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EISS 2024 - Annual ConferenceAnnual Conference

Institute of Political Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University

Institute of Political Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University

Ovocný trh 560/5, 110 00 Staré Město, Czech Republic
Hugo Meijer (Sciences Po CERI), Nicolas Blarel (Leiden University), Silvia D'Amato (Leiden University)

Welcome to the EISS Annual Conference! This is our largest event, bringing together hundreds of academics, graduate students, and policy-makers.

This year, we are bringing EISS to Prague, with the kind support of Charles University.

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. They are intended to broaden the range of existing themes in the EISS and to provide the community with the chance to uniquely shape the programme and content of the Conference.

From the same series
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EISS 2024 - Registration
  • Alessandra Russo
  • Alies Jansen
  • Andreas Kruck
  • Andriy Bulezyuk
  • Antonio Calcara
  • Chelsea Thorpe
  • Chiara Libiseller
  • Dagmar Ludačková
  • Damien Van Puyvelde
  • Eva Pejsova
  • Franziska Stärk
  • Friso Stevens
  • Giorgia Piovesan
  • Ido Gadi Raz
  • Isabelle Duyvesteyn
  • Janani Mohan
  • Jonata Anicetti
  • Jovana Jezdimirovic Ranito
  • Julia Carver
  • Laura Lisboa
  • Lauren Sukin
  • Lorenz Sommer
  • Lydia Wachs
  • Maren Vieluf
  • Marius Ghincea
  • Mattia Sguazzini
  • Michal Smetana
  • Michelle Haas
  • Moritz Weiss
  • Müberra Dinler
  • Niccolò Petrelli
  • Nicolas Blarel
  • Oldrich Bures
  • Ondřej Rosendorf
  • Samuel Seitz
  • Sanne Verschuren
  • Simon Reich
  • Simon Saradzhyan
  • Sorcha MacLeod
  • Unaesah Rahmah
  • Zachariah Parcels
  • Zakia Shiraz
  • +17
    • 9:00 AM
      Registration and Coffee
    • Defence Cooperation and Military Assistance: Maritime Issues

      For nearly all states, various forms of defence 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 organisations 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 defence 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 defence-industrial research. This panel invites papers on defence 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, human smuggling and the impact of global climate change). Papers may also cover the creation and evolution of defence institutions, cooperation arrangements whether in bi-, tri-, or ‘minilateral’ ways and, last but not least, the organisational and operational aspects of innovation within the context of defence cooperation.

      Convener: Isabelle Duyvesteyn (Leiden University, Faculty of Humanities, Institute of History)
      • 1
        Navigating the Indo-Pacific: A Comparative Analysis of ASEAN and Quad Frameworks

        The Indo-Pacific region has experienced a notable surge in the establishment and consolidation of new multilateral and minilateral frameworks, largely driven by the shifting geopolitical landscape shaped by China's growing influence. Notably, he Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad), consisting of Australia, India, Japan, and the United States, has advanced through intensive and regular cooperation to address pressing challenges in the region such as climate protection and health policy to maritime security. Concurrently, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a political and economic union representing 10 states in Southeast Asia, has progressively expanded its objectives to encompass the establishment of a shared security regime, in ordeer to contrast political repression by member states, narcotics trafficking,and terrorism.
        However, a noticeable research gap persists in the current literature regarding the ASEAN and Quad frameworks comparison. This paper aims to delve into the evolving dynamics within these two entities, meticulously scrutinizing the intricate interplay of differences, convergences, and emerging challenges within the evolving geopolitical landscape. The research will unfold in several key dimensions. Firstly, it will thoroughly examine the impact of changing geopolitical dynamics on joint military exercises, capacity-building efforts, and trainings for defense cooperation. Secondly, an in-depth analysis of existing charters and members' declarations will be conducted to illuminate the formal structures and commitments of both ASEAN and the Quad. Thirdly, the research will delve into the ASEAN-Quad bilateral relations with countries in the region —specifically South Korea, Mongolia, and Pakistan— providing a comprehensive understanding of the interconnectedness of these frameworks. Finally, the paper will undertake examine and analyze the interactions between ASEAN and the Quad. This comparative approach will shed light on the distinct roles, contributions, and potential collaborations between the two frameworks, thereby contributing to a more nuanced understanding of defence cooperation dynamics in the Indo-Pacific region.

        Speaker: Giorgia Piovesan (University of Glasgow)
      • 2
        Multilateral Maritime Exercises and Strategic Change The American Case and Beyond

        Multilateral military exercises (MMEs) are largely ignored by scholars of international security, despite the fact that they tell us much about a state’s strategic goals and contingency plans. They arguably serve as a better indicator of a state’s intent than either studying discourse or policy documents alone or other metrics than are often invoked such as force structure, which may take decades to substantially alter. In that sense, they are a better predictor of where states intend to conduct humanitarian operations, manage crises or fight wars. Furthermore, their planning and execution represents a huge investment of any military’s time and energy, often being described as the “meat and potatoes” of what military forces do. In sum, they matter in theoretical, policy and operational terms.

        We examine that the role that maritime multilateral exercises play in the implementation of American grand strategy in three regions—Europe, the greater Middle East and the Indo-Pacific. First, we develop a conceptual framework, offering a threefold categorization of types and MMEs, and an explanation for why each might predominate in a particular region. Second, we explain why we focus on US-led exercises. We then discuss what MMEs can reveal about the evolving strategies of the last three American presidential administrations (Obama Trump, and Biden). Third, we examine our claims in the U.S.’ primary three theaters of operation, examining variance both across the regions and within each region over time and perceptions of the operating environment has changed. Finally, we conclude by considering the potential for using this approach to study the grand strategies of other states) in a comparable manner.

