Portrait of Dr Harmonie Toros

Dr Harmonie Toros

Reader in International Conflict Analysis
Deputy Director of the Institute of Cyber Security for Society (iCSS)


Harmonie Toros’ research lies at the crossroad between conflict resolution/conflict transformation, peace studies, and terrorism studies. 

She has published seminal work developing a critical theory-based approach to terrorism and examining the transformation of conflicts marked by terrorist violence (see her ThinkKent talk). She has carried out extensive field research in Europe, the Middle East, South East Asia, and Africa researching state and non-state armed groups as well as investigating the human experience of war from combatant and non-combatant perspectives. 

Her current research focuses on incorporating war experience into the study of conflict, examining some of the key methodological and epistemological challenges involved in translating war experience into knowledge. 

In 2015, Harmonie was awarded the University’s Inaugural Research Prize (Early Career Researchers Category). She is an editor of the journal Critical Studies on Terrorism and a member of the International Studies Association (ISA) and British International Studies Association (BISA). 

She also publishes on pedagogical issues surrounding the teaching of human experience in war, based on her third-year undergraduate Humans at War module. The innovative design and delivery of the module was recognised in 2017 by the Political Studies Association with the Sir Bernard Crick Award for Outstanding Teaching and by Kent’s Faculty of Social Sciences Teaching Award in 2016. 

Harmonie joined the School in 2011 after lecturing at the University of Queensland, Australia and the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. She completed her PhD (“Terrorism, Talking and Transformation: Northern Ireland and Mindanao”) at the Department of International Politics of Aberystwyth University in 2010. 

Following a BA in Contemporary History (Sussex) and a Maîtrise in History (Paris IV- Sorbonne), she worked as reporter and editor for major international news agencies (The Associated Press and Agence France-Presse) before returning to academia in 2003 to complete a Masters in Conflict Resolution (Bradford).

Research interests

Harmonie’s research focuses on developing a critical and experiential approach to the study of terrorism and political violence, in particular examining the potential for conflict resolution and conflict transformation responses to conflicts marked by terrorist violence and investigating how human experience can be incorporated into its study. 

Her work involves investigating how to further ground the study of terrorism but also conflict analysis and transformative practices in social and political theory (in particular the work of the Frankfurt School but also that of Pierre Bourdieu). She has carried out field research in conflicts in Northern Ireland and the southern Philippine region of Mindanao and is now focusing on conflict resolution/transformation initiatives involving armed groups in Somalia. 

Her research also focuses on developing a methodological framework through which to incorporate experiential knowledge of conflict and political violence into its study, as well as examining potential synergies with other disciplines including literary studies, psychoanalysis, and biosciences.  




Harmonie is interested in supervising projects in terrorism studies and critical terrorism studies, conflict resolution and conflict transformation, critical security studies and ethnography of violence.

Current PhD students

  • Recep Onursal: Hegemony and Logics of Kurdish Conflict in Turkey 


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