Cover from Patrick Porter's Book


Induction and Deduction in International Relations: Squaring the Circle between Theory and Evidence’, out now with International Studies Review

Dr David Blagden has published in International Studies Review, available to download here 

Human Rights and Military Operations: Confronting the Challenges

Noëlle Quénivet and Dr Aurel Sari published an occasional paper, Workshop Report in July 2015 on Human Rights and Military Operations: Confronting the Challenges


The National Interest Article, 10th December 2015, Why Grand Strategy Still Matters in a World of Chaos

Professor Patrick Porter and Professor Hal Brands (Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University) have recently published an article in The National Interest in defence of grand strategy - Why Grand Strategy Still Matters in a World of Chaos.


Newsweek Article, 2nd December 2015 - First Among Equals

Omar Mohamed (MStrat Alumni) has recently published an article in Newsweek Middle East on First Among Equals (GCC Security architecture).


RUSI Newsbrief, 20th November 2015 - Libya's Permanent Crisis

Tobias Borck (MStrat Alumni) has recently published in RUSI Newsbrief on Libya's Permanent Crisis: To break the unproductive cycle of negotiations in Libya, the international community needs to use more than words; it must back up the UN peace process with coercive tools.


SSI contributes again to the House of Commons Defence Select Committee SDSR thinking

General Sir Paul Newton, Professor Patrick Porter and Dr David Blagden have submitted a joint written submission to the House of Commons Defence Select Committee, in its current inquiry 'Flexible Response? An SDSR checklist of potential threats' you can see the submission either on the Parliament webpage or read it directly here:

Professor Patrick Porter and Dr David Blagden will also be appearing before the Select Committee to comment on the Strategic Defence and Security Review.


M‌aritime interdependance: is China a trouble-maker for the EU?

Squadron Leader David Bond RAF and Martin Jung (both MStrat Alumni) have recently published the following article in The European, Security and Defence Union magazine, Edition 2/2015: 

Maritime interdependence: is China a trouble-maker for the EU?



Sir Paul Newton and Profesor Patrick Porter are working with Cdr (Retd) Steve Tatham PhD Royal Navy on a research project into Ambiguous Warfare

Commander Tatham has just published his latest paper - ‘Using Target Audience Analysis to Aid Strategic Decision Making’, published 25 August 2015 by the US Army War College.


Sir Paul Newton - Birmingham Policy Commission One Year on Workshop publish the following Report:

'The Security Impact of Drones: Challenges and Opportunities for the UK'


Dr David Blagden publishes on New Statesman

Dr David Blagden Lecturer in International Security and Strategy has published an article called Labour must abandon the dangerous language of "wealth creators" on New Statesman. The article reflects on the political rhetoric of "wealth creators" and its effects. Bears on defence/foreign policy, insofar as it contends that military personnel who provide the security for economic activity are themselves part of the wealth-creation process.


Mike Schmitt Update on Progress of the Tallinn 2.0 Project

On 15 April, Mike Schmitt led discussion at a meeting in The Hague of legal advisers from 35 countries regarding the progress of the "Tallinn 2.0" project.

The project, directed by Professor Schmitt, is designed to produce a manual on cyber law by a group of 20 international law experts that will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2016. The meeting was opened by the Foreign Minister of the Netherlands.

The following day he spoke at the Global Conference on CyberSpace, a biannual conference hosted by States. This year, over 1800 participants from around the word met in The Hague to examine the subject. Professor Schmitt spoke on the legal responsibility of States for cyber operations and sovereignty in cyberspace.

On 29 June there was a meeting of the Tallinn Manual 2.0 project.  The meeting is described in full here, along with an imbedded video:

Additionally, you can find the video on You Tube at:

Professor Schmitt has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the International Society for Military Law and the Law of War and the Advisory Board of the Institute for Peace and Security at Cologne University.  He was also reappointed as a Senior Fellow at the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Centre of Excellence.

Recent publication: 'In Defense of Due Diligence', Yale Law Journal.  This article examines the obligation States have to ensure cyber activities on their territory is not used, for instance by cyber terrorists,  to harm other States, as well as the remedies the other States have is the territorial State allows its territory to be used as a base for harmful cyber operations.


Professor Mike Schmitt publishes on Cyber Operations

Professor Mike Schmitt of the Law School and SSI has published "Below the Threshold" Cyber Operations: The Countermeasure Response Option and International Law in the Virginia Journal of International Law. The article examines how and when States may respond to cyber-attacks that do not rise to a level that would allow the State to respond with armed force, as in the case of the North Korean attack on Sony.  


