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University’s tribute to Professor

Professor Paul Wilkinson

University colleagues have paid tribute to a world-renowned expert in terrorism by completing the book he never managed to finish.

State Terrorism and Human Rights book cover

The group at the University of St Andrews picked up the work of the late Professor Paul Wilkinson, after he passed away in 2011.

Prior to his death, the well-known academic and media commentator was working on what would have been his 18th publication.

Professor Wilkinson, a pioneer in the study of terrorism and political violence, conceived and began the project before he passed away at the age of 74.

Happily, his work did not go to waste, with former colleagues (and close friends) picking up the project which aimed to improve understanding of the use of state terror in world politics.

The labour of love, carried out by his colleagues at the University’s School of International Relations, culminates with the release of Professor Wilkinson’s last work in a new book.

The text, ‘State Terrorism and Human Rights: International Responses since the End of the Cold War’, was edited by Professor Wilkinson’s former colleagues Gillian Duncan, Orla Lynch, Gilbert Ramsay and Ali Watson.

Gillian Duncan, who worked closely with Professor Wilkinson, said, “I would have worked with Paul on this book and the outline was already agreed with the publishers.

“Colleagues, friends and peers were only too happy to contribute the chapters in their own words as a tribute to Paul’s work in the field. We – the Editors – hope he would have been happy with the finished result.”

Professor Paul WilkinsonPaul Wilkinson was born in 1937 in Harrow, Middlesex and, following two degrees at University College, Swansea, moved to St Andrews in 1989 to take up the first chair in International Relations.  His first book on terrorism, ‘Political Terrorism’, was published in 1974; he was subsequently the sole author of a further fourteen books on the subject of terrorism, including Lessons of Lockerbie (1989).

In 1994 he co-founded the research centre, CSTPV (Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence) at St Andrews, which remains one of the most respected and well-known in its field.

Professor Wilkinson was a widely quoted expert in the media in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks in the U.S.  He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in recognition of distinguished public service in 2009.

Even after retirement in 2007, Paul was indefatigable and continued to teach, speak to the media and policy makers and organise conferences.  At the time of his death he was working on the new book, which was due to be published in 2012.

Keeping to its original premise, including an exploration of the history of terrorism, the new book published by his former colleagues analyses the major types of international response to state terror.

It includes a dedication by co-founder of the CSTPV at St Andrews, Professor Bruce Hoffman, as well as a Foreword by the Principal, Professor Louise Richardson.

Tomorrow (Thursday 4 April), Professor Hoffman, now Director of the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University, will deliver a special lecture in honour of his late colleague.  He will present the lecture “The Bombing of the King David Hotel, July 1946”.

Professor Hoffman said, “Paul was a pioneering figure in the study of terrorism not only because of his scholarship, but because of his immense concern for how the liberal state should respond to this threat and more so for the suffering and rights of terrorism’s victims.

“This lecture series is therefore an especially fitting tribute to Paul and his memory. My own presentation was crafted specifically to reflect these themes, which guided Paul’s work and long and productive career.”

The Paul Wilkinson Memorial Lecture on Terrorism and Political Violence takes place on Thursday 4 April at 5-6.30pm in the Arts Lecture Theatre on The Scores, St Andrews.


Note to Picture Editors

Images of Professor Wilkinson at work in St Andrews are available from the Press Office – contacts below.

Issued by the Press Office, University of St Andrews

Contact Gayle Cook, Senior Communications Manager on 01334 467227, gec3@st-andrews.ac.uk
Ref: Paul Wilkinson tribute 030413

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