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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
Email:  t.mills@aston.ac.uk

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.

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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