp. 1-22.
  • Colley Thomas. ‘What’s In It For Us: Responses to the UK’s Strategic Narrative on Intervention in Libya’, RUSI Journal, Vol. 160, No. 4, 2015, pp. 60-69.
  • Bushell, Simon, Thomas Colley and Mark Workman. ‘A Unified Narrative for Climate Change’, Nature and Climate Change, Vol. 5, 2015, 971-973.
  • Bushell, Simon, Geraldine Satre Buisson, Mark Workman and Thomas Colley. ‘Strategic Narratives in Climate Change: Towards a Unifying Narrative to Address the Action Gap on Climate Change’, Energy Research and Social Science, Vol. 28, 2017, pp. 39-49.

Book Reviews and Media Articles

  • Colley, Thomas, Review of Thomas Cawkwell, UK communication strategies for Afghanistan, 2001–2014, Defence Studies, Vol. 16, No. 2, pp. 199-201, 2016.
  • Colley, Thomas, Review of Beatrice de Graaf, George Dimitriu and Jens Ringsmose (eds), Strategic Narratives, Public Opinion, and War: Winning Domestic Support for the Afghan War, Routledge: Abingdon, 2015, Media, War and Conflict, Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 222-224, 2015.
  • ‘Why does Isil use children in its propaganda?’ The Telegraph, 12 Mar 2015
  • ‘From Westgate to Westfield: does al-Shabaab have the capacity to strike the West?’ The Telegraph, 24 Feb 2015
  • ‘Does Sydney siege indicate increasing threat to Britain of 'lone wolf' terror attacks?’ The Telegraph, 16 Dec 2014. 
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