Photo of Tom Mills

    Accepting PhD Students

    PhD projects

    I am open to supervising PhD students with an interest in elites, media and communications, think tanks, corporate influence on public policy, Islamophobia and counter-terrorism, and neoliberalism and conservatism.

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    Personal profile


    I am a sociologist with a particular interest in the ideas and practices of elites and the social networks that influence policy making.  I am the author of The BBC: Myth of a Public Service (Verso, 2016), a book which examines the BBC’s relationship with the ‘Establishment’ and the ways in which the rise of neoliberalism impacted on its organisational structure and culture.  Before joining Aston in 2016, I worked at the University of Bath on the ESRC funded project, ‘Understanding and Explaining Terrorism: Expertise in Practice’, research which forms the basis of the forthcoming monograph, The Politics of Terrorism Expertise.  I am the co-editor of What is Islamophobia? Racism, Social Movements and the State (Pluto Press, 2017), a book which offers a realist conception of Islamophobia as the product of concrete social, political and cultural action by the social movements and the state.

    Research Interests

    • Media and Communications
    • Think tanks and policy networks
    • Elite social movements 
    • Sociology of knowledge and expertise
    • Counter-terrorism and Islamophobia
    • Investigative research, social network analysis, visualisation

    Teaching Activity

    • CSI: Crime, Subversion and Injustice (LK2029)
    • Social Issues (LK1020)
    • Globalisation and Social Change (LYM002)
    • Social Problems and Public Policies A (LK1012)

    Contact Details

    Room: N922E
    Phone: 0121 204 3332

    Education/Academic qualification

    PhD, University of Bath


    External positions

    Senior Research Fellow

    31 Oct 2015 → …

    Vice Chair


    • HM Sociology
    • Elites
    • Media Communications
    • Corporate power
    • Social Network Analysis
    • Knowledge and Expertise
    • HT Communities. Classes. Races
    • Islamophobia

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Tom Mills is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    • 1 Similar Profiles
    terrorism Social Sciences
    Social Movements Social Sciences
    political violence Social Sciences
    radicalism Social Sciences
    radicalization Social Sciences
    sociology of knowledge Social Sciences
    think tank Social Sciences
    BBC Social Sciences

    Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

    Research Output 2009 2019

    Secrecy, coercion and deception in research on ‘terrorism’ and ‘extremism’

    Massoumi, N., Mills, T. & Miller, D., 19 May 2019, In : Contemporary Social Science.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
    research ethics
    conflict of interest

    The ethics of researching ‘terrorism’ and political violence: a sociological approach

    Mills, T., Massoumi, N. & Miller, D., 16 Sep 2019, In : Contemporary Social Science. 16 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
    political violence
    moral philosophy
    knowledge production

    The Legacy of Edward Herman

    Mills, T., 17 Dec 2018, In : Media Theory. 2, 2, p. 110-116

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
    Schematic diagrams
    media system

    We should aim our attention at powerful institutions and the super-rich

    Mills, T., Miller, D. & Massoumi, N., 9 Apr 2018, Network, p. 22-24 3 p.

    Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

    What has become of critique? Reassembling sociology after Latour

    Mills, T., 1 Jun 2018, In : British Journal of Sociology. 69, 2, p. 286-305

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
    social structure
    social science