May
25
12:00 am00:00

Brand Warfare and the Demobilization of FARC Rebels in Colombia by Dr Alex Fattal

  • Seminar Room D

This talk examines the intersection between the counterinsurgency state and the marketing nation in Colombia. Through an ethnography of the government’s efforts to interpolate and demobilize fighters from leftist insurgencies,  Dr Fattalanalyzes the joint effort of the Program for Humanitarian Attention to the Demobilized in the Colombian Ministry of Defense and the consumer marketing firm it hires to transform guerrilla subjects into entrepreneurs and consumer citizens.

Jun
7
7:30 pm19:30

Global Peace Index 2017 Launch Event

  • Garden Quad Auditorium

The Institute for Economics and Peace will be releasing the 11th edition of its Global Peace Index.

Is the world becoming more or less peaceful? The 2017 report provides the rankings of 163 countries according to levels of peacefulness, measures the impact of conflict on the global economy, and assesses whether peace can be measured as a development goal.

Steve Killelea, Founder and Executive Chairman of the Institute for Economics and Peace, will present the findings of the 2017 Index. The Bishop of Derby, Lord Browne and Professor Richard Caplan will also speak. This will be followed by a drinks reception. All welcome.

Jul
10
1:00 pm13:00

Lawrence, the British Armed Forces and the First World War in the Middle East

  • Pembroke College, Oxford

Lawrence, the British Armed Forces and the First World War in the Middle East

This is a joint event between the Changing Character of War Programme and the Society for Army Historical Research.

Speakers include: Dr John Peaty, Dr Neil Faulkner, Gp Capt John Alexander, Maj Dr Paul Knight and CCW Director, Dr Rob Johnson. 


May
16
1:00 pm13:00

'Russia's Views on and Adaptation to the Changing Character of War' by Dr Katarzyna Zysk

  • Seminar Room G

A light sandwich lunch is provided for seminar participants at 12:50. 

The Russian military leadership has argued that contemporary warfare has altered significantly in recent years; wars are not even declared, but once they occur, they do not unfold in the way we are accustomed to. Moreover, they aim at the state’s entire capacity and can no longer be deterred or defended against by nuclear and conventional weapons only. Hence, a use of a full spectrum of state resources, merging military (nuclear, strategic non-nuclear and conventional) and non-military resources (e.g. cyber and anti-space weapons, innovative technologies and economic levers, irregular and paramilitary forces – to name just a few) feature prominently in what is often called in the Russian strategic community the‘New Generation War’. After a brief historic overview, this presentation examines the current intellectual debates in Russia on what is seen as shifting ways and means to achieve objectives of war. It addresses a number of important questions that the evolving Russian understanding and approach raises: How does it influence the conceptual evolution of Russia’s security policy? What is the impact on the physical transformation of the armed forces? And how does it affect the distribution of power within the overall structure of Russian security and defence policy making?

 Dr Katarzyna Zysk is an Associate Professor at the Norwegian Defence University College – the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies in Oslo, a position she has held since 2007. In the academic year 2016–17, she was a Visiting Scholar at the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) at Stanford University, and currently she is a Visiting Research Fellow at the Changing Character of War Programme at the University of Oxford. She is also a member of the Hoover Institution’s Arctic Security Initiative at Stanford University and was a Research Fellow (resident and non-resident) at the US Naval War College – Center for Naval Warfare Studies, where she also cooperated closely with the War Gaming Department. In 2016, she served as an Acting Dean of the Norwegian Defence University College. Dr Zysk has an academic background in international relations and international history. Following her PhD thesis on NATO enlargement (2006), her research and publications have focused on various aspects of security and strategic studies, in particular Russia’s security and defence policies, including military change and modernization of the Russian armed forces, strategic culture, political philosophy, geopolitics in the Arctic, as well as Russia's sea power and maritime security. Currently, she is writing a book about Russia’s military strategy. 

'The Peace Process in Colombia': A conversation with Manuel José Cepeda Espinosa
May
10
5:00 pm17:00

'The Peace Process in Colombia': A conversation with Manuel José Cepeda Espinosa

  • Criminology Seminar Room

Oxford Transitional Justice Research, the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, the Oxford Network of Peace Studies, and the Oxford Changing Character of War Programme in conjunction with the Centre for Criminology at the University of Oxford and with generous support from the Planethood Foundation are delighted to be hosting Manuel José Cepeda Espinosa on Wednesday 10 May 2017. 

