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Dr Mark Lacy


Academic and Other Relevant Experience

I hold a PHD in International Relations (University of Sussex, UK, 2001). Prior to my work on SecurityLancaster I was part of a team that set up an inter-disciplinary theme year in our Institute of Advanced Studies on New Sciences of Protection: Designing Safe Living’ (2007-2008). New Sciences of Protection brought together designers, technologists and social sciences to collaborate in various ways on emerging security problems and their social, economic and political impacts. I have also begun working with new media companies working on the digital aspects of the war on terror.

Current Role

Currently, I lecture in the Department of Philosophy, Politics and Religious Studies (PPR) where I teach courses on security and global Politics. I also teach a course on ‘Security and Conflict in a Digital Age’ on the MSc in Cybersecurity. I am directing the SecurityFutures stream of the cross-disciplinary centre.

Security Research

My doctoral research was focused on how climate change was opening a new set of questions and challenges in the terrain of security thinking, problems primarily linked to questions of ‘uncertainty’ and knowledge/ethics. I am currently interested in the debates surrounding uncertainty/risk and cybersecurity/cyberwar. Similar to the emergence of climate change as a security problem, cybersecurity is a part of a new generation of threats that emerges from the ‘critical infrastructures’ of everyday life around the planet – and like climate change, there is a great deal of discussion about the ‘uncertainties’ of cybersecurity (for example, the extent to which cybersecurity presents us with ‘game changing’ problems or solutions – or the position that the significance of digital geopolitics is overstated or ‘hyped’ up).

The SecurityFutures stream of the centre is a space where we can create dialogue and collaboration on the future of cybersecurity in an age of ‘digital geopolitics,’ bringing together people from business, academia and the protection industries to create new perspectives on security and global politics.

One of the key perspectives in research on risk and uncertainty is on the biases that we can bring to our understanding of different issues, biases that can limit our thinking; we can also be limited by the complexity of new security problems, problems that require inter-disciplinary research if we are to make sense of the technical, social and geopolitical dimensions of these new uncertainties. One of the objectives of SecurityFutures is to develop inter-disciplinary techniques to generate new thinking about future scenarios that will be of use to a range of organizations confronted with a rapidly changing world.

Selected Esteem Indicators

  • New Sciences of Protection: Design Safe Living, Executive Committee, Institute for Advanced Studies, 2007-2008

Key Security Research Projects

  • Invited to present ‘Disasters and Accelerating Modernity’, Disasters: Knowledge, Anthropologies, Ethics, UNESCO HEADQUARTERS PARIS, 4TH July 2011
  • Participant, RCUK Security Forum workshop on Ethics and Security, The British Library, 21st October 2009.
  • Invited to give Ruth K and Shepard Broad Educational Series Lecture on ‘Designer Security’ at Florida International University, April 2008
  • Invited to Gradaute Seminar on my book ‘Security and Climate Change: International Relations and the Limits of Realism’ at Florida International University April 2008.

Key Security and Related Publications

  • 2008. The Geopolitics of American Insecurity: Terror, Power, and Foreign Policy (edited with Francois Debrix, PRIO New Security Studies, Routledge).
  • 2006. Global Politics in the Information Age, edited with Peter Wilkin (Manchester University Press).
  • 2005. Security and Climate Change: International Relations and the Limits of Realism (Routledge).