publications list
security and terrorism
science and risk
Times Higher Education Supplement
Bill in the news
contact Bill

Professor Bill Durodié


By banning those they reject, our leaders reveal their own crisis
The Mark News, 5 June 2015
The failure to understand what tolerance really is reveals a low view of freedom and other people, and a complete absence of any purposive vision for society.
Read on

Anti-terror: the perversion of tolerance
spiked, 13 May 2015
David Cameron’s crackdown on extremists will destroy freedom, not protect it.
Read on

Lee Kuan Yew: the last of the great authoritarians
spiked, 24 March 2015
Love him or loathe him, the former Singapore leader had something his successors lack.
Read on

Prevent: a very risky strategy
spiked, 19 March 2015
The UK’s clueless counterterrorism strategy sees threats everywhere.
Read on

Six actions that will create a more positive world
Times Colonist, 4 January 2014
At this time of year, many people reflect on the past, assess their present situations and look forward to shaping brighter futures. What often hampers this vision is a culture distorted by fear and a willingness to believe that we are powerless. Accordingly, here are a few personal thoughts on how to take action to create a more positive future.
Read on

War on Terror or a Search for Meaning?
Strategic Multi-layer Assessment Occasional White Paper,
US Joint Chiefs of Staff / Department of Defense, September 2013
The events of 9/11 necessitated a response. What shape that took was determined by the meaning attributed to those events, in its turn influenced by the mood of the times. Unfortunately, these latter elements reflected the sense of confusion that gripped the West in the aftermath of the Cold War.
Read on [pdf format]

Fear of adults has devastating effects for kids
Times Colonist, 15 August 2012
Efforts to keep children safe often end up with negative repercussions.
Read on

Infrastructure and technology failures: the human dimension
Global is Asian, April - June 2012
The recent breakdowns on Singapore’s modern mass transit system serve to identify some general lessons for all societies handling infrastructure failures - as well as highlighting the significant human dimension to what often appear to the authorities as mere technical issues.
Read on [pdf format]

The changing nature of riots in the contemporary metropolis from ideology to identity
Journal of Risk Research, 2011, 1–8, iFirst Article
Whereas past episodes of rioting in UK cities confronted the state authorities with a conscious and collective political problem – either through opposition to job losses or to institutional racism – in the post-political climate today we witness a shift towards individual action driven more by identity than by ideology.
Read on [pdf format]

How CSR became big business
spiked, 2 November 2011
Corporate social responsibility allows governments to avoid accountability and gives companies a sense of purpose.
Read on

Message to the West: ‘know thyself’
spiked, 8 September 2011
Since 9/11, terrorists have lived like parasites off the already-existing disorientation of Western elites.
Read on

Reconciling growing energy demand with climate change management
Global Change, Peace & Security, Vol. 23, No. 2, June 2011, 271–282
The solution to the Copenhagen impasse which developing countries such as India and China should be advised to take up is to demand more energy, not to accept less, and to point to the West’s failure of imagination in this regard.
Read on [pdf format]

WHO’s learned nothing from the swine-flu panic?
spiked, 23 May 2011
The over-reaction to H1N1 influenza in 2009 was built on years of waiting for ‘the Big One’.
Read on

H1N1 – the social costs of élite confusion
Journal of Risk Research, May 2011
In May 2011, the World Health Assembly will receive the report of its International Health Regulations Review Committee examining responses to the outbreak of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza and identifying lessons to be learnt. This will emphasise the need for better risk communication in future. But risk and communication are not objective facts; they are socially mediated cultural products. A precautionary approach and encouraging the securitisation of health both helped to encourage a catastrophist outlook in this instance. These élite confusions have come at an enormous cost to society.
Read on [pdf format]

The West’s very own celeb terrorist
spiked, 5 May 2011
Whether he was droning on about climate change or consumption, OBL’s ‘ideas’ were born and bred in the West.
Read on

(Un)natural Disasters: Health Responses after Natural Hazards in Southeast Asia
NTS Perspectives, April 2011
The occurrence of a natural hazard need not lead to a natural disaster. Whether a disaster results depends upon pre-existing conditions, such as the level of a country's development and infrastructure, social stability, and the availability and accessibility of healthcare facilities.
Read on [pdf format]

