Dr Elspeth S Van Veeren

B.Sc.(McG.), B.A.(Car.), MSc, PhD(Bristol)

  • BS8 1TU

Personal profile

Research interests

I am an Associate Professor of Global Politics in the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies (SPAIS) at the University of Bristol and a Resident at the Pervasive Media Studio at the Bristol Watershed.

My work is focused on US security cultures and policies, particularly with relation to the US Global War on Terror and its legacies. First, through a study of torture, security common-sense and popular culture, and then a detailed  study and theorisation of visual and material power associated with detention and interrogation practices at Joint Task Force Guantanamo (Security Collisions: Guantánamo and the Materialisation of Post-9/11 Security, Routledge, forthcoming) in order to understand how controversial security practices are made visible and therefore meaningful as part of US security discourses.

My current research focus is a study of secrecy: 1) in relation to the second decade of the US Global War on Terror and the emerging US security doctrine of ‘shadow wars’ and 'manhunting'; 2) in the political economy of secrecy and ignorance; and 3) in the interconnections between personal and everyday secret keeping that takes gender, sexuality and race as central to secrecy, and that is key to understanding power on national and transnational scales. All of these projects are connected with the work of the Secrecy, Power and Ignorance research Network (SPIN), www.secrecyresearch.com

My published work has appeared in a range of edited volumes and peer-reviewed academic journals including New Political Science, International Political Sociology, Review of International Studies, European Journal of International Security, and the Journal of War and Culture Studies.

External positions

Resident, Pervasive Media Studio, Bristol

1 Jan 2016 → …

Peer Reviewer, ESRC Peer Review College

Structured keywords and research groupings

  • PolicyBristolSecurityConflictAndJustice
  • US politics
  • security studies
  • war on terror
  • Guantanamo
  • secrecy studies
  • technology
  • special operations
  • visual politics


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