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Professor in Conflict and Security, University of Bath

Professor Paul Higate joined PoLIS from the University of Bristol in August 2017.

He originally enlisted into the RAF at the age of 17 and after 8 years military service as a non-commissioned officer spent mostly flying a desk, began his undergraduate degree as a mature student at the University of Glasgow and Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario.

Conceptualised through the lens of military masculinity focused on questions of pride and embodiment in the form of 'tough bodies', his PhD investigated the links between post-military rough sleeping and service in the British army. Since then he has gone on to hold grants and Fellowships with the ISS in Pretoria, the ESRC, the AHRC and the MoD, amongst others.

Paul's work has focused on military masculinities and gendered relations in a number of substantive contexts that include UN and NATO Peacekeeping operations and Private Military and Security Companies. His theoretical approaches have been animated by eclectic interests including phenomenology, embodiment, critical cartography and feminist thought. He has conducted ethnographic field research in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kabul, Liberia, Sierra Leone and mainland Europe.

He is a member of the ESRC Peer Review College, UK editor of the journal Men & Masculinities and associate editor for the journal Critical Military Studies. He is currently Co-Investigator on an ESCR/MoD funded project focused on the UK's Future Reserves 2020 Programme.

In recent years, Paul's research has taken a critical turn with a focus on how far and in what kinds of ways the UK can be said to be subject to creeping processes of militarisation. The particular approach taken to this emerging interest focuses on the nexus linking history with national culture that combine to normalise and obscure the use of military power in the contemporary context.

Research interests
Gender and Security
Critical Military Studies
Current projects
Keeping Enough in Reserve


  • –present
    Professor in Conflict & Security , University of Bath