May
9
1:00 pm13:00

'Humanitarian Action and Non-State Armed Groups: Legal Restrictions' by Kate Jones

  • Seminar Room G

A light sandwich lunch is provided for seminar participants at 12:50. 

Humanitarian Action and Non-State Armed Groups: Legal Restrictions

Humanitarian actors aim to relieve human suffering with impartiality and independence.  However, humanitarians increasingly find that international or domestic sanctions regimes or counterterrorism measures impede their ability to deliver assistance to civilians in areas controlled by non-state armed groups (NSAGs).  In addition, banks in the UK and internationally are becoming reluctant to hold funds or engage in transactions for humanitarian actors who deal with NSAGs, with significant impact on humanitarian actors’ ability to operate effectively.  Kate Jones will discuss these restrictions and potential measures to alleviate them, with the twin aims of minimising impediments to the legitimate delivery of aid while maintaining the effectiveness of sanctions and counterterrorism legislation against true offenders.

Kate Jones is Director of Oxford University’s Foreign Service Programme and a member of the Law Faculty. For 13 years she was a lawyer with the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, including postings as Legal Adviser to the UK Mission to the United Nations in Geneva and as Deputy Head of the UK Delegation to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.  She has written on the impact of the UK regulatory environment on humanitarian action in areas controlled by non-state armed groups as part of Chatham House’s programme on Humanitarian Engagement with Non-State Armed Groups

War or Peace? Changing the Paradigm
May
2
12:30 pm12:30

War or Peace? Changing the Paradigm

  • The Nissan Auditorium

The Theatre of Transformation Academy has confirmed its event on May 2nd at St. Anthony's College, Oxford, hosted by The Changing Character of War Centre (CCW), The Oxford Centre for International Studies (CIS) and The Centre for the Resolution of Intractable Conflict (CRIC). The event will feature a variety of exciting speakers, including renowned peace artist, William Kelly,  Lord Alderdice, Dr Annette Idler, Dr Rama Mani, and will be chaired by Professor Kalypso Nicolaidis. 

The event will provide a creative and interactive platform for attendees to engage with the mediums of image, testimony and dialogue, and will be the first collaborative event of the 'Enacting Global Transformation' initiative, whose purpose is to bring together diverse Centres and converge different creative and paradigm-shifting approaches and perspectives on war and peace, and global governance. 

The format is as follows:

- An artistic dialogue between William Kelly and Dr. Rama Mani, regarding his artworks and her enacted ‘testimonies of transformation’ on par and peace. 

- A talking tour by William Kelly of some of his art works and their paradigm shifting impact in different conflict zones like Guernica, South Africa & Tianenmen Square. 

- Lord Alderdice speaking on his personal engagement in war and peacemaking as a psychiatrist, politician, peace negotiator & parliamentarian. 

- An interactive and creative dialogue with the audience moderated by Professor Kalypso Nicolaidis.

 

 

Apr
25
1:00 pm13:00

“Imagining War and Keeping Peace?” by Dr Chiara Ruffa

  • Seminar Room G

A light sandwich lunch is provided for seminar participants at 12:50. 

“Imagining War and Keeping Peace?” investigates military organizations in peace and stability operations. The departure point for this book is the observation that different national contingents deployed in peace and stability operations under similar conditions display significant and systematic differences in the way they operate on the ground, specifically, in the way they conduct patrols and carry out force protection, and the way that they interact with the local population and local military forces. Dr. Ruffa empirically documents these tactical level variations, which she has termed ‘force employment’, and she categorizes how different armies behave by using a concept derived from the literature on military effectiveness, which she calls ‘Unit Peace Operation Effectiveness’. The core objective of the book is to answer the question: what influences variations in soldiers’ tactical behavior? Based on empirical evidence, she proposes that a key, often overlooked, factor influencing behavior is military culture: a set of deeply ingrained attitudes, values, and beliefs, which are internalized among members of a given military organization. Military culture helps to explain why soldiers behave differently within the margins of maneuver left at their discretion in peace and stability operations. It frames the set of conceivable options for soldiers and provides them with reference points that guide behavior, such as how to perceive and understand the enemy, and interpret the surrounding context. Military culture helps to fill the margins of maneuver that exist on the ground. To further analyze the military culture concept, the book also considers how military cultures arise, finding that they are nested into the specific domestic political configurations of the armies’ respective countries. This means that a military culture, with well-defined traits, emerges under specific domestic conditions, usually following a critical juncture. She hypothesizes that military culture may acquire new salient traits or renegotiate old ones providing them with new meanings to respond to new domestic conditions. The book’s empirical evidence is drawn from four in-depth comparative case studies, French and Italian units deployed under similar circumstances in two very different kinds of peace and stability operations: the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL II) and the NATO mission in Afghanistan (ISAF). The evidence was collected during fieldwork undertaken in Lebanon, Afghanistan, Rome, and Paris between 2007 and 2014. The sources of evidence used are in-depth interviews, surveys, field observation, and secondary sources.

