Why the West Isn't Winning. And What We Must Do About It by Sean McFate
Oct
22
1:00 PM13:00

Why the West Isn't Winning. And What We Must Do About It by Sean McFate

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

Tuesday Lunchtime Seminar Series
Michaelmas Term 2019: Week 2

Seminars at 1pm, Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Oxford. A light sandwich lunch is served at 12.45pm. All are welcome.


Goliath: Why the West Isn't Winning. And What We Must Do About It

Dr Sean McFate

Everything you think you know about war is wrong. We are in the midst of an age of conflict: global terrorism, Russia's resurgence and China's rise, international criminal empires, climate change and dwindling natural resources. The stakes are high, and we are dangerously unprepared. The West is playing the same old war games, but the enemy has changed the rules. In this new age of war: technology will not save us, victory will belong to the cunning, not the strong, plausible deniability is more potent than firepower, corporations, mercenaries, and rogue states have more power than nation states, and loyalty will sit with the highest bidder. Learn how to triumph in the coming age of conflict in ten new rules. Adapt and we can prevail. Fail, and size and strength won't protect us.

Copies of Sean’s book will be available to purchase.

Dr Sean McFate is a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council and a professor of strategy at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and the National Defense University in Washington DC. Additionally, he serves as an Advisor to Oxford University’s Centre for Technology and Global Affairs. McFate’s career began as a paratrooper and officer in the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, and then he became a private military contractor. His newest book is The New Rules of War (US version) and GOLIATH: Why the West Isn't Winning. And What We Must Do About It. (UK version), which has been called “The Freakonomics of modern warfare.” It was picked by The Times and The London Evening Standard for their books of the summer 2019. McFate also writes fiction based on his real world experiences as a private military contractor. McFate holds a BA from Brown University, MPP from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and a Ph.D. in international relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). 

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How AI could change the foundational assumptions of international relations by Stuart Armstrong
Oct
29
1:00 PM13:00

How AI could change the foundational assumptions of international relations by Stuart Armstrong

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

Tuesday Lunchtime Seminar Series
Michaelmas Term 2019: Week 3

Seminars at 1pm, Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Oxford. A light sandwich lunch is served at 12.45pm. All are welcome.


How AI could change the foundational assumptions of international relations

Dr Stuart Armstrong

"Realism" in international relations is constructed from past experience of what is likely and what is possible in the world. AIs may change this sense of the possible tremendously - shifting both the ways that countries can compete and undermine each other, and the deals that might become possible. On top of that, AI itself will become a strategic asset - and target - of great value.

This talk will argue for why AI could become so powerful, sketch the dangers intrinsic to AI and to misuse of AI by bad actors, and talk about how the world could be transformed by these technologies.

Stuart Armstrong’s research at the Future of Humanity Institute centers on the safety and possibilities of Artificial Intelligence (AI), how to define the potential goals of AI and map humanity’s partially defined values into it, and the long term potential for intelligent life across the reachable universe. He has been working with people at FHI and other organizations, such as DeepMind, to formalize AI desiderata in general models so that AI designers can include these safety methods in their designs. His collaboration with DeepMind on “Interruptibility” has been mentioned in over 100 media articles.

Stuart Armstrong’s past research interests include comparing existential risks in general, including their probability and their interactions, anthropic probability (how the fact that we exist affects our probability estimates around that key fact), decision theories that are stable under self-reflection and anthropic considerations, negotiation theory and how to deal with uncertainty about your own preferences, computational biochemistry, fast ligand screening, parabolic geometry, and his Oxford D. Phil. was on the holonomy of projective and conformal Cartan geometries.

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Coercion without war? Chinese maritime paramilitary and constabulary activities and the fallacy of the grey zone by Alessio Patalano
Nov
5
1:00 PM13:00

Coercion without war? Chinese maritime paramilitary and constabulary activities and the fallacy of the grey zone by Alessio Patalano

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

Tuesday Lunchtime Seminar Series
Michaelmas Term 2019: Week 4

Seminars at 1pm, Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Oxford. A light sandwich lunch is served at 12.45pm. All are welcome.


