UNSSC Course: Analysing and Understanding Non-state Armed Groups
Apr
15
to Apr 18

UNSSC Course: Analysing and Understanding Non-state Armed Groups

The inter-agency programme in collaboration with United nations Systems Staff College (UNSSC) equips UN personnel and partners with theoretical and practical skills to analyse and understand the genesis and evolution of unconventional armed groups in violence-affected countries.

Venue: Istanbul, Turkey
Fee: USD 2000
Enrolment deadline: 8 April 2019

In the last three decades, maintaining peace and security has become further complicated by an increase in violence perpetrated no longer exclusively by national armies and armed opposition groups but also by an increasingly assertive and brutal range of hybrid actors, such as illegal armed groups, transnational criminal networks and urban gangs. The impact is so significant that the violence resulting from these situations exceeds many on-going civil wars.

Analysing and understanding these new types of non-state armed groups (NSAGs) and the increasingly complex environments they operate in poses a challenge to the UN. Since affiliation and distinctions change constantly, a holistic understanding of the actors and structures that shape contemporary forms of armed violence is needed. This course equips UN staff and partners with analytical tools and practical knowledge to better comprehend the political, economic and social factors driving genesis, group cohesion, resource strategies and organizational logic of non-state armed groups. The training builds upon the conceptual framework of systems thinking as an innovative tool for seeing through complexity and identifying underlying structures and root causes of violence in order to generate lasting change.

The course adopts a multidisciplinary approach, bringing together theoretical and practical insights from various fields and areas of engagement. The Changing Character of War Centre at Oxford University collaborates on this project by integrating findings and tools from the Changing Character of Conflict project into the course content. Dr Annette Idler is the academic lead for the courses.

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CCW Conference: The Conduct of War - Past, present and Future
Jun
26
to Jun 29

CCW Conference: The Conduct of War - Past, present and Future

Wednesday 26 - Friday 28 June 2019.
Pembroke College, Oxford

A 3 day conference on the Conduct of War: Past, Present and Future.

Call for papers

Armed conflict in the early twenty first century combined some established continuities of the past with the complexity of new technologies and some emergent novel techniques.

The first two decades were initially dominated by the question of how to tackle international terrorism and the extent to which major powers, and their coalition allies, should intervene in the affairs of other states to tackle them. There were extensive and protracted insurgencies in Afghanistan and Iraq against Western interventions, which gave rise to renewed interest in the practices of counter-insurgency. By the mid-2010s, however, rivalry between the Western powers and Russia had deepened to the point that both sides were making use of proxies to further their national interests. The United States found allies in Afghanistan, amongst the Kurds, and through their Iraqi partners, but Russia launched its own expeditionary war in favour of the Syrian government, made extensive use of paramilitaries in eastern Ukraine’s Donbass region, and aligned itself more closely with Iran and Hezbollah to conduct operations against Syrian resistance groups. The ‘hybrid’ technique of local forces with the backing of the latest technologies, especially in air power, produced a great deal of interest amongst military professionals, and political leaders looking for ways to reduce liabilities and maximize their freedom of action in international affairs.

While these developments consumed global attention, there was a parallel transformation underway in new technologies, especially in automated, unmanned and robotic weapons and surveillance systems. There was considerable interest in the potential of connectivity, disruptive cyber viruses, information warfare, new synthetic materials, and artificial intelligence. Although the future was unclear, it was already evident that being able to combine the right technology and technique could produce far-reaching effects. Intelligence activity, especially by China, Russia, and the United States, was intense.

Nevertheless, the actual wars of the early-twenty first century had the hallmarks of previous conflicts, especially in less developed countries. Urban warfare was still fought at close quarters amid high levels of destruction. Civilians were often the target of military operations, and terrorist organisations aimed at killing the maximum number in their attacks. Chemical warfare reappeared on the battlefields of Iraq and Syria. Improvised mines were the weapon of choice of insurgent movements, and their wars of attrition echoed the guerrilla conflicts of the twentieth century. Improved and pervasive surveillance, precise weapon systems, and developed legal parameters were impaired by the friction of these wars.

In this conference, we seek leading scholars and world-leading ideas on the changing character of war, its enduring nature, its drivers and its implications. Our ethos is to be inter-disciplinary and to encourage scholars, armed forces professionals, and policy advisors to submit individual papers or formed panels.

Some suggested themes for papers and panels, but which should not preclude original ideas, might include the conduct of war or organised armed conflict in:

  • Strategic Decision-Making and the Friction of Institutions

  • Historical Precedents for 21st Century Command in the Multi-Domain Environment

  • Offensive Cyber Operations: Grounds for War?

  • Information Warfare and Psychological Operations

  • The Enduring Human Dimensions of War

  • High-Intensity Air/Naval/Land Warfare in the Information and Synthetic Age

  • Terrorism: The Next Generation

  • Nuclear Security Scenarios

  • Environments of War: Borderlands, Peripheries, and the Mega-Urban Space

  • Guides to the legal and Ethical Parameters of War

  • Survival in chemical warfare

 

Paper and Panel Submissions

Paper outlines should be a maximum of 800 words and panel suggestions no more than 2000 words, showing how the themes of change in war are to be addressed. Paper authors and panellists should each submit a CV of no more than 3 pages. Suggestions should be submitted by 0900, 26th November 2018. The suggested papers and panels will be assessed by a distinguished panel and decisions announced in January 2019.

