Centre for Security Studies

 

The role of security is paramount to all levels of the global environment, from international organisations and states to societies and individuals. Therefore, while the Centre for Security Studies (CSS) shall concentrate more specifically on topics of security, it shall situate itself in the larger domain of international relations studies. International security is in the end not merely defined by the concept of war or the effects to mitigate it, but rather goes far beyond it to encompass a plethora of issues. Every action of every actor in the international system defines the concept of security both for itself and for others in the system. In this, the concept of international security has been expanded to reflect, not merely the study of state security but also include topics like ethnic, sectarian and religious conflict; civil wars and state failure; cyber and space warfare; resource related security issues; the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; defence economics and also the role of ethics or morality in security policies.

 

The evolution of the field of international security studies is an impressive topic in itself. It has changed and diversified from an initial concern with superpower rivalry and nuclear weapons to focus upon sectors of political, economic, military, environmental and social life. CSS believes that these sectors must be better understood in order to gauge and examine their influence on important current trends defining international politics and dynamics as well. In this regard, the Coronavirus pandemic, a surge of populism in Europe, the threat of terrorism in Southeast Asia and increasing resource scarcity in many regions of the world must all be understood as key security issues in order to gain a deeper understanding of international security as a whole. The Centre for Security Studies shall therefore, through in-depth analysis, reports and policy briefs explore both regional and thematic topics in the broader field of International Security Studies.

 

There is also another aspect in which CSS shall attempt to introduce a unique approach. Much like the study of International Relations, the study of security is also a western dominated discipline and has in the past failed to understand aspects of security as viewed through other perspectives. The Centre thus also hopes to introduce newer, non-western perspectives to problems of security, so as to formulate more comprehensive policies and opinions in understanding global dynamics.

  • Provide research opportunities for students interested in understanding the increasingly dynamic 21st Century international security environment

  • Publish articles, policy briefs and reports on topics which are not extensively discussed by most available sources

  • Analyse and investigate actions of states and non- state actors that are critical to contemporary international security issues

  • Comprehensively identify, define and examine the political, social, economic and human costs of security

  • Provide fresh, new perspectives to the subject with the aid of our student led research initiatives

The Centre for Security Studies undertakes the following initiatives of article publication, policy briefs, book reviews and research papers. In this it publishes the articles of its research interns and associates on internationally recognized platforms.

 

Article Publications

Mendez, Zeus Hans. “Beijing’s Blunders: A Country Riddled with Fake Truths”. 2020. Centre for Security and Strategy Studies. http://cescube.com/vp-beijing-s-blunders-a-country-riddled-with-fake-truths.

 

Karmakar, Kritika. “Transnational Strategies of ISIS Post Baghdadi.” 2019. Modern Diplomacy. moderndiplomacy.eu/2019/12/22/transnational-strategies-of-isis-post-baghdadi/

 

Mendez, Zeus Hans. “A Resurging Possibility and an Increased Hope for a United Balochistan”.2019. Modern Diplomacy. https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2019/11/22/a-resurging-possibility-and-an-increased-hope-for-a-united-balochistan/.

 

Book reviews
Mendez, Zeus Hans. “Trumped by Dr Sreeram Chaulia- Book Review”.2020. Modern Diplomacy. https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2020/03/01/trumped-by-dr-sreeram-chaulia-book-review/.

 

Policy Briefs

Research Projects

The Centre is also working on broader and more comprehensive topics related to international security. These shall be published as extensive research papers, drawing on greater global trends rather than case specific dynamics. Contributions to the projects are made by our Director, Coordinators and Research Interns. Below are the projects currently undertaken by the Centre.

 

 

Project 1 : Global Trends in Critical Technologies

 

Abstract
With an ever-changing international environment, the very concept of security has slowly evolved through the years. This has led to drastic advancements in the field of military science and technology and, today, this pace seems to have accelerated exponentially. The turn of the century has seen concepts such as that of the Smart Soldier, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems dominate military planning and warfare. Every country that now seeks to enhance its military capabilities has set itself on the path of acquiring quicker and faster technologies that will increase the chances of victory as well as reduce battle casualties. This project shall therefore aim to evaluate the underlying dynamics, motivations and methodologies adopted by states in acquiring such critical technologies.

 

Significance
In gaining significant leverage over others, countries around the globe have begun a process of integrating advanced technologies, cyber warfare capabilities and Artificial Intelligence into their military operations. This has spurred many powerful states on a new arms race that is governed by aspects of the fourth Industrial Revolution and could have devastating consequences for the international system. It is thus essential to analyze the extent to which countries are willing to shape the future of warfare, so as to gain a better understanding of the effects of this on the strategic aspirations of states as well as its implications on human life.