Coercion without war? Chinese maritime paramilitary and constabulary activities and the fallacy of the grey zone

Dr Alessio Patalano, KCL

Is it possible to sustain maritime coercion without it escalating into outright war? The paper reviews the posture and activities of the Chinese coast guard and maritime militias to address this question. In so doing, it challenges the widespread notion in the literature that Chinese maritime coercion in the East and South China Seas (ESCS) is best described as a grey zone strategy. The ‘grey zone’ notion uncritically assumes that the use of force is designed to remain below the threshold of war. A review of Chinese maritime activities suggests instead that Beijing's claims to control ‘rights and interests’ are a function of a broader strategic intention to project military power within and beyond the confines of the ESCS, whilst preventing others to do the same. Thus, the ability for coercion to remain beneath there threshold depends on the degree to which other actors are willing to accept the cumulative effects of changes to strategic balance brought about by Chinese paramilitary and constabulary activities. Within this context, Chinese paramilitary and constabulary activities increase long-term strategic competition and with it, the risk of war.    

Dr Patalano is Reader in East Asian Warfare and Security at the Department of War Studies (DWS), King’s College London (KCL). He specialises in maritime strategy and doctrine, Japanese military history and strategy, East Asian Security, and Italian defence policy. Dr Patalano is currently visiting professor at the Japan Maritime Command and Staff College (JMCSC). His monograph Post-war Japan as a Seapower: Imperial Legacy, Wartime Experience, and the Making of a Navy (Bloomsbury 2015) received international recognition, is currently used for teaching purposes at the Japanese staff college, and is being translated in Mandarin. Dr Patalano’s current research focuses on the impact of strategic geography on Indo-Pacific security dynamics, and is writing a new study of the Japanese post-war submarine rearmament.

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Political participation and marginality in conflict by Daire McGill
Nov
12
1:00 PM13:00

Political participation and marginality in conflict by Daire McGill

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

Tuesday Lunchtime Seminar Series
Michaelmas Term 2019: Week 5

Seminars at 1pm, Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Oxford. A light sandwich lunch is served at 12.45pm. All are welcome.


Political participation and marginality in conflict

Dr Daire McGill, CCW

Daire McGill’s research is primarily focussed on the contribution of local communities in the Colombian-Venezuelan border region to creating contextually appropriate security-related policies and practices.  This examines both how security is understood and solutions proposed at the local level, and the extent to which local knowledges influence the overall security architecture through interactions at municipal, departmental, and national level. A second research strand is on the changing political and security perceptions of Venezuelan citizens over the last fifteen years.

Dáire holds a PhD from the Transitional Justice Institute at Ulster University, having previously received a BA in Latin American Studies from the University of Liverpool and an MSc in Globalisation and Development from the University of London.  His PhD operationalised the theoretical framework of Transformative Justice in a Structural Violence Reduction Matrix (SVRM), an analytical tool to evaluate the transformative potential of public policy initiatives – across their diagnostic, process, and outcome dimensions - undertaken in transitional contexts.  The SVRM was applied to rural initiatives in Colombia, providing empirical insights into the characteristics necessary for initiatives to address structural violence as well as the weaknesses of transitional justice approaches.

His work has appeared most recently in publications of the International State Crime Initiative and the Routledge Transitional Justice series.

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Understanding the China Threat by Bradley Thayer and Lianchao Han
Nov
19
1:00 PM13:00

Understanding the China Threat by Bradley Thayer and Lianchao Han

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

Tuesday Lunchtime Seminar Series
Michaelmas Term 2019: Week 6

Seminars at 1pm, Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Oxford. A light sandwich lunch is served at 12.45pm. All are welcome.


Understanding the China Threat

Bradley Thayer (University of texas San Antonio) and Lianchao Han (Understanding the China Threat)

Despite the importance of the worsening Sino-American relationship, the nature and scope of the threat remain poorly defined.  Understanding the future of the Sino-American confrontation requires comprehending why China and the United States possess motivations for conflict.  To address this, we explain the two causes of the Sino-American confrontation.  First, the change in the balance of power in China’s favor.  Second, the conflicting ideologies of the two states.  We submit that the relationship is likely to become much worse due to increasing security competition.

Bradley A. Thayer is Professor of Political Science at the University of Texas San Antonio and is the co-author of How China Sees the World: Han-Centrism and the Balance of Power in International Politics. Lianchao Han is vice president of Citizen Power Initiatives for China. After the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989, Dr. Han was one of the founders of the Independent Federation of Chinese Students and Scholars. He worked in the U.S. Senate for 12 years, as legislative counsel and policy director for three Senators.