Chiara Ruffa (Ph.D. 2010) is a senior lecturer at the Swedish Defense University and a research associate at the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University. Her main research interests are peace operations, civil-military relations and the sociology of the military. Ruffa has a book in press with Pennsylvania University Press and has published in, among others, Security Studies, Armed Forces and Society, Security and Defence Analysis, Small Wars and Insurgencies.

 

Mar
7
1:00 pm13:00

'The Devastation is Very Important to Me': Donald Trump and Nuclear Weapons by Jeffrey Michaels

  • Seminar Room G

During the recent US presidential election the nuclear issue gained considerable prominence with the prospect of an unstable Donald J. Trump gaining access to the 'nuclear codes'  a major theme used to discredit his candidacy. Unfortunately, the focus on Trump's character distracted attention from being placed on what nuclear policies his administration might actually pursue if he was elected, nor was any systematic attempt made to study his longstanding views of nuclear weapons.  Following his victory, and in the early months of his administration, these topics have become matters of increasing relevance to the international community. This talk will therefore examine the nuclear legacy Obama has bequeathed to Trump, discuss the new president's background with respect to nuclear issues, and to place his likely policy preferences in the wider context of domestic and international constraining factors.

Mar
6
10:30 am10:30

Military Doctrine: Past, Present, and Future

Following on from two recent events on ‘Strategy’ and ‘Operational Art’, this study day seeks to consider conceptual and policy questions relating to military doctrine. Its aim is to ask questions as to how the formulation of military doctrine can be better understood and improved. Are there, for example, different types of doctrine, or does doctrine form contrasting functions in war and peace? Can the UK improve its processes of doctrine writing by taking note of the lessons of the past? In keeping with the traditions of the CCW Programme, the study aims to bring Security Studies specialists, historians and practitioners together in order to throw more light on an important, but often overlooked, dimension to military thought, training and planning.

Mar
1
5:15 pm17:15

Between Counterinsurgency & Conflict Resolution: Military & Political Engagement with Violent Non-State Groups by Ajay Sethi

Between Counterinsurgency & Conflict Resolution: Military and Political Engagement with Violent Non-state Groups by Ajay Sethi

Colonel (rtd) Ajay Sethi has a multifaceted experience of counter-insurgency operations, both during his distinguished career in the Indian army and his current role in the UN, where has developed a holistic political approach to engaging with non-state armed groups (NSAGs). In conversation with Dr Annette Idler, he will draw on over 29 years of professional experience on conflict analysis, mapping and engaging with NSAGs, mediation, cease fire management, conflict resolution and reconciliation in South Sudan (UNMIS), Sudan (Darfur/UNAMID), Libya (UNSMIL), Yemen, Somalia (UNSOM), Myanmar and Syria.

Wharton Room, All Souls College, High Street, OX1 4AL

All welcome.

 

Feb
28
1:00 pm13:00

Conflict and Migration: From Consensual Movement to Exploitation by Organised Crime by Dr Sasha Jesperson

  • Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Manor Road Oxford OX1 3UQ

A light sandwich lunch is provided for seminar participants at 12:50. 

Conflict and political violence is a major driver for migration flows. People smuggling has become a lucrative trade for organised crime groups moving people to safety. The involvement of organised crime groups however, has blurred the division between consensual, often paid for, migration, and coercive or exploitative migration linked to human trafficking and slavery. While conflict is pushing people into migration, migration is also creating tensions at migratory hubs. In this seminar, the blurred distinctions between different migrants will be discussed, considering their linkage with conflict – whether as a push factor, a result of migration flows, or a hub of exploitative practices. The exploitative and coercive end of this spectrum will be probed in more depth, looking at the implications for victims of trafficking or exploitation and how the current response to migration responds to their needs.

