Dr Mike Martin is an author and consultant on conflict, particularly its causes. He regularly appears in international media, speaks and publishes on the subject.
Selected Radio / Podcasts
- Dan Snow’s History Hit (podcast) – 2019
- Why are the British Armed Forces short of personnel? (BBC Radio 4: The Briefing Room) – 2018
- Out of control? (BBC Radio 3: Free Thinking) – 2018
- The science behind why we fight (Guardian Science podcast) – 2018
- Afghanistan: Time for Truth? (BBC Radio 4: The Report) – 2016
- The Takeaway (WNYC) – 2015
Selected Articles / Interviews
- How the Long History of Human Violence Explains Why the Internet Causes So Much Chaos (TIME) – 2019
- Is fighting in our genes? A biological theory of warfare (Irish Times) – 2018
- The retreat from Musa Qala is not “strategic withdrawal” (Prospect) – 2016
- Avoiding conflict with communities: An investment that pays off for mining firms (Myanmar Times) – 2015
- Britain didn’t understand the enemy in Helmand (The Telegraph) – 2014
- The British soldier reading Afghan minds (Sunday Times) – 2009
- Effects of trail gradient on leaf tissue transport and load size selection in leaf-cutter ants (Behavioral Ecology) – 2008
Dr Mike Martin is a Visiting Research Fellow at King’s College London, where he consults and speaks on conflict, and comments in the international media, often about the causes of conflict, or about Afghanistan.
He is also the author of four books. His most recent book, Why We Fight, which explores the evolutionary psychology of warfare, is available now.
Mike lives in London.
- Why We Fight (Hurst/OUP) – 2018
‘A pivotal book in the study of conflict … brilliantly deploys recent discoveries in psychology and neuroscience to devastating effect. It has radical implications for policies for conflict reduction.’ Professor Sir Paul Collier, CBE, FBA
‘Fascinating [and] accessible . . . Martin’s enjoyable book makes a positive contribution to a major debate.’ Prospect
‘Anyone interested in war and international relations will find much to challenge and intrigue them.’ Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman, KCMG, CBE, PC, FBA
‘This wide-ranging book explores how the evolution of the brain has shaped human behaviour in violence and war. Fascinating and insightful.’ Professor Stathis Kalyvas, Gladstone Professor of Government, University of Oxford
- Crossing the Congo: Over Land and Water in a Hard Place (Hurst/OUP) – 2016
‘A remarkable story of psychological and physical endurance, and a compelling account of what pushes people to embark on impossible journeys.’ Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE
‘Crossing the Congo gives you a deeply, brutally honest view of what it is like to complete a great journey. At times they were lucky to survive.’ Robin Hanbury-Tenison OBE, DL, Dsc, Dhc, MA, FLS, FRGS
- An Intimate War: An oral history of the Helmand conflict (Hurst/OUP) – 2014
‘This is the best book ever written on Afghanistan. Martin writes what I have been feeling since the 1980s, but have not expressed in such a clear way. It is a remarkable work of political anthropology.‘ Professor Olivier Roy
‘An extraordinary book … An Intimate War is the work of a wise and patient scholar.’ London Review of Books
‘An uncompromising, deeply thought and important contribution.’ The Times
‘It is impossible to do full justice in this review to the range and depth of Martin’s research, arguments, or account of the Helmand conflict.’ Asian Affairs
Speaking, Consulting, Training Design/Delivery & Legal Expertise
Mike regularly speaks and consults on a wide range of issues relating to conflict and strategy. He also designs and delivers bespoke training courses, and acts as an expert in legal cases, particularly relating to immigration and liability cases in Afghanistan.
His speaking and consulting clients include academic institutions worldwide, as well as the US, UK and Australian governments/militaries. Mike also works with film and documentary makers, for example, advising the cast and crew of the film War Machine featuring Brad Pitt. On the training side, he has designed and delivered language immersion programmes, cultural intelligence/advisory courses, and conflict analysis courses to a wide range of audiences.
Mike comments in international media including the BBC, TIME, NPR, DR, Washington Post, Irish Times, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Vice, Information, Prospect etc.