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Lawrence of Arabia on War: Ideas, Utilisation and Exploitation
Oct
16
5:15 PM17:15

Lawrence of Arabia on War: Ideas, Utilisation and Exploitation

Dr Rob Johnson, CCW, Oxford

Lawrence of Arabia on War: Ideas, Utilisation and Exploitation

This is a critical military appraisal of T.E. Lawrence’s ideas on war, examining his guerrilla campaign and his theories on strategy, juxtaposed against the operations conducted by the Ottoman Empire and those of the Allied army in Palestine. It sets out the strategic and political context of his thinking, contrasting these with Lawrence’s understanding of the nature of war, and how he conceived of strategic success beyond the tactical activities of insurgents. This work traces the evolution of Lawrence’s ideas about guerrilla warfare, from theoretical beginnings to hard-won experience. It concludes with a brief survey of how Lawrence has been used by his successors, not least by military personnel in countering insurgency and by those seeking to celebrate his achievements as a heroic champion of liberation.

Dr Rob Johnson is the Director of the Changing Character of War (CCW) Research Centre at the University of Oxford and Senior Research Fellow of Pembroke. His primary research interests are in the history of strategy and war, and their contemporary applications. Amongst his historical works, he has written True to Their Salt (Hurst and OUP, 2017) on partnering local forces; The Great War and the Middle East (OUP, 2016); and co- edited, with Dr James Kitchen, a new international study entitled The Great War in the Middle East (Routledge, 2018). Over the last twenty years, he has written on several other conflicts and internal security operations in Asia, Africa, and Europe in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. His current research is a new study of Anglo-American strategic decision-making in the two world wars. However, the subject of this seminar, appropriate to his return to All Souls, is the recently completed book on T.E. Lawrence’s ideas on war.

 

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The Changing Grammar of War: Countering Hybrid and Grey Zone Coercion at the Strategic Level by Dr Rob Johnson
Oct
15
1:00 PM13:00

The Changing Grammar of War: Countering Hybrid and Grey Zone Coercion at the Strategic Level by Dr Rob Johnson

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

Tuesday Lunchtime Seminar Series
Michaelmas Term 2019: Week 1

Seminars at 1pm, Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Oxford. A light sandwich lunch is served at 12.45pm. All are welcome.


The Changing Grammar of War: Countering Hybrid and Grey Zone Coercion at the Strategic Level

Dr Rob Johnson, CCW

Dr Johnson examines the function of strategy against the phenomenon of hybrid confrontation and coercion, that is, situations where there is aggression and military threat but where hostilities have not been declared. Specifically, it analyses the execution of hybrid strategy and it counter-strategies. First, it evaluates the etymology of the term, the anxieties that it has caused in the West, and its failures or limitations. Second, it examines the value of hybrid strategy, and lays out the counter-strategy, mapping these against the utility of force. Third, it examines some approaches to the use of hybrid warfare strategy by states and non-state actors. It concludes with a balance sheet of the advantages, risks, and costs of hybrid strategy, and how states are likely to utilise the approach in the near future. The paper will appeal to those seeking clarity on how to manage the 'grey zone', understanding of coercive diplomacy, and the strategic options open to those facing confrontation. 

Dr Rob Johnson is the Director of the Changing Character of War (CCW) Research Centre at the University of Oxford ( www.ccw.ox.ac.uk). His primary research interests are in the history of strategy and war, and their contemporary applications, and he is prominent within professional military education across NATO. He is author True to Their Salt (2017) on partnering, The Great War and the Middle East (2016), and co-editor of At the End of Military Intervention (2015) and Before Military Intervention (2018), as well as several other works on strategy and armed conflicts in the Middle East, Asia and Europe. His leadership of CCW emphasizes the value of blending ideas, theory, and practice in current strategic and security policy. The new initiatives he leads this year include Artificial Intelligence in Forecasting, and Strategic Decision-Making, and Strategic Policy Simulation based on the traditions of Kriegspiel. He now leads the new CCW initiative on professional education in defence and security in London and in Washington DC. 