Conference Details

The conference will be held at on 26-28 June 2019 at Pembroke College, Oxford.. There are excellent public transport links to Oxford and around the city from all UK cities and airports.

Contacts

Paper and Panel suggestions should be addressed to elizabeth.robson@pmb.ox.ac.uk

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History of War Seminar: Graduate students’ presentations and workshop
Mar
6
2:00 PM14:00

History of War Seminar: Graduate students’ presentations and workshop

Week 8            
6 March, 2pm
Old Library, All Souls College
NOTE DIFFERENT TIME AND VENUE

Graduate students’ presentations and workshop

Giulia Bernardini
Archie Blissett
Thomas Heyen-Dube
Kevin Noles
Petros Spanou
Shyam Sridar
Robert Tildesley

The History of War seminar is convened by the Faculty of History and All Souls College

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A Westphalia for the Middle East?  by Patrick Milton
Mar
5
1:00 PM13:00

A Westphalia for the Middle East? by Patrick Milton

Tuesday Lunchtime Seminar Series
Hilary Term 2019: Week 8

Seminars at 1.00pm, Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Oxford. A light sandwich lunch is served at 12.40pm. All are welcome.


A Westphalia for the Middle East?

Dr Patrick Milton

It was the original forever war, which went on interminably, fuelled by religious and constitutional disputes, personal ambition, fear of hegemony, and communal suspicion. It dragged in all the neighbouring powers. It was punctuated by repeated failed ceasefires. It inflicted suffering beyond belief and generated waves of refugees. This description could apply to Syria today, but actually refers to the Thirty Years War (1618-48), which turned much of central Europe into a disaster zone. The Thirty Years War is often cited as a parallel in discussions of current conflict in the Middle East. The Peace of Westphalia, which ended the war in Europe in 1648, has featured strongly in such discussions, usually with the observation that recent events in some parts of the region have seen the collapse of ideas of state sovereignty -ideas that supposedly originated with the 1648 settlement. This talk will discuss the parallels between the Thirty Years War and today’s Middle East and suggest ways in which lessons drawn from the congress and treaties of Westphalia might provide inspirations for a peace settlement for the Middle East’s new long wars. The talk is based on a recent book and ongoing collaborative project.

Patrick Milton was born in Zimbabwe and is a German-British research fellow at Peterhouse, Cambridge, and an affiliated lecturer at the Dept of Politics and International Studies, Cambridge. He was previously a postdoc at Freie Universitaet Berlin and has been working on the ‘Westphalia for the Middle East’ project since 2016.

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The Changing Character of the Mexican War on Drugs: State Building Process, Bureaucracy and U.S. Policy (1940-1980)  by Carlos Pérez Ricart
Feb
26
1:00 PM13:00

The Changing Character of the Mexican War on Drugs: State Building Process, Bureaucracy and U.S. Policy (1940-1980) by Carlos Pérez Ricart

  • Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Tuesday Lunchtime Seminar Series
Hilary Term 2019: Week 7

Seminars at 1.00pm, Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Oxford. A light sandwich lunch is served at 12.40pm. All are welcome.


The changing character of the Mexican war on Drugs: State building process, bureaucracy and U.S. policy (1940-1980)

 Dr. Carlos A. Pérez Ricart, St. Antony’s College, Oxford

 The talk looks at the complex relationship between the U.S. and Mexico and the “war on drugs” from 1940 to 1980. During this period, the U.S., in particular their drug agencies, deployed a series of pressuring mechanisms, which shaped drug policy in Mexico, where the state developed a policy remarkable for its strong prohibitionist and punitive dimension. However, this would not have been possible without the combination of two endogenous factors: the existence of a tradition of low tolerance regarding the use of psychoactive substances and the assimilation of the “war on drugs” rhetoric by Mexican state officials for the purpose of reaping political and bureaucratic benefits. By showing the internal motivations and incentives of the Mexican federal state to construct its own war on drugs, the talk shows how the punitive and prohibitionist dimension of drug policy in Mexico was not so much an imposition of the United States but rather part of a strategy linked to the state building process in Mexico.

Dr. Carlos Pérez Ricart (St. Antony’s College) is Postdoctoral Fellow in the Contemporary History and Public Policy of Mexico at the University of Oxford. He is member of both the History Faculty and the Latin American Centre (LAC).  He holds a PhD in Political Science at the Freie Universität Berlin and has a degree in International Relations of El Colegio de México. His general research and teaching interests include the relationship between Mexico and the United States, security and organized crime, drug policies and state formation. He is currently conducting a research project which aims to examine the history of the Mexican police from a long-term historical and global perspective.

