Photo of Dr Adam White

Dr Adam White

Position: Senior Lecturer Criminology
Email Address:
Telephone: +44 (0)114 222 6813
Room No: EF01b

Academic Profile

I joined the Centre for Criminological Research in 2016. Before arriving at the University of Sheffield, I worked in the Department of Politics at the University of York as a Senior Lecturer in Public Policy (2010-2015). I have also spent time as a Visiting Scholar at the University of Washington (Seattle) and a researcher for Gun Free South Africa (Cape Town) and Demos (London).


  • PG Cert Academic Practice, University of York (2013)
  • PhD Politics, University of Sheffield (2008)
  • MA Research Methods in Politics and International Relations, University of Sheffield (2005)
  • MA International Political Economy, University of Leeds (2003)
  • BA (hons) Geography, University of Leeds (2002)

Teaching and Learning

Over the past few years, I have studied, researched and taught within the disciplines of geography, international political economy and public policy. But criminology is my passion. It is a fascinating discipline with endless stories – both macabre and heartwarming – which open up a unique window into the human condition. My aim when teaching criminology is to communicate this fascination to others and to nurture it within their own learning experience.

The Modules I Teach

Undergraduate Postgraduate
Contemporary Issues in Crime and Justice Policing, Soldiering and Neoliberalism
Introducing Criminological Research Research Process
Representations of Crime
Responding to Crime
Situating Crime

Research Interests

My research focuses on three interconnected themes: (i) the rise of the private security and private military industries in the postwar era; (ii) corresponding issues of governance, regulation and legitimacy in the contemporary security sector; and (iii) the changing nature of state-market relations. These interests are multidisciplinary, lying at the intersection of criminology, politics, international relations and socio-legal studies.

Member of the Centre for Criminological Research Cluster

Areas of Research Supervision


Recent Invited Papers and Keynote Lectures

  • White, A. (2017) ‘Private Military Veterans’, University of Konstanz, Germany.
  • White, A. (2017) ‘Policing, Privatisation and Public Ethos’, King’s College London.
  • White, A. (2016) ‘Private Security, Public Values’, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University, Macedonia.
Title/Description: The Demobilisation of Private Military Contractors
Awarding Body: Gerda Henkel Foundation Research Fellowship
People Involved: Adam White
Dates: 2014-2016
Amount: €64,470
Title/Description: The Privatisation and Regulation of Security
Awarding Body: ESRC
People Involved: Adam White and Martin Smith
Dates: 2008-2010
Amount: £98,702
Title/Description: The Security Industry Authority: A Baseline Review
Awarding Body: Security Industry Authority
People Involved: Adam White and Martin Smith
Dates: 2008-2010
Amount: £30,000

Professional Activities and Recognition

  • Editorial Board, British Journal of Criminology
  • Editorial Board, Security Journal
  • Steering Committee, British Society of Criminology Policing Network
  • External Examiner, University of Portsmouth
  • Fellow, Higher Education Academy

Key Publications


Journal articles


  • White A (2018) Private Military Contractors: A Criminological Approach. In Wadham B & Goldsmith M (Ed.), Criminologies of the Military (pp. 81-94). Hart
  • White A (2018) Just Another Industry? (De)Regulation, Public Expectations and Private Security. In Hucklesby A & Lister S (Ed.), The Private Sector and Criminal Justice (pp. 65-96). Palgrave Macmillan
  • White A (2016) Private Military Contractors as Criminals/Victims. In McGarry R & Walklate S (Ed.), The Palgrave Handbook of Criminology and War (pp. 191-209). Palgrave Macmillan
  • White A (2016) The Market for Global Policing. In Bradford B, Jauregui B, Loader I & Steinberg J (Ed.), The Sage Handbook of Global Policing (pp. 535-551). Sage
  • White A (2016) Private Security and the Politics of Accountability. In Lister S & Rowe M (Ed.), Accountability of Policing (pp. 172-191). Routledge
  • White A (2014) Politics, Economics and Security. In Gill M (Ed.), Handbook of Security (pp. 89-106). Palgrave Macmillan
  • White A (2014) Beyond the Regulatory Gaze? Corporate Security, (In)visibility and the Modern State. In Lippert R & Walby K (Ed.), Corporate Security in the 21st Century: Theory and Practice in International Perspective (pp. 39-55). Palgrave Macmillan
  • White A & Fitzpatrick D (2014) A Crisis of Regulation. In Hay C, Richards D & Smith M (Ed.), Institutional Crisis in Twenty-First-Century Britain (pp. 198-217). Palgrave Macmillan
  • White A (2013) A State-in-Society Agenda. In White A (Ed.), The Everyday Life of the State: A State-in-Society Approach (pp. 1-13). University of Washington Press
  • White A, Bohm A & Senior K (2012) The United Kingdom. In Bakker C & Sossai M (Ed.), Multilevel Regulation of Military and Security Contractors: The Interplay Between International, European and Domestic Norms (pp. 309-328). Hart

Edited books

  • White A (Ed.) (2013) The Everyday Life of the State: A State-in-Society Approach. University of Washington Press.