European Initiative on Security Studies

We are pleased to present an excellent initiative on European security studies. The European Initiative on Security Studies (EISS) is a Europe-wide cluster of over fifty universities that share the goal of consolidating security studies in Europe.

Here you’ll find the official website of the EISS

Here below some further details:

The aim of the EISS is two-fold: first, to establish a Europe-wide network on security studies, with an annual conference and permanent thematic standing groups; and second, to develop future research projects and funding applications among European scholars and academic institutions working in the field of security studies. The EISS is thematically-driven, open to all theoretical approaches and interdisciplinary.

The EISS annual conference is organized by the Association for the Study of War and Strategy (AEGES). Its first annual (two-days) conference will be held on January 13-14, 2017, at the University Panthéon-Assas (Paris 2), in collaboration with the Center Thucydides and the Center for Studies and Research on Administrative and Political Science (CERSA) of Paris 2. The academic director of the EISS is Dr. Hugo Meijer, IRSEM/Sciences Po-CERI.

Here for contact information for the EISS 2017 Conference.

In sum, a terrific project that deserves a considerable attention.

(P.S. Venus will be at theParis Conference..)




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Top 5 by Venus in Arms – week 80: COP 21

The post-Cold War era has been deeply characterized by multidimensional and non-military threats: from terrorism to climate change. Last week we looked at the war against ISIL, therefore this week our Top-5 is mainly focused on the UN climate change conference in Paris – COP 21.

Here you’ll find a (dramatic) list to the most polluted cities in the world. Dehli is at the top. According to The Guardian, 1.6 million Chinese are killed by breathing bad air every year.

Der Spiegel International offers an insightful comment on “the most important event of the year”. Simply in Paris “the global community will be deciding on the fate of our planet, our future and the basis of life for all of humanity”. 

If you are more interested in the negotiations, here you’ll find some useful elements that you need to know to better assess the UN conference. In summary, climate change is a “collective action problem“.

Words, rhetoric and narratives and crucial in international relations. Here you’ll find the “best metaphors” used during the Paris climate talks (Is the planet really a patient??).

Finally, the speech by President Obama helps in finding a connection between climate change to the fight against ISIL. In other words, the conference in Paris is an “act of defiance” against the terrorists who attacked the city just weeks ago. (Probably is true but we are still waiting for a better strategy against ISIL…)

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Top 5 by Venus in Arms – week 78: “ISIL and terrorism”

This week our Top5 is entirely devoted to the dramatic terrorist attacks that killed 129 people in Paris last week. While police raids are still ongoing in Europe, we suggest four (+1) links to useful analyses provided by experts and scholars on the broad issue of “ISIL and terrorism”. Let’s see how political science can help us in interpreting the current scenario.

First, how effective is terrorism? In this excellent paper for International OrganizationVirginia Page Fortna investigates the issue, stressing “that although civil wars involving terrorism last longer than other wars, terrorist rebel groups are generally less likely to achieve their larger political objectives than are non-terrorist groups“. If the question is “Do terrorists win”, the answer is simply: no.

Second, one the most important experts on foreign fighters, Thomas Hegghammer (and his co-author Petter Nesser), recently assessed the Islamic State’s commitment to attacking the West. In this paper for “Perspectives on Terrorism”, the authors “examine IS statements and take stock of IS-related attack plots in Western Europe, North America, and Australia from January 2011 through June 2015 using a new dataset of jihadi plots and a new typology of links between organizations and attackers. IS appears to have had a decentralized attack strategy based on encouraging sympathiser attacks while not mounting centrally directed operations of their own”. So, is the Paris plot a turning point?

Third, Clint Watts provides an insightful analysis on ISIL and its recent evolution in tactics and strategies. Comparing ISIL with Al-Shabaab the lesson could be the following: “If an extremist group that has seized territory starts to lose it, it will be highly incentivized to turn to terrorist operations that allow for maximizing effects at a lower cost“.

Fourth, some concrete suggestions from the field on how to counter ISIL in Iraq. Here the post by Michael Knights for War on the Rocks on “how to build on progress and avoid stalemate against ISIL”.

Five, from an historical perspective this video well illustrates the evolution of Europe across centuries and how it will be difficult for terrorists to destabilize our countries if we remain unite.

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