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The Barometer Initiative in Colombia: Engaging and Inclusive Monitoring of Peace Agreement Implementation
Feb
25
1:00 PM13:00

The Barometer Initiative in Colombia: Engaging and Inclusive Monitoring of Peace Agreement Implementation

The Barometer Initiative in Colombia: Engaging and Inclusive Monitoring of Peace Agreement Implementation
Borja Paladini Adell, Colombia Representative, Kroc Institute 
Manor Road Building, Seminar Room E

The Peace Accords signed in November 2016 between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) are being implemented along the national territory. Since then, the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, and a team of engaged peace builders, have had the responsibility of monitoring and supporting technically the verification of the implementation. The Barometer Initiative, following the invitation of the Government of Colombia and the FARC, provides decision makers in Colombia with regular comprehensive reports measuring the implementation, and targeted policy briefs highlighting progress, difficulties, and concerns. Stronger and more engaged monitoring mechanisms can help to help translate peace agreements from pieces of paper into practice. Monitoring mechanisms should help to ‘sustain peace’ by navigating the complexity of the implementation phase, responding to constructive and destructive ‘emergent patterns’, and enhancing the inclusiveness and legitimacy of signatories’ efforts to honour their commitments. The Barometer Initiative to monitor implementation of the 2016 Colombia Peace Agreement provides an innovative example of the roles that monitoring mechanisms can play to promote inclusion and peace-oriented transformation in a highly dynamic and ever-changing environment.

More info: https://kroc.nd.edu/research/peace-processes-accords/pam-colombia/

Borja Paladini Adell  is a peace builder with 20 years of professional experience sustaining and building peace, particularly in Colombia and Latin America. He has an extensive experience facilitation inclusive dialogue processes as a means of transforming conflict. He has worked with or advised organizations such us UNDP Colombia, UN Honduras, Colombian Government, GIZ, USIP, Norwegian Peace Alliance, among others. He supported the Colombian Government in the peacebuilding planning process in 2015 and 2016 mainly in two initiatives. Advising the early peacebuilding implementation planning process (including the post-agreement needs assessments); and, mainstreaming dialogue and conflict transformation in the National Development Plan 2014-2018.

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Military Intelligence in the Era of Great Power War by COL Rose Lopez Keravuori
Feb
19
1:00 PM13:00

Military Intelligence in the Era of Great Power War by COL Rose Lopez Keravuori

  • Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Tuesday Lunchtime Seminar Series
Hilary Term 2019: Week 6

Seminars at 1.00pm, Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Oxford. A light sandwich lunch is served at 12.40pm. All are welcome.


Military Intelligence in the Era of Great Power War

Colonel Rose Lopez Keravuori

The shift by the Trump administration from counterinsurgency to near-peer threats has been clear with the publication of the 2018 National Defense Strategy and the Department of Defense’s focus on Russia and China.  COL Rose Keravuori provides insight regarding this current shift, focusing on global defense planning and operational preparation through deployability and expeditionary training.  She will focus on insights on transitioning America’s military intelligence resources from counterinsurgency operations to the force necessary for responding to a near-peer competitor in a major war.  More detailed research is found in the article “Expansibility and Military Intelligence” in Parameters journal.  The article discusses three main challenges to the expansion of Military Intelligence assets: a shortage of ISR (intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance), limited PED (processing, exploitation, dissemination) processing, and not having sufficient counterintelligence or Human Intelligence assets.

Rose Lopez Keravuori grew up in Los Angeles and has spent 21 years in the US Army as an Active Duty and Reserve Officer.  She led troops at the tactical and operational levels in Afghanistan and Iraq and deployed on several peacekeeping operations in the Balkans. She is the current commander of the 259th Expeditionary Military Intelligence Brigade (Reserve).  Before commanding a Brigade, she was a strategic war planner at CENTCOM and on the CENTOM Commander’s Action Group, advising the CENTCOM Commander. She is the CEO and Founder of Rise Out in Support of Empowering Women (ROSE Women), LLC,  a consulting firm whose mission includes empowering and enabling women in business and government internationally. 

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Moscow's Syrian Campaign: Change and Continuity in Russian Strategic Culture by Dima Adamsky
Feb
12
1:00 PM13:00

Moscow's Syrian Campaign: Change and Continuity in Russian Strategic Culture by Dima Adamsky

  • Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Tuesday Lunchtime Seminar Series
Hilary Term 2019: Week 5

Seminars at 1.00pm, Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Oxford. A light sandwich lunch is served at 12.40pm. All are welcome.


Moscow's Syrian Campaign: Change and Continuity in Russian Strategic Culture

Prof Dima Adamsky

Prof. Dmitry (Dima) Adamsky is a Head of the BA Honors Track in Strategy and Decision Making at the School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy at the IDC Herzliya, Israel. His research interests include international security, cultural approach to IR, modern military thought, and American, Russian and Israeli national security policy. He has published on these topics in Foreign AffairsSecurity StudiesJournal of Strategic StudiesIntelligence and National SecurityStudies in Conflict and Terrorism, and Journal of Cold War History. His books Operation Kavkaz and The Culture of Military Innovation (Stanford UP) earned the annual (2006 and 2012) prizes for the best academic works on Israeli security. His recent book, Russian Nuclear Orthodoxy (Stanford UP, 2019) explores the nexus of religion and strategy in Russia.

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Venezuela in Crisis: What's at Stake?
Feb
5
6:00 PM18:00

Venezuela in Crisis: What's at Stake?

