I am Emeritus Professor of Media & Communications at London South Bank University.
I am a fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and a former member of the Arts & Humanities Research Council’s peer review college. I’m an associate editor at Frontiers in Communication, and am also on the editorial board of Media, War & Conflict, the advisory panel of JOMEC Journal, and the international advisory board of the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media.
I have written widely on the role of the media in post-Cold War conflicts and international interventions. Framing Post-Cold War Conflicts (Manchester University Press, 2007), presents a comparative study of this area, examining UK press coverage across six different crises. The book empirically tests the sometimes contradictory claims that have been made about news coverage of war, and investigates the extent to which Western military action has been represented as justifiable and necessary.
Media, War and Postmodernity (Routledge, 2007) argues that contemporary warfare may be understood as ‘postmodern’ in that it is driven by the collapse of grand narratives in Western societies and constitutes an attempt to recapture a sense of purpose and mission. Discussing the humanitarian interventions of the 1990s and the ‘war on terror’, the book analyses the rise of a postmodern sensibility in domestic and international politics, and explores how the projection of power abroad is undermined by a lack of cohesion and purpose at home.
Though much of my work on war and international interventions focuses on the role of the news media, I am also editor of Screens of Terror (Abramis Academic, 2011), about the representation of war in film and television drama, and co-editor of War Games (Bloomsbury, 2020) about war and video games.
A major secondary research focus is on the tensions and contradictions in contemporary environmentalist discourse, including how this is refracted in politics, journalism and celebrity culture. Climate Change and Post-Political Communication (Routledge, 2018) explores how the issue has been taken up by elites struggling to construct plausible visions of the future, and how it provides a focus for much broader anxieties about a loss of modernist political agency and meaning.
My occasional journalistic writing and commentary often picks up themes from my academic work, and currently seeks to engage with the realignments and disorientations which accompany the crisis of liberal technocracy and the rise of new forms of populist politics.