Dr Brian Phillips

Senior Lecturer
Department of Government
Dr Brian Phillips
  • Email

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 1206 873504

  • Location

    5.006, Colchester Campus

  • Academic support hours

    Monday 2-4pm



My research focuses on security topics such as militant group violence and transnational organized crime. You can find my work in the Journal of Politics, International Studies Quarterly, Comparative Political Studies, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Peace Research, Conflict Management and Peace Science, Terrorism and Political Violence and Studies in Conflict & Terrorism. Projects I have worked on have been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Mexican Presidency and the Department of Homeland Security. Before academia, I was enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps infantry for four years.

Research and professional activities

Research interests


Open to supervise

Organized crime

Open to supervise

Civil conflict

Open to supervise

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Conflict Analysis (GV217)

  • Strategic Nonviolent Action (GV218)


Journal articles (17)

Phillips, BJ., (2019). Foreign Terrorist Organization designation, international cooperation, and terrorism. International Interactions. 45 (2), 316-343

Phillips, BJ., (2019). Terrorist Group Rivalries and Alliances: Testing Competing Explanations. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism. 42 (11), 1-23

Asal, V., Phillips, BJ., Rethemeyer, RK., Simonelli, C. and Young, JK., (2019). Carrots, Sticks, and Insurgent Targeting of Civilians. Journal of Conflict Resolution. 63 (7), 1710-1735

Asal, V. and Phillips, BJ., (2018). What explains ethnic organizational violence? Evidence from Eastern Europe and Russia. Conflict Management and Peace Science. 35 (2), 111-131

Phillips, BJ., (2018). Terrorist Tactics by Criminal Organizations: The Mexican Case in Context. Perspectives on Terrorism. 12 (1), 46-58

Phillips, BJ., (2017). Deadlier in the U.S.? On Lone Wolves, Terrorist Groups, and Attack Lethality. Terrorism and Political Violence. 29 (3), 533-549

Phillips, BJ., (2017). Do 90 Percent of Terrorist Groups Last Less than a Year? Updating the Conventional Wisdom. Terrorism and Political Violence, 1-11

Phillips, BJ., (2017). Inequality and the Emergence of Vigilante Organizations: The Case of Mexican Autodefensas. Comparative Political Studies. 50 (10), 1358-1389

Phillips, BJ., (2016). What explains the survival of terrorist groups? Alliances and competition. Revista CIDOB d'Afers Internacionals. 2016 (112), 99-126

Phillips, BJ., (2015). Civil war, spillover and neighbors’ military spending. Conflict Management and Peace Science. 32 (4), 425-442

Phillips, BJ., (2015). What Is a Terrorist Group? Conceptual Issues and Empirical Implications. Terrorism and Political Violence. 27 (2), 225-242

Phillips, BJ., (2015). How Does Leadership Decapitation Affect Violence? The Case of Drug Trafficking Organizations in Mexico. The Journal of Politics. 77 (2), 324-336

Phillips, BJ., (2015). Enemies with benefits? Violent rivalry and terrorist group longevity. Journal of Peace Research. 52 (1), 62-75

Phillips, BJ., (2014). Terrorist Group Cooperation and Longevity. International Studies Quarterly. 58 (2), 336-347

Garriga, AC. and Phillips, BJ., (2014). Foreign Aid as a Signal to Investors: Predicting FDI in Post-conflict Countries. Journal of Conflict Resolution. 58 (2), 280-306

Asal, V., Deloughery, K. and Phillips, BJ., (2012). When Politicians Sell Drugs: Examining Why Middle East Ethnopolitical Organizations Are Involved in the Drug Trade. Terrorism and Political Violence. 24 (2), 199-212

Savun, B. and Phillips, BJ., (2009). Democracy, Foreign Policy, and Terrorism. Journal of Conflict Resolution. 53 (6), 878-904

Grants and funding


Forced Disappearances in Mexico

University of Essex (GCRF)

Forced Disappearances in Mexico

University of Essex (GCRF)

+44 (0) 1206 873504


5.006, Colchester Campus

Academic support hours:

Monday 2-4pm