Roundtable discussion followed by drinks

Tuesday 5th February
6 - 7.30pm
Harold Lee Room, Pembroke College

Laurence Whitehead, Official Fellow, Nuffield College

Annette Idler, Director of Studies, CCW

Maryhen Jimenez Morales, DPhil Candidate, DPIR

Jose Manuel Roche, Chief Researcher, Save the Children

Organised by CCW’s CONPEACE project: From Conflict Actor to Architects of Peace

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The Russian Way in War by Chuck Bartles
Feb
5
1:00 PM13:00

The Russian Way in War by Chuck Bartles

  • Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Tuesday Lunchtime Seminar Series
Hilary Term 2019: Week 4

Seminars at 1.00pm, Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Oxford. A light sandwich lunch is served at 12.40pm. All are welcome.


The Russian Way in War

MAJ Chuck Bartles, US Foreign Military Studies Office

In February 2013, General Valery Gerasimov, Chief of the Russian General Staff, published “The Value of Science Is in the Foresight: New Challenges Demand Rethinking the Forms and Methods of Carrying out Combat Operations” in the Russian military trade journal Voyenno-Promyshlennyy Kurier. In this article, Gerasimov lays out his perspective—and the prevalent view in Russian security circles—of the recent past, present, and expected future of warfare. This article has taken great prominence in the Euro-Atlantic community's thinking about Russian "Strategy", particularly as the basis for Russia's annexation of Crimea and Russian action in Eastern Ukraine and Syria. But a more detailed understanding of the debate and thinking underway in the Russian military and defence community is necessary. This seminar offers a more detailed examination of both General Gerasimov and the broader Russian view of the changing character of war, not least as illustrated in the context of his other, subsequent publications and their implications for our understanding of Russian activity

Chuck Bartles is a Russian analyst at the Foreign Military Studies Office, in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. His specific research areas include Russian and Central Asian military force structure; modernization; tactics; officer and enlisted professional development; and Russian military cartography and map symbology. Chuck is also a Major and space operations officer in the United States Army Reserve that commands a United States Strategic Command army reserve element in Colorado. He has deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq, and has served as a security assistance officer at US embassies in Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan. Chuck is now a PhD student at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. His most recent book, The Russian Way of War: Force Structure, Tactics, and the Modernization of the Russian Ground Forces, was published in 2017.

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The Consequences of Refugee Repatriation for Stayees: A Threat to Stability and Sustainable Development?
Jan
29
1:00 PM13:00

The Consequences of Refugee Repatriation for Stayees: A Threat to Stability and Sustainable Development?

  • Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Tuesday Lunchtime Seminar Series
Hilary Term 2019: Week 3

Seminars at 1.00pm, Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Oxford. A light sandwich lunch is served at 12.40pm. All are welcome.


The Consequences of Refugee Repatriation for Stayees: A Threat to Stability and Sustainable Development?

Dr Isabel Ruiz and Dr Carlos Vargas-Silva

Large-scale refugee repatriation is sometimes considered a threat to stability and sustainable development because of the burden it could impose on receiving communities. Yet the empirical evidence on the impacts of refugee return is limited. Using longitudinal data from Burundi collected in 2011 and 2015, this paper explores the consequences of repatriation for stayee households (i.e. those who never left the country during the conflict). Burundi experienced large-scale repatriation during the 2000s, with the returning refugees unevenly spread across the country. We use geographical features of the communities of origin, including altitude and proximity to the border, for identification purposes. The results suggest that a higher share of returnees in a community is associated with less livestock ownership, the principal form of capital accumulation in the country, and worse subjective economic conditions for stayee households. Additional analysis suggests that refugee return had a negative impact on food security and land access for stayees. The negative impact on food security largely disappears between rounds of the survey. Refugee return had no significant effect on the health outcomes of stayees. The article finishes with a discussion of the implications of the results for policies that aim to support refugee repatriation and long-term sustainable development in post conflict societies.

Dr Isabel Ruiz is Associate Professor of Political Economy at the University of Oxford, where she is also Director of Studies in Economics at the Department for Continuing Education (OUDCE). Isabel is a Fellow of Kellogg College and an Associate Member of the Department of Economics, the Oxford Department of International Development (ODID) and the Latin American Centre at the University.

Dr Carlos Vargas-Silva is Research Director and Associate Professor at COMPAS. He is also the Director of the DPhil in Migration Studies and a member of Kellogg College. Carlos is also co-founder and current Associate Editor of the journal Migration Studies. He was also one of the researchers that developed the Migration Observatory in 2010, and acted as Director of the Observatory in 2014 and 2017.

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Cyber Norms in a Changing World by Dr Alexander Evans
Jan
22
5:00 PM17:00

Cyber Norms in a Changing World by Dr Alexander Evans

Cyber Norms in a Changing World

Dr Alexander Evans

Tuesday 22 January, 17.00-18.30
Mary Eccles Room, Pembroke College

A drinks reception will follow

Dr Alexander Evans OBE is Director Cyber at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.  He was previously Britain’s Deputy High Commissioner to India (2015-2018) and Britain’s Acting High Commissioner to India (November 2015 to March 2016). 

