General introduction

The European Initiative on Security Studies (EISS) is a Europe-wide cluster of over sixty universities that share the goal of consolidating security studies in Europe.

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 permanent standing groups, and their panels at the annual conference, gather scholars to discuss their current or future research projects. The EISS encourages research that originates from a range of different theoretical perspectives and/or applies interdisciplinary approaches (political science, history, sociology, etc.). Each partner institution participates in the EISS with one/two scholars and covers the accommodation and travel expenses to Paris of its one/two scholars attending this event.


The Aim of the EISS

The EISS is a Europe-wide network of over sixty universities (see the list of partner institutions in the annex) that share the goal of consolidating security studies in Europe. The 2017 EISS conference gathered approximately a hundred scholars and a second edition will be organized in 2018.

The aim of the European Initiative on Security Studies is two-fold. The first goal of the EISS is to develop and sustain a Europe-wide network in the field of security studies, with an annual conference and permanent thematic standing groups in which scholars can present their current projects. This gives visibility to the range of individual and collective research projects currently underway in Europe. The second goal is to establish a forum for the exchange of ideas in order to foster new joint research projects and develop international research partnerships. The EISS annual conference is therefore not a standard conference based exclusively on paper presentations, but is conceived as a forum for fostering international research cooperation. For this reason there are no “discussants” per se and presentations are aimed at generating discussions between the audience and the panel, moderated by the chair. The thematic panels provide the opportunity not only to engage with papers and existing research projects but also to generalize about the future research potential of specific topics or approaches (theoretical, epistemological, methodological, empirical etc.)

The EISS has three main characteristics: it is (i) thematically-driven and open to all theoretical approaches, (ii) interdisciplinary and (iii) geographically inclusive. First, the EISS is not only limited to one specific theoretical approach to security studies but rather seeks to be inclusive. It is organized in panels that cover a large range of themes in the field of security studies.

The EISS is interdisciplinary in that it gathers among others historians, political scientists, geographers and sociologists sharing an interest in developing security studies in Europe. Finally, the EISS seeks to be as inclusive as possible from a geographical perspective. In the coming years, the aim is to broaden the range of partner institutions and continue to expand the membership.



2018 EISS Conference

The 2018 EISS Conference: A New Format

The second conference of the European Initiative on Security Studies (EISS) will be held in Paris on 21-22 June 2018 at the University Panthéon-Assas (Paris 2). It is organized by the Association for the Study of War and Strategy (AEGES) in collaboration with the Center Thucydides and the Center for Studies and Research on Administrative and Political Science (CERSA) of the University Panthéon-Assas (Paris 2). The Academic Director of the EISS is Dr. Hugo Meijer, European University Institute

Provisional Program

              June 21 Thursday
Amphithéâtre 1


Opening Remarks

Hugo Meijer, European University Institute, Italy


Keynote Speech

Beatrice Heuser, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom


Salle 214 Salle 315
10h30-12h Defense Cooperation

Chair: Ulrich Krotz, European University Institute, Italy

Collective Security and Strategic (In)Stability in Cyberspace

Chair: Frédérick Douzet, University Paris-8, France

12h-14h Lunch
14h-15h30 Military Interventions

Chair: Peter Viggo Jacobsen, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark

Private Actors and Conflict

Chair: Elke Krahmann, University of Kiel, Germany

15h30-16h Coffee Break
16h-17h30 Alliances and Military Innovation

Chair: Alexander Lanoszka, City, University of London, United Kingdom

Asymmetric Threats, Non-State-Actors and Domestic Politics

Chair: (tbc)


17h30-19h Military  Technology

Chair: Mauro Gilli, ETH-Zurich, Switzerland

WMD Non-Proliferation and Arms Control

Chair: Målfrid Braut-Hegghammer, University of Oslo, Norway


             June 22 Friday
9h30-11h Europe Nuclear Deterrence in the Era of Putin, Trump and Brexit

Chair: Corentin Brustlein, French Institute of International Relations (IFRI), France

Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism

Chair: Isabelle Duijvesteijn, Leiden University, Netherlands

11h-12h30  European Grand Strategy

Chair: Marina Henke, European University Institute, Italy

Hybrid Threats, Criminal Insurgencies and the Path Toward Multi-Domain Security

Chair: David Garcia Cantalapiedra, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain

12h30-14h00 Lunch
14h-15h30 Intelligence

Chair: Antonio Diaz, University of Cadiz, Spain

Arms Procurement and Transfers

Chair: Matthew Uttley, King’s College London, United Kingdon

15h30-16h00 Coffee Break
16h00-17h30 Democratization and Politicization of Military Issues in Europe

Chair: Delphine Deschaux-Dutard, University of Grenoble Alpes, France

Security and Deterrence in Asia

Chair: John Nilsson Wright, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom


  Amphithéâtre 1
18h00-18h30 Concluding Session

Open Discussion on the EISS

18h30-20h Cocktail

Appartement Décanal


Address: 92 rue d Assas, 75006 Paris 

Closed & Open Panels: General Information

In contrast to last year’s event, the 2018 EISS Conference will include both ‘closed’ panels an ‘open’ panels.

