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Dr Alexander Neads

Assistant Professor in International Security

Assistant Professor in International Security in the School of Government and International Affairs+44 (0) 191 33 45657


Dr Alex Neads joined the Durham Global Security Institute as Assistant Professor of International Security in 2021.

Dr Neads' research explores the shifting construction and diffusion of military power, and its implications for international conflict and stability. He is particularly interested in the linkages between military change and innovation, domestic politics, and the conduct of war. His ongoing research examines the diffusion of martial practices through military-to-military assistance activities, specifically the principal-agent politics of military capacity building and proxy sponsorship.

Dr Neads is principal investigator for the British Academy-funded research project 'Protecting democracy or promoting authoritarianism? Understanding the impact of international competition on military assistance in West Africa'.

Prior to joining the School of Government and International Affairs, Dr Neads held a research post at the University of Bath focusing on the implications of technological change for international security. He was also previously based at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom as part of Cranfield Univeristy, where he taught extensively overseas.

Dr Neads read for his PhD in Strategy and Security at the University of Exeter. Additionally, he holds an MPhil in Modern British and European History from the University of Oxford, and a BA (Hons) in History from Royal Holloway, University of London.

Office Hours

Michaelmas Term 2023:

Mondays 15:00-16:00, in-person drop-in (teachings weeks 2-10 only).

Thursdays 09:30-10:30, online only via Teams (teaching weeks 2-10). Email to book in advance.

Epiphany Term 2024:

Tuesdays 16:00-17:00, in-person drop-in (teachings weeks 11-17, 19-20).

Thursdays 09:30-10:30, online only via Teams (teaching weeks 11-17, 19-20). Email to book in advance.

Research interests

  • Construction and diffusion of martial power
  • Warfare and the history of war
  • Security (force) assistance, military capacity building, and defence engagement
  • Principal-agent theory and the use of proxies
  • Military change and innovation, including defence reform processes
  • Sociology of armed forces, especially military cohesion
  • Civil-military relations and the politics of defence


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