Aviva is a Visiting Researcher in War Studies in King’s Intelligence and Security Group and a Marie Skłodowska Curie Senior Researcher at the Center for War Studies at Southern Denmark University.
Aviva is the founder and chair of the Women’s Intelligence Network (WIN), which connects and promotes women scholars and practitioners in the field of intelligence studies.
Her research focuses on the international relations of intelligence agencies and security cooperation in Europe and the Middle East during and after the Cold War. She has published a monograph on The Origins of International Counterterrorism (2018) and contributed several articles to refereed academic journals of history, intelligence, international and strategic studies. She comments regularly on current intelligence affairs in major Swiss news media.
She was educated and held research positions with universities in Basel, Geneva (IHEID), Paris (Sciences Po), Bern, St Andrews, Bologna (SAIS), and London (LSE and KCL). Her research has been supported by numerous grants and awards, which includes a PhD excellence award and prestigious postdoctoral research fellowships from the Swiss National Sciences Foundation and the European Research Council.
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.
Aviva’s current ERC Marie Curie project is called “The Logic of Informal Security Cooperation: Counterterrorism Intelligence-sharing in Europe” (LINSEC). The project looks at what drives and sustains informal counterterrorism intelligence cooperation. It provides a better understanding of the factors that enhance interstate security cooperation and will benefit scholars, security professionals, and policymakers alike. More information about the project can be found here.
Before starting her Marie Curie project, Aviva was 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 looked 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.
Aviva specialised 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, covert action, the ethics of targeted killings, strategic surprise, post-mortem intelligence assessments, and intelligence services as independent actors in international relations.
Aviva teaches in intelligence and security studies, cyber intelligence, international history, diplomacy, and IR.
- 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.
- 2021, “Turning Oil into Blood: Western Intelligence, Libyan Covert Actions, and Palestinian Terrorism (1973-74),” published online in Journal for Strategic Studies.
- 2020, “An analytical framework for postmortems of European foreign policy: should decision-makers have been surprised?” cowritten with N. Ikani und C. Meyer, Intelligence and National Security, 35, 2, 197-215.
- 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
- 2020. “Islamic State could be about to hit back – and the world is paying little attention,” The Conversation, 4 May 2020 (reprinted in a number of newspapers around the world).
- Regularly consulted by Swiss media for intelligence matters, most recently contextualising the poisoning of Alexey Navalny.
- 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.