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

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

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

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

Call for papers

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Strategic Decision-Making and the Friction of Institutions

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

  • Offensive Cyber Operations: Grounds for War?

  • Information Warfare and Psychological Operations

  • The Enduring Human Dimensions of War

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

  • Terrorism: The Next Generation

  • Nuclear Security Scenarios

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

  • Guides to the legal and Ethical Parameters of War

  • Survival in chemical warfare

 

Paper and Panel Submissions

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

Conference Details

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

Contacts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dateline – Saigon © 2018 Good Neighbor Productions, Inc.

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

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

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

Tuesday Lunchtime Seminar Series
Michaelmas Term 2018: Week 8

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


The Constitution of Illicit Orders: Contested Sovereignty in Territorial Domains

Dr Christopher Lilyblad

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

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

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

CHANGE TO PROGRAMME: The African Way of War

  • Wharton Room All Souls College OX1 4AL (map)
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The African Way of War

LTC Jospeh Guido, US Army Africa Command

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

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

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

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

  • Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building (map)
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Tuesday Lunchtime Seminar Series
Michaelmas Term 2018: Week 7

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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Nov
13
3:00 PM15:00

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday Lunchtime Seminar Series
Michaelmas Term 2018: Week 6

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


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

Dr David Brenner

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

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

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

 

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

Killing in the Gray Zone

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

LTC Bob Underwood, US Army / University of Oxford

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

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

Panel Discussion on Military Stabilisation: Lessons and Trends

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

Hosts and Panellists

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

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

Dr Timothy Clack, CCW and St Peters College, Oxford

Dr Robert Johnson, CCW

Mr Jason Mosley, African Studies Centre, University of oxford

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


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

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

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

Tuesday Lunchtime Seminar Series
Michaelmas Term 2018: Week 5

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


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

Judith Gardner

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

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

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Responding to Sexual Violence in Conflict: Fighting Impunity in DRC by Chloe Lewis
Oct
30
1:00 PM13:00

Responding to Sexual Violence in Conflict: Fighting Impunity in DRC by Chloe Lewis

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

Tuesday Lunchtime Seminar Series
Michaelmas Term 2018: Week 4

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


Responding to Sexual Violence in Conflict: Fighting Impunity in DRC

Chloe Lewis, University of Oxford

Sexual violence in conflict once again captured the international spotlight earlier this month when gynaecologist, Dr Denis Mukwege, and human rights activist, Nadia Murad, were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Responding to sexual violence grew exponentially in importance on international policy agendas over the past decade, with clear implications for operational and programmatic practice across conflict-affected contexts. The adoption of UN Security Council resolution 1820 (2008) – establishing sexual violence as a threat to international peace and security – marked a clear turning point in this regard. While pervasive across many armed conflicts, testimonies of sexual violence documented in eastern DRC were an important focus of such institutional developments. In effect, these experiences became somewhat defining of the nature of the harm, its victims and its perpetrators. Focusing on the ‘male perpetrator,’ this paper first examines how, why, and with what effect gendered and raced imaginaries became encoded in international peace and security policy. Doing so, it emphasises the role of institutional imperatives and political dynamics in shaping international policy definitions of sexual violence in the Council. Subsequently, exploring efforts to fight impunity for sexual violence in DRC, presentation foregrounds how, and with what effect, this clearly delineated policy definition obscures more complex realities in DRC.

Chloé is completing her PhD in International Development at the University of Oxford where she is researching responses to sexual and gender-based violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Drawing on extensive research conducted at the United Headquarters in New York and in DRC between 2013-2017, her dissertation examines the development of internationally-driven responses to sexual violence, including at the level of the UN Security Council, and their operationalisation in DRC. In particular, Chloé critically explores how different facets of the response architecture ‘see’ and ‘engage’ with conflict-affected women and men, why, and to what effect. Committed to working across scholarship, policy, and practice, she particularly enjoys collaborating with policy- and operationally-orientated entities, including the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security, the World Bank Gender Innovation Lab, Search for Common Ground, and the UN Peacekeeping and Stabilization Mission in DRC (MONUSCO). Most of all, Chloé is looking forward to life after the PhD.

