Researcher & Consultant

Peace, Conflict & Humanitarian Intervention

William W. Thomson (PhD)

- Bill -


I started my career in the British military, serving as a Royal Marine on counter-terrorism and peacekeeping operations, while also qualifying as a mine clearance diver (RN), combat paramedic, and landing-craftsman (RM).

On completion of military service, I worked as an emergency medic and went on to become the CEO of an emergency response disaster management consultancy, training and assessing SAR personnel, governments and NGOs, primarily out of Denmark.

However, with a continuing interest in religious conflict, shaped by my military experiences, I scratched the itch, and decided to study for the Degree of Bachelor of Theology, Honours, at The University of Aberdeen. I then embarked on further study towards a Masters Degree in Political Research and International Relations, (MRes) also at Aberdeen. On completion of the Masters, I read for a PhD at The University of St Andrews, School of International Relations, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies. The PhD engaged in the analysis of interventions in the Israel-Palestine conflict. During this 10 year period of self-funded study and research, I utilised my practitioner experience and consulted on over 3000 personnel field assessments, and training initiatives in hostile operations, medical response and crisis intervention.

Since completing the PhD (2014), I have lectured in peace and conflict studies, security studies, global health, disaster management, emergency humanitarian intervention, and health security in conflict, at The University of St Andrews; The University of Glasgow; and The University of Manchester (Humanitarian & Conflict Response Institute).

During this period of lecturing 2014-2018, I have brought together my practitioner and academic experience to provide research and training consultancy to INGOs.

I am currently completing a monograph: "Intervention: Israel-Palestine 1993-2021”., and I am also launching a new research initiative:

Academic qualifications

1. PhD - International Relations: Peace and Conflict Studies

University of St Andrews, Scotland, UK. The PhD analysed state, non governmental organisations and civil society approaches to human needs development and peacemaking, in the Israel-Palestine conflict. The book, (forthcoming 2021), takes a historical, balanced, yet contemporary view of the conflict, relying on longitudinal research outputs (1993-2021), to examine the relationship of conflict intervention methods, and the impact these have had on the human needs of Israelis and Palestinians, which continually drive the conflict forward.

2. Master of Research: Politics & International Relations

University of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK. With a focus on quantitative and qualitative research methods in Peace and Conflict Studies.

3. Degree of Bachelor of Theology (Honours)

University of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK. This developed my understanding of peace, conflict, ritual and belief, particularly within Jewish, Christian and Islamic theology. My work in this area extends to interpreting scripture in world religions to nurture scholarly debate on interfaith issues in conflict.