Sounding worse, when things are really getting better
Today, 29 March 2011
Obsessed with the idea of a nuclear meltdown, the doom mongerers are blind to the reality at Fukushima.
Read on [pdf format]

Welcome to the brave new world of risk-obsessed politics
Today, 25 March 2011
Since the end of the Cold War, the world has been organised around the view that it is better to be safe than sorry. But is such an outlook really wise?
Read on [pdf format]

The mad post-tsunami food panic
spiked, 24 March 2011
You could eat Japan's so-called ‘radioactive spinach’ for a whole year and it still wouldn’t cause you much harm.
Read on

Disaster hacks should stick to the facts
Today, 18 March 2011
As events in Japan following the earthquake and tsunami show, there is no disaster too big today that it cannot be made worse - or at least imagined so - by an army of self-styled disaster specialists in search of salacious copy.
Read on [pdf format]

Development and health in south-east Asia from the Cold War to the present
NTS Alert, February 2011
The links between international development – in particular, the provision of aid by developed nations – and health are explored by observing trends in Western aid to Southeast Asia from the Cold War era to the present, and the ramifications of changes in why and how such aid is given. This NTS Alert will argue that these patterns invariably reflect the pursuit (and waning) of particular Western interests in each period, rather than an active interest in the health of populations in developing regions, and that this has resulted in considerable health gains, but also particular problems, such as the specific health needs of populations not being addressed in a comprehensive manner.
Read on [pdf format]

The West still needs to think big
Independent, 30 September 2010
Today many engineers in the West have to look East and South if they want to pursue their dreams to build something big and lasting.
Read on [pdf format]

The Benefits of an Aging Population in Asia
Jakarta Globe, 31 August 2010
The idea that an aging population is a major problem has been challenged by a recent report.
Read on [pdf format]

Ageing populations in Asia: Issues and myths
East Asia Forum, 30 August 2010
Much of the discussion in the West about ageing populations also occurs in Asia. Yves Guerard, the Secretary-General of the International Actuarial Association, has compared these discussions to ‘climate change’; he sees the issue of an ageing population as a ‘big, immediate urgent problem’ that is largely ignored ‘because it’s inconvenient’. But a recent report challenges this framing. This considers the benefits of an ageing population.
Read on

Demographic ‘timebomb’ or demographic ‘dividend’?
NTS Alert, August 2010
Read on

What to expect when the unexpected hits
Straits Times, 21 July 2010
Read on [pdf format]

Friction and vested interests in pulp and palm oil production
Jakarta Post, 27 May 2010
Read on

Pulp Friction: Southern Environment or Western Agendas?
RSIS Commentaries, 27 May 2010
Read on

Apocalypse Now
European Security and Defence Union, 19 May 2010
Read on [pdf format]

On Thailand, what would Trotsky say?
spiked, 6 May 2010
If the Thai Red Shirts want real change, they could do with reading History of the Russian Revolution.
Read on

What have we learned from H1N1?
Today (Singapore), 13 April 2010
Read on [pdf format]

The battle for Thailand’s soul
spiked, 12 April 2010
Far from being a ‘stage army’, the Red Shirts could potentially refresh and reinvent democracy in Thailand.
Read on

Therapy Culture Revisited
Report of a workshop organised by the Centre of Excellence for National Security (Singapore), 9 March 2010
Read on [pdf format]

Taking off easier than taking over
Straits Times, 5 December 2009
The emerging economic powers like China and India will find it easier to catch up with the living standards of the West than supersede America as dominant powers.
Read on [pdf format]

Keeping a cool head
The Chemical Engineer, December 2009 / January 2010
Read on [pdf format]

The US and China: dangers of premature extrapolation
RSIS Commentaries, 26 November 2009
Read on [pdf format]

The forgotten role of government
Straits Times, 3 August 2009
In new political times, governments need to find the ideas and ideals to aspire their citizens.
Read on [pdf format]

