In memory of Polly Corrigan: KISG member and Our dear FrienD


We are deeply saddened by the passing of our dear friend and fellow KISG member, Polly Corrigan. Her research on the Great Terror in 1930s USSR was truly groundbreaking - she was an exceedingly intelligent mind with the most generous heart. She will be greatly missed by all.

The following was written by Polly's loving mother- 

"My daughter, Polly Corrigan, who has died of cancer aged 45, was a PhD candidate and teaching assistant at King’s College London, leading seminars in intelligence and war studies.

Polly was born in London, the elder of two children, and grew up around Camden Town, attending Haverstock school. Her father, Michael Corrigan, and I both worked as journalists. In 1992, Polly spent a year teaching English in nascent capitalist Moscow, nurturing a lifelong fascination with the outgoing Soviet system.

At Liverpool University (1993-96) she collected a 2:1 degree in history and an entourage of admirers who joined her ever-growing group of friends. These included a fellow student, Rhys Morgan (now director of education at the Royal Academy of Engineering), whom Polly married in 2005.

She became an intern at the Guardian in 1996 and a writer with the dotcom company Wide Learning in 1998. In 2003 she joined Telegraph Online, becoming its first features editor, and early on inadvertently posting an entire Jeffrey Archer novel before publication, an error that earned only the briefest of reprimands.

She stayed in the job for six years, but then her life changed direction with the birth of her children, Martha (in 2006) and Rosie (in 2009). In 2009, she gave up full-time work to devote herself to their care.

Three years ago, she embarked on a doctoral thesis at KCL department of war studies. The subject, the systems behind the Great Terror in the USSR in the 1930s, gave her a leading role within an international group of academics reconsidering how a regime promising utopian-style freedom instead delivered terror and tyranny. She contributed a chapter, Walking the Razor’s Edge: The Origins of Soviet Censorship, to the forthcoming Bloomsbury publication, The Fate of the Bolshevik Revolution, Illiberal Liberation, 1917-1941, due to be published in 2020.

The day before her death, she told Twitter how much she had “really enjoyed” writing her first journal article, just published in Europe-Asia Studies, describing her visits to Kyiv and Georgia to access recently released Soviet archives from the 1930s that informed her thesis. Even at this late stage, she believed it would be the first of many such papers.

Polly was opinionated, uncompromising and funny. She combined care, generosity and compassion with intelligence and a capacity for deep, enduring and affirming friendships both within and outside her family.

As well as her husband and children, she is survived by me, and her brother, James."

Research Members: Staff, Fellows and PhD Students

Moira Andrews


Visiting Fellow


Moira is a lawyer with over 35 years’ experience of the public, private and third sectors. She now runs her own niche law firm specialising in national security and the interface between privacy and the use of cutting-edge technologies.

Areas of expertise:

  • National security
  • Ethics, oversight and compliance in intelligence and security operations
  • Information security
  • Intelligence, security and justice capacity building

Gill Bennett


Visiting Fellow

Former Chief Historian of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Areas of expertise:

  • British foreign policy since 1900
  • Intelligence studies
  • Decision-making in government
  • Offensive and  defensive information management

Berenice Burnett


PhD researcher in the Department of War Studies. 

Research project titled A damage assessment of the Cambridge Five.

Research Interests:

  • Intelligence oversight
  • UK civil service 
  • Propaganda in Scandinavia during the Proxy War 
  • Interpretation of intelligence history in museums

Dr. Peter Busch


  Senior Lecturer.


Research Interests:

  • Social Media
  • Strategic Communication
  • Vietnam War

Polly Corrigan


  PhD researcher in the Department of War Studies. 

Research Project titled The Soviet Political Police in the 1930s and their relationship with Soviet novelists


Research interests: 

  • History and culture of Soviet intelligence, particularly under Stalin
  • Culture of intelligence organisations 

Dr. Joseph Devanny


  Lecturer in National Security Studies.


Research Interests:

  • National Security strategy, coordination and policy-making
  • The role of intelligence analysis in the national security process
  • UK diplomacy and foreign policy
  • UK Africa strategy, especially UK-Zimbabwe bilateral relations

Daniel De Wit


PhD researcher in the Department of War Studies.

Research Project titled An American Way of Unconventional War? Exploring the OSS Use of Psychological Warfare in Support of Resistance Groups in World War II.

Research Interests:

  • Special Operations
  • Political & Psychological Warfare
  • Covert Action

Dr. Huw Dylan


  Senior Lecturer in Intelligence Studies and International Security in the Department of War Studies and Visiting Research Professor at the Norwegian Defence Intelligence School, Oslo.


Research Interests:

  • Intelligence Studies
  • Cold War History
  • The Cuban Missile Crisis

Dr. David Easter


Lecturer in War Studies Online at King’s College London and War Studies Online Academic Director Programme Director for MA War in the Modern World and MA Air Power in the Modern World.

Research Interests:

  • The Cold War
  • Conflict in the Middle East and South East Asia
  • British foreign and defence polics
  • Signals intelligence

Dr. Jules Gaspard


Lecturer in Digital Intelligence.