‘Closed’ panels focus on themes decided by the EISS (cf. the table above). Those interested in presenting a paper or an ongoing research project in a Closed Panel should send an abstract (300 words max) to the panel’s chair (cf. the chair’s email addresses and the description of the different panels below). Please make sure to send the paper abstracts directly to the panel’s chair, not to the EISS. Each panel includes 4-5 speakers.

Selection Criteria for the 4-5 presentations in each panel: (1) Gender diversity; (2) multidisciplinarity/interdisciplinarity (history, political science, sociology etc.); (3) Broadest geographical reach possible (western, northern, eastern, southern Europe); (4) Quality and originality of the papers.

‘Open’ panels allow participants to propose a panel’s theme and speakers. The proposals should include: (1) an abstract of the panel summarizing its academic goals and originality (300 words max); (2) the name and affiliation of the 4-5 speakers; (3) an abstract for each presentation (300 words max). The ‘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. Please send the panel proposals for ‘open’ panel to

Selection Criteria for the 4-5 presentations in each panel: (1) Gender diversity; (2) multidisciplinarity/interdisciplinarity (history, political science, sociology etc.). The proposals should focus on specific themes that can be addressed from a variety of disciplines; (3) Broadest geographical reach possible (western, northern, eastern, southern Europe); (4) Quality and originality of the panels.

NB: In light of the aims of the EISS, the chairs and speakers of both ‘closed’ and ‘open’ panels are strongly encouraged not only to discuss the papers and existing research projects but also to generalize about thefuture research potentialof specific topics or approaches (theoretical, epistemological, methodological, empirical etc.) and, ideally, on the prospect for future joint research projects.



The deadlines for submitting paper proposals for closed panels and panel proposals for open panels are as follows:

  • 31 January 2018: deadline for sending paper proposalsto the panel chairs (cf. emails below) and panel proposalsto the EISS (
  • Mid-late February 2018: decision on open panels by EISS; and on papers for closed panels by chairs
  • March 2018: final program sent to participants

The paper proposals are selected by the panel chairs. The panel proposals are selected by the EISS board, which includes members of the governing board of the Association for the Study of War and Strategy (AEGES) within which the EISS is legally located

Other Key Information on the EISS 2018

  • Contact:
  • Maximum n° of participants per university = 3
  • Travel/accommodation expenses: No funding is provided by the EISS. Applicants are advised to seek funding for travel/accommodation from their home institution
  • EISS Partner Institutions: By accepting to cover the travel/accommodation of its participants, each university accepts to be included in the list of EISS Partner Institutions (which entails no other cost or contribution from the home university)
  • Length of presentation: 10 min
  • There will be a participation fee of 20 euros


Panel description

 Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism

Chair: Prof. Isabelle Duijvesteijn, Leiden University,

The topics of terrorism and counter-terrorism have in recent years received a huge amount of scholarly attention. The increase in scholarship can be seen in a positive light, we have gained knowledge and insight into the causes, processes and activities and termination of terrorist struggles. The scholarly output does, however, not always meet the highest scholarly standard, for which the field has rightly been criticized. The speed with which some material is published and the sometimes flimsy scientific underpinnings have been very worrisome aspects. The temptation to write treatises that summarize or integrate existing knowledge, rather than produce innovative and ground-breaking contributions, has been large. Currently, we see challenges both in regard to the consistency of the scholarly base and the content of contributions. First, how can we create a more solid and consistent base of scholarship? There is a large challenge to reduce fickleness of potential funders, who when terrorist threats rise make large funds available and when it subsides, lose interest. Second, the field is plagued by fashions. There is a consistent and hard to change lack of appreciation of (counter)-terrorism’s history. Furthermore, scholarship has devoted much time and effort in fashionable but often not very productive lines of research (e.g. the root causes discussion, radicalization and de-radicalization and WMD and terrorism). The establishment of critical terrorism studies has created a welcome theoretical diversity. However, instead of exchange, the response has generally been entrenchment. We invite contributions for this panel, which aim to discuss and debate any, or possibly all of these challenges. We hope to further solidify the foundations of our scholarship and work towards productive joint research.

