• United Kingdom

    Accepting PhD Students

    PhD projects

    Thomas is open to being second supervisor for PhD students on topics related to any of his research interests.

    Personal profile

    Contact Details

    Office: NW 820 i 

    Email: [email protected]

    Tel: 0121 204 4462

    Twitter: @DrThomasEason

    Website: www.thomaseason.co.uk

    Student Office Hours:  https://wass.aston.ac.uk/pages/viewcalendar.page.php?makeapp=1&cal_id=4453

    Research Interests

    • British Foreign Policy
    • Foreign Policy Analysis
    • Secret Intelligence

    Biography

    Thomas is a Lecturer in Politics and International Relations. He joined Aston in 2024, and prior to this, he worked at the University of Lincoln and the University of Nottingham. 

    In his research, Thomas explores i) the impact of the UK's foreign and security policy machinery on its approach to the world and ii) how a policymaker's perceptions of past foreign and security policy events shape their policy preferences in the present. His research often takes an interpretivist approach using archival methods, elite interviews, and discourse analysis. He published three peer-reviewed articles in leading International Relations journals, and is currently working on a book project about the 2003 Iraq War and British foreign policy decision-making.

    Thomas is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and has taught a range of modules on British Politics, International Relations, security, and research methods.

    Thomas actively engages in knowledge exchange activities. He has taken part in interviews for BBC Radio and the Guardian and has authored a number of blogs for academic organisations, such as UK in the Changing Europe. He has also provided research support for a project on covert influence commissioned by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs. 

    Research Projects/Collaborations

    Current Projects

    Thomas is currently working on a book that will analyse the British decision to invade Iraq in 2003 and, in line with his interest in exploring how the UK’s security policy machinery shapes policy preferences, will produce a new analytical framework that can be used to understand how individual perceptions and bureaucratic processes interact together to shape foreign and security policy decision-making. This framework, applied to the Iraq case, will allow the book to challenge dominant Blair-centric narratives in favour of analysing the wider government machine.

    Thomas is also co-authoring an article that will explore the concept of 'myth diplomacy' and how Ukraine have actioned memory diplomacy through myth following Russia's invasion.

    Previous Projects

    Thomas has a record of publishing peer-reviewed articles in leading International Relations journals. In his first article, published in the British Journal of Politics and International Relations with Prof Rory Cormac and Dr Oliver Daddow, he explored how official secrecy can be (mis)used by governments to manipulate political blame games. Additionally, in his first solo-authored article, published in Intelligence and National Security, he argued that scholars can conceptualise the policy networks responsible for British decisions to use covert action by using interpretivist Public Policy Analysis models. This introduced the largely positivist Intelligence Studies to a more interpretivist approach to studying the impact of the UK’s government machine on UK intelligence and security policy. 

    Thomas's most recent article was published in the International Studies Association journal Foreign Policy Analysis. This article explores the concept of myth and how myth can extend narrative approaches to studying foreign and security policy. It does this by analysing how the narrative that Tony Blair acted as George Bush's poodle in the build-up to the 2003 Iraq war has functioned as a myth that has shaped negative constructions of US-UK relations for the last twenty years. 

    Teaching Activity

    Modules that Thomas currently teach include:

    • What's Trending? (Current Affairs in Politics and International Relations) Level 1: Module convenor, seminars, lectures, and marking. Aston University, 2024

    • Debates in Contemporary British Politics Level 3: Module convenor, seminars, lectures, and marking. Aston University, 2024

    Modules that Thomas has taught include:

    • Secret Intelligence and International SecurityLevel 3: Online seminars, lectures, and marking. University of Nottingham, 2020. Student Evaluation of Teaching Score: 4.9/5 (university average: 4.42/5)

    • Covert Action and Unacknowledged Interventions – Level 4: Seminars. University of Nottingham, 2019

    • Foreign Policy Analysis – Level 2: Seminars, lectures, and marking. University of Lincoln, 2022

    • Counter-Terrorism Studies – Level 3: Seminars and marking. University of Lincoln, 2023

    • Thinking International Relations – Level 2: Seminars. University of Lincoln, 2023

    • Researching Social Sciences – Level 2: Seminars and marking. University of Lincoln, 2023

    • Key Social Science Concepts – Level 1: Seminars and marking. University of Lincoln, 2023

    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

    Education/Academic qualification

    PhD, International Relations, University of Nottingham

    Award Date: 25 Jul 2023

    MA, International Relations, University of Nottingham

    Award Date: 12 Dec 2018

    BA, International Relations and Politics, Lincoln University

    Award Date: 29 Jun 2017

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