Lunchtime Seminar Series

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Gaming Integrated Deterrence and Defence in Europe in an Era of Strategic Competition by Ivanka Barzashka
Jan
22
1:00 PM13:00

Gaming Integrated Deterrence and Defence in Europe in an Era of Strategic Competition by Ivanka Barzashka

  • Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building (map)
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Tuesday Lunchtime Seminar Series
Hilary Term 2019: Week 2

Seminars at 1.00pm, Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Oxford. A light sandwich lunch is served at 12.40pm. All are welcome.


Gaming Integrated Deterrence and Defence in Europe in an Era of Strategic Competition

Ivanka Barzashka

The United States and its European allies have entered into a new era of strategic competition with Russia. Some features of this changed and changing security environment – multipolar geopolitical rivalry and more integrated and subtle approaches to conflict are already apparent. Nuclear weapons and missile defences are taking on new strategic roles. Other features, such as cyber and space weapons, will emerge with time. New factors will interact with traditional political and military approaches to produce a different strategic logic that will shape dynamics during peacetime, crisis and war.

Barzashka will discuss findings from a 3-year research project that developed a new wargaming approach to glean insights into the changing character of conflict among NATO and Russia. She will present evidence-based propositions on nuclear risk, deterrence and escalation from two strategic gaming events conducted at the UK Defence Academy.

Ivanka Barzashka is a founder and co-director of the King's Wargaming Network. She is a MacArthur-funded Research Associate at the Centre for Science and Security Studies where she examines how disruptive technologies affect nuclear risks by combining qualitative analysis, quantitative modelling and strategic wargaming. She currently leads a project, funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, on aerospace defence and nuclear risk focusing on the United States, NATO and Russia. As part of the project, Barzashka directed a series of strategic wargames at King’s College London and the UK Defence Academy during 2017 and 2018. She led the game design process that resulted in a new method of strategic wargaming.

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The Russian Way in War by Chuck Bartles
Feb
5
1:00 PM13:00

The Russian Way in War by Chuck Bartles

  • Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building (map)
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Tuesday Lunchtime Seminar Series
Hilary Term 2019: Week 4

Seminars at 1.00pm, Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Oxford. A light sandwich lunch is served at 12.40pm. All are welcome.


The Russian Way in War

MAJ Chuck Bartles, US Foreign Military Studies Office

In February 2013, General Valery Gerasimov, Chief of the Russian General Staff, published “The Value of Science Is in the Foresight: New Challenges Demand Rethinking the Forms and Methods of Carrying out Combat Operations” in the Russian military trade journal Voyenno-Promyshlennyy Kurier. In this article, Gerasimov lays out his perspective—and the prevalent view in Russian security circles—of the recent past, present, and expected future of warfare. This article has taken great prominence in the Euro-Atlantic community's thinking about Russian "Strategy", particularly as the basis for Russia's annexation of Crimea and Russian action in Eastern Ukraine and Syria. But a more detailed understanding of the debate and thinking underway in the Russian military and defence community is necessary. This seminar offers a more detailed examination of both General Gerasimov and the broader Russian view of the changing character of war, not least as illustrated in the context of his other, subsequent publications and their implications for our understanding of Russian activity

Chuck Bartles is a Russian analyst at the Foreign Military Studies Office, in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. His specific research areas include Russian and Central Asian military force structure; modernization; tactics; officer and enlisted professional development; and Russian military cartography and map symbology. Chuck is also a Major and space operations officer in the United States Army Reserve that commands a United States Strategic Command army reserve element in Colorado. He has deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq, and has served as a security assistance officer at US embassies in Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan. Chuck is now a PhD student at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. His most recent book, The Russian Way of War: Force Structure, Tactics, and the Modernization of the Russian Ground Forces, was published in 2017.

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Moscow's Syrian Campaign: Change and Continuity in Russian Strategic Culture by Dima Adamsky
Feb
12
1:00 PM13:00

Moscow's Syrian Campaign: Change and Continuity in Russian Strategic Culture by Dima Adamsky

  • Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building (map)
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Tuesday Lunchtime Seminar Series
Hilary Term 2019: Week 5

Seminars at 1.00pm, Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Oxford. A light sandwich lunch is served at 12.40pm. All are welcome.