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The Changing Character of Conflict and the Work of the United Nations on Terrorism by Elizabeth Joyce
Oct
23
1:00 PM13:00

The Changing Character of Conflict and the Work of the United Nations on Terrorism by Elizabeth Joyce

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

Tuesday Lunchtime Seminar Series
Michaelmas Term 2018: Week 3

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


The Changing Character of Conflict and the Work of the United Nations on Terrorism

 Elizabeth Joyce, United Nations Security Council

Since 2014, the changing nature of threats to international peace and security, in particular, the threat posed by terrorism, has demanded a more rapid pace of change in policy-making at the United Nations and has, in part, led to wider institutional reform within the organization aimed at developing a One UN approach to counter-terrorism. In addition, increasingly complex terrorist threats have led to a broadening of the informational and analytical resources available to inform the work of the Security Council, following demands from its Member States for a more granular and dynamic analysis of threats; and a greater willingness on the part of the Security Council to entertain engagement with civil society and academia, aimed at increasing the impact of multilateral efforts on counter-terrorism.

Elizabeth Joyce is Chief for Asia-Pacific and the Americas at the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), a subsidiary organ of the United Nations Security Council. She has an M.Phil. in Latin American Studies and a D.Phil. in Politics from Oxford University, where she was a member of St. Peter’s College.

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From “All Art is Propaganda” to All Propaganda is Marketing by Alexander L Fattal
Oct
16
1:00 PM13:00

From “All Art is Propaganda” to All Propaganda is Marketing by Alexander L Fattal

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

Tuesday Lunchtime Seminar Series
Michaelmas Term 2018: Week 2

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


From “All Art is Propaganda” to All Propaganda is Marketing

Alexander L Fattal

As scholars from a range of disciplines have compellingly argued, the boundary between war and peace has grown more faint through the Global War on Terror. The concatenating series of global episodes that could happen most anywhere at nearly any time remediates the global scope of the Cold War, but in such a way that has enabled a more mutable cast of smaller non-state actors to proliferate. This scaling down toward the level of the individual has meant a shift in the methods of targeted persuasion to mobilize fighters, affect morale, and prompt defection. Increasingly the skills and knowledge from the world of consumer marketing is being brought to bear in these propaganda battles. This talk explores how branding’s ability to manage the visible and invisible dimension of the production of commodities is being applied to armed conflicts. I take up this issue through the prism of an ethnographic analysis of the Colombian government’s efforts to demobilize individual guerrillas from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and Army of National Liberation (ELN) between 2003 and 2016.

 Alexander L. Fattal is assistant professor in the Departments of Film-Video and Media Studies and Anthropology at Pennsylvania State University. He is author of Guerrilla Marketing: Counterinsurgency and Capitalism in Colombia (University of Chicago Press, 2018).

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War and Peace and Space
Oct
12
5:00 PM17:00

War and Peace and Space

Dr. Nikita S.W. Chiu

12th October 2018 5:00pm
Larkin Room, St. John's College
Reception immediately following

Jointly organised by:
The Changing Character of War Centre
OxPeace - Oxford Network of Peace Studies
The Centre for Technology and Global Affairs

At the peak of the Cold War, the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project demonstrated successful docking of US and Soviet modules in orbit. The project illustrates that international co-operation could be possible even under the most testing political environment. As the Outer Space Treaty which calls for the peaceful exploration and use of outer space celebrates its fiftieth anniversary, the international community witnesses mounting pressure on space resources and competitions in outer space. Along with recent debates on the potential establishment of a "Space Force" and UK's exploration of an alternative satellite system to rival Galileo, can peace in space be sustained or would it be rendered a mere romantic concept?