SSI faculty member publishes article on European security and UK defence in an era of rising powers

Dr David Blagden, Lecturer in International Security and Strategy at SSI, has published an article in the March issue of International Affairs on the European security consequences of the return of great power competition to the international system, and the subsequent implications for UK defence and foreign policy. His article, entitled "Global Multipolarity, European Security, and Implications for UK Grand Strategy: Back to the Future, Once Again", considers five ways in which the rise of new great powers - notably the so-called 'BRICs' (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) - will produce dangers for European countries, even while Western Europe itself remains a zone of relative peace and international cooperation, and how these dangers should in turn be addressed in British national strategy. The article is based on Dr Blagden's past research into the economic causes and strategic consequences of the rise of new great powers, with application to contemporary UK defence and foreign policy options. International Affairs is the bi-monthly journal of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, often known by its location, Chatham House. Dr Blagden's article is available for those with institutional/personal access.


Dr Danny Steed writes in The Conversation 

Dr Danny Steed has just written an article entitled "The life of a British spy is about to change dramatically" which was published in The Conversation.
Read the full article


Professor Patrick Porter's latest book

SSI's Academic Director, Professor Patrick Porter' has written the book 'The Global Village Myth: Distance, War and the Limits of Power' published in the UK and Europe by Georgetown University Press and Hurst. As the book asks: Does technology kill distance? Does the 'globalisation' of the world make the US and its allies vulnerable to violence, terrorism or cyber-assault? 'Globalism' - the belief that changes in information, transport and communications are dangerously shrinking the world - is a reigning assumption amongst security elites. It makes the United States, which should be the most secure state in history, feel perpetually insecure, haunted by rumours of chain reactions and falling dominoes.

At the same time, the vision of instant and borderless warfare can be seductive, making Westerners believe they must strike first, with new powers to tame a chaotic world back into order. Under the shadow of Globalism, disastrous wars are fought, civil liberties are threatened and hysteria replaces sober debate about foreign policy.      

But as this book shows through studies of the Al Qaeda network, amphibious war and new technologies, Globalism is wildly overstated. Technology may accelerate movement and compress physical space but it does not necessarily shrink strategic space, the ability to project power affordably across the earth. If distance is created by humans exploiting technology and terrain, the world in important ways is getting larger, not smaller. This makes us less powerful, but more secure, than we think.


Tobias Ruettershoff publishes with Routledge

Tobias Ruettershoff an SSI PhD student has just published a book chapter in: Aaronson, Mike; Wali Aslam; Tom Dyson; and Regina Rauxloh. Precision Strike Warfare and International Intervention: Strategic, ethico-legal, and decisional implications. London: Routledge: pp. 133-151 on "Terrorising terrorists: the jus ad bellum of drone operations in Pakistan."  


Professor Mike Schmitt publishes in the Columbia Journal

New piece Attacking “Islamic State” and the Khorasan Group: Surveying the International Law Landscape just published as the lead article in the launch of the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law Bulletin today.

The citation is: With Louise Arimatsu, Attacking “Islamic State” and the Khorasan Group: Surveying the International Law Landscape, 54 Columbia Journal of Transnational Law Bulletin 1-29 (2014).


Professor Mike Schmitt publishes on military action

Professor Mike Schmitt, of the Law School and SSI, commented on the legality of operations against ISIS in Iraq and Syria in The Guardian. The piece The legal basis for the war against Isis remains contentious was co-authored with Dr. Louise Arimatsu, a Senior Research Fellow in the Law School.  According to the two, the soundest legal basis for the operations is collective self-defence at the request of the Iraqi government, although even this basis raises certain legal issues.  

Professor Schmitt has also co-authored “On Target: Precision and Balance in the Contemporary Law of Targeting” in the Journal of National Security Law and Policy with Major Eric Widmar of the United States Army. The article surveys current issues surrounding targeting during military operations in Afghanistan and elsewhere, and argues for greater precision in the ongoing dialogue over their legality.


Professor Mike Schmitt publishes on Cyber

Published in the Stanford Law and Policy Review called The Law of Cyber Warfare: Quo Vadis? 

Where is the law of cyberware going? This Article offers thoughts on the process of normative evolution and identifies certain aspects of the law of sovereignty, the jus ad bellum, and the jus in bello which will have to acclimate to the growing threat cyberterrorists, cyberspies, cyberthieves, cyberwarriors, cyber hacktivists, and malicious hackers pose. For each, the Article describes current law and indicates the probable vector of any change. Knowing where such fault lines lie should prove useful as states craft national cyberspace policies and issue rules of engagement, international organizations launch projects designed to achieve normative compatibility in cyberspace, and scholars explore the theoretical foundation for the future law of cyber warfare.


Professor Gareth Stansfield writes on the fall of Mosul for Brookings

Professor Stansfield's recent Memo 'Kurdistan rising: To Acknowledge or Ignore the Unraveling of Iraq' has been published on the Brookings website. Read the full Memo here.