 

Research Goals
The research project and final report intends to evaluate the acquisition and development of critical technologies by key militaries around the world with regards to their strategic motivations and the changing global dynamics, by including the following points –

  • Country wise case studies of projects under development with an emphasis on the US, China, Russia, Israel, India, Japan and Germany.
  • An analysis of technological advancements made by the armed forces of different nations over the past 5-10 years.
  • An assessment of differing advancements with regards to Military Modernization, Cyber, Space and Artificial Intelligence.
  • Methods adopted by states in the procurement of such critical technologies

 

 

Project 2 : Post-pandemic energy security

 

Abstract
There has always existed a strong connection between questions of energy and security. The pursuit of energy resources is a significant driver behind modern economies, and lies at the crux of many strategic ambitions and at times has been a cause for conflict. Today, with the COVID-19 pandemic, the connection between the two has come under increased strain. Supply Chain disruptions and a compromised demand for energy has endangered populations across the globe, leading to a possible crisis. Energy Security is definitive of current and future energy needs having a high probability of being met, irrespective of economic or political instability. Energy security lies at the crossroads of economic, environmental and national security, much of which will be altered after the pandemic redefines the terms of access for many. The project will thus aim to understand the challenges faced across the globe in ensuring energy security, analyze problems of sustainability and overdependence in certain cases, and highlight the policy prescriptions adopted by states in mitigating the negative effects of the pandemic.

Significance
Energy security and its vulnerability are specific to different systems, which raises three key concerns for governments and policy experts alike, i.e. Sovereignty, Robustness and Resilience.
While sovereign control and the robustness of resources have always been problematic, it is the resilience of states across the globe that will become a matter of apprehension after the pandemic. It is thus essential to analyze and study these dynamics in the context of availability and sustainability so as to understand the security and strategic implications for the same. The significance of this study lies in the relevance of the same to the current situation as experienced by states across the globe.

Research Goals
This project shall aim to understand the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Energy Security of different regions around the world, through the analysis of resource availability, state vulnerability and policy decisions. In this context it shall focus on-

  • The differing effects of the pandemic on energy security in Asia, Europe, Africa and South America.
  • The problems of access as faced by states in acquiring Natural gas, Oil, Hydro energy or Nuclear energy across these regions
  • The policies adopted by states in mitigating these problems during and after the pandemic
  • The implications of the above on humanitarian, power and strategic equations across the globe

 

 

Project 3 : Non-State Actors and the use of CBRN

 

Abstract
The use of CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear) weapons and their association with Non-State Actors (NSAs), raises many questions. With a significant amount of covert political support that is offered to these actors, a great deal of their activities remain undisclosed. However, it is undeniable that the use of WMDs (Weapons of Mass Destruction) poses a direct threat to human security and has damaging long term impacts. The clandestine nature of operations on part of both State and Non-State Actors regarding the development of such weapons has led to remarkably vague and unreliable information for scholars. This paper aims to, critically evaluate and analyze the various strategies that are employed by such Non-State Actors with regards to using CBRN and their subsequent implications on the world of security.

Significance
Acquisition of weapons of mass destruction by volatile Non-State Actors, is a major security concern at both the regional as well as international level. Developing WMDs and receiving subsequent financial aid for carrying out such activities, clubbed with the lucrative ways in which social media is being used as a tool of propaganda, signifies how formidable these actors can be. As NSAs constantly refurbish their technologies at an indigenous level, it becomes important to understand the operations of these organizations, in order to formulate effective policies to counter them.

Research goals
The research project aims to analyze the motivations and the capacity to develop CBRN weapons by NSAs, as well as the future consequences of their actions. This will be achieved by taking a look at the following points-

  • Brief introduction on NSAs and their links with extremism of various kinds
  • Motivations for using CBRN by NSAs
  • Strategies implemented by NSAs
  • Lone wolf attacks involving CBRN
  • Gaining access to and developing Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) by NSAs
  • Implications of owning and using CBRN by NSAs

 

 

Project 4 : The Threat of Right-Wing Extremism in Europe

 

Abstract
Europe, which was once considered to be the hub of the Industrial Revolution and Liberal thought, today is faced with an extremist problem of its own. As most terrorist attacks are normally linked to radicalized religious groups, the shifting political tide hints towards the rise of a new form of fanaticism. The escalation in the number of Right-Wing terrorist attacks in the recent years makes one question the severity of the case. This research paper will address the surge in Right Wing Extremism (RWE) in Europe as well as take a look at its transnational counterparts. It will analyze the modus operandi of such terrorist organizations and examine the various counterterrorism policies being formulated by states and agencies.