Dr. Nikita Chiu is Research Fellow in Robotics and Outer Space Affairs at the Centre for Technology and Global Affairs at the University of Oxford. She is also a Research Affiliate at the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk at the University of Cambridge.

Her current work examines the impact that emerging technologies have on International Relations and the international order, with a specific focus on space and quantum technologies, as well as highly autonomous systems.

Nikita completed her PhD under the supervision of Prof. Thomas Biersteker at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. She had served as visiting scholar at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna, Trinity College Dublin, and the Prague Secretariat of the OSCE. While as a Ernst Mach scholar, she investigated multilevel governance endeavours in the areas of climate change, drug control, and nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. Prior to moving to the UK, she taught Chinese Foreign Policy and International Relations in Hong Kong and Estonia.

Besides her academic endeavours, Nikita has also undertaken training in bespoke men's tailoring and design. In her spare time, she enjoys constructing her own garments, drawing, and exploring the Irish indie music scene.

Nikita speaks Chinese, English, French, and has a passive knowledge of Italian and an elementary understanding of Russian.

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Introducing the Changing Character of Conflict Platform Project: New approach to quantitative analysis of protracted conflicts by Dr Katerina Tkacova
Oct
9
1:00 PM13:00

Introducing the Changing Character of Conflict Platform Project: New approach to quantitative analysis of protracted conflicts by Dr Katerina Tkacova

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

Tuesday Lunchtime Seminar Series
Michaelmas Term 2018: Week 1

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


Introducing the Changing Character of Conflict Platform project: New approach to quantitative analysis of protracted conflicts

Dr Katerina Tkacova, CCW, University of Oxford

The interdisciplinary project aims to create a knowledge-based platform for academics, practitioners, policy-makers and the wider public to understand the changing character of conflicts across different epistemologies and methodologies. While we might not be able to stop some conflicts, we may well be able to prevent a drastic increase in casualties or erosion of social fabric if we understand the main patterns of organized violence. In our work, we focus on the following dimensions of conflict and the changes within them: actors involved in conflicts, methods used in conflicts, resources that drive conflicts, environments in which conflict takes place, the impact of conflict on individuals and societies.

In the presentation, we introduce a new approach to quantitative analysis of protracted conflicts, which is one of the components of the project. Those conflicts often change their location, spread across borders and create new spin-off conflicts or escalate the old ones. To capture the dynamic and complexity of protracted conflicts, we draw new geographical units based on the activity of carefully identified relevant conflict actors. Using data from various sources including the Georeferenced Events Dataset (UCDP) and the PRIO-GRID (PRIO), we select important indicators to convene a comprehensive yet concise analysis which is designed to inform policy-makers involved in violence reduction and conflict reconciliation. The new approach to quantitative conflict analysis allows us to identify patterns of changes in time and space in the five dimensions of conflicts – actors, methods, resources, environments and impact.

Katerina Tkacova is a post-doctoral research fellow at the Changing Character of Conflict Platform at the University of Oxford since May 2018. Before joining the University of Oxford, Katerina taught at the University College London, King’s College and the University of Essex. Her teaching experience ranges from Quantitative Methods, Comparative Politics and Conflict Analysis. Katerina's research interests include political violence, ethnic groups and quantitative research methods.

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Sep
25
4:00 PM16:00

Expert Roundtable on Ethics and Conflict Research

16:00 to 17:30, 25 September 2018
Nuffield College, Large Lecture Room

Research on conflict dynamics is accompanied by challenging ethical questions. How can scholars research the causes, character and consequences of armed conflict and political violence in an ethical, humane way? Does research only have to lead to better understanding of the drivers of conflict, or should it also aim to ameliorate human suffering? The ways in which scholars address these questions will affect, among other things, the ways data are generated and used; the responsibilities and obligations of researchers to multiple stakeholders, including the human subjects with whom they may engage over extended periods in high-risk settings; and the practical value and implications of the knowledge scholars produce. The aim of the roundtable is to bring these issues to the fore and reflect on how individual scholars and the political science community can respond to the ethical demands and dilemmas of researching violent armed conflict.

