Ms Katja Theodorakis

PhD Candidate
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • ABOUT
  • CURRENT RESEARCH PROJECTS

Katja Theodorakis is a national security professional with particular expertise in the areas of terrorism/extremism, jihadism and the propaganda dynamics of asymmetric/hybrid conflict. She is a PhD candidate at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at UNSW ADFA where her (part-time) research is concerned with insurgent ideology and narratives – in particular their strategic use in information operations. Here, she is also founding member of their Future Operations Research Group, working on a Defence Strategic Policy and Intelligence Group – funded project that examines the potential impact of autonomous weapons in urban combat, including information maneuvers and the policy implications for the ADF (co-convened by Prof David Kilcullen and A/Prof Deane-Peter Baker). Katja also works as Program Manager for Foreign/Security Policy and Counter-Terrorism at the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation’s Regional Programme Australia and the Pacific (KAS) in Canberra. At KAS, she coordinates a portfolio that includes topics like the wider strategic relations in the Asia-Pacific, cybersecurity, European defence/security matters and the field of terrorism/extremism. She regularly publishes and presents at seminars, conferences and consultancy courses (for representatives from DoD, security agencies, DFAT) and appears on national TV and radio for commentary. At the Australian National University, Katja has previously taught and tutored on Middle East politics, Islam and International Terrorism at the postgraduate and undergraduate level. She is currently teaching a post-graduate course on ‘Terrorism and Propaganda in Cyberspace’ for the Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security at Charles Sturt University.

Katja has lived in the Middle East, where she was engaged in educational projects and NGO work in Syria during the early years of Bashar al-Assad’s presidency. She holds a First-Class Honours degree in International Development from the Australian National University, was recipient of several scholarships including an Australian Government Research Training PhD Scholarship, and has been awarded the 2016 ANU Media and Outreach Award as Emerging Media Talent.

'Turning Clausewitz on his Head? Soft Power Thoughts for an Evolving Threat Paradigm’, (September 2019), Australian Army Research Centre’s Land Power Forum Blog: ‘https://www.army.gov.au/our-future/blog/cognitive-edge/soft-power-thoughts-from-the-marawi-crisis-for-an-evolving-threat

 ‘Problems Without Passports?’ , ASPI Strategist (October 2019), https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/dealing-with-problems-without-passports-australia-eu-cooperation-on-counterterrorism/

'Shifting frontiers: addressing post-caliphate terrorism dynamics', (October 2019), ASPI Special Report Australian Strategic Policy Institute  (w. Dr Isaac Kfir), https://www.aspi.org.au/report/aspi-kas-4th-australia-europe-counter-terrorism-dialogue-shifting-frontiers-addressing-post

 ‘The Marawi Crisis: Urban Conflict and Information Operations’ (July 2019),  ASPI Special Report, Australian Strategic Policy Institute, (co-authored with Dr. Charles Knight), https://www.aspi.org.au/report/marawi-crisis-urban-conflict-and-information-operations

‘Cybersecurityin a Contested Age: Geopolitical Challenges and Opportunities for Australia and Germany, (June 2019), PeriscopeOccasionalAnalysisPaperSeriesVol.2, (co-authored with Dr. Clint Arizmendi), https://www.kas.de/web/australien/periscope-occasional-analysis-paper-series/detail/-content/cyber-security-in-a-contested-age-geopolitical-challenges-and-opportunities-for-australia-and-german

‘The Battle of Marawi, One Year On’, (October 2018), StrategistSpecialReport, AustralianStrategic PolicyInstitute, (co-authored with Dr. Charles Knight), https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/the-battle-of-marawi-one-year-on/

‘Us as the Enemy: Jihadism and the Strategic Narrative of Anti-Westernism’, (January 2019), Australian Army Research Journal, Volume 14, Number 3, Army in Motion Edition, https://www.army.gov.au/sites/default/files/publications/aaj_-_calfs_-_190215_army_in_motion_-_lo_res_proof_for_web.pdf

Transformingthe New Threat Landscape: The 3rd ASPI-KAS Australia-Europe Counter-Terrorism Dialogue’, (February 2018), ASPISpecialReportAustralianStrategicPolicy Institute, (co-authored with Dr. Isaac Kfir)

 http://www.kas.de/australien/en/publications/51636/

 ‘Blurred Lines? Options for Security and Immigration in Europe’, (February 2017), Divergent Options, https://divergentoptions.org/2017/02/23/options-for-security-immigration/

 ‘Attitudes to National Security: Balancing Safety and Privacy’, (October 2016), ANUPoll July 2016,Report No.22. (co-authored with Prof. Amin Saikal and Dr. Jill Sheppard), http://cais.cass.anu.edu.au/news/attitudes-national-security-balancing-safety-and-privacy

 ‘Orlandoandthe New ‘Selfie Generation’ Jihadists’, CAISBulletin, Vol. 1. (July 2016)

 ‘Air-strikes Alone Won’t Solve the Syrian Crisis’ (co-authored with Prof. Amin Saikal), ABC The Drum, September 18, 2015, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-18/theodorakis-saikal-air-strikes-arent-the-answer/678341