Military Technology 

Chair: Dr. Mauro Gilli, ETH-Zurich,

We live in an era of unprecedented technological change. Progress in different fields, from biochemistry to computing, is revolutionizing our daily lives in ways that seemed unthinkable just a decade ago. These changes are also impacting the international system, including intra-state competition (such as US, China, Russia’s hypersonic and artificial intelligence race); conventional warfare (such as detection of submarines); irregular warfare (such as targeted killing as well as insurgents’ reliance on commercial drones); weapons procurement (increasing development times and costs); and others. This panel encourages research that looks at the causes and consequences of military technological change. The goal of it is to enhance our understanding of “big” theoretical questions that have also important practical implications, such as patterns of innovation, adoption, adaptation and employment of new military technologies. Different perspective and approaches are welcome. Preference will be given to papers that display in-depth substantive knowledge married with theoretical breadth and methodological rigor.

Defense Cooperation and Military Assistance

Chair: Prof. Ulrich Krotz, European University Institute,

States view defense cooperation and military assistance as central to their national security aims and agendas, be it through bilateral arrangements or through cooperation within and through regional organizations such as the African Union, the European Union, or the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Indeed, defense cooperation can take many forms, from joint military training and exercises to weapons research, development, and procurement. Also, it can be conducted in bilateral and multilateral settings. This requires unpacking the different types of defense cooperation and the entanglements of bilateral and multilateral arrangements underpinning national security policies. This panel covers defense cooperation and military assistance in a broad and inclusive sense, and welcomes analytical, theoretical, and/or empirical applications and research to these questions. Papers may cover the responses to traditional security challenges such as Russia’s military buildup or China’s rise, or more diffuse threats and problems such as counterterrorism, proliferation, migration, human smuggling, and the effects of global climate change. Papers may also cover the creation and evolution of defense institutions and cooperation arrangements whether in bi-, tri-, or “minilateral” ways.

Private Actors and Conflict

Chair: Prof. Elke Krahmann, University of Kiel,

International and national warfare has undergone massive changes over the past decades. One element has been the growing involvement of private actors, such as private military and security companies, transnational corporations and non-governmental organizations. In International Relations, debates about the implications of this development for our understanding of the causes, conduct and cessation of war have by no means been exhausted. New developments in the practices of conflict management, innovative theoretical perspectives and insights from other disciplines show that the proliferation of private actors is fundamentally transforming the ways in which war and peace are conceived and practiced. This panel invites presentations from a broad range of studies related to private actor in warfare in all its aspects. Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the theoretical or empirical analysis of private providers of force in different contexts, the involvement of extractive industries in local wars, and the activities of non-governmental organizations in conflict resolution.

Military Interventions

Chair: Dr. Peter Viggo Jakobsen, University of Southern Denmark,

Military intervention has gotten a bad name in the wake of the less than successful interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. “Never again” reactions have been accompanied by calls for a greater emphasis on prevention and political solutions. “Small and indirect” is the new mantra when military intervention is contemplated and advocated. They are supposed to be conducted by airpower and special forces in support of local actors. “Small and indirect” has not worked well in Syria, however, and that begs the question: how are Western states likely to do military intervention in the future? How can the European states tackle this challenge? The ongoing destabilization of the Middle East and (Northern) Africa will lead to situations where Western and European leaders will decide to intervene again in the future and sometimes with a land component. We therefore encourage papers that examine these challenges and consider how the European countries tackle them in the context of the US pivot to Asia, Brexit and a declining public appetite in Europe for the use of force. We invite both theoretical as well as more empirically-oriented papers, and they can focus on either the (lack of) will (strategic culture) and capability components or both.

WMD Non-Proliferation and Arms Control

Chair: Dr. Målfrid BrautHegghammer, University of Oslo,

There is currently a widening gap between the haves and have-nots in the global nuclear order. The ban on nuclear weapons has rallied the have-nots, and creates new tensions in the existing global nonproliferation regime. At the same time, the emergence of new nuclear powers threatens to create further instability, and spur further proliferation. This is likely to strain regional stability, and erode longstanding alliances, including NATO, that underpin current systems for nuclear deterrence and non-proliferation. This panel explores these compounding challenges, and how they appear from different regional perspectives. A common feature of these challenges is added uncertainty. For example, the impact of the ban on nuclear weapons on the existing pillars of the global nuclear order remains unclear. Furthermore, the combination of an eroding set of arms control treaties and modernization of nuclear arsenals creates new challenges for regional and global stability. Finally, the expected withdrawal of U.S. leadership from the global nuclear order could create a leadership vacuum with unforeseen consequences.