Our four speakers – scholars who have made important recent contributions to these debates – will be invited to discuss the ethical aspects of all stages of the research cycle, from identifying urgent and important research questions and designing appropriate strategies to answer them, to safely and responsibly conducting research in fragile and insecure environments with the associated risks to the researcher, their research subjects, and local partners, and then disseminating the findings in useful and impactful ways.

The roundtable is part of the Workshop on Conflict Dynamics, generously supported by Nuffield College, the Changing Character of War Centre and the Centre for International Studies at the University of Oxford, and the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at St Andrews University.

Registration for this event is essential: please email: nicholas.barker@nuffield.ox.ac.uk

Speaker Biographies:

Kate Cronin-Furman

Dr Kate-Cronin Furman studies mass atrocities and human rights. Her research has been published or is forthcoming in International Studies QuarterlyPolitical Science & Politics, and the International Journal of Transitional Justice. She also writes regularly for the mainstream media, with recent commentary pieces appearing in The Los Angeles Review of Books, SlateForeign PolicyThe Washington Post's Monkey Cage blog, War on the Rocks, and Al Jazeera. In September 2018, she joined the Department of Political Science at University College London as a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in human rights. She received her Ph.D. in political science from Columbia in October 2015 and has held fellowships at the Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Stanford's Center for International Security and Cooperation. She also has a J.D. (Columbia, 2006) and has practiced law in New York, Cambodia, and The Hague.
http://www.katecroninfurman.com/

Roxanne Krystalli

Roxani Krystalli is the Humanitarian Evidence Program Manager at the Feinstein International Center at Tufts University. Her research focuses on patterns of violence in mass atrocities and on victim-centered transitional justice, paying particular attention to gender and other dimensions of power. Roxani has spent a decade working on issues of gender and violence in conflict areas and transitional contexts. For her work, Roxani has been recognized with the Presidential Award for Citizenship and Service at Tufts University. She is a US Institute of Peace “Peace Scholar,” a recipient of the Social Science Research Council International Dissertation Research Fellowship and Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship and holds a fellowship from the National Science Foundation and the Henry J. Leir Institute for Human Security. Her published work has appeared in The International Feminist Journal of Politics, The Washington Post, The Conversation, Open Democracy, Women Under Siege, NextBillion, and the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative blog. Roxani has a BA from Harvard University an MA from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and she is a PhD Candidate at The Fletcher School, where she is researching the politics of victimhood during transitions from violence, with a focus on the case of Colombia.

Milli Lake

Dr Milli Lake is an Assistant Professor of International Security at the London School of Economics' Department of International Relations. She completed her doctorate in Political Science at the University of Washington in 2014, and her expertise lies in political violence, state-building and the rule of law in violence and conflict-affected states. Her work focuses on central and east Africa. Recent projects include an examination of the relationships between post-conflict institution-building and local dynamics of peace and violence in DR Congo, and examinations of the prosecution of sexual and gender-based crimes in DR Congo and South Africa. Her recent book Strong NGOs and Weak States, was published with Cambridge University Press in 2018, and other research appears in outlets including International OrganizationInternational Studies QuarterlyWorld DevelopmentLaw and Society Review, and the Annual Review of Law and Social Science. Dr Lake has worked as an area specialist and a rule of law consultant with organizations such as USAID, The World Bank, Save the Children, the International Rescue Committee, Berkeley School of Law and the International Law and Policy Institute. She regularly provides expert testimony in asylum cases and has written and taught extensively on the ethics and practicalities of field research in violence-affected settings.
https://millimaylake.weebly.com/

Anouk Rigterink

Dr Anouk Rigterink is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Blavatnik School of Government and the Economics Department, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Natural Resource Rich Economies (OxCarre). She holds a PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Anouk investigates the political economy of violent conflict. Specifically, she researchers whether and how natural resources (especially diamonds) are related to violent conflict, the impact of media in conflict-affected situations, and individual and group behaviour in violent conflict, including the impact of drone strikes on the internal organisations of terrorist groups in Pakistan. 
http://www.anoukrigterink.com

