Adam Svendsen has recently contributed to the UK Parliamentary Office of Science & Technology’s

Prof./Dr. Adam Svendsen, lecturer in Global Security & Intelligence on the program has recently contributed to the UK Parliamentary Office of Science & Technology’s (POST) Note publication on ‘Automation in military operations.

His contribution was based on the research findings of his report, ‘Risky or Rewarding? Navigating Diversity in Contemporary Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR)’, RSIS Policy Report (Singapore: March 2022)  and his contribution on ‘Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR)’, chapter 22 in J. Deni and D. Galbreath (eds), Routledge Handbook of Defence Studies (London: Routledge, 2018).

During October 2022, he has also been presenting his research findings to the Royal Netherlands Defence Academy and the Oxford Changing Character of War’s co-run the ‘Future of War’ Conference in Amsterdam and to the annual International Society of Military Sciences Conference, this year hosted by Portuguese Defence in Lisbon.

Paul D. Escott publishes a new book

Dr Paul D. Escott has published a new book titled Black Suffrage: Lincoln’s Last Goal.

Summary: In April 1865, as the Civil War came to a close, Abraham Lincoln announced his support for voting rights for at least some of the newly freed enslaved people. Esteemed historian Paul Escott takes this milestone as an opportunity to explore popular sentiment in the North on this issue and, at the same time, to examine the vigorous efforts of Black leaders, in both North and South, to organize, demand, and work for their equal rights as citizens.

As Escott reveals, there was in the spring of 1865 substantial and surprisingly general support for Black suffrage, most notably through the Republican Party, which had succeeded in linking the suffrage issue to the securing of the Union victory. This would be met with opposition, however, from Lincoln’s successor, Andrew Johnson, and, just as important, from a Democratic Party—including Northern Democrats—that had failed during the course of the war to shed its racism. The momentum for Black suffrage would be further threatened by conflicts within the Republican Party over the issue.

Based on extensive research into Republican and Democratic newspapers, magazines, speeches, and addresses, Escott’s latest book illuminates the vigorous national debates in the pivotal year of 1865 over extending the franchise to all previously enslaved men—crucial debates that have not yet been examined in full—revealing both the nature and significance of growing support for Black suffrage and the depth of white racism that was its greatest obstacle.

Should you want to buy the book you can click here

Dr Adam Svendsen publishes a report on Diversity in Contemporary Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) Strategies.

Dr Adam Svendsen, lecturer in our program, has published a new report. It focuses on navigating the diversity in contemporary intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) strategies.

The executive summary reads: With an international focus, this brief examines contemporary Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) trends. The brief concludes that substantially greater diversity in ISR is reflected overall, thanks in part to the increasing adoption of emerging technologies, such as automation and artificial intelligence (AI), which impact several changes influentially. Many rewards figure, notably “information advantage”. Less desirably, multiple pressing challenges and persistent uncertainties remain in the form of attendant risks, hazards, and other vulnerabilities. Continuing to be represented in a prominent manner, they are worthy of their constant, close, and careful evaluation into the future in overall ISR enterprises. Those efforts extend towards advancing further sustainable command-and-control-related management and addressing via “safeguards” and similarly-guiding “tools” to “frameworks” during navigation. Intelligence Engineering increases. Both regionally to globally, many corresponding implications for operations to strategies prevail, as well as for war to peace more broadly, as significant disruptors continue nearby.

Should you want to read more about it, click here.

Nathalia Berkowitz writes a report for the Council of Europe on judicial practice in relation to child sexual exploitation

Nathalia Berwokitz, a lecturer in our program, has written a report for the Council of Europe on judicial practice in relation to child sexual exploitation that has just been published.

Nathalia is a law reform expert and lawyer with working experience on sexual offences and trafficking in persons. Her background includes experience as a court advocate, a Ministry of Justice lawyer, a legislative drafter, a senior court manager and as an international advisor.

To access the report click here.

Fernando Lopez-Alvez publishes: The Undemocratic Future of 21st Century Liberal Democracy

Our director, Fernando Lopez-Alvez, has recently published an article called The Undemocratic Future of 21st Century Liberal Democracy. This piece has been published at our partner Academicus International Scientific Journal.


What is the future of liberal democracy? Is the “liberal” ingredient of 21st century democracy compatible with its “demos”? Are developed democracies more equalitarian and less stratified than other regimes? Or are present day democracies evolving into something different that needs a new definition? By the early 1990s liberal democracy appeared to have become the dominant system at a global scale. The hope of citizens, scholars, and observers was that the stride toward broader democratization and inclusion would continue. It did, but as this paper argues, the forms adopted by democratic regimes, especially under the fourth industrial revolution, are not necessarily democratic. Rather, liberal democracies have created a new aristocracy that includes high tech monopolies, extremely skilled professionals, and a selected intelligentsia that from social media, conglomerates, and many times Hollywood, supports this new stratified version of the democratic polity. Family dynasties, clientele networks, and mechanisms of reward and punishment reminds us of the pseudo democracies of the late 19th century. Surely the dwindling middle class in developed democracies still have some consumer power based on credit. Global markets offer many more available consumer goods than in the past, creating the illusion that all is going well. Comparatively, however, democracies are doing worse. As this paper shows, 21st century liberal democracies have concentrated wealth in fewer hands than in the recent past, have favored power centralization especially in the executive branch, have stimulated the formation of giant high-tech monopolies, and have generated more rigid forms of social stratification. Liberal democracies, therefore, are weaking, in many cases as the logical consequence of the natural evolution of the liberal doctrine, and in most cases because of profound changes at the global scale. Citizens’ confidence in their elected representatives has been in the decline for a long time. The increasing influence of populist nationalism is an indicator that confidence in traditional politicians continues to deteriorate. Democracy could not be democratic without the popular vote, but it has been precisely the popular vote that has empowered populist nationalist leaders, both from the right and the left. There is not very much that democracies can do about the coming to power via the ballot box of leaders who can rework the system in their favor and, in some cases, destroy it. As the paper shows, changes in the international system of power have not been favorable to liberal democracies, adding to its burdens. They are no longer the optimal model of choice, especially in the less developed world. Finally, I claim that the broken promises of political elites that have traditionally provoked voters’ apathy and loss of trust, have, In the 21st century, created new unintended consequences. They have generated illusions of entitlement and deservingness that, especially young voters, have converted into a sort anti-democratic culture that cares less for the collective and much more for themselves.

liberal democracy; globalization; United States; China; Fourth Industrial Revolution; populist nationalism

Full text available in PDF: Academicus-MMXXI-24-039-059.pdf

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