Professor Paul Cornish's Journal Article quoted in The Times

Professor Cornish's policy analysis paper UK Hard Power: Strategic Ambivalence, published in July 2014 by the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, has been quoted extensively in The Times newspaper. In ‘Military manoeuvres on the western front’ (18 July 2014, which you will be able to read if a subscriber) Deborah Haynes, Defence Editor, refers to Cornish’s warning against the United Kingdom becoming ambivalent about the use of hard power and the investment necessary to project that power and quotes the conclusion to his paper: “It is unwise to expect to be ambivalent about everything in national strategy, particularly hard power: national hard power either exists on a militarily meaningful scale or it does not - it either has purpose or is does not”. 


Professor Jon Githens-Mazer and MStrat Student write on Tunisia and Foreign Fighters in Syria

In conjunction with a current MStrat student, Rafael Serrano, and a former BA Arabic and Middle East student, Trahaearne Dalrymple, Professor Jon Githens-Mazer has just published an article on Tunisia and Foreign Fighters in Syria: The curious case of the Tunisian 3,000. The publication results from recent pilot work funded, in part, by the Open Innovation Fund Grant (in partnership with external funders) and can be read via the link below. 


Dr Danny Steed publishes on the new Data Law

Dr Steed, an SSI lecturer has published a short article on the Governments new Data Law on The Conversation entitled: "Proposed data surveillance law will allow for a broad national debate - so don't knock it".


Professor Michael Schmitt publishes in the Harvard National Security Journal

Professor Michael Schmitt of the Law School and the Strategy and Security Institute has published “The International Law of Unconventional Statecraft" in the Harvard National Security Journal.  It examines whether, and if so when, foreign support to insurgents runs afoul of international legal norms designed to safeguard the sovereign prerogative s of other states.


Professor Michael Schmitt publishes on Proxy Wars

Professor Michael Schmitt of the Law School and Strategy and Security Institute has published Proxy Wars in Cyberspace: The Evolving Law of Attribution in the Fletcher Security Review.


Professor Gareth Stansfield publishes at RUSI

Professor Gareth Stansfield, Director of Middle East Studies at RUSI and SSI’s Director of Research, has published an article for RUSI entitled Reading the Elections in Iraq.
This article was originally published in RUSI Newsbrief (Vol. 34, No. 3, May 2014).


Professor Gareth Stansfield publishes in CERI

Professor Gareth Stansfield has published a short article on the "The Transformational Effects of the Oil and Gas Strategy of the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq" in CERI in Paris.


Professor Michael Schmitt publishes chapter

SSI Affiliate Professor Michael Schmitt of the Law School has published the chapter "Air Warfare" in the recently released book "The Oxford Handbook of International Law in Armed Conflict."


SSI Lecturer, Dr Catarina Thomson, published in top Journal

Dr Catarina Thomson's co-written article entitled "Legitimacy and Compliance with International Law: Access to Detainees in Civil Conflicts, 1991–2006" was published in the British Journal of Political Science read the synopsis here: 


SSI Academics Published at RUSI

The Middle East continues to present policy-makers with some of the most complex and intractable problems. Professor Doug Stokes and SSI Director Sir Paul Newton have published an analysis for the Royal United Services Institute on these issues to help provide context for the authors of UK's 2015 Strategic Security and Defence Review.  Bridging the Gulf? America’s ‘Rebalance’ and the Middle East Challenge to the UK


SSI Affiliate, Professor Doug Stokes and Paul Newton publish a new report for the RUSI Journal

An SSI Affiliated member of staff, Professor Doug Stokes and Paul Newton, SSI Director, have written a new article, 'Bridging the Gulf' for the RUSI Journal.


The Economist values Professor Paul Cornish's opinion

Professor Paul Cornish is quoted in the 8 March 2014 edition of The Economist in the article Missing in Action


Dr Sergio Catignani publishes on the British Army

SSIs Senior Lecturer in Security and Strategic Studies, Dr Sergio Catignani, has published an article entitled "Coping with Knowledge: Organizational Learning in the British Army?" in The Journal of Strategic Studies. In the article he considers how formal and informal learning has taken place and affected the organisational learning within the British Army in Afghanistan. 


Professor Mike Schmitt continues to publish

Professor Mike Schmitt, an active expert in International Law specifically in relation to Cyber Security, publishes several articles:

"The Drone Debate Matures" in the 39 Yale Journal of International Law Online 1-14 (2014).

"Legitimacy versus Legality Redux: Arming the Syrian Rebels", which appears in the Journal of National Security Law and Policy.

"Extraterritorial Lethal Targeting: Deconstructing the Logic of International Law" in the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law.


Professor Gareth Stansfield publishes RUSI Report

Professor Gareth Stansfield has just published an analytical article entitled "Iraq on the Edge of the Abyss" on the RUSI website. You can read more about Gareth and his work on his RUSI Profile page.