Chair: Prof. Antonio Diaz, University of Cadiz,

The aim of the panel is to present and discuss the experiences, projects and future proposals within the field of intelligence studies. The panel aims to discuss ongoing research activities and the findings of scholarly projects in the different topics, and from different disciplines, included in the whole spectrum of the intelligence studies. All theoretical, epistemological, empirical and methodological approaches are welcome as well as those papers with case studies and regional focus. Research proposals as well as the findings of research projects are both expected to be submitted to this panel. Papers will emphasize the potential for comparative and cross-sector analysis with the aim of creating a large European zone of intelligence and security sharing experiences. This panel will provide an opportunity for putting together academics to discuss and share insights and perspectives for future research projects and initiatives.

Arms Procurement and Transfers

Chair: Prof. Matthew Uttley, King’s College London,

Analysis of European arms procurement and transfers since the Cold War points to areas of continuity and discontinuity. Continuity is evident in the demand side of European defense markets for major weapons systems, which remain heavily dominated by national governments acting as primary buyers, sponsors and regulators of national defense industries and arms exports. It is also apparent in national and multilateral European governmental responses to rising intergenerational cost trends in weapons platforms, which continue to include international collaborative programmes and the intensification of European Union (EU) and other initiatives intended to increase the efficiency and sustainability of European procurement and defense industries. Correspondingly, discontinuities are evident in supply-side developments that have reduced the traditional control national governments have exercised over national defense production driven by the civilianization and internationalization of Europe’s defense industries, changing technological requirements in national armed forces (e.g. cyber) that are blurring traditional distinctions between military, non-military and ‘security-related’ capabilities, and the potentially disruptive effects of the United Kingdom’s Brexit vote for the future long-term viability of Europe’s defense technological and industrial base. For this panel, we invite papers that address any of these themes, or related issues. Contributions are welcome from all theoretical approaches and disciplines, and papers that focus on national or multilateral dimensions of arms procurement, transfers and defense and security industries.


 Annex: EISS Partner Institutions at the 2017 Conference

(EISS Partner Institutions are institutions which sent participants to the 2017 Conference or will do so in 2018)

 European Union:

    • European University Institute
  • Belgium:
    • Vrije Universiteit Brussels
    • Université Libre Bruxelles
    • University of Antwerp
    • University of Namur
  • Czech Republic:
    • Metropolitan University Prague
  • Denmark:
    • University of Copenhagen
    • University of Southern Denmark
  • France:
    • École Normale Supérieure
    • European School of Political and Social Sciences, Lille Catholic University
    • National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations
    • Sciences Po-Lille
    • Sciences Po-Paris
    • The Foundation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme
    • University of Cergy-Pontoise
    • University of Clermont-Ferrand
    • University of Grenoble
    • University of Lyon III-Jean Moulin
    • University of Montpellier
    • University of Poitiers
    • University of Vincennes in Saint-Denis (Paris 8)
    • University Panthéon-Assas (Paris 2)
    • University Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1)
    • University Paris-Est Créteil Val-de-Marne
  • Germany:
    • Hertie School of Governance
    • Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich
    • University of Hamburg
    • University of Siegen
    • Witten/Herdecke University
  • Greece:
    • National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
    • Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences
  • Hungary:
    • Central European University
  • Italy:
    • LUISS Guido Carli
    • Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies
    • Scuola Normale Superiore
    • University of Bologna
    • University of Genoa
    • Università San Raffaele Milano
  • Netherlands:
    • Erasmus University Rotterdam
    • Leiden University
    • University of Amsterdam
  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
  • Norway:
    • Norwegian Institute for Defense Studies
    • University of Oslo
  • Portugal:
    • New University Lisbon
    • University of Lisbon
  • Spain:
    • Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals
    • Universidad Complutense de Madrid
  • Switzerland:
    • Graduate Institute of International Relations and Development Studies
    • ETH Zürich/Center for Security Studies
  • Sweden:
    • University of Stockholm
    • Uppsala University
  • United Kingdom:
    • Cardiff University
    • City, University of London
    • King’s College London
    • Lancaster University
    • London School of Economics
    • School of Oriental and African Studies
    • University of Cambridge
    • University of Oxford
    • University of Reading
    • University of St. Andrews
    • University of York


The 2017 EISS annual conference

The Academic Director of the EISS is Dr. Hugo Meijer, Institute for Strategic Research (IRSEM) / European University Institute (EUI) ( The EISS annual conference is organized by the Association for the Study of War and Strategy (AEGES). Its first annual (two-days) conference took place 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 summary of the 2017 edition of the Conference, published (in French) in the Annuaire français des relations internationales is available for download here

The full program of the conference is available here