Lewis Herrington in a suit

Dr Lewis Herrington

Lecturer in International Relations

College of the Arts and Society

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Dr Herrington teaches both undergraduate and post graduate modules including World Politics since 1945, The Changing Character of War and Terrorism, Humanitarian Intervention and Contemporary Global Security. He supervises a wide range of 3rd year and postgraduate dissertations, mainly focused on themes within International Security.

Career overview

Lewis holds a PhD in Islamist Terrorism from the University of Warwick, Department for Politics, and International Studies. For his ESRC funded doctoral research, he interviewed former members of the British Cabinet, ex MI5 Spies and serving officers within UK Counter Terrorism Command. Following the completion of his PhD in 2016, Lewis served as a Teaching Fellow to Warwick, Loughborough, Regents and Buckingham Universities respectively. In January 2022, he took up his first permanent lectureship at Coventry University.


Author of the new book, Understanding Islamist Terrorism in Europe (2021), Dr Herrington has drawn heavily on psychological insights to provide new theories, models of radicalisation and typologies into the field of terrorism studies. His work has been highly praised by London Metropolitan Police (Counter Terrorism Command), the Home Office (OSCT) and the former UK independent reviewer of counter terrorism (Lord Carlile). Significantly, Lewis has twice published in the world’s number one IR journal, International Affairs. Demonstrating a commitment to multidisciplinary research, Lewis holds postgraduate degrees in computer science, politics, and psychology.

Building on this foundation, he has published articles on subjects ranging from hostage taking in Latin America to cyber security in Sub Saharan Africa. More generally, his main research areas concern suicide terrorism, Islamist extremism and counter radicalization. Currently, Lewis is seeking to determine the extent to which his insights on Islamist suicide terrorists, might help us to better understand the phenomenon of high school shootings in the United States.

External activities

Due to the high profile and international nature of his work on suicide terrorism, Lewis has had the privilege to serve as an expert witness for a variety of media outlets including CNN, Sky News and BBC News. Please see below for a selection of his media appearances. Privately, Lewis has frequently engaged with government departments including the Office for Security and Counter Terrorism in London (OSCT) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). Critically, his research has been directly felt within the domain of counter radicalisation.

Since 2019, Lewis has advised a prominent Birmingham based organisation who support men and women vulnerable to radicalisation. Demonstrating a commitment to networking, Lewis recently participated in a colloquium held at Oxford University by a former President of BISA to examine the rising tide of extremism in both the UK and across Europe. During the pandemic and the introduction of zoom, Lewis was able to reach a much wider audience. Through 2021 he gave a series of online lectures introducing his research findings and commenting on how his work might lead to a paradigm shift in how we approach counter radicalisation in Europe.

Publications and press

Books and Book Chapters

  • ‘Understanding Islamist Terrorism in Europe: Drugs, Jihad and the Pursuit of Martyrdom’. (2022) Routledge Studies in Countering Violent Extremism (Series Editor: Daniel Koehler, German Institute on Radicalization and De-radicalization Studies (GIRDS)). Based on a detailed study into the lives of eighty successful suicide terrorists over the last twenty years.
  • 'The New Frontier: Cyberespionage and Cyberwar' in Christopher Andrew et al (eds.) Secret Intelligence: A Reader (London: Routledge, 2nd edition, July 2021), pp.566-84.
  • ‘The Impact of Covid-19 on the Terrorism Landscape' in Caroline Varin et al (eds.) Global Security in Times of Covid-19’ (London: Palgrave, 2021)

Journal Articles

  • ‘Predicting and preventing radicalisation: An alternative approach to Suicide Terrorism in Europe’, Intelligence and National Security, Vol.34, No.4 (2019) 480-503.
  • ‘Terrorism, Hostages and Ransoms: British Negotiation Policy in Long Perspective’, co-authored with Richard Aldrich, Review of International Studies, Vol.44, No.4 (2018): 738-759. [ISI Five-year impact 2.3]
  • ‘The debatable land: spies, secrets and persistent shadows’, International Affairs, Vol. 94, No.3 (2018): 645-55. [ISI Five-year impact 2.9]
  • ‘British Islamic Extremist Terrorism: The Declining Significance of Al-Qaeda and Pakistan’, International Affairs, Vol. 91, No.1 (2015): 16-35. [ISI Five-year impact 2.9]
  • ‘The Future of Cyber-Resilience in an Age of Global Complexity’, Politics, Vol.33, No.4 (2013): 299–310.  [ISI Five-year impact 1.67]

Shorter Press Pieces (Selected)

  • St Petersburg bombing: A call to arms for disbanded Jihadi fighters by Islamic State’s wannabe successors? April 2017, Press Release.
  • Too much PREVENT: Did fundamentalism save Adrian Ajao from self-destruction and lead Khalid Masood to murder? March 2017, Press Release.
  • Westminster terror attack reminiscent of the extremist murder of Lee Rigby, March 2017, Press Release.

Media Appearances (Selected)

  • Nov 2018. CNN – Terrorist attack in Melbourne - Watch
  • Jan 2018. Russia Today – Return of Foreign Fighters from Syria - Watch
  • Sep 2017. TRT World – Parsons Green Terrorist Attack – Watch
  • March 2017. Sky News – Westminster Terrorist Attack - Watch
  • December 2014. Arise News Network – Murder of Soldier Lee Rigby - Watch
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