Moscow's Syrian Campaign: Change and Continuity in Russian Strategic Culture

Prof Dima Adamsky

Prof. Dmitry (Dima) Adamsky is a Head of the BA Honors Track in Strategy and Decision Making at the School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy at the IDC Herzliya, Israel. His research interests include international security, cultural approach to IR, modern military thought, and American, Russian and Israeli national security policy. He has published on these topics in Foreign AffairsSecurity StudiesJournal of Strategic StudiesIntelligence and National SecurityStudies in Conflict and Terrorism, and Journal of Cold War History. His books Operation Kavkaz and The Culture of Military Innovation (Stanford UP) earned the annual (2006 and 2012) prizes for the best academic works on Israeli security. His recent book, Russian Nuclear Orthodoxy (Stanford UP, 2019) explores the nexus of religion and strategy in Russia.

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Military Intelligence in the Era of Great Power War by COL Rose Lopez Keravuori
Feb
19
1:00 PM13:00

Military Intelligence in the Era of Great Power War by COL Rose Lopez Keravuori

  • Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building (map)
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Tuesday Lunchtime Seminar Series
Hilary Term 2019: Week 6

Seminars at 1.00pm, Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Oxford. A light sandwich lunch is served at 12.40pm. All are welcome.


Military Intelligence in the Era of Great Power War

Colonel Rose Lopez Keravuori

The shift by the Trump administration from counterinsurgency to near-peer threats has been clear with the publication of the 2018 National Defense Strategy and the Department of Defense’s focus on Russia and China.  COL Rose Keravuori provides insight regarding this current shift, focusing on global defense planning and operational preparation through deployability and expeditionary training.  She will focus on insights on transitioning America’s military intelligence resources from counterinsurgency operations to the force necessary for responding to a near-peer competitor in a major war.  More detailed research is found in the article “Expansibility and Military Intelligence” in Parameters journal.  The article discusses three main challenges to the expansion of Military Intelligence assets: a shortage of ISR (intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance), limited PED (processing, exploitation, dissemination) processing, and not having sufficient counterintelligence or Human Intelligence assets.

Rose Lopez Keravuori grew up in Los Angeles and has spent 21 years in the US Army as an Active Duty and Reserve Officer.  She led troops at the tactical and operational levels in Afghanistan and Iraq and deployed on several peacekeeping operations in the Balkans. She is the current commander of the 259th Expeditionary Military Intelligence Brigade (Reserve).  Before commanding a Brigade, she was a strategic war planner at CENTCOM and on the CENTOM Commander’s Action Group, advising the CENTCOM Commander. She is the CEO and Founder of Rise Out in Support of Empowering Women (ROSE Women), LLC,  a consulting firm whose mission includes empowering and enabling women in business and government internationally. 

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The Changing Character of the Mexican War on Drugs: State Building Process, Bureaucracy and U.S. Policy (1940-1980)  by Carlos Pérez Ricart
Feb
26
1:00 PM13:00

The Changing Character of the Mexican War on Drugs: State Building Process, Bureaucracy and U.S. Policy (1940-1980) by Carlos Pérez Ricart

  • Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building (map)
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Tuesday Lunchtime Seminar Series
Hilary Term 2019: Week 7

Seminars at 1.00pm, Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Oxford. A light sandwich lunch is served at 12.40pm. All are welcome.


The changing character of the Mexican war on Drugs: State building process, bureaucracy and U.S. policy (1940-1980)

 Dr. Carlos A. Pérez Ricart, St. Antony’s College, Oxford

 The talk looks at the complex relationship between the U.S. and Mexico and the “war on drugs” from 1940 to 1980. During this period, the U.S., in particular their drug agencies, deployed a series of pressuring mechanisms, which shaped drug policy in Mexico, where the state developed a policy remarkable for its strong prohibitionist and punitive dimension. However, this would not have been possible without the combination of two endogenous factors: the existence of a tradition of low tolerance regarding the use of psychoactive substances and the assimilation of the “war on drugs” rhetoric by Mexican state officials for the purpose of reaping political and bureaucratic benefits. By showing the internal motivations and incentives of the Mexican federal state to construct its own war on drugs, the talk shows how the punitive and prohibitionist dimension of drug policy in Mexico was not so much an imposition of the United States but rather part of a strategy linked to the state building process in Mexico.

