"Arab Wars: A Tale of State Survival & Resurgence" by Dr Florence Gaub
Oct
31
1:00pm 1:00pm

"Arab Wars: A Tale of State Survival & Resurgence" by Dr Florence Gaub

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

War and conflict are a common feature of the Arab world: more than seven interstate wars, eight intra-state conflicts, at least ten counterinsurgency operations and uncountable terrorist incidents have shaken the region since World War II. All welcome to hear Dr Florence Gaub speak more on the subject...

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'The fight against Da’esh in Iraq and Syria' by Major General Rupert Jones
Nov
22
5:00pm 5:00pm

'The fight against Da’esh in Iraq and Syria' by Major General Rupert Jones

Major General Rupert Jones has just returned from 13 months based in Baghdad as the Deputy Commander of the US-led coalition supporting partner forces to defeat Da’esh in Iraq and Syria.  The period coincided with the liberation of Mosul and the fight to retake Da’esh’s self-proclaimed capital in Raqqah.  He will provide an insight into the nature of the campaign; the operational complexities of operating in close proximity to Syrian Regime, Russian, and Iranian forces; prospects for the future; the role the coalition and British forces are playing; and lessons for future warfighting and partner-led operations.  

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'Regional opportunities & Challenges facing the West in the Middle East' by Jonathan Paris
Nov
28
1:00pm 1:00pm

'Regional opportunities & Challenges facing the West in the Middle East' by Jonathan Paris

Regional opportunities & Challenges facing the West in the Middle East: Post- Isis Syria and Iraq, Iranian ascendancy in the region, and the reaction of the US, UK and their allies in the region. Prospects for Saudi Arabian reform and leadership of the Arab world...

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'Giving up the Gun: Disengaging from Politically Motivated Violence in Northern Ireland' by Professor Neil Ferguson
Oct
17
1:00pm 1:00pm

'Giving up the Gun: Disengaging from Politically Motivated Violence in Northern Ireland' by Professor Neil Ferguson

  • Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building 5 (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

This presentation explores the processes involved in leaving social movements or disengaging from terrorist activities by providing an analysis of transformation away from politically motivated violence towards a civilian non-military role as part of the wider Northern Irish peace process amongst Loyalist and Republican paramilitary groups.

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Pacification and Counter Insurgency in Historical Perspective
Oct
4
8:30am 8:30am

Pacification and Counter Insurgency in Historical Perspective

  • All Soul's College, University of Oxford (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

This one-day conference assesses whether the current terminology helps or hinders analysis. It will bring together historians and political scientists to foster a more holistic dialogue, and it will widen the spatial and temporal boundaries to explore these phenomena from late Roman antiquity through the wars of the French revolution, the era of imperial acquisition, twentieth-century decolonization, and modern wars of liberal intervention...

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Conflict Research and Policy Relevance: A Round-table Discussion
Sep
20
4:00pm 4:00pm

Conflict Research and Policy Relevance: A Round-table Discussion

  • Lecture Theatre, Nuffield College (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

How can academic research influence the policy-making process? Should academics be concerned about making their research relevant to contemporary problems of terrorism, political violence and war?

The purpose of this round-table discussion is to engage in these ongoing debates about the appropriate relationship between the academic and policy-making worlds... 

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Conflict Research Society Annual Conference 2017: ENDING VIOLENCE IN TURBULENT TIMES: Exploring the Conflict, Peace and Violence Nexus
Sep
18
to Sep 19

Conflict Research Society Annual Conference 2017: ENDING VIOLENCE IN TURBULENT TIMES: Exploring the Conflict, Peace and Violence Nexus

  • Pembroke College, Oxford (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

ONFLICT RESEARCH SOCIETY

Annual Conference, 2017

ENDING VIOLENCE IN TURBULENT TIMES:
Exploring the Conflict, Peace and Violence Nexus

Changing Character of War Programme
Pembroke College
University of Oxford
September 18-19, 2017

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Jul
10
1:00pm 1:00pm

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

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. 

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Veteran Dialogue and the Future of War
Jun
13
8:45am 8:45am

Veteran Dialogue and the Future of War

This event is a two-day, panel-based workshop, devoted to the two themes of veteran/civilian dialogue and the future of warfare. The purpose of this workshop is to engage a broad audience of civilians, military personnel, academics and non-academics alike and encourage them to think more deeply about their moral relationship to these important and timely themes. The veteran dialogue portion of the workshop will focus on such broad themes as: soldier recruitment and the making of soldiers, the ethical experience of war, what we think society owes to veterans, veteran healthcare and compensation, moral injury, PTSD, spouse and family issues, and civil-military relations. The future of war portion of the workshop will focus on such broad themes as: emerging technologies such as fully autonomous weapons, soldier enhancement, surveillance and meta-data; counter-terrorism and institutional reform, the ‘individualization’ of war, war and poverty, and emerging conceptual frameworks for military tactics and strategy.    

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Global Peace Index 2017 Launch Event
Jun
7
7:30pm 7:30pm

Global Peace Index 2017 Launch Event

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.

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May
30
7:30pm 7:30pm

The Convergence of Conflict & Organised Crime

Dr Annette Idler will be presenting the topic: 'The Convergence of Conflict & Organised Crime' for the Oxford International Relations Society. 


There will be a complimentary drinks reception after the talk, plus the opportunity to have dinner with Dr Idler before. If you wish to have dinner with the speaker, please follow the link below: https://goo.gl/forms/hos3O6xxtulXCxI92 

This event is FREE for members and £3 for non-members, with a special offer of £20 for lifetime membership of the Society available for a limited time.

Dr Idler is the Director of Studies of the Changing Character of War Programme, Senior Research Fellow at Pembroke College, and Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford University. She is also Research Associate at the Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding, Graduate Institute Geneva. Her research interests lie at the interface of security, conflict and transnational organised crime and she has conducted extensive fieldwork in the war-torn and crisis-affected borderlands of Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela, analysing the relationships among rebels, criminals and paramilitary groups. Alongside her experience of working for the UNDP’s Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery and the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, she is regularly invited to give expert briefings to governments and international organisations including the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, the UN Department of Political Affairs and EUROPOL, among others.
 

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May
25
12:00pm12:00pm

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

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.

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May
16
1:00pm 1:00pm

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

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. 

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

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

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. 

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May
9
1:00pm 1:00pm

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

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

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

War or Peace? Changing the Paradigm

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.

 

 

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Apr
25
1:00pm 1:00pm

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

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.

 

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Mar
7
1:00pm 1:00pm

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

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.

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Mar
6
10:30am10:30am

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.

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Mar
1
5:15pm 5:15pm

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.

 

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Feb
28
1:00pm 1:00pm

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 (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

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.

 

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