Lunchtime Seminar Series

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'North Korea's Hidden Revolution' by Jieun Baek
May
15
1:00 PM13:00

'North Korea's Hidden Revolution' by Jieun Baek

Tuesday Lunchtime Seminar Series
Trinity 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. 


'North Korea's Hidden Revolution' by Jieun Baek

One of the least understood countries in the world, North Korea has long been known for its repressive regime. Yet it is far from being an impenetrable black box. Media flows covertly into the country, and fault lines are appearing in the government’s sealed informational borders. Baek will describe how information has been illicitly flowing into North Korea, and what kinds of impact this unprecedented access to foreign information is having on North Korean citizens’ social and political attitudes towards the regime and each other. For the first time, Baek will briefly discuss her organization’s work, and invite feedback for some strategic questions from the attendees at the Changing Character of War event.

Jieun Baek is a doctoral candidate in public policy at Oxford's Blavatnik School of Government where she is studying the factors that motivate first movers of dissent in Burma, and potential causal pathways that lead to dissent escalation. She is the author of North Korea's Hidden Revolution: How the Information Underground is Transforming a Closed Society (Yale University Press), and is the founder/director of Lumen.org. She did her bachelors and masters in public policy at Harvard University. 

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'Offensive Cyber, Ecology & the Competition for Security in Cyberspace: The UK’s Approach' by Graham Fairclough
May
8
1:00 PM13:00

'Offensive Cyber, Ecology & the Competition for Security in Cyberspace: The UK’s Approach' by Graham Fairclough

Tuesday Lunchtime Seminar Series
Trinity 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.


'Offensive Cyber, Ecology & the Competition for Security in Cyberspace: The UK’s Approach' by Graham Fairclough

The 2013 public announcement by the then Secretary of State for Defence, Phillip Hammond stating that the United Kingdom was creating an offensive cyber capability as part of its national cyber security strategy moved the debate on the use of offensive cyber into the public policy sphere. While this debate has continued, little detail has emerged as to how offensive cyber will be integrated as a tool into the United Kingdom’s cyber security strategy and more broadly its national security structure. The Strategic Cyber Security (SCS) model seeks to answer these questions by illustrating how offensive cyber capability has been operationalised as a critical component in the delivery of the United Kingdom’s cyber security strategy. Drawing upon elements of ecological theory the model demonstrates how different cyber security effects are generated to deliver an holistic response to achieving security in the increasingly competitive environment of cyberspace. Development of the model is based upon a series of elite interviews with senior military and civilian policy makers and key stakeholders within the United Kingdom’s cyber security and national security communities.

Graham Fairclough is a former soldier now attempting to become an academic in the field of cybersecurity. His research is focused on the operationalisation of national cyber security strategy, in particular the integration of offensive cyber capability and how cyber security incidents are understood by decision makers with limited cyber security knowledge. He advises NATO and the UK’s MOD on operational cyber security matters.  

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'Cyber Strategy: The Evolution of Cyber Power and Coercion' by Brandon Valeriano 
May
1
1:00 PM13:00

'Cyber Strategy: The Evolution of Cyber Power and Coercion' by Brandon Valeriano 

Tuesday Lunchtime Seminar Series
Trinity 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.


'Cyber Strategy: The Evolution of Cyber Power and Coercion' by Brandon Valeriano

This project examines the changing character of cyber strategies in the digital domain. We develop a theory that cyber operations are a form of covert coercion typically seeking to send ambiguous signals or demonstrate resolve. Cyber Coercion from this perspective is neither as revolutionary nor as novel as it seems when evaluated with evidence. We examine cyber strategies in their varying forms through quantitative analysis, finding that cyber disruptions, short-term and long-term espionage, and degradation operations all usually fail to produce political concessions. When states do compel a rival, which is measured as a change in behavior in the target that is strategically advantageous to the initiator, the cyber operation tends to occur alongside more traditional coercive instruments such as diplomatic pressure, economic sanctions, and military threats and displays. Our findings suggest that before we develop recommendations for sound foreign policy responses to state-backed cyber intrusions or craft international frameworks that constrain the proliferation of politically-motivated malware, we should theoretically and empirically investigate cyber strategies and their efficacy.

Brandon Valeriano is the Donald Bren Chair of Armed Conflict at the Marine Corps University. He has published five books and dozens of articles. His two most recent books are Cyber War versus Cyber Reality (2015) and Cyber Strategy (2018), both with Oxford University Press. Ongoing research explores cyber coercion, biological examinations of cyber threat, repression in cyberspace, and the influence of video games on foreign policy outlooks.

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'Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Conflict' by Al Brown
Apr
24
1:00 PM13:00

'Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Conflict' by Al Brown

Tuesday Lunchtime Seminar Series
Trinity 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. 


'Artificial intelligence, robotics and conflict' by Al Brown 

Secretary of Defence James Mattis recently said of artificial intelligence:  “I’m certainly questioning my original premise that the fundamental nature of war will not change. You’ve got to question that now. I just don’t have the answers yet.”  Vladimir Putin stated: “Artificial intelligence is the future, not only for Russia, but for all humankind.” .. “Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere will become the ruler of the world.” Robotics and artificial intelligence are already being employed in conflict.  However, artificial intelligence manages to sit at the peak of ‘inflated expectations’ on Gartner’s technology hype curve whilst simultaneously being underestimated in other assessments.  So what are the likely effects on conflict of the trends in artificial intelligence, robotics, economics, data and society? And what do people commonly get wrong - often with total certainty?

