Security Briefs
Security Briefs
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The security briefs by Deutsch Security Square provide concise policy analysis of topical issues in global security that is informed by and draws on the expertise of the Centre's members.

For the list of our academic publications, please refer here.

  • After Paris: Securing Cities in the Age of Uncertainty


    Date of publication: 20/11/2015

    The terrorist attacks committed in Paris sent shockwaves throughout Europe and the world. In this brief, Katarina Svitkova proposes what can be done by European cities and their inhabitants to counter this form of terrorist threat. She argues that a part of the strategy to reduce the risks associated with the political violence Europe now faces should be, in particular, adopting resilience thinking in governing urban security, designing specific contingency plans for cities, maintaining psychological resilience for immediate response, pursuing resilience by design in urban planning, and supporting long-term and city-specific public awareness.

  • United Nations Peacekeeping: Trends and Challenges


    Date of publication: 18/11/2015

    The UN has recently celebrated its seventieth anniversary. Next year will mark six decades of its engagement in international peacekeeping operations the future of which was debated by leaders of more than fifty states in New York this September. In the Square's new brief, Dagmar Rychnovska with Jan Daniel argue that UN peacekeeping operations do have a role in helping to mitigate and stabilize armed conflicts but should not be seen as a universal solution to political and military crises. To be effective, partnerships with regional organizations must be further developed together with the engagement of local communities on the principles of equality and transparency. The peacekeepers, they conclude, must also be ready to familiarize themselves with the established and functioning practices of the local communities.

  • The Captivating Visual Utopias of Sunni Jihadism


    Date of publication: 10/09/2015

    In the Square's new security brief, Petr Spelda provides an overview of reality-suppression strategies in the visual propaganda of the Islamic State Group that are employed to build "alluring utopias", or compositions of virtual post-apocalyptic sociopolitical orders. He argues that as reactive counterpropaganda is doomed to be ineffective, we need positive programs, erecting utopias of our own that conceive of liberal democratic arrangements not as routines but tenous systems which, when maintained properly, empower anybody regardless of their background. In addition, he outlines ways of improving software toolsets capable of effectively assisting law enforcement agencies in producing sound empirical assessments.

  • The Laboratory in Discord: The European Union at the 2015 NPT Review Conference


    Date of publication: 03/07/2015

    In this brief, Michal Smetana makes an assessment of the EU performance at the 2015 NPT Review Conference. Although not a party to the treaty itself, the EU has long striven for a greater visibility in the area of nuclear non-proliferation, but its ambition in this area remains unfulfilled. As an actor, the brief concludes, the EU will not be able to produce a coherent common position and play a more significant role in the NPT review process unless there is a fundamental change in the position towards nuclear disarmament on one or the other side of the opinion spectrum occupied by the member states.

  • City as a Battleground: Trends in Urban Warfare


    Date of publication: 26/05/2015

    Cities always were and continue to be strategic sites for military engagement. In this brief, Katarina Svitkova explores recent developments in strategy and tactics of urban operations. She concludes that while military-technological edge is imperative to achieve tactical success, securing cities in a long term requires maintaining healthy circulations that keep urban systems going, something that is beyond the capacities of even today's most advanced militaries, and in the future, police and military functions are going to be increasingly intertwined.

  • Israel and International Community: Towards Lawfare?


    Date of publication: 11/05/2015

    Jakub Zahora argues that following the election late in March, Israel is likely to face ever increasing threat of "lawfare" and will continue to alienate even traditional allies in the international community, including the United States. The case of Iran's nuclear programme highlights how Israel's international image and its security and military policies are inseparable. While this is being realised in Israel, the brief concludes, the response against these efforts may turn futile and even counterproductive, eventually influencing Israeli leaders to contemplate actual change in their policies.

  • Disarmament Politics in the Age of Emerging (Bio)technologies: What Next?


    Date of publication: 06/05/2015

    Dagmar Rychnovska takes a look in this security brief at how the debate on novel biotechnologies enters the realm of disarmament politics. She focuses on the current development related to the Biological Weapons Convention and points out hte problems of linking biological disarmament to a broader scope of societal risks posed by modern life sciences. The brief concludes by arguing for more inclusive and balanced debate on governing biotechnologies that would not be restricted by the language of security and institutions of disarmament and that would allow more complex understanding of the problem and its potential solutions.

  • Cyber Threats Should Be Assessed with a Cool Head


    Date of publication: 27/04/2015

    In this security brief, Nikola Schmidt seeks to straighten the perspective that is used in assessing new cyber security environment. He argues against overestimating the threat which leads to over-reaction in terms of strenghtening current or developing new institutions to tackle cyber threats, and for engaging in striving to better understand what the cyber threat in fact is; how does it develop; change in time; how the cyber capabilities are detectable and thus predictable; and why we are wasting time by drawing doomsday scenarios that might never fulfill.

Security Briefs

The security briefs by Deutsch Security Square provide concise policy analysis of topical issues in global security that is informed by and draws on the expertise of the Centre's members.

For the list of our academic publications, please refer here.