Photo of Dr Catarina Thomson

Dr Catarina Thomson

MPsych PhD


Extension: 5595

Telephone: 01392 725595

Senior Lecturer in Security and Strategic Studies

My background is in clinical psychology and international relations. My approach to security studies incorporates political psychology and domestic factors to understand the strategic behaviour of state and non-state actors in times of international conflict. I have researched the formation of public preferences regarding the use of different coercive foreign policies, as well as the role public preferences play in the dynamics of civil, inter-state conflicts, humanitarian interventions and terrorism. I have also examined how warring parties’ concern with international legitimacy can improve the treatment of prisoners of war in times of civil conflict.

I am keen on building links between academia and the policy community, and have worked as a consultant for National Security Innovations (NSI) in the United States. In 2014 I was awarded an ESRC Future Research Leaders early career grant (£176,030.67) to pursue a project titled  ‘Constraints on the Design of Security Policy: Insights from Audience Costs Theory and Security and Defence Elites in the United Kingdom’. In this three-year multi-methods project I examine how security policy is developed in the United Kingdom, and suggest areas for improvement.