Alexander previously led the United Nations Security Council Al Qaida/Taliban Monitoring Team from 2013 to 2015, appointed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.  Alexander has served in senior management positions in the UK and US governments.  He led teams of British diplomats in New Delhi and Islamabad, and served in Washington DC as a senior advisor to the late Ambassador Richard Holbrooke when he was US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Alexander has held academic appointments at Nuffield College Oxford and Yale University, where he taught international relations.  He is a former Henry Kissinger Chair in Foreign Policy at the Library of Congress and Bernard Schwartz Fellow at the Asia Society in New York.  Alexander was educated at the London School of Economics, Yale and the School of Oriental and African Studies, where he obtained his PhD.  He has written for Foreign Affairs and contributed to a number of books and academic journals.  He is the author of ‘The United States and South Asia’ (New York: Asia Society, 2012).

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Gaming Integrated Deterrence and Defence in Europe in an Era of Strategic Competition by Ivanka Barzashka
Jan
22
1:00 PM13:00

Gaming Integrated Deterrence and Defence in Europe in an Era of Strategic Competition by Ivanka Barzashka

  • Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Tuesday Lunchtime Seminar Series
Hilary Term 2019: Week 2

Seminars at 1.00pm, Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Oxford. A light sandwich lunch is served at 12.40pm. All are welcome.


Gaming Integrated Deterrence and Defence in Europe in an Era of Strategic Competition

Ivanka Barzashka

The United States and its European allies have entered into a new era of strategic competition with Russia. Some features of this changed and changing security environment – multipolar geopolitical rivalry and more integrated and subtle approaches to conflict are already apparent. Nuclear weapons and missile defences are taking on new strategic roles. Other features, such as cyber and space weapons, will emerge with time. New factors will interact with traditional political and military approaches to produce a different strategic logic that will shape dynamics during peacetime, crisis and war.

Barzashka will discuss findings from a 3-year research project that developed a new wargaming approach to glean insights into the changing character of conflict among NATO and Russia. She will present evidence-based propositions on nuclear risk, deterrence and escalation from two strategic gaming events conducted at the UK Defence Academy.

Ivanka Barzashka is a founder and co-director of the King's Wargaming Network. She is a MacArthur-funded Research Associate at the Centre for Science and Security Studies where she examines how disruptive technologies affect nuclear risks by combining qualitative analysis, quantitative modelling and strategic wargaming. She currently leads a project, funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, on aerospace defence and nuclear risk focusing on the United States, NATO and Russia. As part of the project, Barzashka directed a series of strategic wargames at King’s College London and the UK Defence Academy during 2017 and 2018. She led the game design process that resulted in a new method of strategic wargaming.

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Why the Responses to Address  Intrastate Armed Conflicts fail? by Michael von der Schulenburg
Jan
15
1:00 PM13:00

Why the Responses to Address Intrastate Armed Conflicts fail? by Michael von der Schulenburg

  • Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Tuesday Lunchtime Seminar Series
Hilary Term 2019: Week 1

Seminars at 1.00pm, Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Oxford. A light sandwich lunch is served at 12.40pm. All are welcome.


Why the Responses to Address Intrastate Armed Conflicts fail?

Michael von der Schulenburg

The character of wars is changing. Today, wars between nation-states have largely disappeared and armed conflicts between states and belligerent non-state actors have become predominant. But has the international community found the right answers to deal with such intrastate armed conflicts? Schulenburg will argue, no. In a future world of 11 billion people, intra-state conflicts are likely to increase. Finding better answers to address this is becoming, and will continue to be, ever more pressing. But would this be possible in a world of increasing great-power rivalries?

Mr Schulenburg will discuss the shortcomings of the UN Charter to regulate foreign military interventions and paradoxes in UN peacekeeping as well as ambiguities in determining the legitimacy of embattled governments and in responding to armed non-state actors. He will review problems of interpreting self-determination and identifying national identities and describe resulting difficulties in implementing ceasefire and peace agreements or in writing national constitutions and holding elections.

Michael von der Schulenburg, former UN Assistant Secretary General with political affairs with 34 experience working for the UN and the OSCE in many of the world’s trouble spots such as in Haiti, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq and Sierra Leone with shorter assignments in Syria, Somalia, the Balkan and the Sahel. His experience involved the whole range of UN activities from development and humanitarian assistance to management, political affairs and peacekeeping.

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DATELINE – SAIGON: Film Screening with Introduction by Director, Tom Herman
Nov
27
5:00 PM17:00

DATELINE – SAIGON: Film Screening with Introduction by Director, Tom Herman

A screening for the 2018 documentary film: DATELINE – SAIGON: Lies Deception and the Dangerous Search for Truth. Directed by Thomas D. Herman, Narrated by Sam Waterston

Tuesday 27 November, 5.00pm
Pichette Auditorium, Pembroke College, OX1 1DW
Admission Free, registeration recommend to guarantee a seat

If the government is telling the truth, reporters become a minor, relatively unimportant conduit to what is happening. But when the government doesn’t tell the truth, begins to twist the truth, hide the truth, then the journalist becomes involuntarily infinitely more important.
— David Halberstam, The New York Times, in Dateline – Saigon

Today we know the story’s end. But few then realized how important their reporting was; how our protagonists and their colleagues serve as role models for today’s front-line reporters around the globe. Dateline - Saigon illuminates the difficulties of reporting war by focusing on America’s most important and controversial case study: Vietnam, the war that established many of the ground rules for coverage of wars that followed and ignited an antagonism between the media and the military that unfortunately endures. The parallels to the challenges journalists face in reporting today’s conflicts - and the consequences of not getting the story out - will become disturbingly obvious to the viewer.

