Dr. Alastair Reed is the executive director of the RESOLVE Network and the director of the RESOLVE Research Advisory Council. 

Dr. Reed is an associate professor at the Cyber Threats Research Centre at Swansea University in the United Kingdom. Previously, he was the director of the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism in the Hague, and a senior researcher at Leiden University’s Institute of Security and Global Affairs. An expert in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency, he has provided policy advice and training to a wide range of government and international organizations. He has a strong background in grassroots field research in conflict-affected areas, with a regional focus on South and Southeast Asia. 

Dr. Reed completed his doctorate at Utrecht University, focusing on understanding the processes of escalation and de-escalation in ethnic separatist conflicts in India and the Philippines. Prior to that, he worked for eight years as a policy advisor and campaign manager in the United Kingdom.

Dr. Reed's main research interests are foreign fighters, radicalization, terrorist and insurgent strategy, propaganda, and strategic communications. His current area of focus is on understanding and responding to extremist propaganda. 

Publications By Alastair

Getting to the Source: The Importance of Field Research

Getting to the Source: The Importance of Field Research

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

By: Alastair Reed, Ph.D.; Boglarka Bozsogi

Travel restrictions and social distancing practices put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have largely ground field research to a halt. Fieldwork plays an essential but often underappreciated role in both understanding violent extremism and developing policy responses to it. It is vital, therefore, that funders and policymakers support the return of such important work in a post-pandemic world.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention; Education & Training

2020 Trends in Terrorism: From ISIS Fragmentation to Lone-Actor Attacks

2020 Trends in Terrorism: From ISIS Fragmentation to Lone-Actor Attacks

Friday, January 8, 2021

By: Alastair Reed, Ph.D.; Kateira Aryaeinejad

In the past five years, terrorist attacks have declined notably around the globe. While this is certainly good news—particularly in the 20th year of the so-called global war on terror—terrorism remains a pervasive threat. Despite declines in its prevalence, the scale of the challenge posed by terrorism and the violent ideologies that underpin it is still immense and the mechanisms by which to address it remain complex and in need of further coordination on a global scale. What trends did we see in 2020? And how can those trends inform policy to counter violent extremism?

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Violent Extremism

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