Dealing with the Russians published by Dr Monaghan

Dr Andrew Monaghan has published a new book, “Dealing with the Russians” with Polity Press.

Euro-Atlantic thinking about Russia remains stuck in twentieth-century rhetoric, trapped by misleading abstract labels and unsure whether to engage Moscow in dialogue or enhance deterrence and collective defence. Instead of thinking in these terms, leading Russia expert Andrew Monaghan argues that we must devise a new grand strategy for dealing with the Russians. Examining the ongoing Euro-Atlantic debate over Russia and framing Moscow’s own position towards the West, he sets out the foundations of a forward-looking strategy; one that can accommodate the many complex challenges presented by this new era of competition between Russia, Europe and the United States.

A brilliant and hugely enjoyable book. Cogent, well researched and cleverly argued, Monaghan’s illuminating analysis serves as a timely reminder of the dangers of misunderstanding Russia and an “antidote” to Russian stereotypes that prevail in the West.
— Nazrin Mehdiyeva, St Antony's College, Oxford

"The Imperial Army Project" shortlisted for SAHR Templer Medal

The Society for Army Historical Research has announced the shortlist for the 2018 SAHR Templer Medal competition.

Professor Douglas Delaney’s The Imperial Army Project: Britain and the Land Forces of the Dominions and India, 1902-1945 (OUP) has been shortlisted. Professor Delaney worked on his book during his Visiting Research Fellowship at CCW.

The other finalists are:

  • Prof Ian Beckett with A British Profession of Arms: The Politics of Command in the Late Victorian Army (Oklahoma UP)

  • Prof Helen Parr with Our Boys: The Story of a Paratrooper (Allen Lane/Penguin)

The winners will be announced on 9 April 2019 at the National Army Museum. Members can find out more about the AMM and register a place here.

Andrew Monaghan to give the Erikson lecture at University of Edinburgh

Dr Andrew Monaghan will give the 2019 Erikson Lecture in for the University of Edinburgh.

Friday 8 March 2019, 5:30pm

Playfair Library Hall
Old College
South Bridge

“Russian Views of War in the Twenty First Century”

The strong sense of competition between the Euro-Atlantic community and Russia, often characterised as a “new Cold War”, has generated much discussion about the nature of the threat that Russia poses and the need for enhanced deterrence. But what is to be deterred? What is the nature of the military threat posed by Russia?

To be sure, the Russian military has, within a decade, been transformed through a major re-equipment programme, combined with reforms and thousands of exercises, and the establishment of the National Defence Management Centre. The results of this transformation are clear, not only in the fighting in Ukraine and Russia’s campaign in Syria, and the emphasis by the Russian leadership on increased combat readiness, but also in the increasingly obvious presence of the Russian military in the Arctic and Central Asia, and yet further afield in the Pacific and Africa. 

This lecture will explore the concepts the Russian defence community uses when discussing contemporary warfare, and how they compare and contrast to Western debates and understandings of Russian thinking. It will underscore the importance of geostrategy in Russian military thinking, and use this lens to sketch out how Moscow sees  the shifting international landscape and threats, and it will look at the strong influence of history on Russian contemporary military thinking, and reflect on the debates underway about the changing character of war. 

This event is free to attend but ticketed. To book spaces at the event please visit our Eventbrite page:

Book tickets for the event

Dr Robert Johnson contributes to Parliamentary inquiry

Dr Robert Johnson, Director of the Oxford Changing Character of War Centre, has contributed to an inquiry by the Parliamentary Select Committee on Defence.

The UK Response to Hybrid Threats inquiry is investigating the ‘danger posed by hybrid threats to the UK and how the UK Government is preparing its response’.

Dr Johnson’s report, ‘Hybrid War and its Counter-Measures: A Strategic Approach’, focuses on the strategic dimensions of Hybrid Warfare, and analyses Russian strategy and how the UK can employ new ideas to counter such actions. His full report has been published on the UK Parliament website, alongside submissions from the Ministry of Defence and other researchers.

