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Jun 29 – 30, 2023 Annual Conference
Institut Barcelona d'Estudis Internacionals (IBEI), Barcelona
Europe/Madrid timezone
Welcome to Barcelona!

Scientific Program

The Annual Conference is structured around two categories of panels. ‘Closed panels’ are recurring year-over-year and are pre-established by the EISS. ‘Open panels’ are proposed by participants.

This Programme might not reflect recent changes to accepted panels.
Please refer to the Timetable for up-to-date details.

  • Closed Panels

    Closed panels are recurring year-over-year and are pre-established by the EISS.

    • Defence Cooperation and Military Assistance


      For nearly all states, various forms of defense cooperation and military assistance are central to their national security policies. This can take the form of bilateral and multilateral arrangements, or of more structured and institutional cooperation through organizations such as the African Union, the EU, NATO or the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. In recent years, there has been a proliferation of various forms of defense cooperation or military assistance, often on a regional or sub-regional level. It can also take a variety of forms, from joint military training and exercises to operational planning, procurement and defense-industrial research. This panel invites papers on defense cooperation and military assistance in a broad and inclusive sense, from a variety of disciplines (history, political science, sociology, etc.) and of analytical, theoretical and empirical perspectives. Papers may cover: responses to traditional security threats (Russia’s military assertiveness or China’s rise, etc.), or more diffuse risks and challenges (terrorism, proliferation, migration, human smuggling and the impact of global climate change). Papers may also cover the creation and evolution of defense institutions, cooperation arrangements whether in bi-, tri-, or ‘minilateral’ ways and, last but not least, the organizational and operational aspects of innovation within the context of defense cooperation.

    • Military Interventions


      With the winding down of large-scale boots-on-the-ground multinational missions in Afghanistan and Iraq, it has become apparent in both policy and academic circles that large-scale military interventions are but one option among others. Many other kinds of military interventions have been and are being launched and implemented, ranging from military assistance, to more ‘agile’ counterinsurgency, drone fighting, peacekeeping, and aerial interventions, among others. Recent work has investigated the politics of forming multinational coalitions for launching military interventions. Other contributions have explored the politics of implementation, looking at caveats and actual behavior of troops on the ground. A third strand has explored the implication of military interventions for the civil-military relations of the home country when those soldiers return home. Notwithstanding recent advances, within the field of security studies, there is little clarity about the conceptual, theoretical and empirical underpinnings of different kinds of military interventions with important implications for both scholarship and policy. This panel welcomes contributions on different types of military interventions and potential comparisons. Contributions are welcome from a variety of disciplines (history, political science, sociology, etc.) and may shed light on conceptual, theoretical and empirical aspects of the ongoing debate on military interventions within the security studies debate in dialogue with other neighboring fields such as peace and conflict research, war studies and military sociology.

    • Private Actors, Armed Conflict and the State


      Private and extra-legal actors are at the center of politics today. A proliferation of these actors — including mercenaries, private security companies, cartels, gangs, local militias, and rebels, among others — has been identified as the central source of the state’s loss of monopoly over the use of violence and influence over its territories and communities. Throughout the world, these actors have been fulfilling political functions through the use and threat of violence and by cultivating complex and overlapping relationships with each other, local communities, and the state. The behaviors of these actors and interactions between them, local communities, and the state have significant political and social consequences that we are only beginning to understand. The panel aims to explore these complex links and interactions at the local, national and transnational levels. It aims to bring scholars seeking to understand the history, dynamics, and policy implications of this increasingly complicated landscape. It intends to address the following questions: How and why do extra-legal actors use violence, and what are the consequences of this violence? How and why do these same actors seek to provide goods and services to communities and create social and political orders? How have states responded to these actors, and why have they sometimes chosen to collaborate with and support them and others to combat them fiercely? How have citizens and local communities responded to these actors? What moral and legal challenges do these interactions imply? The panel welcomes diverse theoretical and methodological approaches to the connections between private and public spheres in international security.