Significance
Europe is currently coping with multiple challenges of its own. The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a huge toll on its finances and its population. With an upcoming economic crisis and increasing political tensions, the resurgence of radical sentiments is very likely. In light of such events, there is a high possibility that extremist groups would aggravate these situations. In such a case, it becomes essential to understand the motivations of such actors, whilst inspecting the various factors that bolster them. By doing so, efficient policies to mitigate and counter such radical movements can be formulated.

Research goals
The project intends to evaluate the various security risks associated with the surging Right-Wing extremist ideologies in Europe, by analyzing the following points-

  • Understanding the psychology of Right-wing extremism- ideologies and motivations
  • Political involvement- analyzing the association of governments with terrorist groups.
  • Right wing extremist groups in Europe
  • Breaking down the strategies of functioning, recruitment and funding by RWEs
  • Utilization of the Dark Web
  • Case studies-

           – Germany- Neo- Nazi movements
           – UK
           – Canada

  • Counter-terrorism policies and tools of mitigations
  • Increasing transnational presence of RWEs- future risks and possibilities

 

 

Project 5: China’s Military Modernization

 

Abstract

In recent years, China’s assertiveness in world politics seems to be shifting the international balance of power. Apart from launching an ambitious economic project like the BRI (Belt and Road Initiative), drastic changes are being made in the organizational and operational systems of China’s military. These recent technological developments and China’s tight lipped approach, hints towards a bigger plan. The aim of this project will be to critically analyze China’s policies and statements made regarding its defence sector. It will also evaluate the various modernization efforts made by the nation in various departments of warfare, so as to gain a better understanding of its future implications.

 

Significance

Xi Jingping’s “Chinese dream” of creating stronger armed forces, is viewed with much apprehension by most states, especially the United States. On a regional level, this military expansion concerns not only the territories that are directly affected by China’s policies like Taiwan, but also India, who is seen as an upcoming Asian giant . China’s military modernization efforts and arms race seems to be unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of such circumstances, it is vital to assess China’s policies regarding its military development in understanding the implications of the same on both the regional as well as international security.

 

Research goals

The paper aims to analyze the policies and strategies implemented by china with regards to its military modernization. The following points will be discussed-

  • Analyzing official policy statements
  • Analyzing intentions and motivations
  • Organizational structural changes
  • Modernization programs across sectors – Nuclear, AI, Navy, missile programs, etc.

The Centre also presents opportunities to its research interns to participate in and contribute to weekly held discussions on topics of contemporary relevance. These brainstorming sessions shall attempt to bring clarity and newer perspectives to global issues of security. The ultimate goal shall be to establish a space for discussion, critique and analysis of both actions and policies related to international security.

 

On a weekly basis, after the end of each discussion, important points raised and questions addressed shall be uploaded here.

The Centre for Security Studies shall also hold public lectures and seminars by experts in the field.

The Centre for security studies (CSS) provides internship opportunities for all students of JSIA who are interested in critically analysing and studying the various contemporary events in the field of security studies. This is a voluntary internship that enables students to publish their research as part of joint projects or individual papers and articles. The intern will work closely with the Director and Research Associates over a period of 4-6 months.

 

Responsibilities

  • Contribute in research and writing towards ongoing research projects and/or contribute a minimum of 2 articles to the centre
  • Partake in weekly dialogues pertaining to ongoing research projects or policy briefs

 

Criteria

  • Full time student enrolled in the Undergraduate or Post­graduate program at the Jindal School of International Affairs
  • Excellent command of the English language
  • Strong analytical and reasoning skills
  • Capacity to work individually and in team settings
  • Should be committed to contributing and participating in weekly dialogues

 

Application

  • One detailed CV
  • One-page cover letter expressing one’s reasons in wanting to join the centre along with the research project he/she would like to work on
  • A short writing sample of no more than 1000 words on a topic of contemporary importance to international security

 

All applications must be submitted to pjha@jgu.edu.in.

Centre Director

 

Professor Pankaj Jha

Professor Pankaj Jha

 

Centre Coordinators

 

Zeus Hans Mendez

Zeus Hans Mendez

Kritika Karmakar

Kritika Karmakar

 

Research Interns

All queries to be directed to Professor Pankaj Jha, the Director of CSS at pjha@jgu.edu.in