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Thomas Colley

Office hours by appointment


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 and first book investigate 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, and a project with Dr. Peter Busch entitled 'Narrating Germany’s Place in an Insecure World: Perspectives from the AfD Heartland'.   In 2017 Dr. Colley was awarded KCL’s prestigious ‘Rising Star’ Teaching Excellence Award.


Thomas co-convenes the MA Evolution of Insurgency module, and lectures on the MA Theory and Practice of War and BA3 New Media, New Wars, New Journalism modules. He has also delivered lectures and seminars on numerous other modules in the department, including  MA Strategic Communication, BA2 Military Strategy, BA2 War and Global Conflict in the Contemporary World, BA3 Contemporary Military Strategy. He has also lectured on the NATO European Security Cooperation Course at NATO School in Oberammergau, Germany. 


Selected Publications

  • Colley, Thomas. Always at War: British Publics’ Narratives of Military Intervention (Ann Arbor: Michigan University Press, forthcoming 2019). 
  •  Michelsen, Nicholas and Thomas Colley. ‘The field of Strategic Communications Professionals: A new research agenda for International Security’, European Journal of International Security, 2018, 1-18, doi:10.1017/eis.2018.9. 
  • 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.

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