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Academic research is transforming analytical practice in security
Academic research is transforming analytical practice in security

Improving performance in Security Analytics

  • Academic research is transforming analytical practice in security

Research conducted at Loughborough since 2007 is playing a key role in the UK Government’s efforts to improve the analytical function which underpins crucial security practice and decision making.

The research, led by Dr Robert Dover in partnership with academics from across the UK and Europe, has two major strands – in line with the 2004 Butler Report, an open source challenge to closed source practice and analysis; and the emergence of a long overdue sophisticated understanding of how humanities and social scientific method can be applied to improve the analysis of ongoing security crises and the long-term horizon scanning for threats.

The outputs comprise a range of activities spanning advice to practitioners, the facilitation of better joined up work and best practice amongst analysts, scholarly and media dissemination, and policy engagement.

The common thread running through this diverse body of work is the importance of scholarly knowledge and expertise in enhancing analytical practice and evolution.

As well as informing UK analytical practice, Dr Dover’s research has underpinned EU-wide guidance on international relations.

His work and expertise have also helped to shape a number of ground-breaking publications including Learning Lessons from the Secret Past (GUP, 2011) and The Routledge Companion to Intelligence Studies (Routledge, 2013) – considered the handbook on Intelligence Studies.

His 2006 essay “For Queen and Company: The Role of Intelligence in the UK’s Arms Trade” won the PSA’s prestigious Harrison Prize in 2007, and he uses a variety of channels to share his research activity with the wider public including the print and online media.

The quality of his work is widely recognised and highly regarded, attracting substantial funding from Research Councils UK.



    The research has revolutionised the security community’s engagement with academia – accumulated scholarly knowledge and expertise now inform analytical best practice and decision making.


    The research underpins UK and EU-wide security policies and practice.


    Dr Dover was the 2007 winner of the UK Political Studies Association’s prestigious Harrison Prize for best article in Political Studies.


    Dr Dover has edited and contributed to a variety of influential scholarly publications and disseminated his research activity more widely via a number of print and online channels.