Counterterrorism Security in UK Museums: New Article Out in ‘Studies in Conflict and Terrorism’


Colin Atkinson, Nick Brooke, and I have a new article out in Studies in Conflict and Terrorism: Researching a Risky Business? The Use of Freedom of Information to Explore Counterterrorism Security at Museums in the United Kingdom.

I’ll say here that those two should be taking all the credit for it: I just sent some FOIs out, but it’s exciting research and the first of at least two articles on the topic coming from us.

If you have institutional access, please have a look at it here:

If you do not have institution access, please have a look at it here, but understand only the first 50 people to access it can have it for free so, please, if you have institutional access see above:


This article reflects on the value and limitations of the use of Freedom of Information (FOI) in the collection of data on counterterrorism policies and practices at museums in the United Kingdom (UK). In doing so, this article re-interprets the museum within the “single narrative” of global jihadist terrorism before using FOI to uncover counterterrorism security measures at museums in the UK. We particularly signpost the importance of the role of the museum security manager as the interface between the museum and the wider UK counterterrorism network. Throughout, but particularly in the discussion section, the article reflects on the value and limitations of FOI as a social research tool. The conclusion highlights the requirement for further qualitative enquiry into the museum as an emerging site of counterterrorism security discourse and practice, particularly in relation to how museum security managers understand and navigate this unique cultural space.