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Trevor McCrisken

mccrisken profile

Reader, US Foreign Policy, US Politics & Culture

Advice & Feedback Hours during Term Three:

Please email to arrange a Teams or in-person meeting

Module Director 2023-24:

PO207 Politics of the USA (with Joseph Haigh)

PO366 Dissertation

PO983 US Foreign Policy & National Security

PO980 US Foreign Policy

PO979 US National Security

More about Trevor's...



Trevor McCrisken's research interests are in United States foreign policy and US politics and culture.

He received his BA in American Studies (Politics) from the University of Kent with a year at the University of Maryland, College Park. He then completed an MA in International Affairs at American University, Washington, DC and received his DPhil from the University of Sussex. He has held previous posts at the University of Oxford, Lancaster University, and UWE Bristol. He joined the department at Warwick in September 2003.

He was a Visiting Fellow at the Rothermere American Institute at the University of Oxford from 2001-2003, an Associate Fellow from 2003-2009, and an Associate Visiting Research Fellow from 2018-19.

His most recent co-authored book with Jon Herbert and Andrew Wroe is available from Palgrave (2019): The Ordinary Presidency of Donald J. Trump

Trevor has been a North America Region Head with the political consultancy group Oxford Analytica since 2002. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of the transatlantic security think tank BASIC (British American Security Information Council) from 2005-2021 and was Chair from November 2007 to March 2020.

Research interests

Trevor McCrisken's research interests are in United States foreign policy and US politics and culture.

· US counterterrorism; use of drones and targeted killing.
· Use of US military force and the ‘Vietnam syndrome’.
· Belief in American exceptionalism and its influence on US politics and foreign policy.
· US policy toward Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and the Middle East.
· Political and historical content of Hollywood films and television.
· US presidential and electoral politics.
· Nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
· Politics of race, ethnicity and gender in the US.

Trevor's main research currently focuses on the narratives being constructed around the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as drones, for the targeted killing of suspected terrorists. He is also researching President Joe Biden's attempts to redefine US foreign policy following the Trump presidency, his approach and use of rhetoric, and its impact particularly on transatlantic security in the context of the Russian war on Ukraine.

You can see and hear Trevor talking about his research on the US drone programme in podcasts with CIGI (Centre for International Governance Innovation) in Waterloo, Canada and the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC, USA. His article on "Obama's Drone War" was published in the journal Survival in April/May 2013.

Other recent publications include "'Peace Through Strength': Europe and NATO Deterrence beyond the US Nuclear Posture Review"Link opens in a new window with Maxwell Downman in International Affairs (March 2019), and "Eyes and Ears in the Sky: Drones, Journalism and Mass Surveillance" in Johan Lidberg & Denis Muller, In The Name of Security: Secrecy, Surveillance and Journalism (Anthem, 2018).Link opens in a new window

Trevor's work on popular culture representations of foreign and security policy has seen him collaborate with PAIS colleague Chris Moran with whom he's published the articles: "James Bond, Ian Fleming and Intelligence: Breaking down the boundary between the 'real' and the 'imagined'", Intelligence and National Security, Vol. 33 (Published on-line May 9, 2018) and "The Secret Life of Ian Fleming: Spies, Lies and Social Ties", Contemporary British History (Published on-line December 7, 2018).

Trevor worked with former PAIS colleague Erzsébet StrauszLink opens in a new window at the Central European University on a project using the "cut-up" method to disrupt and reassemble the narratives and meanings given to drone attacks against suspected terrorists. The technique, inspired by the work of Brion Gysin, William Burroughs and David Bowie, has been used fairly extensively in literature, poetry, and songwriting but is an innovative approach to research in International Security. Their chapter on Cut-Ups was published in the book Critical Methods for the Study of World Politics: Creativity and TransformationLink opens in a new window edited by Shine Choi, Anna Selmeczi and Erzsébet Strausz (Routledge, December 2019).

He was also on the Advisory Board of the AHRC funded "Landscapes of Secrecy" project on the history of the CIA based within PAIS and participated in the project's conference in Nottingham at which he gave a presentation on "The CIA and Television". He published an open access article based on this research in the journal History (Vol. 100, Issue 340, April 2015): "The Housewife, the Vigilante, and the Cigarette-Smoking Man: The CIA and Television, 1975-2001".

Teaching and supervision

Trevor is available for PhD supervision in the areas of research interest listed above.

Positions held