Eight months on - none really the wiser about Mumbai
presentation to INCOSE 2009 International Symposium, Singapore, 20 July 2009
INCOSE 2009 International Symposium, Singapore on 20 July 2009
Read on [pdf format]

Understanding radicalization
New York Times, 13 July 2009
Part of 'From the Midwest to Mogadishu' debate on the NYT's Room for Debate blog.
Read on [pdf format]

H1N1: now is not the time to panic
Today (Singapore), 19 June 2009
Read on [pdf format]

Religion, radicalism and terrorism
2 June 2009
Speech to the 23rd Asia-Pacific Roundtable, Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Read on

Speech to the 23rd Asia-Pacific Roundtable

Recession and unrest: cauldron may not boil over
Straits Times, 28 May 2009
Discussion of the implications of the recession for social cohesion has been driven by speculative concerns rather than evident trends.
Read on [pdf format]

Recession: impact on security and cohesion
RSIS Commentaries, 25 May 2009
The debate about the implications of the recession amongst officials and security agencies reveals their own lack of confidence.
Read on [pdf format]

Why Mumbai?
RSIS Commentaries, 4 December 2008
The fact that the target was the Indian city that best captures the sub-continent's aspiration for change and development suggests the perpetrators to have been more influenced by Western nihilism and pessimism than by anything else.
Read on [pdf format]

Is internet radicalization possible?
RSIS Commentaries, 22 November 2008
Ideas on the Internet do not independently transform people. The Internet is but a medium for communicating ideas that reflects society.
Read on [pdf format]

Les Attentats de Londres de Juillet 2005: un Nihilisme ‘Made in the UK’
La Découverte, September 2008
Nous devrions reconnaître les dimensions nationales du terrorisme au Royaume-Uni au lieu d’imaginer que ses causes premières émanent toujours de l’étranger ou reflètent une idéologie étrangère. Il semble refléter également un sens plus large d’aliénation et de confusion qui aurait saisi le monde occidental.
Read on [pdf format]

Securing Electricity: Blackout
The World Today, August-September 2008
Preventing electricity outages from cascading into major international blackouts requires an appreciation of the social dimension of such networks. A focus on extreme possibilities rather than gradual failure, and an emphasis on environmental protection over assuring supply can be the real problem.
Read on [pdf format]

China’s helpful role in the new world order
China Daily, 23 July 2008
African economies are growing at higher rates than the world economy. China can help deliver some much-needed infrastructure there if it is allowed to. Its influence in the Sudan is more a sign of its weakness than its strength.
Read on

China and Africa: A Rewarding Relationship
Times Online, 16 July 2008
China has been portrayed as the new imperialist power in Africa, but its investments there are nothing compared to those of the old imperialists. What’s more, its activities are mostly of benefit to all, as opposed to the patronizing preaching of Western NGOs.
Read on

A superficial balance
Culture Wars, 20 June 2008
review of China's New Confucianism: Politics and Everyday Life in a Changing Society, by Daniel A Bell
Read on

Why ‘deradicalisation’ is not the answer
spiked, 5 June 2008
It's time Jacqui Smith realised that Islamist extremism is not a ‘foreign’ invader of Britain, but rather springs from our own bankrupt culture.
Read on

History: it’s just one bloody thing after another
spiked, 30 May 2008
Having jettisoned political and historical frameworks, Michael Burleigh's story of terrorism combines a lack of insight with excessive prejudice about curry-eating loyalists and headbutting Glaswegians.
Read on

Worst-case scenarios
International Affairs, 84: 3. 2008
review of Worst-case scenarios, by Cass R. Sunstein
Read on [pdf format]

Democratizing technology
Electronic Journal of Sustainable Development, (2008) 1(2)
Review of Democratizing technology: risk, responsibility & the regulation of chemicals, by Anne Chapman
Read on [pdf format]

Death of the warrior ethos
spiked, 29 February 2008
Weaving a path from Achilles to Rambo via Shakespeare and Tolstoy, Christopher Coker’s insightful new book captures the increasing demonisation of war – even ‘good wars’ – and the denigration of honour, duty and glory.
Read on

