Seminar on UK-Polish security policy

‘NATO after the Warsaw Summit 2016: British-Polish Perspectives in an Uncertain Security Environment’.

Seminar sponsored by the generous support of the Noble Foundation's Programme on Modern Poland.

Organisers: Prof Alister Miskimmon, Royal Holloway, University London and Prof Kerry Longhurst, Collegium Civitas

Senate House, Room SH264, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU, London, 26th May 2017

In a visit to Warsaw in February 2016, UK Prime Minister David Cameron called for a ‘full strategic partnership with Poland”, he added “I want to make a success of the vital NATO summit here in July and work to strengthen the eastern flank of the alliance (…) standing up to Russian aggression”. The Polish government also recognises the vital role the UK plays in European defence and has welcomed Britain’s considerable endeavours to strengthen NATO’s eastern flank. Ministers from both countries continue to reaffirm the centrality of NATO for their security and defence policies and also highlight the need for adapting the Alliance for new and future threats, whilst at the same time not losing its core function as a territorial defence organisation. Beyond, security and defence, there are palpable efforts being made to deepen bilateral relations on political, economic and societal levels, as illustrated by the establishment of the Belvedere Forum.    

These facts notwithstanding, a multitude of uncertainties and challenges prevail. BREXIT has brought to the fore manifold questions regarding British-Polish relations in general, as well as the former’s future role in European and Transatlantic security. Meanwhile, Russia continues to be a force of destabilisation and revisionism, prompting Poland and most of its regional neighbours to seek a beefing-up of NATO’s physical presence from the Baltic down to the Black Sea. Furthermore, the ramifications of the Trump Presidency for the evolution of NATO and wider Trans-Atlantic relations remain hard to estimate and predict.  

It is against this backdrop that the seminar will facilitate a discussion on British and Polish perspectives on security and defence policy within the framework of the evolution of NATO in an uncertain security environment. A key objective will be to assess areas of convergence and divergence between the two countries and how these might play out over time. The seminar is part of a research project funded by the Noble Foundation, which is led by Alister Miskimmon and Kerry Longhurst.


13:00               Introduction and Welcome – Alister Miskimmon

13:15               Panel 1: Developments in Defence and Security Policy in UK and Poland

Tom Dyson and Olaf Osica

14:15               Panel 2: Russian Influence in Eastern and Central Europe – UK and Polish Perspectives

  Ben O’Loughlin, Alister Miskimmon and Octavian Milewski

 15:15               Coffee

15:45               Panel 3: Polish and British Perspective on Regional Threats and Challenges – Terrorism and Migration

  Pauline Heinrichs and Piotr Buras

 16:45               Summing up and Next Steps – Kerry Longhurst


United Kingdom – Royal Holloway

Tom Dyson is Senior Lecturer in International Relations. His research interests lie in European defence and security and British, French and German defence policy. Dr Dyson is currently undertaking a Gerda Henkel Foundation Fellowship (2016-18) at the Bundeswehr Centre for Military History and Social Science which examines organisational learning in the British and German armed forces during ISAF. He is the author of The Politics of German Defence and Security (Berghahn, 2007); Neoclassical Realism and Defence Reform in post-Cold War Europe(Palgrave, 2010) and European Defence Cooperation in EU Law and IR Theory (Palgrave, 2013, with Dr Theodore Konstadinides). Dr Dyson has also published articles in the British Journal of Politics and International RelationsContemporary British HistoryContemporary Security PolicyDefence StudiesEuropean Law Review; European SecurityGerman Politics and Security Studies. Email:

Pauline Heinrichs is a PhD student at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her thesis focuses on German and UK narratives of counter-terrrorism policy. Pauline has an undergraduate degree from Royal Holloway and a Masters degree from Sciences Po, Paris. Email:

Alister Miskimmon is Professor of European Politics and International Relations at Royal Holloway, University of London. He works on strategic narratives, German foreign policy and European security.  Alister is part of an EU-funded Jean Monnet Network (2015-2018) conducting research on EU crisis narratives in Ukraine and Israel/Palestine. Alister’s other current project is on British and Polish defense policy after the 2016 NATO summit in Warsaw, funded by the Noble Foundation. Alister, Ben O’Loughlin, and Laura Roselle have published two books on strategic narratives -  Strategic Narratives: Communication Power and the New World Order (New York, Routledge, 2013) and Forging the World: Strategic Narratives and International Relations (Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press, 2017). Alister will be taking up the position of Head of the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics at Queen’s University, Belfast in June 2017. Web: Email