Sasha Jesperson is the Director of the Centre for the Study of Modern Slavery at St Mary’s University Twickenham. Before coming to St Mary’s, Sasha was leading research on organised crime at the Royal United Services Institute, working closely with government departments to ensure that research is useful for strengthening policymaking on organised crime. Her research background is on organised crime and particularly the role of development is preventing and responding to criminal activity.
Sasha completed her PhD at the London School of Economics. Her research examined international initiatives to address organised crime through peace building missions under the framework of the security-development nexus, comparing examples from Sierra Leone and Bosnia. Sasha also completed an MSc in Human Rights at the London School of Economics and worked for Amnesty International for three years, primarily focusing on human rights in conflict and post-conflict contexts.

 

Feb
21
1:00 pm13:00

The Moral and ‘Real’ Economy of  the People’s War: the Making of the Maoist Base Area during the Conflict in Nepal (1996-2006) by Dr Ina Zharkevich

  • Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Manor Road Oxford OX1 3UQ

A light sandwich lunch is provided for seminar participants at 12:50.

Drawing on ethnographic research in the wartime capital of the Maoist base area in Nepal, this presentation explores the historic and social processes through which a remote Nepal village was forged as a centre of the Maoist heartland where Maoist guerrillas enjoyed strong popular support among civilians. By drawing on events leading to the break out of the war, I will show that notions of justice and morality played an important role in the eyes of the villagers for accepting the war as ‘theirs’ and the Maoist people’s government as their ‘state’. By exploring people’s reactions towards Maoist economic policies during the war, I scrutinize the notion of popular support for the guerrillas and show that it involved a more complex inter-play of interests and sentiments than ideological affinity, including moral solidarity, kinship allegiances, and compliance with the Maoist regime of power during the war. Illuminating how the mobilisation into the Maoist Movement and the Maoist project of social transformation became possible through a whole range of  social and personal relationships, emotional and affective ties as well as people’s embodied selves, this presentation seeks to demonstrate the centrality of social, not only military or political processes for understanding contemporary conflicts  and highlight the importance of kinship, affective, and moral ties in the making of contemporary revolutions/guerrilla enclaves.

Ina Zharkevich is a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Oxford University, whose current research focuses on the impact of wide-scale outmigration from Nepal on kinship, gender, and generational relations in the communities of origin. Ina received her doctorate in Development Studies in 2014 (Univeristy of Oxford). Drawing on long-term ethnographic fieldwork in the former Maoist heartland of Nepal, Ina’s doctoral project explored processes of norm-remaking and social changed triggered by the Maoist insurgency in Nepal; Ina had also worked on ‘child-soldiers’ and young people’s mobilisation into the Maoist Movement of Nepal. 

Feb
15
5:15 pm17:15

From Colombia to Syria: 26 Years in Humanitarian Intervention by Raul Rosende (UN)

  • Wharton Room, All Souls College OX1 4AL

Raúl Rosende will be in conversation with Dr Annette Idler on his 26 years of facilitating negotiations between authorities and non-state armed groups and verification and monitoring of ceasefires. Before his current posting in Colombia, Raúl Rosende was the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for northern Syria between 2014 and 2016; the Head of Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), in Damas, Syria (2013-2014) and in Yemen (2010-2013). From 2008 to 2010 he was the UNDP Peace Advisor in Palestine, and between 2008 and 2010 led OCHA in Colombia, where he had previously served as advisor to the Resident Coordinator and Program Coordinator. He has also worked on UN missions in Afghanistan and Guatemala.

 

Feb
15
11:00 am11:00

Morality and Modern War

In the light of the conviction of Sergeant A. Blackman  (2013) and the investigation of an SAS non-commissioned officer Colin Maclachlan (October 2016) for an alleged ‘mercy killing’ in Iraq, this study day explores the morally-ambiguous battlefield. The law is clear that ‘mercy killing’ is not a recognised concept, although ‘diminished responsibility’ is well-established. The armed forces of the United Kingdom and other Western countries are also clear that the Law of Armed Conflict and the Geneva Conventions apply to all situations of combat. Yet the moral ambiguity of the battlefield, an extreme arena, reappears through time. Can this contradiction between the law and the soldier’s experience be resolved?

Feb
14
1:00 pm13:00

In danger for merely existing – LGBTI in conflict, displacement and peacebuilding by Dr Henri Myrttinen

  • Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Manor Road Oxford OX1 3UQ

A light sandwich lunch is provided for seminar participants at 12:50.