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Conflict, Crime and Illicits Flows
Jun
4
1:30 PM13:30

Conflict, Crime and Illicits Flows

Tuesday 4 June 2019
13:30 - 15:00

Blavatnik School of Government
Woodstock Road
OX2 6GG

In this lunchtime event, Jean-Luc Lemahieu, Director of the Division for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs (DPA) of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), will discuss how illicit flows are undermining global security. Drawing on his own field experience, he will outline how the illicit drug trade has been interlinked with armed conflict and crime in regions such as Afghanistan and Myanmar, and what policies have failed or succeeded in tackling this challenge.

This event will be chaired by Dr Annette Idler and is co-hosted with the Blavatnik School of Government.

Free sandwiches will be provided.

Mr Lemahieu was appointed Director of the DPA at the UNODC in December 2013. Before taking up this position in Vienna, he gained 20 years of field experience, serving in various countries challenged by political economies heavily dependent on drug cultivation, including Afghanistan and Myanmar, and in transit regions such as Central Asia and the Caribbean. His first appointment with the United Nations dates back to 1990, as a Junior Professional Officer with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) assigned to the Republic of Korea. Mr Lemahieu is a licensed jurist with a postgraduate degree in international law.

Open to all, registration required - Please register via the Blavatnik School of Government website

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Annual Lecture with Lord Peter Ricketts:  The Lost Art of Strategic Thinking
May
29
5:00 PM17:00

Annual Lecture with Lord Peter Ricketts: The Lost Art of Strategic Thinking

CCW Annual Lecture 2019
The Lost Art of Strategic Thinking

 Lord Peter Ricketts

Pichette Auditorium, Pembroke College
Wednesday 29 May
Lecture at 5pm, following by a drinks reception
All welcome, no need to book

The talk will explore why modern governments find it so hard to make grand strategic choices.  It will give a practitioner's insight into the forces which pull political leaders towards short-term crisis management and consider whether the nature of democratic politics in a digital age is a constraint on longer-term policymaking. It will make the case for re-learning the art of strategic thinking as Britain and other Western countries face the need to re-think the basic assumptions of their national security policies in a world of great-power competition in which the international security institutions are more contested than at any time since the post-war period.

Lord Ricketts was a British diplomat for 40 years. In the final stage of his career, Peter served as Permanent Under Secretary at the FCO 2006-10, and as Britain’s first National Security Adviser from 2010-12. In that capacity he established the National Security Council, and oversaw the 2010 National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review. He was Ambassador to France 2012-16. Earlier in his public service, Lord Ricketts specialised in security and crisis management issues. He served twice in the UK Delegation to NATO, in the 1970s and again as Permanent Representative from 2003-6. He was Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee, and Political Director in the Foreign Office from 2001-3, dealing with policy on the Afghanistan and Iraq interventions, and the 9/11 terrorist attacks. After retirement, he was appointed a cross-bench member of the House of Lords (=non-political) and divides his time between business activities (including as a Strategic Adviser to Lockheed Martin UK) and public policy work. He is a Visiting Professor in the War Studies Dept of King’s College London, and a Senior Associate Fellow of the Royal United Services Institute. Among his charitable activities, he is Chairman of the Normandy Memorial Trust, charged with building a national memorial in France to all those who fell under British command during the Battle of Normandy in 1944.

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Security Ethics Workshop
May
29
12:00 PM12:00

Security Ethics Workshop

Moral Injury and Revisionist Just War Theory
Dr Jessie Kirkpatrick, George Mason
12.00 - 13.20

Prospects for Peace in the Cyber Domain
Dr George Lucas, US Naval Postgrad School
13.25-14.40

Extrication Morality
Dr Tony Coady, University of Melbourne
14.45-16.00

 

 Location: Radcliffe Humanities Building, 3rd Floor Lecture Room

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

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Information-psychological warfare in Russian security strategy by Katri Pynnöniemi
May
21
1:00 PM13:00

Information-psychological warfare in Russian security strategy by Katri Pynnöniemi

Tuesday Lunchtime Seminar Series
Trinity Term 2019: Week 4

Seminars at 1pm, Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Oxford. A light sandwich lunch is served at 12.40pm. All are welcome.


Information-psychological warfare in Russian security strategy

Katri Pynnöniemi, University of Helsinki

Information-psychological warfare comes in many disguises. In my talk I will present an analysis of assumptions underlying the contemporary Russian debate on information warfare. The focus is on research literature and other writings that can be thought of contributing to the formation of Russian security strategy.

