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Home > Reviews > Power to the People: How Open Technological Innovation is Arming Tomorrow’s Terrorists

Power to the People: How Open Technological Innovation is Arming Tomorrow’s Terrorists

Author Audrey Kurth Cronin

ISBN No 9780190882143

Review date 13/08/2022

No of pages 352

Publisher Oxford University Press

Publisher URL

Year of publication 30/11/2020


Our Review


£ 22.99, hardback

Power to the People: How Open Technological Innovation is Arming Tomorrow’s Terrorists, is the winner of the third, Pool Re-sponsored Neave Book Prize.

The award is to honour a work of non-fiction which the judging panel considers to have made the most significant, original, relevant, and practically valuable contribution to the understanding of terrorism. Presented by the Airey Neave Trust and sponsored by the counter-terror re-insurer Pool Re, this year’s prize covers a two-year period, from 2018 to 2020.

Audrey Kurth Cronin is a professor of international security at American University, Washington DC. She has held academic positions at the US National War College and Oxford University. Earlier, Cronin was a specialist in terrorism at the Congressional Research Service, advising on the aftermath of 9/11. She has also served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy.

Power to the People was published in November 2019 and was named on the “Best of 2019” list by Foreign Affairs, a US publication for American foreign policy and global affairs. The book analyses how emerging technologies accelerate the development in warfare and how that alters our societies at both individual and organisational levels.

Ed Butler, Chief Resilience Officer at Pool Re and former trustee of the Airey Neave Trust, said: “Terrorism is rapidly evolving in today’s world, and our understanding of how terrorists are using technological innovation is crucial in mitigating the risks. Pool Re is proud to be able to contribute to encouraging research and discussion of counterterrorism through this award. Audrey Kurth Cronin’s book is a comprehensive, highly analytical and enjoyable read; we were impressed by her knowledge and extensive research. We are delighted to award her the £5,000 Neave Prize and look forward to sponsoring the prize for the next three events.”

And Lord Arbuthnot, Chairman of the Airey Neave Trust, said: “Ever since Airey Neave’s murder in 1979 the Trust in his name has supported research into and books about terrorism, with grants, fellowships and now the Book Prize. We are indebted to Pool Re for their support for this prize, and also to our distinguished judges for the time they have put in to choosing, from an excellent field, a worthy winner.”

The next Neave Prize will be in 2021.

Runner up was Incitement: Anwar al-Awlaki’s Western Jihad, by Alexander Meleagrou-Hitchens; and short-listed were Information Wars: How We Lost the Global Battle Against Disinformation and What We Can Do About It, by Richard Stengel; and Home Grown: How Domestic Violence Turns Men into Terrorists, by Joan Smith.