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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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 –
Project 2: Post-Pandemic Energy Security
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.
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.
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-
Project 3: Non-State Actors and the use of CBRN
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.
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.
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-
Project 4: The Threat of Right-Wing Extremism in Europe
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.
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.
The project intends to evaluate the various security risks associated with the surging Right-Wing extremist ideologies in Europe, by analyzing the following points-
Project 5: China’s Military Modernisation
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 organisational 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 analyse China’s policies and statements made regarding its defence sector. It will also evaluate the various mordisation efforts made by the nation in various departments of warfare, so as to gain a better understanding of its future implications.
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 regional as well as international security.
The paper aims to analyse the policies and strategies implemented by china with regards to its military modernisation. The following points will be discussed-
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 monthly basis, after the end of each discussion, comprehensive reports of each dialogue session shall be uploaded here.
The Indo-Pacific: Construct and Subscription (17th October 2020)
As a geographical concept, the Indo-Pacific has existed for a long time, however, it has over the years, been redefined along both political and strategic lines. Across the globe, powers have sought to increase their own influence in the region, either overtly or covertly. As great and rising powers alike seek to build on objectives of control and strategic influence, the Indo-Pacific is slowly being transformed into a region that could be the seat of greater competition and even conflict. In this regard, a race for strategic influence has spanned all sectors of state power: hard, sharp and soft; diplomatic, information, military and economic; seeking to exert and maintain influence over air, sea, land, space, cyber, technology and innovation. Nonetheless, the space itself has been defined in complex and distinct ways by each stakeholder involved. While some states see it merely as a geographical condition, others see it as a strategic reality and even others see it is as a construct that will evolve and soon disappear. However, it must be acknowledged that through whatever lens it may be perceived, the region itself is one that is defining strategic competition, and thus also a geopolitical reality of critical importance. It is therefore important, that both constructions and subscriptions of the Indo Pacific are assessed so as to understand the perceptions and possible actions of old and new stakeholders alike.
Mapping China’s Strategic Actions (26th September 2020)
Over the last two decades, China has emerged as a power with global aspirations. Some would argue that it has in fact attempted to remake the landscape of global politics; perhaps rightly so. Firstly, with its entrance into the World Trade Organization in 2001, China rapidly transformed its economy into the global leader in advanced technologies and trade that it is today. And this has in fact helped and propelled it towards advancing across the board; in technology, trade, production capabilities, military capabilities, space and cyber warfare; all of which will be highlighted in this report. Nonetheless, China’s rapid advancement today is a threat both regionally and internationally; especially since it has seemingly discarded and abandoned its policy of “hiding its strength and biding its time.” Its emergence today has created tensions across regions because as it has grown and advanced internally, it has also exerted its influence externally. China’s one belt one road initiative, its debt trap diplomacy, its militarization of the South China Sea, its string pearls strategy and its subtle takeover of international organizations is well known. Early expectations of its global economic integration being a booster for liberalization and even possible democratization have been proved wrong and this is even more threatening to China’s neighbourhood. For as China rises or discards its “peaceful rise”, it has not only become more assertive but also aggressive and therefore it is essential that we analyse, understand and Map China’s Strategic Actions
Contextualizing Radicalization Around the World (28th August 2020)
This Report is a Product of the Centre for Security Studies, Jindal School of International Affairs and was formulated after a discussion held on the 28th of August 2020.
The Arctic circle today is being transformed by a number of factors; not all limited to climate change and the environment. While the environment is undoubtedly a key agenda of many stakeholders, today the arctic is being characterized by issues of defense, security, law, governance, resource management, shipping, trade, politics, and strategy. In this regard, arctic security in the 21st century is defined by both arctic and non-arctic states; a fact that must be acknowledged and analyzed. The eight Arctic nations of Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Russia, and the United States are joined by others who have established or are seeking to establish a foothold in the region, through either defense, science, or trade. These include countries like China, India, the United Kingdom, and France; each of whom has a different agenda and policy towards the arctic. In this, with both arctic and non-arctic states seeking to exert their influence or maintain a presence in the region, it has become essential that these realities are mapped and analyzed, so as to understand the dynamics of a region, which is set to become another region characterized by competition and possibly conflict.
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.
All applications must be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All queries to be directed to Professor Pankaj Jha, the Director of CSS at email@example.com