Peacebuilding, in its essence, is about building more inclusive and less violent societies, with gender often being one of the most salient factors impacting on social exclusion. Questions of sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) that do not fall into the binary categories of women and men or do not adhere to heterosexual norms have been largely absent from gender and peacebuilding research, policy and programming. 

Based on research conducted in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Colombia, Lebanon and Nepal, the presentation explores how identifying – or being identified by others – as belonging to a sexual and gender minority (SGM), often adds additional layers of vulnerability, precariousness and danger to lives already under threat. While SGM often live in precarious conditions in peacetime, these are exacerbated in situations of violent conflict and displacement. As with other gendered vulnerabilities and power imbalances, pre-existing conditions of discrimination and exclusion are heightened and made more acute in these situations. Due to dominant social norms of exclusion, which can be mobilised in times of conflict and used strategically by conflict actors, SGM are often placed in particular positions of vulnerability. Furthermore, SGM are likely to face exclusion, discrimination and violence not only from armed conflict actors but also from civilians, including close family members. Neither the end of the violent conflict nor an escape from a conflict zone automatically guarantee an end to these dynamics or the multiple dangers that they face. 

Dr Henri Myrttinen, Head of Gender and Peacebuilding at International Alert, has over 15 years of experience working on gender, conflict and peacebuilding, with a particular focus on masculinities. He has worked extensively in different conflict-affected contexts and has also published numerous papers and chapters on various aspects of gender and conflict. He holds a Ph.D. in Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, with a thesis on masculinities and violence in Timor-Leste.  

Feb
8
5:15 pm17:15

New Work in Progress: Haley Flagg, Ursula Westwood and Ilya Berkovich

  • Wharton Room, All Souls College Oxford, OX1 4AL

This seminar will feature three speakers:

  • Haley Flagg (St Andrews) Making the System Work: Incorporating Cultural Values in the formation of Roman Auxiliary Cavalry
  • Ursula Westwood (Oxford) “Not only in Judaea”: Josephus on Roman civil war in the Jewish War
  • Ilya Berkovich (Ludwig Maximilians Universität Munich) Conscription and Marriage in the Army of Joseph II

 

Feb
7
1:00 pm13:00

The Global Appeal of ISIS by Dr Lydia Wilson

  • Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Manor Road Oxford OX1 3UQ

A light sandwich lunch is provided for seminar participants at 12:50.

Over 100 countries worldwide have seen citizens go to join ISIS, mostly fighters, but also wives, single women and families. Two and a half years after the Caliphate was declared by self-proclaimed Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (June 2014), the Islamic State is on the defensive militarily, but the fundamental appeal of an Islamic utopia on earth, free of Western decadence, run according to God’s own law, has not diminished. This talk uses extensive interviewing with former ISIS fighters from Iraq to Kosovo to illustrate just what these drivers are, in the process illustrating what is resonating from the propaganda of the Islamic State, and shows that this threat is not going away: we are simply not dealing with the root causes, which are inextricably linked with issues of identity and belonging far more than the Islamist theology which dominates Western analysis.

Lydia Wilson is a Research Fellow at the Centre for the Resolution of Intractable Conflict, Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford, a Senior Fellow and Field Director at Artis International, and holds affiliated research positions at the University of Cambridge and City University New York. Current research involves extensive fieldwork in the Middle East exploring motivations and pathways to violence, interviewing a range of those involved in conflicts. Before coming to Oxford, Lydia was a Mellon Fellow at City University New York’s Graduate Center, collaborating on a project for the study of religion. Lydia holds a PhD in medieval Arabic philosophy, an MPhil in History and Philosophy of Science and a BA in Natural Sciences, all from the University of Cambridge. She edits the Cambridge Literary Review and writes journalism as well as academic articles. A book on ISIS, based on experiences in the field in Iraq, is in preparation. 

Feb
3
9:00 am09:00

Working Group: Coercive Radicalization: Charismatic Authority and the Internal Strategies of ISIS and the Lord’s Resistance Army by Eleanor Beevor (DPhil, Anthropology)

  • Andrew Pitt Room, Pembroke College OX1 1DW

A framework for understanding Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS)’s apocalyptic theology as an internal strategy to “coercively radicalize” its captive subjects is presented, by comparison to the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), which shares key stages of captive indoctrination with ISIS. A violent experience of “entry,” religious rules learned in an “assimilation” process, and millenarian “grand narratives” framing violence as purification, are examined. These stages construct an image of group leaders as divinely endowed with spiritual knowledge and access (i.e., charismatic authority). This can create a sense of dependency on the leaders and their instructions, potentially motivating violent and altruistic behavior from initially unwilling subjects.

