New staff member: William W. Thomson

Issued: Mon, 12 Jan 2015 16:58:00 GMT

William W. Thomson joins the School in January 2015 as a Teaching Assistant on the course 'Narratives of Conflict OTI' in collaboration with Dr. Naomi Head and the University of California Irvine. William's primary research interest is in peace and conflict theory, with an emphasis to explore the praxis and effectiveness of particular conflict intervention methods. William’s research has examined international mediation; peace education in divided societies; civil resistance strategies and international peacebuilding initiatives with a focus on the Middle East. He has conducted extensive fieldwork in the region, in particular within Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

He holds a Bachelor of Theology from the University of Aberdeen, a Master of Research in Politics and International Relations, also from Aberdeen, and a PhD in International Relations from the University of St Andrews. A former Royal Marine, William's experience of conflict has informed his interest in efforts to promote peace through non-violent means. His current research is focused on two areas, first, the role of peace education in protracted social conflicts, and second, understanding how and why civil resistance initiatives fail when directed against repressive political entities. Although William's primary focus is in the Middle East, his research in peace and conflict engages a number of settings including Cyprus, Northern Ireland and the Balkans.

William also has an interest in political philosophy, and in particular the intersection between religious and secular dialogue.  He is keenly interested in the critical turn in International Political Thought (IPT) and engages with thinkers such as Kant, Habermas, Foucault, Adorno, Sartre and Bakhtin, amongst others, to inform the debate and the themes of peace, conflict, identity, anarchy and cosmopolitanism.

While undertaking the PhD at St Andrews, William was the Director of a consultancy firm providing advice, training and assessment services in the area of crisis intervention and crisis management. In 2015 William will be aiming to complete and submit his current monograph book proposal, entitled, "Complex Conflict Intervention and Human Needs Satisfaction: Evaluating State, NGO and Grassroots Responses to the Israel-Palestine Conflict 1993-2015".


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