Ben O’Loughlin is Professor of International Relations and Co-Director of the New Political Communication Unit at Royal Holloway, University of London. He is co-editor of the Sage journal Media, War & Conflict. He was Specialist Advisor to the UK Parliament’s Select Committee on Soft Power, producing the report Power and Persuasion in the Modern World. His latest book is Forging the World: Strategic Narratives and International Relations (2017, University of Michigan Press) with Alister Miskimmon, and they are currently completing a book on narrative diplomacy and the 2015 Iran peace deal. Ben runs projects funded by Jean Monnet, Marie-Sklodowska Curie, and the British Council and Goethe Institute all researching culture and communication in Ukraine. Email:


Piotr Buras is a journalist, author and expert in German and European politics. Between 2008 and 2012 he worked as a columnist and Berlin correspondent for “Gazeta Wyborcza”, the biggest Polish daily. He started his professional career in the late 1990s at the Center for International Relations in Warsaw, one of the first Polish think-tanks. He continued his career at the Institute for German Studies at the University of Birmingham and at the University of Wroclaw (Poland). He was also visiting fellow at the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik in Berlin. His recent book “Moslems and the other Germans. The Reinvention of the Berlin Republic” was published in Polish in 2011.  

Professor Kerry Longhurst holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Strategic Studies from the University of Wales. She is a Jean Monnet Professor at Collegium Civitas and a Visiting Professor at the Natolin campus of the College of Europe. Prior to this she held an Advanced Marie Curie Fellowship at Ifri in Paris and was also Senior Lecturer at the European Research Institute at the University of Birmingham. Professor Longhurst has published widely on European Neighbourhood issues as well as other topics in European Security. Her publications include :'Forging a new Ostpolitik: An Assessment of the European Union's Eastern Partnership' (2010) Studia i Analizy (Collegium Civitas) Published in Polish and English; ‘Beyond Enlargement - The European Union and its New Eastern Neighbours’ in Thierry de Montbrial and Philippe Moreau Defarges (eds.) RAMSES 2010 - Crise mondiale et gouvernance globale (Dunod). (In French);‘Recasting Relations with the Neighbours - Prospects for the Eastern Partnership’ an Ifri Europe Visions Paper written with Susanne Nies;‘Injecting More Differentiation into European Neighbourhood Policy’ in Russia/NEI Issues.

Octavian Milewski: is a political scientist specialized on Central East European area studies. At present he is a PhD candidate in Sociology with the Polish Academy of Science, Graduate School of Social Research. His research interests are in Central and East European area studies, Russian foreign and security policy, Black Sea regional and security studies, as well as the European Neighbourhood Policy and EU external governance in the Eastern Partnership countries. He has an M.A. in European Interdisciplinary Studies with the College of Europe at Natolin, Warsaw (2015). Octavian Milewski has also earned an M.A. in International Relations from University of Bucharest (2005) and a B.M.A. in Political Science (2003) from the National School of Political Studies and Public Administration, Bucharest.

Olaf Osica: Previous head the OSW in Warsaw. Leader and manager, government consultant and advisor with over ten years’ experience in private and governmental think-tanks. Coordinator and participant of projects for public and private sector in the field of security and defense and EU external relations and energy policy. Media foreign policy commentator and author of numerous articles and book chapters on EU foreign, security and defense policy and transatlantic relations. He holds a PhD in social and political sciences from European University Institute in Florence (Italy). Participant on scholarships programmes of the US State Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France and German foundations (DAAD, GFPS-Polska).

Posted on Monday, May 22, 2017 at 03:35PM by Registered CommenterDr Alister Miskimmon | CommentsPost a Comment

Upcoming event - Jean Monnet Lecture Dr Giacomo Benedetto

Dr Benedetto will give the Jean Monnet Inaugural Lecture, entitled £350 million per week and why Europe needs a budget, on Tuesday 6 December 2016 at 6.15pm in the Main Lecture Theatre of Royal Holloway’s Founder's Building.

The Jean Monnet programme is an EU initiative named in honour of one of the founders of European integration, who was also the first President of the European Coal and Steel Community’s High Authority. The programme co-finances academic Chairs, research centres, networks, projects and course modules with a teaching or research focus on aspects of the European Union across the social sciences.

Posted on Friday, November 11, 2016 at 09:39AM by Registered CommenterDr Alister Miskimmon | CommentsPost a Comment

Rising Powers and the EU - Seminar on Chinese and Indian Foreign Policy - 6th September 2016

The Centre for European Politics welcomed leading scholars of China and India for a seminar on China and India's emerging foreign policy.