If you would like to attend the working group meetings and receive the discussion papers, or for more information about the group, please contact nicholas.barker@nuffield.ox.ac.uk

Feb
1
5:15 pm17:15

The Roles of Civil Resistance in Contemporary Conflicts by Sir Adam Roberts and Dr John Gledhill

  • The Wharton Room

In this seminar Sir Adam Roberts and Prof John Gledhill will be in conversation with Dr Annette Idler on the roles of civil resistance in contemporary conflicts. They will discuss conceptual and methodological questions and, drawing on case studies from across the globe, explore three themes: “Civil Resistance and Peacemaking”, “From Nonviolence to Violence”, and “From Violence to Nonviolence”.

 Adam Roberts is Senior Research Fellow of the Centre for International Studies in Oxford University's Department of Politics and International Relations. He is also Emeritus Professor of International Relations at Oxford University, and Emeritus Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford.

 John Gledhill is Associate Professor of Global Governance in the Oxford Department of International Development, and a Fellow of St. Cross College.

 

Jan
31
1:00 pm13:00

Beyond the Iraq Inquiry: fresh perspectives on Britain’s difficult war by Brigadier (rtd) Ben Barry

  • Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Manor Road Oxford OX1 3UQ

Britain's war in Iraq remains controversial, particularly in regards to the difficult post-conflict stabilisation of Basra and southern Iraq. In 2010 the British Army produced its own internal analysis of these operations and their lessons. The document was the result of a year's unconstrained investigation, and its findings included some challenging and uncomfortable assessments. 

The report was not made publicly available at the time. Following publication of the independent Iraq Inquiry, however, the report was declassified. 
The author of the report, Ben Barry, will explain how the analysis was conducted and identify the report’s main conclusions. He will assess the extent to which the hard lessons of Basra were applied by British forces in Afghanistan, and their influence on the subsequent evolution of the British Army. From this perspective he will critically analyse the report by Sir John Chilcot's Iraq Inquiry, look at its strengths and weaknesses, and outline the implications of both reports for UK defence.

Ben Barry left the British Army in October 2010. A graduate of Sandhurst, the Army Staff College, the joint Higher Command and Staff Course and the Royal College of Defence Studies. An infantry officer, he has commanded troops at every rank from Lieutenant to Brigadier and in every British infantry role apart from parachute. Regimental experience includes three Northern Ireland tours, two in intelligence appointments, Cold War soldiering in Germany and Berlin, and duties in France, Portugal, Canada and Hong Kong. He wrote 'A Cold War; Frontline Operations in Bosnia' describing his battalion's operational tour under both UN and NATO flags. He subsequently commanded a NATO brigade in Bosnia. He has instructed at the Rifle Depot, the School of Infantry and Shrivenham and has led Defence Diplomacy work in NATO countries, Central Asia and the Middle East. Staff appointments have mainly been in the MOD, including the commitments staff, Director General Staff, Director Force Development; responsible for assessing future capabilities across the UK forces, and finally as Head of MOD Streamlining; designing and then implementing reduction and rationalisation of the MOD. His final appointment was leading the British Army's analysis of the lessons of the Iraq campaign.

 

Jan
24
1:00 pm13:00

Boko Haram brides and child conscripts: an exploratory study of the plight of teenage and young adult victims of the insurgency in the north-east of Nigeria by Dr Aliyu Musa

  • Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Manor Road Oxford OX1 3UQ

This paper seeks to explore and provoke discussions on the plight of teenage and young adult victims of the Boko Haram conflict in the north-east of Nigeria who are hardly talked about. A recent report suggests that the notorious Boko Haram insurgents abducted more than more 2000 people in the six-year insurgency during raids in towns and villages (and schools and homes) in the flashpoint states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. Following recent studies and analysis of data, this paper, therefore, argues that: many of the raids happened before the April 2014 attack on a Chibok school in Borno State, where more than 270 schoolgirls were abducted; in violent raids in the towns of Buni Yadi, Mamudo, Baga and Doron Baga the insurgents wounded, killed or kidnapped dozens of young men and woman; most of the victims were eventually forced to become insurgent brides or slaves (female victims) or foot soldiers (male conscripts); some of the victims who escaped or were eventually rescued or captured suffered double victimisation in the hands of security or civilians officials in custody or IDP (internally displaced people’s) camps; and the Nigerian government is either disinterested in or does not understand the plights of these victims. This paper, thus, concludes that unless efforts are made to understand and address the circumstances of these victims many of them will continue to suffer double victimisation while the perpetrators of the atrocities escape justice.

