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Melina Dobson


In May 2019, I successfully defended my doctoral thesis in Politics and International Studies. I originally joined PAIS in 2011 to study for my MA in International Security. I also hold a degree in Law with German Law from the University of Surrey (2005-2009). During my time at Surrey, I also completed an Erasmus year at the Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg in Germany, where I gained German law qualifications.


My doctoral thesis, 'Unauthorised Disclosures: US National Security Whistleblowers and Leakers, 1970-2017' maps selected cases of public disclosures pertaining to national security. I focus on exploring the potential impact that the insider can have by retracing their stories. The thesis deploys a new agency-structure model that offers a linear typology of the three stages potential whistleblowers will pass through when exposing wrongdoing. This framework has been adopted in order to illuminate the moral and practical issues that are faced by potential whistleblower, as well as potential consequences. Drawing on different disciplines to gain an insight into the personal burden and choices made in each case, this thesis investigates the possibility that western governments have sought to securitise the insider. By portraying the insider as the enemy of the state, the integrity of the disclosure is more readily questioned and there is a failure to recognise the potential value of such an act.


Dobson, Melina J., "Operation Rubicon: Germany as an intelligence ‘Great Power’?" Intelligence and National Security (2020).

Aldrich, Richard J. and Melina J. Dobson, 'The Convergence of Spies, Scholars and Science’, Liam Francis Gearon (ed.), Routledge International Handbook of Universities, Security and Intelligence Studies (London: Routledge, forthcoming 2019).

Dobson, Melina J., "The Last Forum of Accountability? State Secrecy, Intelligence and Freedom of Information in the United Kingdom", British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 21: 2 (2019), pp. 312-329. Impact Factor: 1.543 | 2017 Ranking: 64/169 in Political Science | 31/85 in International Relations

Cybersecurity: A Guide for the Global South (Contributer)
Cyber Security Policy Centre in collaboration with the Warwick Cyber Security GRP 2018
Supported by the Warwick Impact Fund

Conference Papers (Selected)


International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Convention 2018, San Francisco, US (April, 2018)

  • “Waste, Fraud, Abuse”: Creating an Improved Whistleblower Track in the
    Intelligence Community


International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Convention 2017, Baltimore, US (February, 2017)

  • Openness: The 30-year Rule and beyond
  • The Right to be Forgotten: Privacy and Secrecy in an Age of ‘Sharing'


Criminal Investigations in the Age of Smart Data: A Transatlantic Perspective, 8th Conference on the Future of Adversarial and Inquisitorial System, Bologna, Italy (May, 2016)

  • The Right to be Forgotten: Privacy and Secrecy in an Age of Sharing


Science, Security and the Future of Freedom, Warwick Intelligence Futures, Futures Event, Institute for Advanced Studies (IAS), University of Warwick (June, 2015)

  • Intelligence Oversight and Official Secrecy with Dr Christopher Moran

The Common Good: Ethics and Rights in Cyber Security [ERCS] held at WISE, Hull (May, 2015)

  • Behind Closed Doors: Snowden, Accountability and Oversight

International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Convention 2015, New Orleans, US (February, 2015)

  • Behind Closed Doors: Intelligence Oversight in Britain, Intelligence Studies Panel.
  • Edward Snowden and the Impact of Whistleblowing on International Security in the Information Age, International Political Sociology, International Communication Panel


British International Studies Association (BISA) Annual Convention, Dublin (June, 2014)

  • On Edward Snowden, Transparency and Whistleblowing in International Relations

International Studies Association (ISA) Annual Convention 2015, Toronto, Canada (March, 2014)

  • Snowden and the Impact of NSA file disclosure on Intelligence Studies

PhD Supervisors

Professor Richard Aldrich R dot J dot Aldrich at warwick dot ac dot uk

Dr Chris Moran Christopher dot Moran at warwick dot ac dot uk


Dr Melina J. Dobson

Melina dot Dobson at warwick dot ac dot uk

PGP Fingerprint: 51E6 8A39 75BA 9A56 91E4 40A9 623D 4EC5 2894 0849

Twitter @DrMelinaJoy

Teaching on PO382 Vigilant State: The Politics of Intelligence