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Assistant Professor of Intelligence and Security, Leiden University

Tom Maguire is an Assistant Professor of Intelligence and Security in the Institute of Security and Global Affairs, Leiden University, and Visiting Fellow with the King's Intelligence and Security Group in the Department of War Studies, King’s College London (KCL).

Prior to joining Leiden, Tom was a Teaching Fellow in the Department of War Studies and a Research Fellow at Darwin College and the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) at the University of Cambridge. His PhD thesis completed at POLIS, awarded the Lisa Smirl Prize for best thesis in his year, forms the basis for a forthcoming book with Oxford University Press, The intelligence-propaganda nexus: British and American covert influence in Cold War Southeast Asia. This explores how interactions between intelligence and propaganda shape states’ approaches to using covert influence as a foreign policy tool, focusing comparatively on British and American practice.

Tom's concurrent ongoing research is interrogating the aims, nature, and impacts of relationships between the security sectors of states in Africa and Asia and overseas states – especially the UK – since 1945. This particularly focuses on security assistance partnerships and draws on principal-agent and patron-client theories to interrogate post-colonial legacies, better understand Britain’s global security footprint, and identify lessons for contemporary practice and scrutiny.

Tom was formerly the John Garnett Visiting Fellow within the National Security & Resilience Studies programme at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI), a defence and security think tank on Whitehall, focusing on conflict, violent extremism and organised crime in East Africa.

Tom is also a co-convenor of the UK Study Group on Intelligence and the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar and a lecturer on the Cambridge International Security and Intelligence programme. He holds a BA (Hons.) in History from Durham University and an MPhil in International Relations at POLIS.

Research Interests

Intelligence, propaganda and covert influence in foreign policy and domestic security
Security assistance and international security cooperation
The Cold War and decolonisation
Counter-insurgency and violent extremism


  • –present
    Visiting Fellow with the King's Intelligence and Security Group in the Department of War Studies, King's College London