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Communication and Human Security Research Group

This group explores the diverse ways in which today’s fast-changing communication environment enters into situations of human (in)security in global context, including atrocity.

The Group sets out to explore the diverse ways in which today’s fast-changing communication environment enters into situations of human (in)security in global context, including atrocity. We are interested in

  • exploring how communications can alert publics and power holders to known antecedents of imminent violence
  • how the field of violence and its aftermath becomes reported locally and around the world and with what impacts
  • how communications inform local, regional and international humanitarian, political and/or military responses.

We are also interested in how today’s complex communications bear witness and give voice to those positioned at the sharp end of human (in)security as well as the progressive roles and responsibilities of media in processes of civil society repair and democratic deepening following atrocity events.

The research group encompasses the study of communications at different institutional levels and via overlapping and interlinked communication flows and technologies. It ranges spatially across local, national, regional and international geo-political terrains, and encompasses the dynamics of communications before, during and following atrocity events.


We seek to bring together scholars and build national and international networks, expertise and research endeavour aimed at better understanding (and potentially leveraging) the ways in which changing communications enter into, surround and can militate against acts of collective violence and atrocity in diverse contexts of human insecurity. These include warring states, repressive regimes and new wars, as well as staged, mediatized acts of terror, and eruptions of inter-communal violence based on deep-seated fears and enmities.

Studies of communication in the perpetuation of violence have often focused on how media contribute to the incitement of hatreds through representational processes of collective denigration and othering, and legitimize hate discourse and war propaganda. Our research group is principally concerned with examining the diverse ways in which today’s communications can serve to militate against acts of atrocious violence in conditions of human insecurity and contribute to processes of civil society repair and democratic deepening.


The research draws together researchers who have been actively involved in publishing and researching the study of communications in contexts of war, conflict, communal enmity and atrocity as well as peace journalism, humanitarian issues and disasters in global context.

Meet the team

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