Personal profile

Personal profile

Professor Andrew Silke holds a Chair in Criminology at Royal Holloway. He has a background in forensic psychology and criminology and has worked both in academia and for government. His primary research interests include terrorism, conflict, crime and policing, and he is internationally recognised as a leading expert on terrorism and low intensity conflict. He has a wide range of publications including several books, with his most recent including A Research Agenda for Terrorism Studies (2023) and The Routledge Handbook on Terrorism and Counterterrorism (2019).

He has worked with a wide variety of government departments and law enforcement and security agencies. In the United Kingdom these include the Home Office, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Defence, HM Prison & Probation Service, the London Metropolitan Police as well as several other UK police forces. Overseas he has worked with the United Nations, the United States Department of Justice, the US Department of Homeland Security, NATO, the European Defence Agency, the European Commission, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

He was a long-serving member of the European Commission's Radicalisation Awareness Network Centre of Excellence which works with practitioners to develop state-of-the-art knowledge to prevent and counter radicalisation to violent extremism. Prior to this, he served both on the European Commission's European Network of Experts on Radicalisation and on the Commission's Expert Group on Violent Radicalisation. He has provided invited briefings on terrorism-related issues to Select Committees of the UK House of Commons and is a member of the Cabinet Office National Risk Assessment Behavioural Science Expert Group.


Professor Silke teaches on both undergraduate and postgraduate courses at Royal Holloway. His main involvement is with the MSc Terrorism and Counter Terrorism Studies and the BSc Criminology and Psychology. In 2023/24 his primary teaching will be on the modules:

The Psychology of Terrorism

Debates in Terrorism Studies

Contemporary Forms of Terrorism

Key Perspectives and Debates in Criminology

He also supervises undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations for students on the BSc Criminology and Psychology, the MSc Terrorism and Counter Terrorism Studies and the MSc Forensic Psychology programmes. 

Research interests

Some of the major active and ongoing themes in Professor Silke's research currently include:

  • radicalisation and de-radicalisation processes
  • risk assessment
  • prison, detention and terrorism
  • counterterrorism strategies
  • climate change and terrorism

His current major book project is a monograph for Hurst on The Triumph of Terror. This examines conflicts where terrorists have won, exploring how and why the conflicts ended as they did and what the defeated governments could and should have done differently.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

External positions

Editorial Board, Journal of Criminal Psychology

2023 → …

Editorial Board, Perspectives on Terrorism

2023 → …

Senior Research Fellow, RAND Europe

2021 → …

Editorial Board, International Centre for Counter-Terrorism – The Hague (ICCT)

2015 → …

Editorial Board, Terrorism and Political Violence

2010 → …

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or