Dateline - Saigon was filmed over a 12 year period in the United States, the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Vietnam, and Iraq. The film features multiple, original interviews with key characters, some of whom are no longer living, and rare archival motion picture and still photographs, many from private archives and to be seen publicly for the first time.

Dateline - Saigon is produced and directed by Boston-based filmmaker, Thomas D. Herman, a Co-Producer of the Emmy-award winning feature film Live From Baghdad starring Michael Keaton and Helena Bonham-Carter. Herman spent twelve years researching, filming, and interviewing over 50 writers, photojournalists, radio and television correspondents, government officials, historians, and others for this project. “The film is about a group of journalists who risked their lives to bring back a story no one wanted revealed.” Telling the truth about what was happening in Vietnam, Herman says, illustrated a shift away from traditional media support of any US war effort.”

Dateline – Saigon © 2018 Good Neighbor Productions, Inc.

Dateline-Saigon_POSTER.jpg
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The Constitution of Illicit Orders: Contested Sovereignty in Territorial Domains by Dr Christopher Lilyblad
Nov
27
1:00 PM13:00

The Constitution of Illicit Orders: Contested Sovereignty in Territorial Domains by Dr Christopher Lilyblad

  • Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Tuesday Lunchtime Seminar Series
Michaelmas Term 2018: Week 8

Seminars at 1.00pm, Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Oxford. A light sandwich lunch is served at 12.50pm. All are welcome.


The Constitution of Illicit Orders: Contested Sovereignty in Territorial Domains

Dr Christopher Lilyblad

Within the context of modernity and globalisation, this research project investigates the processes by which governance arises in territories subjected to illicit forms of social order that contest state sovereignty and authority. Drawing from recursive theoretical and empirical research rooted in the ‘abductive’ method of Pragmatism, the analysis has three principal objectives: First, it offers a different conceptual approach by moving away from negative categorisation of the phenomena, e.g. failed states, ungoverned spaces, limited statehood etc., towards a positive conceptualisation, i.e. illicit orders. By casting off the legal-rational, sovereign-territorial lens, the pursuant conceptual reconfiguration of territory, authority, and institutions recognises and more directly conveys the existence of local social organisation apart from the modern state via the agency of social groups acting in violation of domestic and/or international legal norms, rules, and institutions. Second, it seeks to explain the constitution of ‘illicit orders’ by offering a sociologically-cognisant analytical framework capable of elucidating the ‘micro’ processes inherent to governance in territories where state institutions remain nominal and ineffective. Based on insights from theoretically-informed empirical fieldwork in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, I maintain that inter-subjective relations of authority can be produced when a given actor asserts predominance in three co-constitutive domains; namely, organised violence, socioeconomic security, and social legitimacy. Resultant authority then gives rise to the ‘structuration’ of norms, rules, and institutions, which also recursively reinforces the institutionalisation of authority – a process inherent to the constitution of social order in these circumscribed territories. Third, it provides an understanding of how inherently local ‘illicit orders’ at once form part of a diffuse mosaic of social, political, and economic structures that collectively constitute ‘global society’, while simultaneously existing in dramatic juxtaposition to the ‘international order’ of states within it.

Dr Christopher Marc Lilyblad is currently A Visiting Research Fellow at the Changing Character of War Centre at Pembroke College. His research focuses on the constitution of authority, order, and governance by violent-non-state actors in territories subjected to fragility, conflict, and violence. He returns to full-time academic life after spending nearly four years in managerial roles at the European Union Delegation in Cape Verde (2014-16), the Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency – LuxDev (2016-2017), and Luxembourg’s national NGO platform, the Cercle de Coopération (2017-2018). In October 2017, Dr Lilyblad was elected as Councillor in his native municipality of Betzdorf, Luxembourg, which hosts the headquarters of the world’s largest satellite operator, SES, and other space industry leaders. In 2017, he earned his D.Phil. in International Development from the University of Oxford, where he attended as a Clarendon Scholar. Prior to this, Dr. Lilyblad completed his M.Sc. in Global Governance and Diplomacy at the University of Oxford and his B.A. in International Studies and Political Science at the University of Washington.