Dr. Carlos Pérez Ricart (St. Antony’s College) is Postdoctoral Fellow in the Contemporary History and Public Policy of Mexico at the University of Oxford. He is member of both the History Faculty and the Latin American Centre (LAC).  He holds a PhD in Political Science at the Freie Universität Berlin and has a degree in International Relations of El Colegio de México. His general research and teaching interests include the relationship between Mexico and the United States, security and organized crime, drug policies and state formation. He is currently conducting a research project which aims to examine the history of the Mexican police from a long-term historical and global perspective.

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A Westphalia for the Middle East?  by Patrick Milton
Mar
5
1:00 PM13:00

A Westphalia for the Middle East? by Patrick Milton

Tuesday Lunchtime Seminar Series
Hilary Term 2019: Week 8

Seminars at 1.00pm, Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Oxford. A light sandwich lunch is served at 12.40pm. All are welcome.


A Westphalia for the Middle East?

Dr Patrick Milton

It was the original forever war, which went on interminably, fuelled by religious and constitutional disputes, personal ambition, fear of hegemony, and communal suspicion. It dragged in all the neighbouring powers. It was punctuated by repeated failed ceasefires. It inflicted suffering beyond belief and generated waves of refugees. This description could apply to Syria today, but actually refers to the Thirty Years War (1618-48), which turned much of central Europe into a disaster zone. The Thirty Years War is often cited as a parallel in discussions of current conflict in the Middle East. The Peace of Westphalia, which ended the war in Europe in 1648, has featured strongly in such discussions, usually with the observation that recent events in some parts of the region have seen the collapse of ideas of state sovereignty -ideas that supposedly originated with the 1648 settlement. This talk will discuss the parallels between the Thirty Years War and today’s Middle East and suggest ways in which lessons drawn from the congress and treaties of Westphalia might provide inspirations for a peace settlement for the Middle East’s new long wars. The talk is based on a recent book and ongoing collaborative project.

Patrick Milton was born in Zimbabwe and is a German-British research fellow at Peterhouse, Cambridge, and an affiliated lecturer at the Dept of Politics and International Studies, Cambridge. He was previously a postdoc at Freie Universitaet Berlin and has been working on the ‘Westphalia for the Middle East’ project since 2016.

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Why the Responses to Address  Intrastate Armed Conflicts fail? by Michael von der Schulenburg
Jan
15
1:00 PM13:00

Why the Responses to Address Intrastate Armed Conflicts fail? by Michael von der Schulenburg

  • Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building (map)
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Tuesday Lunchtime Seminar Series
Hilary Term 2019: Week 1

Seminars at 1.00pm, Seminar Room G, Manor Road Building, Oxford. A light sandwich lunch is served at 12.40pm. All are welcome.


Why the Responses to Address Intrastate Armed Conflicts fail?

Michael von der Schulenburg

The character of wars is changing. Today, wars between nation-states have largely disappeared and armed conflicts between states and belligerent non-state actors have become predominant. But has the international community found the right answers to deal with such intrastate armed conflicts? Schulenburg will argue, no. In a future world of 11 billion people, intra-state conflicts are likely to increase. Finding better answers to address this is becoming, and will continue to be, ever more pressing. But would this be possible in a world of increasing great-power rivalries?

Mr Schulenburg will discuss the shortcomings of the UN Charter to regulate foreign military interventions and paradoxes in UN peacekeeping as well as ambiguities in determining the legitimacy of embattled governments and in responding to armed non-state actors. He will review problems of interpreting self-determination and identifying national identities and describe resulting difficulties in implementing ceasefire and peace agreements or in writing national constitutions and holding elections.

Michael von der Schulenburg, former UN Assistant Secretary General with political affairs with 34 experience working for the UN and the OSCE in many of the world’s trouble spots such as in Haiti, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq and Sierra Leone with shorter assignments in Syria, Somalia, the Balkan and the Sahel. His experience involved the whole range of UN activities from development and humanitarian assistance to management, political affairs and peacekeeping.

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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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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)
  • Google Calendar ICS

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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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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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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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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'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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