Dr Aliyu Musa is an Independent Researcher and sessional tutor in Media and Journalism at Coventry University, UK. He is also commentator and regular contributor to discus­sions on politics and governance as well as conflict and conflict resolution, and contributes to panel discussions and live programmes on radio and TV outlets such as Al-Jazeera. He holds a Ph.D. in War and Peace Studies from the University of Liverpool, UK. He is the author of a forthcoming book, Boko Haram Insurgency and Sub-state Conflict Contagion in the Chad Basin: A Framework for Conflict Analysis and Resolution.

Jan
18
1:15 pm13:15

Measuring Terrorism, Understanding Risk? Analysing Violent Non-state Groups through the Lens of Indices by Steve Killelea

  • The Old Library

In 2007 Steve founded the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), an international think tank dedicated to building a greater understanding of the interconnection between business, peace and economics with particular emphasis on the economic benefits of peace. In this seminar, he will be “in conversation” with Dr Annette Idler on how indices such as the Global Terrorism Index and the Global Peace Index and data on Peace and Corruption or the Economic Cost of Violence help or hinder understand the security risks arising from violent non-state groups. 

Jan
17
1:00 pm13:00

Technology and the Rise of Boundless Warfare by Professor David Galbreath

  • Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Manor Road Oxford OX1 3UQ

A light sandwich lunch is provided for seminar participants at 12:50.

War and technology are codetermined, much in the way that Prussian military theorist Carl von Clausewitz said of war and politics. Our world is full of technologies that are changing society as we know it. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have done more than anything to change how we communicate and build (and break) communities. The opportunities that this presents is evident as we can buy anywhere goods sold anywhere. At the same time, the challenges are also as evident with increased levels of surveillance, identity theft, and rise of ‘digital isolation’.

What this means for society is being debated, discussed and framed as we think. Yet, what this means for war, how it impacts our social and political understanding of it, is less understood. Modern and emergent warfare increasingly takes place in an environment that challenges traditional notions of space, time and information. Militaries can strike anywhere their enemies anywhere. The levels of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance go beyond anything we could have imagined even at the end of the Cold War.

As a result, war is changing. While militaries seek to make space obsolete, others seek to ‘bridge the gap’, like insurgents avoiding the punishment only to strike through attrition. While some can strike anywhere and anytime, others seek to use time as a weapon itself, posing different problems to different combatants. While security services have more information than ever before, they also battle to restrict, control and interpret in order to make their identities and actions diffuse and unrecognisable, such as diffuse cyber attacks from an unknown source.

This change in space, time and information suggests that war is being changed by technology to become increasingly fought across traditional boundaries. In doing so, it has the potential to challenge the relationship between the military, state and society.

David Galbreath is Professor of International Security and Director of the Centre for War and Technology at the University of Bath. He is also the Conflict Theme Fellow for the Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security (Global Uncertainties Programme) funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Economic and Social Research Council. He is currently working on a research fellowship funded by the AHRC and ESRC on how technology is shaping emergent warfare, relying on Science and Technology Studies, Philosophy and War Studies approaches. He has recently finished ESRC and ESPRC projects on how European militaries change and prior to this an ESRC-DSTL project on how technological innovation challenges arms control regimes. He is an Associate Editor for the European Journal of International Security and former Editor-in-Chief for Defence Studies (2014-2016) and European Security (2009-2015). His next book is the Routledge Handbook for Defence Studies (edited with John Deni, published in 2017).

Nov
29
1:00 pm13:00

Tracing the Ideology in an Ideological Struggle: What are the Niger Delta Militant Conflicts about? by Olanshile Akintola

  • Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Manor Road Oxford OX1 3UQ

The presentation seeks to shine light on the complicated Niger Delta conflict story. Building on extensive Niger Delta literature, it explores militant narratives used to justify actions taken by non-state actors against the state. More specifically, it focuses on the ideological rationale, or lack thereof, used by these groups to explain away actions.

A light sandwich lunch is provided for seminar participants at 12:50.