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CHANGE TO PROGRAMME: The African Way of War
Nov
21
5:30 PM17:30

CHANGE TO PROGRAMME: The African Way of War

  • Wharton Room All Souls College OX1 4AL (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

The African Way of War

LTC Jospeh Guido, US Army Africa Command

If there is a “Western Way of War” or an “American Way of War,” is there an “African Way of War?” Is there something unique or distinct about war in Africa? If so, what are the unique characteristics of war in Africa? If not, is there such a thing as a “Way of War” and are contemporary intellectual frameworks of war sufficient to understand modern conflicts? What does contemporary conflict in Africa tell us about our understanding of war? Join American Army Officer Joseph Guido for a discussion about modern wars in Africa ranging from Northern Mali & Niger to Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia. This discussion highlights the non-state or intrastate elements of contemporary conflicts, specifically non-state violent groups including terrorists, insurgents, and criminals.
 
Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Guido is a US Army Sub-Saharan Foreign Area Officer currently serving as the Director of Security Cooperation at US Army Africa Command in Vicenza, Italy and has more than 19 years of diplomatic, special operations, military intelligence, infantry, and corporate security experience. He is the author of Terrorist Sanctuary in the Sahara from the Strategic Studies Institute (2017) and the forthcoming “The American Way of War in Africa” from Small Wars and Insurgencies Journal and has lectured numerous times on security challenges in Africa.

The Ethics and Security Seminar Series is run in conjunction with the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics

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The law and practice of cross-border humanitarian relief operations: Syria as a case study
Nov
20
1:00 PM13:00

The law and practice of cross-border humanitarian relief operations: Syria as a case study

  • Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Tuesday Lunchtime Seminar Series
Michaelmas Term 2018: Week 7

Seminars at 1.00pm, Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Oxford. A light sandwich lunch is served at 12.50pm. All are welcome.


The law and practice of cross-border humanitarian relief operations: Syria as a case study

Dapo Akande, University of Oxford
Emanuela-Chiara Gilliard, University of Oxford

 The extremely severe restrictions on humanitarian operations have been one of the defining features of the Syrian conflict.  Humanitarian operations have been severely impeded by a range of constraints, including active hostilities, repeated attacks against those providing humanitarian and, in particular, medical assistance, shifting front lines, proliferation of parties to the conflict, and the instrumentalisation of assistance by all belligerents.  It is unquestionable though that a principal impediment have been the constraints imposed by the Government of Syria, particularly, but not exclusively, on relief operations for people in opposition-held areas.  These were so severe that, following repeated requests to allow and facilitate rapid and unimpeded access, that went unheeded, the Security Council took the unprecedented step of authorising cross-border and cross-line operations without the need for the consent of the Government of Syria, in Resolution 2165 (2014).

Prof Dapo Akande and Emanuela Gillard will discuss the legal framework regulating cross-border relief operations and how it has been modified by the Security Council in the Syria crisis. They will offer some reflections on what this had meant operationally in Syria and beyond.

Dapo Akande is a Fellow of Exeter College and Co-Director of the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict (ELAC).

Emanuela-Chiara Gilliard is a Senior Research Fellow at ELAC, a Research Fellow in the Individualisation of War Project at the European University Institute in Fiesole and an Associate Fellow in Chatham House’s International Law Programme.

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Nov
13
3:00 PM15:00

Just War and Unjust Soldiers: American Public Opinion on the Moral Equality of Combatants (ELAC Colloquium)

Tuesday 13 November, 3pm
Senior Common Room, Nuffield College
Members of the University only, booking not required

Organised by Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict (ELAC)

Professor Scott Sagan (Stanford University) will present his paper with Professor Benjamin Valentino (Dartmouth), entitled “Just War and Unjust Soldiers: American Public Opinion on the Moral Equality of Combatants”. Professor Jeff McMahan (Oxford) will serve as discussant. The session will be chaired by Dr Janina Dill (Oxford).

ABSTRACT: One of the most significant debates among contemporary scholars of the ethics of war centers on the principle of the moral equality of combatants. Traditional just war doctrine holds that only political leaders are morally responsible for the decision to initiate war, while individual soldiers should be judged solely by the nature of their conduct in war, not by the justice of the war’s cause. According to this view, therefore, soldiers fighting in an unjust war of aggression and the soldiers on the opposing side seeking to defend their country from attack are “morally equal” as long as each obeys the rules of combat. “Revisionist” just war scholars, however, object to the moral equality principle. These scholars maintain that soldiers who fight for an unjust cause bear at least some responsibility for their role in advancing an immoral end, even if they conduct themselves ethically during the war. This article examines the attitudes of the American public regarding the moral equality of combatants. Utilizing an original survey experiment, we find that the public’s moral reasoning is generally more consistent with revisionism than with traditional just war theory. Americans judge soldiers who participate in unjust wars as significantly less ethical than soldiers who participate in just wars, even when their battlefield conduct is identical. We also find, however, that the American public is willing to extend the ethical license of just cause significantly further than virtually all revisionist scholars advocate. A large proportion of the public is willing to support harsh punishments for soldiers for mere participation in unjust wars, a policy many revisionists explicitly reject. Furthermore, we find that half of the U.S. public is willing to overlook soldiers’ participation in unambiguous war crimes when the crimes are committed by combatants fighting for a just cause.