 

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Dr Andrew Monaghan at Lewes Speakers Festival
Jul
22
4:15 PM16:15

Dr Andrew Monaghan at Lewes Speakers Festival

Dr Andrew Monaghan will be at the Lewes Speakers festival on 22 July. He will appear in discussion first with Dr Florence Gaub on her new book The Cauldron: NATO's Campaign in Libya; and then in discussion with LTG (red) Ben Hodges, former Commander of US Army Europe, on his book, What does Russia's resurgence mean for Euro-Atlantic security?


Florence Gaub, The Cauldron: NATO’s Campaign in Libya

In March 2011, NATO launched a mission hitherto entirely unthinkable: to protect civilians against Libya's ferocious regime, solely from the air. NATO had never operated in North Africa, or without troops on the ground; it also had never had to move as quickly as it did that spring. It took seven months, 25,000 air sorties, 7,000 combat strike missions, and 3,100 maritime hailings for Tripoli to fall. This talk tells, for the first time, the whole story of this international drama. It spans the hallways of the United Nations in New York, NATO Headquarters in Brussels and, crucially, the two operational epicentres: the Libyan battlefield, and Joint Force Command Naples. Gaub offers a comprehensive exploration of both the war's progression and the many challenges NATO faced, from its extremely rapid planning and limited understanding of Libya and its forces, to training shortfalls and the absence of post-conflict planning. This is a long-awaited account of the Libyan war: one that truly considers all the actors involved.


Lt General Hodges, What does Russia’s resurgence mean for Euro-Atlantic security?

Euro-Atlantic security is quickly and significantly evolving. Following the end of the Cold War, many assumed that Europe had seen the last of state against state warfare.  There was also a shift from thinking in terms of collective defence towards collective security. But since the eruption of war in Ukraine in 2014, there has been a radical rethink. Russia is seen to pose a major challenge to the international order. The ongoing deterioration of relations between the Euro-Atlantic community and Russia since then, with mutual accusations of cyber attacks, interference in domestic politics, disagreements and high tension in the war in Syria and, most recently the attempted murder of the Skripals in Salisbury, have reintroduced a state of high tension in European security.

Hodges and Monaghan will discuss how European security is changing, and what this means in practical terms. They look at whether it is possible to return to thinking in terms of "collective defence" and what that might mean in the 21st Century. LTG Hodges will reflect on his time in service, his priorities and the problems he faced, and the roles of the US and NATO in European security. They will also talk about the tensions within the Alliance and the TransAtlantic relationship, and how is Russia seen in Washington, D.C. and Brussels.

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Dr Andrew Monaghan: Power in Modern Russia
Jun
30
4:00 PM16:00

Dr Andrew Monaghan: Power in Modern Russia

Dr Andrew Monaghan  will be presenting his book, Power in Modern Russia at the Felixstowe Book Festival on 30th June.

If you have ever thought it important to understand what is happening in Russia, take the opportunity to hear from one of the UK’s leading experts as Andrew Monaghan unravels the Russian leadership’s strategic agenda and illuminates the range of problems it faces in implementing its ambitions. With presidential elections looming, he maps out the evolution underway in Russian domestic politics and explains the various factions.

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Why We Fight
Jun
25
5:00 PM17:00

Why We Fight

Monday 25 June 2018, 5pm
Seminar Room A, Manor Road Building, University of Oxford
All Welcome

A seminar with Mike Martin, Visiting Research Fellow, Department of War Studies, King’s College London

CCW's Conflict Platform team is delighted to host Mike Martin for a seminar on ‘Why We
Fight’, drawing on his recently published book of the same name.

