Aaron Anfinson

MEd, PhD

Executive Director

Aaron Anfinson develops and assesses individual and collaborative research projects that respond to issues of counterterrorism, post-conflict humanitarian assistance, and US foreign policy. He evaluates research methodologies and facilitates the publication of findings in peer-reviewed journals and policy briefs. 


He is the Primary Investigator of a project  analyzing the manufacture and emplacement of explosives in Iraq and Syria, highlighting the challenges of reconstruction. Additionally, he is both Primary and Co-Investigator of projects related to migration, enslavement and insecurity


He received his doctorate from the University of Hong Kong and has over a decade of international experience from teaching and researching in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the United States. Additionally, he is a reportage photographer published in The GuardianThe Financial Times, and PDN Magazine.

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Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications

Nadia Al-Dayel, Aaron Anfinson and Graeme Anfinson

Captivity, Migration, and Power in Libya

Journal of Human Trafficking (2021)

Aaron Anfinson and Nadia Al-Dayel

Landmines and Improvised Explosive Devices: the lingering terror of the Islamic State

Studies in Conflict and Terrorism (2020)

Aaron Anfinson

The Treachery of Images:

visualising “statehood” as a tactic

for the legitimisation of non-state actors 

Terrorism and Political Violence (2019)

Nadia Al-Dayel and Aaron Anfinson 

“In the Words of the Enemy”:

the Islamic State's reflexive projection of statehood

Critical Studies on Terrorism (2018, 11(1))

Book Chapters

Aaron Anfinson

Hong Kong's Paper Cities: Heterotopia and the Semiotic Landscape of Civil Disobedience

in Malinowski and Tufi (Eds.)

Reterritorializing Linguistic Landscapes (2020).

New York: Bloomsbury


Essays and Invited Commentary

Aaron Anfinson and Nadia Al-Dayel

The threat of the Islamic State's extensive use of improvised explosives

International Centre for Counter-Terrorism--The Hague 

Aaron Anfinson

The "China Virus" and the Dialectics of China-US relations

Dossier China After COVID-19: Great Challenges Under Heaven

ISPI (Institudo per gli studi di politica internazionale)

Recent Conferences and

Invited Speaking Engagements

International Studies Association

 (Virtual) April 6-9, 2021

Technology and Governance: Exploring law and innovation in the absence of state governance

University of Oxford (Virtual), January 28-29, 2021

International Studies Association (Cancelled due to COVID-19)

Honolulu, Hawaii, March 26, 2020

Society for Terrorism Research International Conference

Oslo, Norway, June 20, 2019

Movements: Protest, Politics and Activism

Nottingham Contemporary Art Museum,

United Kingdom. July 6, 2018

British International Studies Association Conference

Bath, United Kingdom. June 13, 2018

Terrorism and Social Media Conference (TASMconf)

University of Swansea, United Kingdom, June 27, 2017

Departmental Seminar Series

School of English, University of Hong Kong, April 27, 2017 

InCoLAs PhD Seminar Series

University of Copenhagen, Denmark. August 8-10, 2016

Sociolinguistics Today and Tomorrow 

University of Hong Kong. October 2-3, 2015

Linguistic Landscapes (LL7) 

University of California Berkeley. May 7-9, 2015


Aaron Anfinson


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