For further info: janina.dill@politics.ox.ac.uk

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Rebel Diplomacy: Territoriality, Identity and the ‘Foreign’ Affairs of Non-State Armed Groups by Dr David Brenner
Nov
13
1:00 PM13:00

Rebel Diplomacy: Territoriality, Identity and the ‘Foreign’ Affairs of Non-State Armed Groups by Dr David Brenner

  • Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Tuesday Lunchtime Seminar Series
Michaelmas Term 2018: Week 6

Seminars at 1.00pm, Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Oxford. A light sandwich lunch is served at 12.50pm. All are welcome.


Rebel Diplomacy: Territoriality, Identity and the ‘Foreign’ Affairs of Non-State Armed Groups

Dr David Brenner

Recent scholarship highlights the multifaceted nature of non-state armed movements, raising important questions about their internal politics and their governance of territory and civilians, i.e. their ‘domestic’ politics. What has received little attention, however, are the ‘foreign’ affairs of non-state armed groups. In times where civil wars are increasingly internationalised and non-state armed groups conduct sophisticated diplomacy with states, international governmental and non-governmental organisations and other non-state armed groups, this paper attempts to address this shortcoming by asking fundamental questions about the nature of rebel diplomacy: How do rebel diplomats conceive of their international environment and meaningful action that can be pursued in relation to it? How does the internal dimension of rebel groups, including armed group fragmentation, and their domestic sphere, including their relations to civilians, shape their foreign relations? In addressing these questions, we propose a conversation between the literatures on non-state armed groups in Comparative Politics with Foreign Policy Analysis in International Relations. While the latter is traditionally concerned with state-to-state interactions, we argue that it makes for a useful starting point for understanding the foreign relations of non-state armed groups that command territory and conduct themselves as de-facto states. The paper draws on long-term field work on ethno-national rebel movements in Myanmar, particularly the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) and the Karen National Union (KNU), to explore and elucidate its main arguments.

Dr David Brenner is Lecturer in International Relations at Goldsmiths, University of London, where he researches and teaches on political violence and violent political orders. His first book Rebel Politics: A Political Sociology of Armed Struggle in Myanmar's Borderlands is forthcoming with Cornell University Press in 2019. The research monograph is based on ten months of fieldwork inside the Kachin and Karen rebellions. Forwarding a relational understanding of rebellion, it analyses how revolutionary elites capture and lose authority within their own movements and the ways in which these internal contestations drive dynamics of war and peace against the background of wider political transition and geopolitical transformations in Southeast Asia.

Please note that this is a collaborative paper with Dr Jurgen Haacke and Prof Chris Alden, both at the London School of Economics.

 

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Killing in the Gray Zone
Nov
7
5:30 PM17:30

Killing in the Gray Zone

  • Wharton Room All Souls College OX1 4AL (map)
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Killing in the Gray Zone: Who Should Die When We Can’t Kill Our Way to Victory

LTC Bob Underwood, US Army / University of Oxford

The Ethics and Security Seminar Series is run in conjunction with the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics

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Panel Discussion on Military Stabilisation: Lessons and Trends
Nov
6
6:00 PM18:00

Panel Discussion on Military Stabilisation: Lessons and Trends

St Peters College, Oxford
6-8pm
The event will include drinks and plenty of networking opportunities

Hosts and Panellists

Dr Duncan Anderson, Department of War Studies, Royal Military Academy Sandhurst

Professor Richard Caplan, Professor of International Relations, University of oxford

Dr Timothy Clack, CCW and St Peters College, Oxford

Dr Robert Johnson, CCW

Mr Jason Mosley, African Studies Centre, University of oxford

Professor Paul Schulte, Institute for Conflict, Cooperation and Security, Birmingham University


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CHANGE TO PROGRAMME: Gender, State-collapse, Conflict and State-building: Recent Research from the Somali Context
Nov
6
1:00 PM13:00

CHANGE TO PROGRAMME: Gender, State-collapse, Conflict and State-building: Recent Research from the Somali Context

  • Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Tuesday Lunchtime Seminar Series
Michaelmas Term 2018: Week 5

Seminars at 1.00pm, Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Oxford. A light sandwich lunch is served at 12.50pm. All are welcome.


Gender, State-collapse, Conflict and State-building: Recent Research from the Somali Context

Judith Gardner

Prescribing and policing gender norms and relations, in other words controlling society’s experiences of femininity and masculinity, along with social exclusion practices, is arguably at the very heart of the protracted and violent struggle for political and ideological power in today’s Somalia. The research material that my session will be drawing on comes from two recent qualitative studies: the Impact of War on Somali Men (Rift Valley Institute) and Learning from Kismayo: a study of women’s roles and responsibilities in clan-related armed violence in the Somali conflict (Life & Peace with Peace Direct). The second study was prompted by the widespread exclusion of Somali women from peace processes and political settlements. Together, the studies’ findings provide a detailed picture of the gendered dynamics and impacts of Somalia's post-1991 violence. They deepen understanding of the complex power and gender relations at play in a context of an absent, weak or fragile state.  At the same time, they give rise to many new questions, some of which we can perhaps discuss during the session.

Judith has worked in development and peacebuilding for 30 years, as a practitioner and researcher, developing a particular focus on gender and conflict. As a researcher, uses she participatory approach and qualitative methods. Among many others, she authored a ground-breaking conception study with the Rift Valley Institute on war’s impact on Somali men.

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