    • Military Technology


      This panel addresses the interaction between global security, conflict and technology. Recent technological advances in diverse domains ranging from uninhabited and autonomous systems, robotics to cyber malware, and artificial intelligence and quantum computing are on the verge of transforming the use of force. Technology has also empowered a novel set of actors with an influential role in global security. The dynamics of military innovation, its causes and consequences, are changing. Hence this panel encourages submissions that conceptualize military technologies either as explanandum or as explanans. Preference will be given to those papers that link a systematic understanding of technologies with fundamental questions in International Relations, such as cooperation and conflict, balance of power and hegemony, or continuity and change. This call is explicitly open to diverse disciplines (political science, sociology, history) and welcomes different theoretical orientations, since the panel primarily aims to encourage dialogue between scholars with a substantive interest in the interaction between politics and technologies.

    • Intelligence


      Intelligence is deeply embedded within national and transnational security policies and practices. The panel’s aim is to understand the various roles intelligence plays at the strategic and tactical level. How do intelligence actors reduce uncertainty and provide a knowledge advantage? What are the problems and pitfalls of intel analysis and organizations? With intensified global great power rivalry, the focus of Western intelligence services is increasingly on closed authoritarian regimes. How do intelligence services work with the collection of intelligence and analysis of such targets? Do authoritarian regimes have an information advantage as they can take advantage of vulnerabilities inherent in the openness of Western democratic societies? By comparing systems and practices from a range of historical and contemporary cases, as well as state and non-state contexts, the panel aims to provide a rich picture of the current status of Intelligence Studies. We are particularly keen to bring together panelists from various disciplinary backgrounds and with diverse theoretical approaches and methodologies.

    • European Security

      The panel on European Security aims to explore the complex dynamics and
      evolving challenges that European states face in maintaining regional stability and safeguarding their security in an ever-changing geopolitical landscape. The panel looks at the role of multilateral organisations, such as the European Union and NATO, but also of individual European states. Against the backdrop of increasing global interdependencies and simultaneously of great power competition, this panel will delve into key issues impacting European security, including the implications of Parliamentary debates over EU military operations, European approaches to Chinese Foreign Policy, the role of intelligence in supporting EU foreign policymaking, and NATO cohesion. Participants
      will analyse the impact of these challenges on European integration, national sovereignty, and regional stability.

    • Arms Procurement and Transfers


      To what extent has the Ukraine war profoundly changed the political, legal, economic and military imperatives that have shaped arms industries and the European approach to arms procurement? This panel invites diverse contributions which explore the question of change here, but also continuity, given confusingly diverse trends. We see for the first time the European Union as a significant actor in arms procurement, reimbursing and coordinating national arms transfers to Ukraine. Germany’s government has, in a ‘Zeitenwende’ moment, promised historic and massive increases in arms procurement-or is this just hype? Yet some European arms deals signed by Poland, Estonia and Finland in the wake of the Ukraine war, reinforce the importance of American, South Korean, Israeli, and other global suppliers. Even Russia increasingly sources some of its arms from abroad (e.g. Iran). All of this begs the question whether or not the Russo-Ukraine war will reinforce the much-vaunted goal of ‘European strategic autonomy’, or does it reveal such aspirations to be largely rhetorical posturing? More fundamentally, the Russo-Ukraine war occurs at a geopolitical moment when globalization is, if not in full scale retreat, then evolving at a more hesitant pace chiefly due to increasingly overt Sino-American rivalry. This has profound implications for the reliability and costs of subcomponent supply chains, rare materials, and even access to the global markets which Europe’s Defence Industrial Base has heretofore taken for granted. Contributions are welcome from all theoretical approaches and disciplines, and papers could focus on national, multilateral or comparative dimensions. Equally submissions can be either empirically rich case studies and/or more theoretical explorations.