When we go to war, morality, religion and ideology often take the blame. Mike argues that
the opposite is true: rather than driving violence, these things help to reduce it. While we
resort to ideas and values to justify or interpret warfare, something else is really
propelling us towards conflict: our subconscious desires, shaped by millions of years of
evolution.

His previous books include An Intimate War: An Oral History of the Helmand Conflict
and Crossing the Congo: Over Land and Water in a Hard Place, the latter of which was
shortlisted for the Edward Stanford Adventure Travel Writing Award in 2016.

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‘Royal Engineers, Railways, and the Retreat: Longmoor's Role in Delaying the Japanese Advance through Burma in 1942’
Jun
13
5:15 PM17:15

‘Royal Engineers, Railways, and the Retreat: Longmoor's Role in Delaying the Japanese Advance through Burma in 1942’

History of War Seminars 2018
Week 8: Wednesday 13 June

All events take place on Wednesdays 5.15, Wharton Room, All Souls College


Michael Charney (SOAS) ‘Royal Engineers, Railways, and the Retreat: Longmoor's Role in Delaying the Japanese Advance through Burma in 1942’

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The Global History of War Lecture: Reaping the Rewards:  How the Governor, the Priest, the Taxman, and the Garrison Secure Victory in World History
Jun
2
5:00 PM17:00

The Global History of War Lecture: Reaping the Rewards:  How the Governor, the Priest, the Taxman, and the Garrison Secure Victory in World History

Oxford’s Centre for Global History and the Changing Character of War Centre, Pembroke College are pleased to host:

The Global History of War Lecture

Wayne E. Lee (UNC)

'Reaping the Rewards:  How the Governor, the Priest, the Taxman, and the Garrison Secure Victory in World History'

Pembroke College Pichette Auditorium
Saturday 2 June 2018, 5pm


Francis Bacon once opined: "Augustus Caesar would say, that he wondered that Alexander feared he should want work, having no more worlds to conquer: as if it were not as hard a matter to keep as to conquer."  Many societies have found that the process of converting military success into a consolidated conquest was harder than they expected.  Oddly, historians have not spent that much time on the problem either, preferring to focus more on the battles than the ensuing garrisons.  In this sweep through world military history, strategy, and logistics, Lee explores the "four pillars" of conquest (the titular governor, priest, tax man and garrison) and he then compares how those same pillars worked in non-state societies on the Eurasian steppe and in the Native American woodlands.

Wayne E. Lee is the Dowd Distinguished Professor of History at the University of North Carolina, where he also chairs the Curriculum in Peace, War, and Defense. He is the author of Waging War: Conflict, Culture, and Innovation in World History (2016), Barbarians and Brothers: Anglo-American Warfare, 1500-1865 (2011), and Crowds and Soldiers in Revolutionary North Carolina (2001) as well as two edited volumes on world military history and many articles and book chapters.  Lee has an additional career as an archaeologist, having done field work in Greece, Albania, Hungary, Croatia, and Virginia, including co-directing two field projects.  He was a principal author and a co-editor of Light and Shadow: Isolation and Interaction in the Shala Valley of Northern Albania, winner of the 2014 Society for American Archaeology's book award. In 2015/16 Lee was the Harold K. Johnson Visiting Professor of Military History at the U.S. Army War College.

Registration is required by contacting global@history.ox.ac.uk. A drinks reception will follow the lecture and all are welcome to attend.

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‘Glamping with Guns: Louis XIV, the Camp of Compiègne and the Origins of the Modern Military Exercise’
May
30
5:15 PM17:15

‘Glamping with Guns: Louis XIV, the Camp of Compiègne and the Origins of the Modern Military Exercise’

History of War Seminars 2018
Week 6: Wednesday 30 May

All events take place on Wednesdays 5.15, Wharton Room, All Souls College


 Guy Rowlands (St Andrews) ‘Glamping with Guns: Louis XIV, the Camp of Compiègne and the Origins of the Modern Military Exercise’