Katri Pynnöniemi, Assistant Professor, University of Helsinki and National Defence University

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Conflict and Social Cohesion by Frances Stewart and Arnim Langer
May
14
1:00 PM13:00

Conflict and Social Cohesion by Frances Stewart and Arnim Langer

Tuesday Lunchtime Seminar Series
Trinity Term 2019: Week 3

Seminars at 1pm, Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Oxford. A light sandwich lunch is served at 12.40pm. All are welcome.


Conflict and Social Cohesion

Frances Stewart, Department of International Development
Arnim Langer, Ku Leuven

The seminar will cover two major issues relating to horizontal inequalities:

o   The importance of perceptions of inequality as a source of action; and the relationship of perceptions of horizontal inequalities to ‘objective’ measures, including both socio-economic inequalities and political inequalities.

o   The relationship of horizontal inequalities and democracy. This will include a discussion of why and when one would expect such a relationship, in terms of both political and socio-economic inequalities, and some empirical evidence on the relationship

Arnim Langer is Director of the Centre for Research on Peace and Development (CRPD), Chair Holder of the UNESCO Chair in Sustainable Peacebuilding and Associate Professor of International Politics at KU Leuven. He is also associate researcher at the Oxford Department of International Development (ODID), Research Associate at the Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU) at the University of Cape Town (UCT) & Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the University of Heidelberg in Germany. He has published extensively on issues of ethnicity, horizontal inequality and conflict in a range of absolute top journals, including Political Analysis, African Affairs, World Development, Foreign Affairs, Democratization, Social Science Computer Review and Social Indicators Research.

Frances Stewart is emeritus professor of Development Economics, University of Oxford. She was Director of the Oxford Department of International Development (1993-2003) and the  Centre for Research on Inequality, Human Security and Ethnicity (2003-2010).  She has been an adviser to the UNDP’s Human Development Report since its inception in 1990. She was Chair of the United Nation’s Committee for Development Policy (2010-2012) and vice-chair of  the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) (2004-6). Her prime recent research interests are horizontal inequalities, conflict and human development. Among many publications, she is leading author of Horizontal Inequalities and Conflict: Understanding Group Violence in Multiethnic Societies (2008) and Advancing Human Development: Theory and Practice ((2018).

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Continuities in Russian foreign policy goals in the post-Soviet period: Dmitry Gorenburg
May
7
1:00 PM13:00

Continuities in Russian foreign policy goals in the post-Soviet period: Dmitry Gorenburg

Tuesday Lunchtime Seminar Series
Trinity Term 2019: Week 2

Seminars at 1pm, Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Oxford. A light sandwich lunch is served at 12.40pm. All are welcome.


Continuities in Russian foreign policy goals in the post-Soviet period

Dmitry Gorenburg, CNA

Since the Ukraine crisis, the dominant perspective on Russian foreign policy has come to emphasize its increasingly confrontational, even revanchist, nature. Experts have focused on discontinuities in Russian foreign policy either between the ostensibly more pro-Western Yeltsin presidency and the anti-Western Putin presidency or between the more cooperatively inclined early Putin (2000-2007) and the more confrontational late Putin (2007-present). Dmitry Gorenburg argues that Russian foreign policy preferences have been largely continuous since the early 1990s. These preferences have focused on the quest to restore Russia's great power status and maintain a zone of influence in states around its borders as a buffer against potential security threats. Throughout this period, Russian foreign policy has been neither revanchist nor expansionist in nature. However, perceptions of Russian foreign policy during this period among other powers and outside observers have changed markedly as a consequence of a gradual increase in the extent of Russian relative power vis a vis its neighbors and especially vis-a-vis Western powers.  

Dmitry Gorenburg is Senior Research Scientist at CNA, a non-profit think tank in the Washington, DC area. an expert on security issues in the former Soviet Union, Russian military reform, Russian foreign policy, and ethnic politics and identity. His current research projects focus on decision-making processes in the senior Russian leadership, Russian naval strategy, and Russian foreign policy media narratives. Gorenburg is author of "Nationalism for the Masses: Minority Ethnic Mobilization in the Russian Federation" (Cambridge University Press, 2003), and has been published in journals such as World Politics and Post-Soviet Affairs. In addition to his role at CNA, he currently serves as editor of Problems of Post-Communism and is an Associate of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. From 2009 to 2016, he edited the journal Russian Politics and Law. Gorenburg previously served as Executive Director of the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES). He received a B.A. in international relations from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University. He blogs on issues related to the Russian military at Russian Military Reform. He is a native Russian speaker.

