James Black

Photo of James Black
Senior Analyst
Cambridge Office


M.Sc./M.A. in international relations and international security, London School of Economics and Sciences Po Paris; B.A. (Hons) in history, University of Cambridge

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact RAND Europe Media Relations at +44 (1223) 353 329, x2560, or email europeanmedia@rand.org.

More Experts


James is a senior analyst in the Defence, Security and Infrastructure (DSI) programme at RAND Europe. His work focuses on defence, geopolitical and strategic decision-making in the context of deep uncertainty, including research into the implications of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union (“Brexit”) and the impact of emerging technologies on society and military operations. He has managed a wide range of quantitative and qualitative studies, primarily for the UK MOD, Dstl, EDA, NATO and the Australian and US DODs. He is also heavily involved in RAND Europe’s wargaming workstream, including work designing the strategic exercise component of the Senior Course at the Royal College of Defence Studies, and other exercises at the NATO Defence College and elsewhere.

Research topics of interest include: the future of UK, EU, NATO and European defence (especially after Brexit); defence strategy and geopolitics; military force development and acquisition; defence innovation and industrial base issues; the impact of new technologies (e.g. autonomy, cyber, space); horizon-scanning; and transnational security issues (e.g. Arctic, Mediterranean security). His research has been featured in BBC News, the Financial Times, Politico, Prospect, Reuters and other outlets, as well as academic journals (e.g. Survival) and oral evidence to the UK Defence Select Committee. Prior to joining RAND, he worked in the UK Parliament and graduated summa cum laude with a double M.A.-M.Sc. in international security from Sciences Po and the LSE. He also holds a B.A. Hons in history from the University of Cambridge, where he was a scholar.


  • London skyline with overlay of the UK and EU flags

    'Zero-sum' Approach to Defence and Security During Brexit Negotiations Risks a Less Secure UK and EU

    It is in the interest of neither the UK nor the EU to have a 'zero sum' approach to defense and security during Brexit negotiations. Both sides have plenty to lose if it turns into a 'messy divorce.'

    Apr 4, 2018 UK Ministry of Defence's 2018 Defence Suppliers Guidebook

  • A SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket lifts off from historic launch pad 39-A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., February 6, 2018

    Our Reliance on Space Tech Means We Should Prepare for the Worst

    Space-enabled connectivity, technology, and services support a diverse array of political, military and economic activities, many of which modern life on Earth relies upon and which the public often takes for granted. How prepared is global society to deal with the growing reliance on this technology and to mitigate associated risks?

    Mar 12, 2018 Defense News

  • A French gendarme stands guard near a line of lorries as migrants wait in bushes in the hopes of boarding a truck to make their way across the Channel to Britain, near Calais, France, Janaury 21, 2016

    Is Macron Set to 'Take Back Control' of UK-France Border After Brexit?

    As French President Emmanuel Macron arrives in London for the 35th UK-France Summit, there is growing French discomfort with arrangements at the UK-France border. The UK's decision to leave the European Union has added new urgency to this already fraught debate.

    Jan 17, 2018 Prospect Magazine

  • The new Smart concept autonomous car Vision EQ fortwo model is presented during the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany, September 12, 2017

    Autonomous Vehicles: Terrorist Threat or Security Opportunity?

    Terrorist groups that track developments in technology could be considering using self-driving cars in place of suicide bombers or for ramming attacks. But autonomous vehicle capabilities offer a range of potential benefits to law enforcement and security operations, too.

    Jan 3, 2018 The Cipher Brief

  • Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May meeting with Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster and others inside 10 Downing Street, London, June 26, 2017

    Northern Ireland Is Now at the Forefront of Brexit

    After Prime Minister Theresa May's unexpected failure to win a majority in June's snap election, she is now reliant on Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party to shore up a minority Conservative government. As Brexit negotiations begin, European politicians should refresh their knowledge of Northern Irish politics.

    Jun 29, 2017 HuffPost UK

  • Gibraltar profile with Euro flag

    This Latest Gibraltar Dispute Is a Sign of Things to Come

    In many ways, Gibraltar is the first Brexit issue where both the UK and EU find themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place. How this diplomatic problem is resolved now could help set the tone for Brexit negotiations during the next two years.

    Apr 5, 2017 Prospect Magazine

  • Europol headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands

    How Will Defence and Security Be Affected by Brexit?

    Trade and migration issues have dominated Brexit discussions. But the UK's decision to leave the EU also creates challenges for security, deepening uncertainty at a time when little certainty exists.

    Mar 16, 2017 Prospect Magazine