Matthew Hedges is undertaking a PhD at Durham University in the School of Government and International Affairs. He is researching strategies of authoritarian resilience and is interested in the changing nature of war, civil-military relations and defence industrialisation. He has a special interest in Middle Eastern politics and security studies along with weak and failing states. He was imprisoned in the UAE for nearly seven months when undertaking fieldwork, and after being sentenced to life imprisonment he was released. Since Matthew's return home, he has been using his experience to advocate for greater understanding of the academic practice and academic freedom.