Joana Cook

Dr. Joana Cook is a Senior Project Manager at ICCT and Editor-in-Chief of the ICCT journal. She is also an Assistant Professor of Terrorism and Political Violence in the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs, Leiden University. Her research more broadly focuses on women and gender in violent extremism, countering violent extremism, and counter-terrorism practices. More recent scholarly interests include non-state actor governance, and factors and pathways to radicalisation.

Joana is also a Research Affiliate at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London and an Associate Fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalization; an adjunct lecturer at Johns Hopkins University; a non-resident Fellow at the Program on Extremism at George Washington University; a Research Affiliate with the Canadian Network for Research on Terrorism, Security and Society (TSAS); and a Digital Fellow at the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (MIGS), Concordia University. She is a graduate of King’s College London where she completed her MA and PhD in the Department of War Studies (BA University of Regina).

She has presented her research to senior government and security audiences in a number of countries, and at institutions such as the UN Security Council, NATO, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and the Counter-Daesh Communications Cell, amongst others. She has also been featured in media such as Time, the Telegraph, the Huffington Post, the Washington Post, the New York Times and on BBC World News, CNN, Sky News, BBC Radio, the National Post and CBC. In May 2019 she did her first TEDx talk on women in security.

She holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Regina, an MA in Conflict, Security and Development, and PhD in War Studies (both from King’s College London).

Follow Joana Cook on Twitter

Research Interests

  • Women in security (policy and practice)
  • Gender and security
  • Terrorism and counterterrorism
  • Extremism and countering violent extremism (CVE)
  • Non-state actor governance



Cook, Joana and Shiraz Maher, “Islamist Approaches to Governance,” (working title, ed. volume), Oxford University Press (Hurst), forthcoming 2022.

Cook, Joana. “A Woman’s Place: U.S. Counterterrorism Since 9/11.” Single authored monograph, Oxford University Press. January 2020. 564 p. ISBN 9780197506554.

Journal articles

Cook, Joana, Haid Haid, Inga Trautig, “Jurisprudence beyond the state – An analysis of Islamist courts in Libya, Syria and Yemen.” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism. Accepted and forthcoming.

Cook, Joana and Gina Vale. “From Daesh to ‘Diaspora’ II: The Challenges Posed by Women and Minors After the Fall of the Caliphate,” CTC Sentinel, 12:6, pp. 30-46, July 2019.

Book Chapters

Cook, Joana. “Human Security: A contribution to countering violent extremism.” Book chapter in Women and Human Security, edited by Richard Matthew, Gunhild Hoogensen and (the late) Patricia Weitsman. Ohio University Press. 2020.

Cook, Joana. “Their fate is tied to ours”: Assessing AQAP governance and implications for security in Yemen.” Book chapter in Post War Yemen (ed.) Noel Brehony and Saud al-Sarhan. I.B. Tauris (Bloomsbury). 2020

Cook, Joana. “Women and terror post-9/11.” Ed. Handbook of Terrorism and Insurgency Post 9/11. Edited David Martin Jones, Paul Schulte &  M.L.R. Smith. Edward Elgar    Publishing. 2019.

Cook, Joana. “Shifting Priorities: How International Terrorism and the ‘War on Terror’ Reconstituting Security Agendas – Women, Counterterrorism and the Case of Yemen.” Book Chapter in The Palgrave Handbook of Global Counterterrorism Policy, edited by Scott Romaniuk, et al. Palgrave MacMillan. June 2017.

Cook, Joana. “Our main concern is security.” Women’s political participation, engagement in the security sector, and public safety in Yemen.” Book Chapter in Rebuilding Yemen: Political, economic and social challenges edited by Dr. Noel Brehony and Dr. Saud al Sarhan. Gurlach Press (Germany). September 2015.

Major Reports (including policy)

Cook, Joana. “Winning hearts and minds? The evolution of AQAP governance efforts in Yemen.” ICSR major report. Forthcoming 2019.

Cook, Joana and Gina Vale, “From Daesh to ‘Diaspora’ II: The Challenges Posed by Women and Minors After the Fall of the Caliphate” ICSR Major Report. July 2019

Cook, Joana and Gina Vale. “From Daesh to diaspora, tracing the women and minors of Islamic State.” ICSR major report. July 2018. Includes first global dataset of women and minors from 80 countries that became affiliated with ISIS.

**Presented findings to UN Security Council.

Cook, Joana. “Avoiding the Pitfalls of Prevent.” Georgetown Institute for Women Peace and Security (GIWPS), Georgetown University. Occasional paper series. December 2017.

Cook, Joana. “Analyzing the formal and informal roles of women in security and justice in Yemen: Reflections for future considerations. Canadian Network for the Study of Terrorism, Security and Society, Working paper series. No. 16-08. May 2016.

Cook, Joana. “Recruiters, mediators, allies, fighters? A critical examination of the roles of women in both countering and perpetrating violent extremism in Canada and the UK.” Policy report for Public Safety Canada, Government of Canada. 96 pg. March 2015.

Cook, Joana. Women’s Roles in Yemen’s Police Force.” Saferworld. May 2015.

Additional Publications

Abbas, T., Somoano, I.B., Cook, J., Frens, I., Klein, G.R., and McNeil-Willson, R. The Buffalo attack – An analysis of the manifesto. Perspective, The International Centre for Counter-Terrorism, 18 May 2022

Mehra, T. and Cook, J. An attack on the Capitol and democracy: an act of terrorism? Perspective, The International Centre for Counter-Terrorism – The Hague, 16 November 2020

Coleman, Julie and Joana Cook. “Shamima Begum, citizenship revocation and the question of due process,” Perspectives, The International Centre for Counter-Terrorism – The Hague, 17 July 2020.

Margolin, Devorah, Joana Cook and Charlie Winter. “In Syria, the women and children of ISIS have been forgotten,” Foreign Policy. 26 October 2019.

Cook, Joana. “Yemen’s Patronage Problem.” Sada series, “Why Arab States Need Security Sector Reform” on Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. 30 July 2015.

Cook, Joana. “Women in Security Sector Reform.” The British-Yemeni Society Journal Vol. 23, 2015. P. 46-51.