Professor Paul Cornish, quoted in key report

Professor Paul Cornish has, once again, given evidence to the House of Commons Defence Committee, and is much quoted in their latest report "Towards the next Defence and Security Review: Part One".  You can read the full report including the comprehensive answers given by Professor Cornish by following this link to the Parliamentary website.


SSI Affiliate, Professor Mike Schmitt is busy publishing

Professor Mike Schmitt is the Director of a project considering the legal options of responding to Cyber-attacks - you can read more detail in Defense News.

He has also recently published a piece on the “geography of war” in International Law Studies Charting the Legal Geography of Non-International Armed Conflict.

Professor Schmitt has also has a short comment in Vol 12 of the 'Journal of Military Ethics', this can't be viewed online without a subscription but it is “The Ibar River Bridge Attack: A Legal Assessment" and deals with an attack on a bridge resulting in significant civilian casualties during Operation Allied Force in 1999. In addition Professor Schmitt has been appointed to the Board of Editors of The Journal of National Security Law and Policy.


SSI Honorary Fellow, Julian Lindley-French publishes new book

'Little Britain? Twenty-First Century Strategy for a Middling European Power' has just been published on Kindle Select. The book considers five key issues: the world Britain faces in the twenty-first century; Britain's role and ambition in Europe and the wider world; how Britain should define its national interests and secure them; how best to organise and apply British national power through innovative national strategy; and the role of Britain's armed forces in national strategy. A full synopsis and review can be found on the author's website. Buy the book here.


Professor Paul Cornish in the Telegraph

Professor Paul Cornish contributed recently to a Telegraph article on autonomous weaponry: Tom Chivers, 'Robots: do we want to give them a licence to kill?', The Telegraph, 15 November 2013. 


Professor Paul Cornish: Published in Tokyo

New Publication: 'National Strategy in the Early 21st Century: Innovating for Uncertainty' in National Institute for Defense Studies, Strategic Management of Military Capabilities: Seeking Ways to Foster Military Innovation: Proceedings of the NIDS International Symposium on Security affairs, 2012 (Tokyo: NIDS, 2013).


SSI Visiting Professor has new book published

Dr Andrew Rathmell, an SSI Visiting Professor, has just had a new book published 'Secret War in the Middle East: The Covert Struggle for Syria, 1949-1961'.


SSI Academics contribute to a new report for Policy Exchange

'Lawfare' - the encroachment of peacetime legal norms onto the battlefield - is undermining British fighting power. This Report from Policy Exchange, the London think tank, is co-authored by SSI Honorary Fellow Tom Tugendhat with contributions from SSI Director and former senior Army commander, Sir Paul Newton. The Report has attracted considerable media and political attention.

Follow the link to the Policy Exchange document to see why. You can also read more on the BBC news website.  


SSI Academics contribute to new issue of International Affairs

Professor Gareth Stansfield, SSI Director of Research and Professor Paul Cornish, Professor of Strategic Studies, MStrat Programme Director and SSI Director of Education, have both co-edited articles in the September edition of International Affairs.

This edition also includes articles by University of Exeter academics Professor Doug Stokes and Professor Michael Dumper.

Further details can be found on the Chatham House website, including a podcast featuring Professor Doug Stokes discussing his featured article on the European Grand Strategy. Listen to the podcast here.


Dr Victoria Basham has new book published, 'War, Identity and the Liberal State'

Dr Victoria Basham, Director of Doctoral Studies in SSI, has had a new book published by Routledge, 'War, Identity and the Liberal State: Everyday Experiences of the Geopolitical in the Armed Forces'. The book critically examines the significance of gender, race and sexuality to wars waged by liberal states and the soldiers who wage them.

Further details can be found on the publisher's website.


Paul Newton contributes to new book, ‘British Generals in Blair’s Wars’

Paul Newton, Director of SSI, has contributed a chapter to a new book, ‘British Generals in Blair’s Wars’ edited by Jonathan Bailey, Richard Iron and Professor Sir Hew Strachan, to be published by Ashgate in August.

Paul draws on his personal experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq for the chapter. The book presents a new account of the roles played by the senior military commanders who planned and led military operations in a period of rapid change against a background of intense political controversy.

Details of the book can be found on the publisher's website.


SSI Lecturer, Dr Catarina Thomson, published in top Journal

Dr Catarina Thomson's co-written article entitled "Legitimacy and Compliance with International Law: Access to Detainees in Civil Conflicts, 1991–2006" was published in the British Journal of Political Science. 


SSI Academics and Honorary Professor publish report on Syria

Professor Jonathan Githens-Mazer, General (Retd) Sir Paul Newton, Dr Andrew Rathmell and Professor Gareth Stansfield have written a report titled 'Syria: Alternate Perspectives & Implications for UK' as an outcome of a workshop held at the University in November 2012.

More information and the report can be seen here.