The Resources portion of the CSS website is the successor to the International Relations and Security Network (ISN). As in the case of its predecessor, the fundamental purpose of the Resources section is outreach -- i.e., it features the publications and analyses of CSS experts, external partners and like-minded institutions in order to promote further dialogue on important international relations and security-related issues.
Security Watch Series and Features
22 Jun 2018 | Security WatchContextualizing Cyber Operations
For Robert Dewar, there is something missing from many recent political and academic analyses of cyber operations. Such studies may address the ‘who’, ‘what’ and ‘how’ of cyber operations. However, they pay much less attention to the ‘when’ question, referring to the context of the incidents in which cyber operations are deployed. In response, Dewar here reviews a series of high-profile cyber incidents to help answer this overlooked question. In doing so, he also identifies five distinct socio-political and geopolitical contexts in which cyber operations regularly occur.
22 Jun 2018 | CSS Blog NetworkIs the UN Security Council Losing Legitimacy?
Anjali Kaushlesh Dayal believes that the US’ withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal has left the UN Security Council (UNSC) standing at a precipice. Washington’s move to break an agreement it helped orchestrate seriously calls into question its future compliance with other UNSC decisions. Further, this may erode the willingness of other states to comply with the council’s decisions, undermining the importance of the body. This is troubling, argues Dayal, as a world without an authoritative UNSC is also likely to be more violent.
20 Jun 2018 | Security WatchSocial Vulnerability in Affluent Contexts: An In-depth Analysis of Social Vulnerability in Zürich
This CSS report uses Zürich as a case study to examine how changing demographic, economic and cultural conditions affect social vulnerability to hazards in generally affluent societies. More specifically, it focuses on six hazards relevant to the city: floods, heat waves, chemical accidents, crime, pandemics and landslides. Key findings include 1) that those considered vulnerable in their everyday lives are also likely to be the most vulnerable in a disaster; 2) that local characteristics are vital in understanding vulnerability; and 3) that disaster managers must be capable of adapting to the ever-changing nature of vulnerability.
20 Jun 2018 | CSS Blog NetworkAfter Crimea: The Future of Nordic Defence Cooperation
In December 2009, the Nordic countries merged three existing frameworks for military cooperation to establish the Nordic Defence Cooperation (NORDEFCO) framework. They did so to improve cost-effectiveness. However, Håkon Lunde Saxi and Karsten Friis highlight that since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, NORDEFCO has become more intertwined with addressing pressing security issues in the Nordic region. So how did this situation emerge? Further, what potential is there for further Nordic cooperation through the framework? In this blog, our authors respond to these questions and more.
Jun 2018 | PublicationsGlobal Peace Index 2018
This twelfth edition of the Global Peace Index ranks the peacefulness of 163 nations according to 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators. In addition to providing the index’s findings and an overall trend analysis, the report also includes an updated assessment of the economic impact of violence as well as trends in Positive Peace: the attitudes, institutions and structures that create and sustain peaceful societies.
18 Jun 2018 | CSS Blog NetworkMerkel and Macron: Edging towards Change?
Josef Janning argues that due to Germany’s dependence on working with others, current challenges to the multilateral order from states large and small are particularly concerning for Berlin. Indeed, he believes that the time has come for Germany to respond by addressing the EU’s need for unity and reform. But is German Chancellor Angela Merkel taking the initiative to make this happen? To find out, our author reviews a recent interview with the Chancellor and whether it reveals if she is edging towards French President Macron’s European reform proposals.
15 Jun 2018 | Security WatchRussian Analytical Digest No 216: Winter Olympics/World Cup
This issue of the RAD assesses Russia´s use of major sporting events to promote its soft power, prior to its hosting of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. More specifically, Robert Orttung first compares how Russia and South Korea made use of their hosting of recent Winter Olympic Games to further their national goals, arguing that South Korea was more effective and at a lower cost. Vitaly Kazakov then examines the role Russian leaders, sports celebrities and football fans play in promoting Russia´s image abroad, including why they are not fulfilling their potential.
15 Jun 2018 | CSS Blog NetworkIran, Russia: What’s at Stake in the Syrian Civil War
Russia and Iran may have cooperated in Syria to support the Assad regime, but Xander Snyder argues that this arrangement is just a marriage of convenience. The two powers do not share geostrategic reasons for being in Syria. Further, while Iran’s presence relates to existential threats facing the country, one of Russia’s key motivations for assisting Assad is simply to demonstrate its reemergence as a global power. Snyder notes that it is not surprising, then, that Moscow’s recent call for foreign armed forces to withdraw from Syria did not please Tehran.
13 Jun 2018 | Security WatchFlexibility by Design: The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the Future of Eurasian Cooperation
Should we pay more attention to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)? Given its potential significance, particularly with regard to Russia and China’s engagement in Central Asia, Linda Maduz contends we should. As a result, she here explores 1) the SCO’s distinctive features in terms of its set-up and agenda; 2) how China’s priorities and Sino-Russian relations have played a key role in shaping cooperation in the organization; 3) SCO enlargement and why it has been so divisive; 4) how Europe and Switzerland could engage with the organization, and more.
13 Jun 2018 | CSS Blog NetworkDeterrence in Cyberspace
According to Chris Painter, the past few years has seen a substantial increase in state attacks on critical information systems around the globe. Indeed, the pace and severity of these attacks show no sign of declining, in good part because there have usually been little or no consequences or costs imposed on those who carried them out. So how can the international community create credible consequences for state-sponsored cyberattacks and help deter their use? Here is Painter’s response.
Our featured partner this week is the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP), which conducts independent, practically-minded research that's used to advise both the German parliament and federal government on foreign policy and security affairs.