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Dr Aviva Guttmann

Dr Aviva Guttmann

  • Research fellows

Research and Teaching Associate in Intelligence and International Security

Research subject areas

  • Conflict and security

Contact details


Aviva is Research Associate in War Studies working on the project “Learning to Learn in an Era of Surprise: Intelligence Production and Use in Foreign Policy-Making in Britain, Germany and the European Union,” abbreviated as INTEL. This research project looks at recent strategic surprises and investigates the intelligence production and use in the foreign policies of the UK, Germany and the EU during the cases of Arab uprisings, the rise of ISIL/Daesh, and the Russia/Ukraine crisis. More information about the project can be found here:

Before joining KCL, she held a postdoctoral position at the Johns Hopkins University, Paul H. Nitze School for Advanced International Studies in Bologna (SAIS Europe). Her research has been supported by numerous grants and awards, which includes a PhD excellence award and a prestigious postdoctoral research fellowship from the Swiss National Sciences Foundation (SNSF).

She was awarded a Ph.D. in contemporary history by the University of Bern (Switzerland). In the last year of her doctoral studies she held a visiting fellowship at the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (CSTPV) at the University of St. Andrews (Scotland). She did a MA in International Studies at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, with exchange years at Sciences Po in Paris and the London School of Economics and Political Sciences (LSE). She received her BA in history and philosophy at the University of Basel.

Besides her academic curriculum, she has three years of professional experience in Security Sector Reform. She worked for the Swiss Embassy in Nigeria and the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), where she managed projects on police cooperation in the Western Balkans.

Research interests

Aviva specialises in counterterrorism intelligence cooperation. She was the first to publish about the mechanisms and politics of the Club de Berne, an important multilateral counterterrorism intelligence-sharing forum founded in 1969. Building on the Club de Berne records, her current and future research centres on Western intelligence during the Cold War in Europe and the Global South. Her research foci include EU security integration, the role of intelligence in the fight against terrorism, international politics of intelligence-sharing, clandestine diplomacy, Euro-Israeli security collaboration since the 1970s, the ethics and practices of targeted killings, formal versus informal security cooperation, and intelligence services as independent actors in international relations.


Aviva recently published a monograph entitled The Origins of International Counterterrorism, in which she analyses how Switzerland and other governments reacted to terrorist attacks, their efforts to institutionalize international collaboration in the area of internal security, and the establishment of a Western counterterrorism intelligence-sharing framework (1969-1977). Her recent articles have appeared in the International History Review, Secret Wires Across the Mediterranean, and in Intelligence and National Security, Combatting terror in Europe.



  • 2018, The Origins of International Counterterrorism. Switzerland at the Forefront of Crisis Negotiations, Multilateral Diplomacy, and Intelligence Cooperation (1969-1977), Leiden/Boston, Brill Publishers, ISBN (Print): 9789004276642.


  • 2018, “Combatting Terror in Europe: Euro-Israeli Counterterrorism Intelligence Cooperation in the Club de Berne (1971-1972),” Intelligence and National Security, 33, 2, 158-175.
  • 2018, “Secret Wires Across the Mediterranean: the Club de Berne, Euro-Israeli Counterterrorism, and Swiss ‘Neutrality’,” International History Review, 40, 4, 814-833.
  • 2015, “Une coalition antiterroriste sous l`égide d`un pays neutre : la réponse suisse face au terrorisme palestinien, 1969-1970," Relations Internationales, 163, 3, 95-110.
  • 2013, “Ernst Cinceras nichtstaatlicher Staatsschutz im Zeichen von Gesamtverteidigung und Kaltem Krieg,” Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Geschichte, 63, 1, 65-86


  • Authored article: “So spionierte die Schweiz mit Israel Araber aus. Der Geheimdienst hat Israel in den 1970er-Jahren im Kampf gegen arabische Terroristen unterstützt,” Tagesanzeiger, 8 February, 2016, one page, announced in that day’s headlines.
  • Interviews given to Swiss Radio and TV, February 2016.