Home-grown nihilism: the clash within civilisations
Defence Academy Journal, February 2008
What is it that propels young men from Birmingham, Burnley, Leeds or Luton – individuals with no tangible connection to Afghanistan, Palestine, Iraq, Bosnia, Chechnya or anywhere else much beyond these shores – to choose to be, or to support, terrorists?
Read on [pdf format]

Between Iraq and a hard place
Times Higher Education Supplement, 31 January 2008
In an otherwise usefully myth-debunking work on risk management in an age of war, there is no admission that debate on the invasion must go beyond cost-benefit analysis.
Read on

Gordon Brown’s state of terror
spiked, 15 November 2007
The UK prime minister's vision for counterterrorism would involve reorganising the whole of society around precaution and fear.
Read on

White Paper on Security of European Electricity Distribution
UNDERSTAND, 1 August 2007
How the threat to security of electricity supply from blackouts may be mitigated through improved training at the level of transmission system operators.
Read on [pdf format]

Homegrown nihilism - the clash within civilisations
The Smith Institute,Terrorism reflects a wide spectrum of causes and beliefs. Individuals who trained in camps in Afghanistan have different motivations from those who act out of a sense of vengeance in the Gaza strip. Some groups may hold global pretensions, but most have amore limited, regional focus. What it is that propels young men from Britain – individuals with no tangible connection to anywhere else much beyond these shores – to choose to be, or to support, terrorists?
Read on [pdf format]

A cultural revolution at Tate Liverpool
spiked, 11 April 2007
Free of Western pessimism, the young Chinese artists on exhibition in Britain are witty and experimental.
Read on

Is London still stressed out about 7/7?
spiked, 3 April 2007
A survey claiming that 11 per cent of Londoners were ‘substantially stressed’ by the bombings raises more questions than answers.
Read on

Resilience in the face of terrorism
University of Warwick Business School, 9 March 2007
A video podcast of a lecture on the roots of modern terrorism and the issue of risk.
Read on

Global terrorism: what should we really fear?
Britain Today, March 2007
The immediate problem posed by terrorists remains extremely small. But there remains the far larger problem of defining who we are, what values we uphold, and where we intend to go in the twenty-first century.
Read on [pdf format]

A battle of ideas in which understanding lies among the casualties
Times Higher Education Supplement, 19 January 2007
As Paul Wilkinson's book, Terror v Democracy illustrates, what analysts do best today is to describe what, when and where events happen. What they are weakest at is explaining why.
Read on

The government is for turning
spiked, 8 January 2007
As U-turn follows U-turn, New Labour is looking more and more like a party devoid of direction.
Read on

In Conversation with Robyn Williams
ABC Radio National, Australia, 28 September 2006
Are London bombers more likely to be hardened, trained members of terrorist squads or misguided young men on eccentric missions?
Read on

An mp3 version of this interview is available here.

We are the enemies within
Times Higher Education Supplement, 22 September 2006
It is not a clash of civilisations but our own cultural self-loathing and pessimistic outlook that motivates young terrorists, many of them born in the West.
Read on

What can the science and technology community contribute?
in Science and Technology Policies for the Anti-Terrorism Era, edited by A. James,The role of science and technology in combating the global war on terror.
Read on [pdf format]

What can the science and technology community contribute?
in Science and Technology Policies for the Anti-Terrorism Era, James, A. ed. IOS Press, Amsterdam, 2006
This article explores the role attributed to science and technology in combating the global war on terror in an age when social bonds have been eroded and our sense of the need for social solutions diminished accordingly. One consequence of this is the exaggeration of risks presented by science and by terrorists to the point of ignoring the more mundane and probable threats that confront us.This article explores the role attributed to science and technology in combating the global war on terror in an age when social bonds have been eroded and our sense of the need for social solutions diminished accordingly. One consequence of this is the exaggeration of risks presented by science and by terrorists to the point of ignoring the more mundane and probable threats that confront us.
Read on [pdf format]

Repeating the anti-terror soap opera
spiked, 7 June 2006
How did the police get a terror raid so wrong (again)?
Read on