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Book Launch: Borderland Battles
May
1
5:15 PM17:15

Book Launch: Borderland Battles

A book launch for Dr Annette Idler’s Borderland Battles: Violence, Crime and Governance at the Edges of Colombia's War

Wednesday 1st May 2019
5.15pm
Harold Lee Room, Pembroke College
A drinks Reception will follow

Annette Idler will discuss the findings of her timely new book, Borderland Battles: Violence, Crime, and Governance at the Edges of Colombia’s War, published by Oxford University Press.

Borderland Battles is based on extensive fieldwork: more than 600 interviews in and on the Colombia-Venezuela and Colombia-Ecuador border regions. Applying a "borderland lens" to security dynamics, her focus has been on the convergence of armed conflict and organised crime in these regions: how groups compete for territorial control, how they cooperate, and how they fill governance gaps by playing roles that states normally do. Dr. Idler’s work offers a more holistic and nuanced understanding of “people-centered security” than has been available so far. It has also given her detailed knowledge of the Colombia-Venezuela border zone, which is suffering important consequences of Venezuela’s crisis.

Dr. Idler's presentation will be followed by two discussants:
- Magali Alba Niño, Director of the Social Work Faculty, Simon Bolivar University Cúcuta, Colombia
- Prof Laurence Whitehead, Senior Research Fellow in Politics at Nuffield College, Oxford University

Following the presenter and discussants, there will be an open Q&A time to promote engaging discussion on the subject. 

The event is co-sponsored by Oxford University's Changing Character of War Centre, the Latin American Centre, the Centre for International Studies, and the Oxford Network of Peace Studies (OxPeace).

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From Borders to Borderlands: Lessons learnt from the Danish Demining Group Border Security Management experience in East Africa, Sahel and North Africa
Apr
30
1:00 PM13:00

From Borders to Borderlands: Lessons learnt from the Danish Demining Group Border Security Management experience in East Africa, Sahel and North Africa

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

Tuesday Lunchtime Seminar Series
Trinity Term 2019: Week 1

Seminars at 1pm, Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Oxford. A light sandwich lunch is served at 12.40pm. All are welcome.


From Borders to Borderlands: Lessons learnt from the Danish Demining Group Border Security Management experience in East Africa, Sahel and North Africa

Natasha Leite

Borderlands are often the space where the nexus between economic development, conflict, crime, politics and identity are at its most dynamic. Breaking the State-centric nature in which most organisations and country-structures operate, borderlands provide a significant challenge for engagement that has yet to be address in a meaningful way.  As agencies, organisations, donors have and still struggle with the complexities of borderlands beyond securitised approaches, this presentation will hopefully shed a few learnings from DDG’s decade of borderlands work in protracted conflict zones and share how, practically, we were able to move from a “border” to a “borderlands” lens.  This will be drawn from DDG’s work in the Uganda-Kenya-Somalia (Karamoja cluster and Mandera triangle); the Sahel (Liptako Gouma region) and the Tunisia-Libya border (Ben Guerdane, Dehiba, Zuwara, Nalut, and Wazin).

DDG’s approach to promoting stability and development in borderlands areas, like DDG’s overall approach is community-driven and protection-focused. It is important to acknowledge that in protracted conflict contexts, the central government and the Borderlanders tend to have very different perceptions of “borders”, their lived and historical experience. Furthermore, national governments usually lack the capacity and resources to effectively put in place mechanisms to facilitate cross-border and regional coordination to address security threats and promote holistic development. In these contexts particularly, there is an important space for external actors to promote local voices and solutions as well as to allow governments to better respond to communities’ needs.  

This presentation will focus on the main challenges for practitioners working in borderlands; main achievements/solutions during this last ten years in the three regions mentioned and finally, key lessons learnt and recommendations for future work.

About the speaker: As the regional technical lead for Security and Governance in East Africa and the Great Lakes for the Danish Refugee Council/Danish Demining Group, Natasha Leite guides and expands impact oriented programming. She provides technical guidance and support to country level project teams in violence reduction interventions and framework. Natasha Leite is a peacebuilding and rule of law professional offering a proven track record of fourteen years delivering results in Latin America, the Caribbean, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Pacific.

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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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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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