        Speakers: Peter Dombrowski, Prof. Simon Reich (Rutgers University)
      • 3
        Sino-Russian joint military exercises in focus: New strategic confluences in the Asia-Pacific

        This paper examines the current state of Sino-Russian strategic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region through the lens of joint military exercises. Over the last two decades, China and Russia have conducted an increasing number of joint military exercises around the globe, both multilaterally and bilaterally. In 2012 the two countries launched their first joint naval exercise in the Yellow Sea, codenamed “Joint Sea-2012”. Since then, China and Russia have continued to develop their “Comprehensive Strategic Cooperation” and conducted a series of strategic air and naval patrols in the Asia-Pacific. Additionally, they have shown more willingness to take political risks, by increasing their military presence in sensitive sea lanes in the East China Sea, the Sea of Japan, and the Western Pacific. Drawing on existing academic literature on political and coercive signaling, this paper highlights the diplomatic-military dimension, as well as the significance of Sino-Russian exercises. By outlining emerging trends in the planning of bilateral exercises between China and Russia over the past decade, this paper shows how China is gradually shaping this cooperation to its advantage. Finally, this paper offers a reflection on the strategic risks and potential for escalation against the backdrop of territorial disputes and China’s military ambitions in the region.

        Speaker: Jerome Gapany (Military Academy (MILAC) at ETH Zurich)
      • 4
        Toward a Novel Conception of Naval Strategy for Small Countries

        With the advent of the New Revolution in Military Affairs, the strategic environment that existed during the post-Cold War “unipolar moment,” when the US and its junior alliance partners could conduct combined arms operations with guaranteed air superiority and freedom of maneuver in the seas, is no more. Nevertheless, the fact that the globalized, hyperconnected 21st century will be a century where great power competition will in large part be over command of the sea is at odds with the scant literature to inform in particular small states’ naval strategy in the new bi/multipolar strategic environment. While there have been some recent works reviewing the literature, for example by Mulqueen et al. and McCabe et al., the latter rightly admit that these works have “only touched the surface of the topic”; indeed, it is more descriptive than theorizing.
        Long lulled into a false sense of security, and unwavering American protection, Europe’s current posture and approach are wholly inadequate. Especially if multiple crises in different parts around Europe crop up simultaneously, smaller European states dependent on the UK and France––Europe’s only two serious naval powers––will soon be overwhelmed. At the same time, it is smaller European countries’ combined economic surplus that can potentially yield the added capabilities that move us to European “strategic autonomy.” That is, if a region-centered common naval strategy is devised, a communication and command infrastructure separate from NATO is set up, needs-based procurement toward 2035 happens in a coordinated, complementary fashion, and there is the political will and long-term financial commitment along the lines of the “Zeitenwende” to do so. This article explores what a credible European external posture could look like, and how small European navies could contribute to such an overall stronger defense outlook.

        Speaker: Dr Friso Stevens (University of Helsinki)
    • Open Panel 1: Actors, Interests and Interdependencies in East Asian Security Competition
      Convener: Samuel Seitz (University of Oxford)
    • 12:30 PM
    • 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 behaviour 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 neighbouring fields such as peace and conflict research, war studies and military sociology.

      Convener: Kersti Larsdotter (Swedish Defense University)
    • Private Actors, Armed Conflict, and the State: Private Actors, Armed Conflict and the State

      Private actors are at the centre 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 behaviours 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.

      Convener: Dr Andreas Kruck (LMU Munich)
    • Military Technology

      This panel focuses on the interplay between military technology and global security – and how scholars study it. Emerging technologies are unquestionably shaping the ways in which policy makers, military, and industry do security and defence. New developments in artificial intelligence, autonomous systems, additive manufacturing, hypersonics, quantum computing, and space technology are projected to have transformative – even disruptive – effects on strategic stability, military innovation, defence economics, and the conduct of warfare. Most new military technology is dual use and has commercial origins, widening the spectrum of threats and actors with access to technology thanks to cheaper alternatives to military-grade systems. This trend affects the relations among commercial interests (private companies), scientific thought leaders (epistemic communities), those who weaponize technology (militaries), and those who develop technology policy (political leaders). Research on designing key principles for global technology governance and standards for military applications of emerging technologies is in high demand, while the dynamics between old and new technologies on the battlefields is still poorly understood. At the same time, how we study military technology requires more methodological rigor. Responsible forecasting is yet to moderate exaggerated expectations about military technology’s capabilities, inclinations to technological determinism, and strategic overkills. This panel invites submissions that theoretically and conceptually advance our understanding of how military technology changes the security environment. It encourages diversity in scientific disciplines (political science, sociology, economy, history, philosophy), theories, and methods, since the panel primarily aims to facilitate dialogue between scholars interested in how politics and technology interact.

      Convener: Sanne Verschuren (Boston University)
    • Open Panel 2: Knowledge Production on War
      Convener: Matus Halas (Institute of International Relations)
    • 4:30 PM
      Poster Session / Coffee Break
    • 3:30 PM
      Lunch Break
    • 6:30 PM
      Coffee Break
    • 10:15 PM