The ‘war on terror’ as displacement activity
spiked, 9 March 2006
The author of Imperial Hubris recognises the rot in Western society, but seems to think it can be resolved by taking out some Johnny Foreigners.
Read on

Public Panic and Morale
Journal of Risk Research, Vol. 9, No. 1, 57–73, January 2006
(with Edgar Jones, Robin Woolven and Simon Wessely)
Second World War civilian responses reexamined in the light of the current anti-terrorist campaign.
Read on [pdf format]

Cultural Precursors and Psychological Consequences of Contemporary Western Responses to Acts of Terr
Praeger Press, Westport, 2006, pp.307-326
in The Psychology of Resolving Global Conflicts, Fitzduff, M. and Stout C.E. eds.
Read on [pdf format]

Contending cultures of counterterrorism
International Affairs, Vol.82 No.1 , January 2006, pp.195-196
No European power opposed the principle of intervening in Iraq, they simply offered different tactics.
Read on [pdf format]

Terrorism: a threat to humanity
Mission Catalyst,The end of principled political debate makes nihilistic terror a product of our times.
Read on [pdf format]

Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror
Journal of Strategic Studies, Vol.28, No.5, October 2005, p.897-900
This book serves as a useful critique of any who may assume Al Qaeda to be a bunch of disorganised hicks, living in caves.
Read on [pdf format]

CTPA, London, October 2005, p.3
in Risk in Perspective: In Defence of Common Sense

Inclusion versus experimentation
Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, Vol. 8, No. 3, 359–362, September 2005
For the advocates of public dialogue, process is far more important than content. Quantity is prioritised over quality.
Read on [pdf format]

Terror in the first person
Times Higher Education Supplement, 5 August 2005
Review of Talking to Terrorists by Robin Soans
Read on

Terrorism and community resilience
Chatham House briefing paper, ISP/NSC Briefing Paper 05/01, July 2005, pp.4-5
The role of social bonds and political purpose in dealing with adversity.
Read on [pdf format]

Terrorism and Community Resilience - A UK Perspective
Chatham House Briefing Paper, ISP/NSC Briefing Paper 05/01, July 2005, pp.4-5
Read on [pdf format]

28 June 2005
conference paper, University of Wolverhampton

May 2005
Final Project Report, Economic and Social Research Council

Al-Qaeda: a conspiracy of dunces?
spiked, 14 April 2005
The real story of the 'ricin plot' is that Britain's would-be terrorists are a bunch of losers.
Read on

REACH is not about safety
Science and Public Affairs, March 2005
On September 24, the EU council of ministers permanently banned a family of organic chemicals, called phthalates, from use in toys and childcare items. This ‘political agreement’ brought to an end five years of debate about their toxicity. During that time, the European Commission maintained a series of temporary, emergency bans, despite existing and new evidence that consistently and increasingly opposed the official view.
Read on

Toxic policies
The Parliament Magazine, No.193, 29 November 2004, pp.39-40
On September 24, the EU council of ministers permanently banned a family of organic chemicals, called phthalates, from use in toys and childcare items. This ‘political agreement’ brought to an end five years of debate about their toxicity. During that time, the European Commission maintained a series of temporary, emergency bans, despite existing and new evidence that consistently and increasingly opposed the official view.
Read on [pdf format]

A question of fear, not chemistry
spiked, 16 November 2004
'Many of the concerns about chemicals can best be described as conclusions in search of data.'
Read on

The Power of Nightmares
BBC, 3 November 2004
Transcript of Episode 3: 'The Shadow in the Cave'
Read on [pdf format]

Civilian morale during the Second World War: responses to air-raids re-examined
Social History of Medicine, Vol.17, No.3, December 2004, pp.463-479
with Edgar Jones, Robin Woolven and Simon Wessely
Civilians proved more resilient than planners had predicted, largely because they had underestimated their adaptability and resourcefulness.
Read on [pdf format]

Animal rights terrorism and the demise of political debate
World Defence Systems, Vol.7, No.2, Autumn 2004, pp.202-203
Those confronting animal-rights activists lack the resolve to win the debate.
Read on [pdf format]