Al Brown works at the Ministry of Defence’s independent think tank where he leads on examining trends in robotics and artificial intelligence, and the potential impacts that follow for the future of conflict.  He has provided testimony on technology trends, including AI and robotics, and their defence and security implications to a number of organisations, including the United Nations.  His military career has included multiple operational tours of Afghanistan and Kosovo.  He is by military trade an explosive ordinance disposal officer, a field where robotics, data and algorithms have already been saving lives in conflict for a number of years.

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'Dealing with the Russians' by Dr Andrew Monaghan (Oxford) 
Feb
27
1:00 PM13:00

'Dealing with the Russians' by Dr Andrew Monaghan (Oxford) 

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

This lecture explores the nature of the relationship between the Euro-Atlantic community and Russia and how to "deal with the Russians". It will reflect on the nature of the Russian policy - and suggest that this is often misdiagnosed by Euro-Atlantic observers, and then explore the extent to which dialogue may be possible and what deterrence might look like. 

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'21st Century Deterrence – an Ethical Strategy?' by Dr Andy Corbett (King's College, London) 
Feb
20
1:00 PM13:00

'21st Century Deterrence – an Ethical Strategy?' by Dr Andy Corbett (King's College, London) 

Seminars at 1.00pm, Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Oxford A light sandwich lunch is served at 12.50pm. All are welcome. The nature of deterrence policy in the 21st century is the subject of considerable analysis but its relevance in today's defence...

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Adapting to Sanctions: How Russia Responded to Western Economic Statecraft by Dr Richard Connolly
Feb
13
1:00 PM13:00

Adapting to Sanctions: How Russia Responded to Western Economic Statecraft by Dr Richard Connolly

After Russia's annexation of Crimea in March 2014, Western powers and their allies responded by imposing sanctions on key sectors of the Russian economy. Richard Connolly, author of a forthcoming book on the subject, will discuss the impact of sanctions on targeted sectors, and how the response by policy-makers has shaped the development of political economy in Russia since 2014.

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

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'The Decision Point: Military Command in the 21st Century' by Professor Anthony King (Warwick) 
Feb
6
1:00 PM13:00

'The Decision Point: Military Command in the 21st Century' by Professor Anthony King (Warwick) 

Seminars at 1.00pm, Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Oxford A light sandwich lunch is served at 12.50pm. All are welcome. Command has long been a major concern for military historians and security studies scholars. Focusing on the divisional headquarters and specifically on staff procedure, the ‘decision point’, this paper analyses the transformation of command in the 21st century. It claims that in contrast to the...

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'The Military's Role in the Fall of Robert Mugabe in 2017 ' by Dr Miles Tendi (Oxford)
Jan
30
1:00 PM13:00

'The Military's Role in the Fall of Robert Mugabe in 2017 ' by Dr Miles Tendi (Oxford)

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

Zimbabwe's long-time president Robert Mugabe was forced to resign the presidency in November 2017, following a political intervention by the country's military. Miles Tendi has just returned from Zimbabwe after a mo...

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'How to Think About Limited War (Without Limiting Your Thinking)' by Professor Don Stoker (Vienna Diplomatic Academy) 
Jan
23
1:00 PM13:00

'How to Think About Limited War (Without Limiting Your Thinking)' by Professor Don Stoker (Vienna Diplomatic Academy) 

Seminars at 1.00pm, Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Oxford A light sandwich lunch is served at 12.50pm. All are welcome.  "Limited War" is one of the terms making a frequent appearance in the strategic studies, international relations, and military history realms...

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'The Role of Deterrence in Managing Great Power Competition' by Michael Kofman (CNA Corporation/Woodrow Wilson Center) 
Jan
16
1:00 PM13:00

'The Role of Deterrence in Managing Great Power Competition' by Michael Kofman (CNA Corporation/Woodrow Wilson Center) 

Seminars at 1.00pm, Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Oxford A light sandwich lunch is served at 12.50pm. All are welcome. In the United States national security and policy discourse has notably shifted away from low intensity conflict and back to the threat from peer and near-peer competitors. With great power competition and confrontation back...

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'Regional opportunities & Challenges facing the West in the Middle East' by Jonathan Paris
Nov
28
1:00 PM13:00

'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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"Arab Wars: A Tale of State Survival & Resurgence" by Dr Florence Gaub
Oct
31
1:00 PM13:00

"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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'Giving up the Gun: Disengaging from Politically Motivated Violence in Northern Ireland' by Professor Neil Ferguson
Oct
17
1:00 PM13:00

'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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May
16
1:00 PM13:00

'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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May
9
1:00 PM13:00

'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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Apr
25
1:00 PM13:00

“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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Feb
28
1:00 PM13:00

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

  • Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Manor Road Oxford OX1 3UQ (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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Feb
14
1:00 PM13:00

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

  • Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Manor Road Oxford OX1 3UQ (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

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

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

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

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

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Feb
7
1:00 PM13:00

The Global Appeal of ISIS by Dr Lydia Wilson

  • Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Manor Road Oxford OX1 3UQ (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

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

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

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

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Jan
31
1:00 PM13:00

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

  • Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Manor Road Oxford OX1 3UQ (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

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

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

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

 

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Jan
24
1:00 PM13:00

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

  • Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Manor Road Oxford OX1 3UQ (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

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

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

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Jan
17
1:00 PM13:00

Technology and the Rise of Boundless Warfare by Professor David Galbreath

  • Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Manor Road Oxford OX1 3UQ (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Nov
29
1:00 PM13:00

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

  • Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Manor Road Oxford OX1 3UQ (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

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

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

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