Gavin James

Researcher, Tony Blair Institute for Global Change


Gavin is a researcher on conflict and counter-extremism in the Co-Existence team at the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change. In his role, Gavin specialises in urban warfare strategies, group dynamics and the fluidity of civil war violence. He also works closely with the Institute’s project teams, providing insight to better inform their programmatic work. 

Gavin helped develop the Institute’s Global Extremism Monitor (GEM), the world’s first research monitor that tracks violent Islamist extremism around the world. Gavin oversees the monitor’s Syria operation, which provides insight into the terrorist, military and political dimensions of the conflict. He has written on extremist motivations and group allegiances and provided expert analysis on territorial control in Syria and the impact of the conflict on neighbouring countries including Lebanon, Israel and Turkey. His work on the GEM has informed leading figures in counter-terrorism, policymaking, commercial business and governments to the challenges of extremism. 

Gavin’s research has been featured in several international outlets including Reuters, al-Arabiya, the Independent and Business Insider. He has been consulted on Syria for high-level meetings and provided briefings on nuclear non-proliferation. 

Working with the Institute’s project teams, Gavin has provided insight on conflict dynamics in countries where programmatic work is delivered. He regularly produces situational analysis for the Institute’s teams in Africa, developing rural-level risk awareness reports and GIS insights to better inform their work and strategy. 

Gavin read culture and media at Sussex University and focused on the interaction between media and society. Gavin previously worked in media monitoring, using innovation to explore the impact of institutionally funded public campaigns and its influence on society.