Benedict Wilkinson

Photo of Benedict Wilkinson
Senior Research Leader
Cambridge Office


Ph.D. in war studies, King's College London; M.A. in terrorism and security, King's College London; B.A. and M.Phil. in classics, University of Cambridge


Benedict (Ben) Wilkinson is a senior research leader and expert in defence and security issues, with a particular focus on strategy and policy, terrorism and counter-terrorism, and defence acquisition and defence economics.

Previously, Wilkinson was director of research at the Policy Institute at King’s College London. In addition to playing a central role in establishing and growing the Policy Institute’s broad policy research programme, he led a variety of research projects in the defence and security space, including for the MoD, Dstl, the Counter-Extremism Commission, NATO, and the UK Defence Solutions Centre. He acted as an advisor in the establishment of the Joint Economics Data Hub in the MoD, and produced key analysis in the recent Defence and Security Industrial Strategy Review.

Prior to joining the Policy Institute, Wilkinson completed an ESRC-funded Ph.D. from King’s College London under Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman in the Department of War Studies. He also previously worked at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), where he was head of Security and Counter-Terrorism, and at the Royal College of Defence Studies. He has written two books; his most recent, on terrorism as a failed strategy, was published by Hurst and Oxford University Press in 2020.