Professor Zhang Lihua is Professor of the Department of International Relations and China Director of Research Centre for China-EU Relations at Tsinghua University. She has published more than 50 academic articles and 7 books on China-EU Relations, Contemporary Chinese Politics, Chinese Culture and Diplomacy, and Political Theory. She is currently working on a project of Tsinghua-Carnegie Global Policy Center "How Chinese Cultural Values Affect China's Foreign Policy ."

Dr Monika Barthwal-Datta is a Senior Lecturer in International Security in the School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, UNSW. Monika’s research areas include critical security studies, human security, securitization studies and foreign policy. Empirically, her research focuses on non-traditional security issues, particularly food security; non-state actors and regional security challenges in South Asia, and Indian foreign policy. Prior to joining UNSW, Monika led a two-year research project funded by the MacArthur Foundation on ‘Food Security in Asia: Strategic risks and mitigation’ at the Centre for International Security Studies (CISS), University of Sydney. She is also a Director of the Australia India Youth Dialogue (AIYD, and the South Asia Book Review Editor for Asian Studies Review 


Paper Abstracts

“One belt one road” and EU-China Relations - Professor Zhang Lihua

Three decades of rapid economic growth in China largely benefit from the state’s long-term development strategies. Since 1978, China has launched its “reform and open up” program, which manages to move from planned economy to market economy. Nowadays, China has initiated “one belt one road” strategy, which is also a long-term strategy. It will not only benefit the development of China and its covering countries but also the world economy. “One belt one road” promotes the values of cooperation, win-win, open, inclusiveness and peaceful development. It will mainly focus on infrastructure construction in its covering countries and help to foster cultural exchange and political understanding. At present, the Chinese government from the central to the bottom has been enthusiastically promoting this initiative. “One belt one road” will contribute to the development of EU-China relations. China’s economic and cultural relations with European countries will be further strengthened with the development of this initiative. However, there are huge difference on cultural values, ideology and political system between China and European countries. Those difference may reflect in the “one belt one road” or even become a barrier. In this regard, mutual understanding between Europe and China is very necessary.

Strategic Narratives of India's Rise in Global Politics - Dr Monika Bartwal-Datta

India is now widely referred to as a 'rising' or 'emerging' power in global politics. Its burgeoning economy, the distinction of being the world¹s largest democracy and its (unofficial) nuclear power status are amongst the core stories that are told about a 'rising' India. These stories form part of, and help (re)produce a broader narrative about India's role and place in the world that appears to have become widely accepted in the literature, and informs the larger context within which India¹s engagement in global politics is often understood and scrutinised. Through an analysis of how senior Bush administration officials constructed a strategic narrative of the US-India bilateral relationship, in efforts to get Congressional approval for the US-India nuclear cooperation agreement, this paper demonstrates how policy elites are (re)producing India as a 'rising' power to shape its identity in global politics, and in order to pursue specific foreign policy goals in relation to India at the domestic and international levels.

Posted on Friday, August 26, 2016 at 01:01PM by Registered CommenterDr Alister Miskimmon | Comments Off

International Studies Association Book Prize Announcement

CEP co-director Dr Alister Miskimmon and Professor Ben O’Loughlin from the Department of Politics and International Relations have been awarded a prestigious book prize at the International Studies Association Annual Convention in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.


 Their book, co-written with Professor Laura Roselle, Strategic Narratives: Communication Power and the New World Order has been judged the best book in International Communication by the International Studies Association, the main global forum for scholarship in International Relations. They were awarded the prize at the Association’s annual convention in Atlanta, Georgia with over 5,000 delegates in attendance.

The book outlines an ambitious research agenda: to define and develop a more robust perspective on the foundations of world order. In making the award the book prize committee noted that the book was beautifully written and carefully researched with powerful, cross-disciplinary arguments. The prize committee said that the book will serve as a foundation that informs and impacts the next generation of political communication and international relations scholarship and practice.

Posted on Tuesday, March 22, 2016 at 09:00PM by Registered CommenterDr Alister Miskimmon | CommentsPost a Comment

Lord Liddle on Britain and the EU

With perfect timing, after the events of the weekend of 20-21 February 2016, we welcome Lord Riddle to Royal Holloway to discuss the evolving role of the UK in the European Union.

This event, organised by Dr Andrea Mammone of the Department of History at Royal Holloway, brought together students, staff and guests to discuss the main issues at stake in the run up to June's referendum. 


Posted on Monday, February 22, 2016 at 12:22PM by Registered CommenterDr Alister Miskimmon | CommentsPost a Comment
Page | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Next 5 Entries