Research Interests:

  • Intelligence Analysis
  • Intelligence and Philosophy
  • Open-Source Intelligence 
  • Counterintelligence
  • Anglo-American intelligence cooperation

Cmdr. David Gioe, PhD, USNR


Visiting Fellow

Visiting Senior Research Fellow, Department of War Studies

Research Interests:

  • Intelligence in international affairs
  •  Anglo-American intelligence liaison
  • Cyber operations in historical perspective
  • Covert action
  • Human intelligence and counterintelligence 

Professor Michael Goodman


Head of KISG

Professor in Intelligence & International Affairs in the Department of War Studies and Visiting Research Professor at the Norwegian Defence Intelligence School, Oslo.  He is currently on secondment to the Cabinet Office as the Official Historian of the Joint Intelligence Committee. 

Research Interests:

  • Intelligence Studies
  • Nuclear Weapons History
  • Cold War History 

Catherine Haslam



PhD researcher in the Department of War Studies.

Research Project titled The Ethics of OSINT in the Age of Big Data

Research Interests:

  • Intelligence
  • Ethics
  • Open source intelligence (OSINT)
  • Big Data
  • Just War

Dr. Tony Insall


Visiting Fellow


Visiting Research Fellow at King's College London.

Recent book publication: Secret Alliances. Special operations and intelligence in Norway 1940-1945. The British perspective.

Research Interests:

  • Scandinavia and the Nordic countries in the early part of the Cold War
  • China in the twentieth century
  • British foreign policy in the twentieth century
  • Origins of the Second World War

Magda Long


PhD researcher in the Department of War Studies.

Research Project titled Limits and utility of covert action as a tool used to pursue security and foreign policy objectives in the post-Cold War world 


Research Interests:

· Intelligence

· Covert Action

· U.S. Foreign Policy

· Global Security

· Counterterrorism

· Terrorist Financing

· Regional Security Challenges in South Asia and the Middle East

Dr. Thomas Maguire


  Teaching Fellow working primarily with the Intelligence and Security Research Group.

Research Interests:

· Intelligence and propaganda in foreign policy and domestic security 

· Security sector reform and assistance

· Counter-insurgency and violent extremism

· International security liaison

· The Cold War and decolonisation

Professor Joe Maiolo



Director of the Sir Michael Howard Centre for the History of War, and Professor of International History. 


Research Interests:

  • 20th Century International Relations and Warfare 
  • Intelligence Studies
  • Deception in Peace and War
  • Strategic Studies 
  • Arms Races and the Causes of War 
  • Naval Warfare Diplomacy 

Liam McVay


PhD researcher in the Department of War Studies.

Research Project titled Identity and security: The impact of Culture on the practice of counter-terrorism intelligence analysis in the police forces of the United Kingdom.

Research Interests:

  • Intelligence Theory
  • Intelligence Analysis, 
  • Culture and Intelligence Practices
  • Intelligence and security in the Horn of Africa

Professor Sir David Omand



Visiting Professor in Intelligence Studies in the Department of War Studies and at Sciences Po, Paris and the Norwegian Defence Intelligence School, Oslo

Research Interests:

· Digital intelligence

· The ethics of secret intelligence and surveillance

· Counter-terrorism strategy

· The epistemology of intelligence analysis

Yusuf Ozkan


PhD researcher in the Department of War Studies. 

Research project titled British Intelligence in the Dardanelles (Gallipoli) Campaign, 1915-16.     


Research Interests:

  • Intelligence history
  • Intelligence studies
  • British intelligence in the 19th and      early 20th century
  • First World War
  • Dardanelles Campaign
  • Counterintelligence

Celia Parker


PhD researcher in the Department of War Studies. 

Research project titled How best to steer HMS Intelligence? An exploration of the leadership of the UK’s Intelligence Community

Research interests:

  • Intelligence theory
  • Leadership theory
  • Intelligence analysis

David Schaefer


PhD researcher in the Department of War Studies. 

Research Project titled The Evolution of Joint Intelligence Machinery in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand

Research Interests:

  • Intelligence Assessment
  • UK/USA Liaison and Alliance Diplomacy
  • Signals Intelligence
  • Outer Space Security
  • Cold War History

Dr. Tim Stevens


   Lecturer in Global Security and head of the KCL Cyber Security Research Group.

Research Interests:

  • Cybersecurity and cyberwar
  • Space security
  • Global governance
  • Time and temporality
  • International political sociology
  • Science and technology studies 

Travis Weinger


  PhD researcher in the Department of War Studies.

Research Project titled British Intelligence on Colonial India's North-West Frontier in the 20th Century


Research Interests:

  • Intelligence
  • Insurgency
  • Counterinsurgency
  • Stability Operations
  • British India’s North-West Frontier

Charlotte Yelamos



PhD researcher in the Department of War Studies.

Research Project titled The Archeology of Cold War Intelligence: Material and Landscape Studies of the BRIXMIS ‘Intelligence Culture’.

Research Interests:

  • Cold War Intelligence in Germany
  • Intelligence culture- material remains and landscape
  • Military Intelligence/Archaeology Relations
  • Conflict Archaeology and Material Studies (WW1, WW2, Cold War, and contemporary conflict)

Dr. Martha Whitesmith