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Dr Steve Hewitt.

Dr Hewitt is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Birmingham.  He holds a PhD from the University of Saskatchewan and has a research interest security and counter terrorism.  

An overview of Dr Hewitt's research career and interests is provided below:

Career Overview:

Dr Hewitt is a British/Canadian academic interested in security and intelligence in the past and present and in a US/UK/Canada context.  His work has covered a range of topics, such as state surveillance against Canadian universities, UK and US counter-terrorism, a history of informants, and the world's most famous police force, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.  He's written several books and articles related to security and intelligence, such as the history of Canadian policing and security, counter-terrorism in the UK since 9/11, and the use of informers by the police and intelligence services. Due to the nature of his work, Dr Hewitt has appeared extensively in the media, including on BBC Radio and Television, CBC Television and Radio.


Research Interests:

Counter-terrorism and terrorism: One of Dr Hewitt's current teaching and research interests relates to counterterrorism and terrorism. His book 'The British War on Terror: Terrorism and Counterterrorism on the Home Front since 9-11' was published in January 2008. Dr Hewitt has also done research related to American counterterrorism policy, specifically the State Department's Rewards for Justice program, the origins of which lie in 1984 and the Reagan administration. This interest emanates from research on state informers. Dr Hewitt is currently interested in working on a history of domestic British counter-terrorism. 

Security and intelligence: In January 2010, Dr Hewitt's new history of informers was published. Even before September 11, books and popular culture have focused on technology as being the chief threat to civil liberties through state and private surveillance.  Lost in the shuffle has been the human factor, namely the reality that some individuals actively assist the state, be it in police forces or intelligence services, by supplying information on others. The book is entitled 'Snitch!: A History of the Modern Intelligence Informer'. Dr Hewitt's previous work looked at the history of state surveillance in a Canadian context, in particular the spying by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police at Canadian universities for over eighty years.



  • With Christabelle Sethna, Just Watch Us: RCMP Surveillance of the Women's Liberation Movement in Cold War Canada (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2018).

    • Article by Jim Bronskill about the book on CTV Canada "RCMP spies saw women's movement through 'red-tinged prism,' new book says: English and French.

  • Snitch!: A History of the Modern Intelligence Informer (New York and London: Continuum, 2010).

  • The British War on Terror: Terrorism and Counterterrorism on the Home Front since 9/11   (New York and London: Continuum, 2008).

  • Riding to the Rescue: The Transformation of the Mounted Police in Alberta and Saskatchewan, 1914-1939(Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2006).

  • With Reg Whitaker, Canada and the Cold War (Toronto: James Lorimer and Company, 2003).

  • Spying 101: The RCMP’s Secret Activities at Canadian Universities, 1917-1997 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002).


Refereed Articles:

  • “‘Happy-Go-Lucky Fellow’: Lone-Actor Terrorism, Masculinity, and the 1966 Bombing on Parliament Hill in Ottawa,” Canadian Historical Review, vol. 100, no. 1 (2019), forthcoming.

  • “Cold War Counter-Terrorism: The Evolution of International Counter-Terrorism in the RCMP Security Service, 1972–1984,” Intelligence and National Security, vol. 33, no. 1 (2018), 67-83.

  • “Three Lessons the United Kingdom Can Teach the United States about Counterterrorism,” Journal of the National Security Forum, vol. 37 (2011), 5294-5305.

  • Co-authored with Christabelle Sethna, “Clandestine Operations: The Vancouver Women’s Caucus, the Abortion Caravan, and the RCMP,” Canadian Historical Review, vol. 90, no. 3 (September 2009), 463-95. 

  • “Strangely Easy to Obtain’: Canadian Passport Security in the Twentieth Century,” Intelligence and National Security, vol. 23, no. 3 (June 2008), 381-405. 

  •  “‘While Unpleasant It Is a Service to Humanity’: The RCMP’s War on Drugs in the Interwar Period,” Journal of Canadian Studies, vol. 38, no. 2 (spring 2004), 80-104. 

  • “Reforming the Canadian Security State: The RCMP Security Service and the ‘Key Sectors’ Program,” Intelligence and National Security, vol. 17, no. 4 (winter 2002), 165-184. 


Chapters in Books:

  • “Great Britain: Terrorism and Counterterrorism since 1968,” in Andrew Silke, ed., Routledge Handbook of Terrorism and Counterterrorism (London: Routledge, 2018), 540-51.

  • “Forgotten Surveillance: Covert Human Intelligence Sources in Canada in a Post 9/11 World,” in Michael Geist and Wesley Wark, eds., Law, Privacy and Surveillance in Canada in the Post-Snowden Era (Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 2015), 45-67.

  • “He who controls the present, controls the past: The Canadian Security State’s Imperfect Censorship under the Access to Information Act,” in Mike Larsen and Kevin Walby, eds., Brokering Access: Power, Politics and Freedom of Information Process in Canada (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2012), 194-208.

  • Co-authored with Christabelle Sethna, “Sex Spying: The RCMP Framing of English-Canadian Women’s Liberation Groups during the Cold War,” in Dominique Clement, Lara Campbell, and Gregory Kealey, eds., Debating Dissent: Canada and the 1960s (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012), 135-54.

  • “American Counter-Terrorism through the Rewards for Justice Program, 1984-2009,” in Asaf Siniver, ed., Terrorism and Counter-terrorism in the Post-9/11 Era (London: Routledge, 2010), 83-100.

  • Co-authored with Scott Lucas, “All the Secrets that Are Fit to Print? The Media and US Intelligence Agencies Before and After 9/11,” in Robert Dover and Michael S. Goodman, Spinning Intelligence: Why Intelligence Needs the Media, Why the Media Needs Intelligence (London: Hurst & Company, 2009), 105-16.

  • “Policing the Promised Land,’ in R. Douglas Francis and Chris Kitzan, eds.  The Prairie West as Promised Land(Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2007), 313-32.

  • “The Police and Professoriate,” in Paul Stortz and Lisa Panayotidis, eds., Historical Identities: The Professoriate in Canada (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2006), 84-105. 

  • “Re-inventing the Mounties,” in Michèle Kaltemback and Marcienne Rocard, eds., Canada: Nouveaux Défis/Canada Revisited (Toulouse: Editions Universitaires du Sud, 2005), 247-56.

  • “Sunday Morning Subversion: The Canadian Security State and Organized Religion in the Cold War," in Richard Cavell, ed., Love, Hate, and Fear: Canada in the Cold War (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2004), 57-76.

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