The Great War in the Middle East

Dr Rob Johnson’s latest book is now available to purchase.

The Great War in the Middle East: A Clash of Empires
Edited by Robert Johnson and James E Kitchen
Published: Routledge, February 2019

Traditionally, in general studies of the First World War, the Middle East is an arena of combat that has been portrayed in romanticised terms, in stark contrast to the mud, blood, and presumed futility of the Western Front. Battles fought in Egypt, Palestine, Mesopotamia, and Arabia offered a different narrative on the Great War, one in which the agency of individual figures was less neutered by heavy artillery.

As with the historiography of the Western Front, which has been the focus of sustained inquiry since the mid-1960s, such assumptions about the Middle East have come under revision in the last two decades – a reflection of an emerging ‘global turn’ in the history of the First World War. The ‘sideshow’ theatres of the Great War – Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and the Pacific – have come under much greater scrutiny from historians.

The fifteen chapters in this volume cover a broad range of perspectives on the First World War in the Middle East, from strategic planning issues wrestled with by statesmen through to the experience of religious communities trying to survive in war zones. The chapter authors look at their specific topics through a global lens, relating their areas of research to wider arguments on the history of the First World War.

Booking open for UNSSC course on Understanding Non-state Armed Groups

The inter-agency programme in collaboration with United nations Systems Staff College (UNSSC) equips UN personnel and partners with theoretical and practical skills to analyse and understand the genesis and evolution of unconventional armed groups in violence-affected countries.

15-18 April 2019
Venue: Istanbul, Turkey
Fee: USD 2000
Enrolment deadline: 8 April 2019

Latest articles and book reviews for our Russia Project

Latest Russia Brief published

The fourth issue of the CCW Russia Brief is now online

Michael Kofman              
Rethinking the Structure and Role of Russia’s Airborne Forces

Nazrin Mehdiyeva           
Rosatom Set for Rapid Global Expansion

Richard Connolly             
The Russian Economy – Performance and Prospects

Julian Cooper                  
Some Aspects of Russia-China Military Cooperation

Henry Plater-Zyberk       
Review of Russia and China. The New Rapprochement. By Alexander Lukin. Polity Press, 2018.

Dr Andrew Monaghan has also updated the CCW Russia Reading list

VRF Mikael Wigell publishes book on Geo Economics and Power Politics

CCW Visiting Research Fellow, Mikael Wigell, has published a new book, “Geo-economics and Power Politics in the 21st Century: The Revival of Economic Statecraft”

Edited by Mikael Wigell, Sören Scholvin, Mika Aaltola; Published by Routledge.

Starting from the key concept of geo-economics, this book investigates the new power politics and argues that the changing structural features of the contemporary international system are recasting the strategic imperatives of foreign policy practice.

States increasingly practice power politics by economic means. Whether it is about Iran’s nuclear programme or Russia’s annexation of Crimea, Western states prefer economic sanctions to military force. Most rising powers have also become cunning agents of economic statecraft. China, for instance, is using finance, investment and trade as means to gain strategic influence and embed its global rise. Yet the way states use economic power to pursue strategic aims remains an understudied topic in International Political Economy and International Relations. The contributions to this volume assess geo-economics as a form of power politics. They show how power and security are no longer simply coupled to the physical control of territory by military means, but also to commanding and manipulating the economic binds that are decisive in today’s globalised and highly interconnected world. Indeed, as the volume shows, the ability to wield economic power forms an essential means in the foreign policies of major powers. In so doing, the book challenges simplistic accounts of a return to traditional, military-driven geopolitics, while not succumbing to any unfounded idealism based on the supposedly stabilising effects of interdependence on international relations. As such, it advances our understanding of geo-economics as a strategic practice and as an innovative and timely analytical approach.

This book will be of much interest to students of security studies, international political economy, foreign policy and International Relations in general.