Antonia Ward

Photo of Antonia Ward
Cambridge Office


M.A. (Hons) in modern history and international relations, University of St Andrews; M.Litt. in terrorism and political violence, Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, University of St Andrews


Antonia Ward is an analyst in the Defence, Security and Infrastructure team at RAND Europe. Antonia provides expertise and analysis on a variety of issues including counterterrorism, CVE, defence, defence acquisition and cybersecurity. This work has contributed to senior decision making in the UK government, the United Nations, the European Parliament, and the European Defence Agency. Her research has been featured in The National Interest and the Georgetown Security Studies Review, where she is a columnist. 

Prior to joining RAND, Ward was a Dr. Haruhisa Handa scholar at the University of St Andrews CSTPV, graduating with a distinction in the M.Litt. in terrorism and political violence.  During this time she spent a semester abroad at Georgetown University's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service in the Security Studies Programme.  Antonia also holds an M.A. (Hons) degree in modern history and international relations from the University of St. Andrews.                                                                                                                                             


Spanish; Arabic


  • People arrive at Al Hidayah, a youth camp at Warwick University in Coventry, central England, August 9, 2009, photo by Kieran Doherty/Reuters

    To Ensure Deradicalisation Programmes Are Effective, Better Evaluation Practices Must First Be Implemented

    Given the increasing number of ISIS foreign fighters seeking re-entry into the UK, a better understanding of deradicalization programs is essential. More robust and transparent evaluation processes for intervention programs should be implemented before confidence in their effectiveness can be established.

    Mar 4, 2019 Georgetown Security Studies Review

  • A smartphone showing the Islamic State logo in front of a screen showing the Telegram logo in Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, November 18, 2015

    ISIS's Use of Social Media Still Poses a Threat to Stability in the Middle East and Africa

    The importance of social media in projecting violent extremist propaganda and recruiting foreign fighters is well documented. As ISIS attempts to regroup and recuperate, investigating its strategic use of information and communication technologies in its communication with civilians could be important to understanding the group's plans to regain territorial control.

    Dec 11, 2018 Georgetown Security Studies Review

  • A student walks along a damaged street in the town of Kafr Batna, in eastern Ghouta, Syria, September 5, 2018

    Why We Should Measure the Economic Impact of Terrorism in the Middle East

    Though physical impacts of terrorism in the Middle East should be the main focus of counterterrorism efforts, financial impacts should not be ignored. Officials could help mitigate devastating economic effects by identifying and protecting essential regional revenue streams like tourism and oil.

    Sep 24, 2018 Georgetown Security Studies Review

  • A simple radiation warning design on a concrete wall

    Is the Threat of Nuclear Terrorism Distracting Attention from More Realistic Threats?

    A nuclear terrorist attack is currently not a realistic threat. It would require an unprecedented level of sophistication from terrorists. The majority of terrorist attacks are conducted with conventional explosives.

    Jul 27, 2018 Georgetown Security Studies Review

  • The Christophe de Margerie (R), an ice-class tanker fitted out to transport liquefied natural gas, is docked in Arctic port of Sabetta, Yamalo-Nenets district, Russia March 30, 2017

    Cooperation in the Arctic Likely to Continue—For Now

    Risks for serious tensions in the Arctic during the 2020s are likely to be overstated. Key players in the Arctic appear likely to continue working together to enhance the economic potential of the region and resolve conflicts before they emerge, as opportunities in the Arctic continue to grow.

    Jul 12, 2018 The RAND Blog

  • The Europol headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands, September 12, 2013

    Maintaining Europol Security Ties After Brexit

    Europol is a highly effective organization that is essential to addressing transnational crime in today's interconnected world. Britain could make continuing membership in Europol one of its highest priorities during Brexit negotiations.

    Jun 18, 2018 Georgetown Security Studies Review

  • A memorial for victims of a mass shooting sits outside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, June 22, 2015

    How Do You Define Terrorism?

    What constitutes 'terrorism' remains contested. Moreover, should groups who incite hatred be held responsible for attacks and labelled as terrorists even if they don't directly participate in the violence?

    Jun 4, 2018 The National Interest

  • A member of al Qaeda's Nusra Front near Idlib, Syria, December 2, 2014

    Do Terrorist Groups Really Die? A Warning

    The persistence of al Qaeda and ISIS underscores terrorist groups' adaptability in the 21st century. Both organizations maintain global, regional, and local influence in the face of immense pressure. As terrorist groups fall, the West should watch them closely to prevent a resurgence.

    Apr 9, 2018 Georgetown Security Studies Review

  • The flag outside the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands

    Terrorism on Trial: The Problem of Prosecuting International Jihadists

    The International Criminal Court may be the most ideal institution to try accused terrorists. The court would take into account the legal status of terrorists, the nationalities of their victims, and the location of the crimes — while upholding the core values of Western democracies.

    Mar 9, 2018 Georgetown Security Studies Review

  • British mother Tareena Shakil, who took her 14-month-old son to Syria to join ISIS fighters, was jailed for six years on February 1, 2016

    It's Complicated: Not All Returning 'Jihadi Brides' Are Dangerous

    Since the fall of the ISIS caliphate in late 2017, Western societies have expressed concern about the possibility of returning foreign fighters. It is not just returning men that worry governments. The prospect of women, known as “jihadi brides,” returning to the West, often with children born under ISIS rule, is also a potential problem.

    Feb 28, 2018 The National Interest

  • Shiny gold Bitcoin coin with gun on black background

    Bitcoin and the Dark Web: The New Terrorist Threat?

    Bitcoin has become the prominent currency of the dark web, which is often used to buy illegal goods, such as weapons and drugs. Anecdotal evidence suggests terrorists are using cryptocurrency and the dark web, but further investigation is needed.

    Jan 22, 2018 Georgetown University Security Studies Review

  • Somali fighters belonging to Ahlusunah warjama, a moderate sect fighting against the hardline Al-Shabaab insurgents, display weapons during a parade in Mogadishu, July 31, 2010

    Why Africa Could Provide an 'ISIS Renaissance'

    ISIS has been one of the most formidable and well-organized terrorist groups in history and it would be naive to assume that ISIS will simply cease operations in the face of recent losses. More likely, the group, along with its many followers, will attempt to disperse to a new base, and parts of Africa are likely targets for a new caliphate.

    Nov 15, 2017 The National Interest

  • Syrian Democratic Forces fighters ride atop of military vehicle as they celebrate victory in Raqqa, Syria, October 17, 2017

    Why the Fall of the 'Caliphate' in Syria Will Not Ease Western Security Concerns

    A Syria and Iraq free of ISIS do not, unfortunately, free the West from the ISIS threat. Instead, ISIS is likely to either disperse, with its followers prepared to carry out a range of further attacks, or attempt to regroup in the fragile states of Africa.

    Nov 3, 2017 Georgetown Security Studies Review