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Tom Brister - Wake Forest University. Winston-Salem, NC, US

Tom Brister Tom Brister

Senior Lecturer of Political Science | Wake Forest University

Winston-Salem, NC, UNITED STATES

Brister is an expert in terrorism, globalization and intelligence trends.


Tom Brister's current research focuses on “information warfare” – a type of unconventional conflict involving diverse domains like international finance, media manipulation, covert action, and propaganda - with a particular focus on its use by Russia and China. This relates more broadly to the larger theme of cyber-war and cyber-terrorism.

Having lived and studied all around the world – including Germany, Morocco, India, Japan, Mexico, and the United Kingdom – Brister can also discuss the cross-cultural implications of global political change.

His work has been published in the Oxford Companion to American Politics, among other places, on topics ranging from Middle Eastern and U.S. domestic terrorism to cyberwar and espionage. philanthropy. Another area Brister has followed in recent years is the impact of global media on international politics. In particular, he has analyzed how terrorists use media to gain attention as well as the rise of new global media competitors such as al-Jazeera.

Areas of Expertise (8)




International Relations

Comparative Politics

Religious Groups

Terrorism and Political Violence

Intelligence and International Politics





Wake Forest political science professor Tom Brister talks about his work in his office in Carswell Hall. loading image Wake Forest political science professor Tom Brister teaches class in Tribble Hall. loading image




Education (2)

University of Virginia: Ph.D., International Politics

Georgetown University: B.S.F.S., Foreign Service

Media Appearances (1)

Panel on Syrian refugee crisis sparks conversation

Old Gold & Black  


The panel consisted of history professor Charles Wilkins, journalism professor Phoebe Zerwick and four Wake Forest politics and international affairs professors Sarah Lischer, Tom Brister, Helga Welsh and host Michaelle Browers...

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Articles (2)

'Swadeshis in competition': Enron and India's anti-globalization movement Contemporary Politics

On 30 January 1996—the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi's death—a group of farmers snuck into Bangalore's recently established Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) outlet and proceeded to vandalize the restaurant as customers looked on. This same group of ...

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Gods, Guns and Globalization: Religious Radicalism and International Political Economy (Review) The Journal of Politics

With the end of the Cold War a mere fifteen years ago, the number of works devoted to the topic of globalization has expanded enormously, and today the term has become the buzzword to denote the present international order...

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