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The Korean Missile Crisis: Avoiding the Cliffs at the Edge of the Summit
May
25
4:30 PM16:30

The Korean Missile Crisis: Avoiding the Cliffs at the Edge of the Summit

Friday, 25 May (Week 5) at 5pm
Lecture Theatre of the Blavatnik School of Government

Scott D. Sagan is the Caroline S.G. Munro Professor of Political Science, the Mimi and Peter Haas University Fellow in Undergraduate Education, and Senior Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation and the Freeman Spogli Institute at Stanford University. He was recently named Andrew Carnegie Fellow and he serves as Chairman of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Committee on International Security Studies. Sagan is the author of Moving Targets: Nuclear Strategy and National Security (Princeton University Press, 1989); The Limits of Safety: Organizations, Accidents, and Nuclear Weapons (Princeton University Press, 1993); and, with co-author Kenneth N. Waltz, The Spread of Nuclear Weapons: An Enduring Debate (W.W. Norton, 2012). He is the co-editor of Learning from a Disaster: Improving Nuclear Safety and Security after Fukushima (Stanford University Press, 2016) with Edward D. Blandford and co-editor of Insider Threats (Cornell University Press, 2017) with Matthew Bunn.

This event is sponsored by the Blavatnik School of Government; the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict; the Changing Character of War Centre; the Oxford Consortium for Human Rights, and the Oxford Security Policy Initiative. For more information, go to https://www.bsg.ox.ac.uk/events/korean-missile-crisis-avoiding-cliffs-edge-summit 

Please register at https://www.bsg.ox.ac.uk/node/4506 

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CCW Annual Lecture 2018: 'Causes of Wars, Old and New’ by Professor Sir Adam Roberts KCMG FBA
May
23
5:00 PM17:00

CCW Annual Lecture 2018: 'Causes of Wars, Old and New’ by Professor Sir Adam Roberts KCMG FBA

CCW Annual Lecture 2018
Wednesday 23rd May, 5.00pm
Pichette auditorium, Pembroke College, Oxford, OX1 1DW

'Causes of Wars, Old and New’

By Professor Sir Adam Roberts KCMG FBA


The causes of both civil and international wars have long been the subject of much debate and also academic study. Numerous methodologies have been employed, including those of the anthropologist, the demographer, the economist, the meteorologist, the philosopher, the psychologist, the social scientist, and the strategist. Each of them sheds light on the subject, but none provides on its own a satisfactory answer to the very wide-ranging question of what causes wars – and also how they can be prevented. Adam Roberts suggests that the absence of a unified theory of the causes of war is not a disaster. However, the present period of growing nationalism and great power rivalry forces us to look again at the causes of international as well as non-international armed conflicts.


800px-Adam_Roberts,_Oxford,_April_2006.JPG

Adam Roberts is Emeritus Professor of International Relations at Oxford University, and Emeritus Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford. He was one of the founding members of CCW and served on its Academic Board before his retirement, and is now Honorary Fellow and Member of the CCW Advisory Board.

Sir Adam was President of the British Academy (2009-13). He is an Honorary Fellow of the London School of Economics & Political Science (1997- ), of St Antony's College Oxford (2006- ), and of the University of Cumbria (2014- ). He has been awarded Honorary Doctorates by King's College London (2010), Aberdeen University (2012), Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo (2012), and Bath University (2014). He is a Foreign Honorary Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2011- ), and a Member of the American Philosophical Society (2013- ). He was a member of the Council of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, London (2002-8); member of the UK Defence Academy Advisory Board (2003-15); and member, Board of Advisers of the Lieber Institute for Law and Land Warfare, at the United States Military Academy, West Point, September 2016– .

Sir Adam remains actively engaged in research and is a regular speaker at CCW events. His main research interests are in the fields of international security, international organizations, and international law (including the laws of war). He has also worked extensively on the role of civil resistance against authoritarian regimes and foreign rule, and on the history of thought about international relations. :

Causes of War Lecture 2018-01.jpg

 

 

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