    • Weapons of Mass Destruction: Non-Proliferation and Arms Control


      This panel serves as a platform to present and discuss new research on arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). In light of Russia‘s nuclear threats and Iran’s growing nuclear program, the panel especially encourages submissions that focus on strategies and institutions to prevent the proliferation and use of nuclear weapons. The panel aims to bring into conversation scholars from different disciplines, such as political science, history, international law, and science and technology studies (STS), and seeks to facilitate a multidisciplinary dialog on non-proliferation and arms control. Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the tension between nuclear disarmament and deterrence; the role of civil society in managing nuclear risks; and international verification. Preference will be given to submissions that have a clear European angle and address both past patterns and current challenges.

  • Open Panels

    Open Panels are meant to broaden the range of existing themes in the EISS and to provide greater latitude to the participants to contribute to the definition of the EISS program.

    • (In)security and organized crime in Latin America

    • Civil-Military Relations in Challenging times

    • Challenges and Opportunities for Post-Cold War NATO

    • Intelligence Success and Failure in Historical Perspective: Lessons from Beyond the Anglo-Sphere

    • Addressing Wicked Problems in Cyber Conflict

    • Re-visiting the Political Economy of Security

    • Alliance Management

    • Psychology and Emotions in War and Strategy

  • Roundtables

    • War, Coercion and Statecraft


      Coercive statecraft refers to the threat or limited use of force in order to get the target of coercion to comply with a set of demands. Throughout history, states have used a variety of coercive strategies to compel both adversaries and allies, but interstate coercion has undeniably been on the uptick since the 2010s. These strategies include the threat of use of force for the purpose of coercing adversaries or allies, the actual use of military force to achieve political objectives, the covert use of force as a tool of statecraft, as well as the deployment of an assortment of non-military measures. State coercion thus encompasses military, political, economic, diplomatic, and – these days also – cyber measures. The study of coercion remains fragmented in parallel silos and in distinct fields of study, however. As a result, the question as to why states choose to pursue different coercive strategies, under what conditions, and to what effect, remains unsatisfactorily answered. This roundtable investigates the panoply of ways in which states leverage the use of force – and the threat thereof – as a tool of statecraft, across both military and non-military domains. It brings together key coercive statecraft scholars to outline the state of the art, discuss key findings that have emerged from publications in recent years, and identify future research avenues.

    • Publishing and Preparing for the Academic Job Market


      This roundtable aims to provide insights, advice and input for doctoral researchers nearing the completion of their studies, as well as for postdoctoral researchers, notably on how to devise an optimal publication strategy that builds upon their own skills and strengths while meeting the requirements of the academic job market. It will advise on the range of institutional types and requirements for navigating the academic job market in different higher education settings (in continental Europe, the United Kingdom and North America). Topics such as the following will be addressed: what to do in preparation of entering the job market? How to write research and teaching statements and cover letters? How to prepare a job talk and campus visit? How to negotiate job offers? how to choose the best suited journal for a given article? How to select the best publisher for a Ph.D. dissertation manuscript? Panelists will be scholars who have been involved in the recruitment process, from different sides of the table and in different regions of the world, as well as editors of leading journals in the field of Security Studies.

    • Gendered Exclusion and Discrimination in Academia


      This roundtable aims to bring together a plurality of views about gendered dynamics in academia. For a wealth of reason, security studies as a research field has been traditionally dominated by few dominant, hegemonic ideas of masculinity. Those ideals have emerged and established a cultural complex leading to the creation and reproduction of patterns of exclusion and discrimination based on gender, sex and race, among others. Notwithstanding significant advances, gendered exclusion and discrimination is still visible in citation patterns, group dynamics at conferences and in the classroom, students´evaluations, diminished opportunities along the career ladder. But what is the problem(s) more precisely? And how can EISS as a network become more aware of these dynamics and contribute to transforming academia into a more inclusive environment? In this roundtable we aim to bring together several leading experts on this topic, which will help us to identify the problem(s), reflect on key advances and develop new initial key tools.