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Biography

Jonas has started his PhD at the defence academy with King’s Defence Studies Department in October. His research focuses on British military innovation processes during 21st century conflict, examining the driving forces behind institutional learning. The PhD is funded by the Defence Academy’s Civilian Studentship.

Jonas holds a 1st class Master’s degree from the War Studies Department at King’s College, London and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kent on the same subject. He also has extensive practical experience having held the position of company commander during his national service in Switzerland for 8 years and having served a further one as a professional battery commander in the artillery schools.

Research Interests

  • Counterinsurgency/low intensity conflict
  • Contemporary conflict
  • Institutional learning
  • Innovation
  • Adaptation
  • Doctrine

Thesis Title

The Development of Information Related Innovations for Counterinsurgency Purposes in the British Armed Forces in the 21st Century

Abstract

The thesis concentrates on the institutionalisation and implementation processes of innovations in the information sphere, in terms of gathering, processing and dealing with information in the British Armed Forces during their 21st century counterinsurgency campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Any organisation will not only allow or deny ideas, but it will also considerably shape and alter them during the innovation process. There are countless different influences, which shape military innovations between the initial conception of the idea and the ultimate implementation in the field, such as the sources of funding, domestic and international politics, institutions and the personality of its proponents and patrons; any idea is rarely implemented exactly as it was initially proposed, regardless of who brought it forward. The myriad of different influences can not only enable or bar an innovation, but will also shape it in its development.

Despite its importance, military innovation has a comparatively small literature base, with most articles and books about conflict focussing on strategies or policies in of themselves, or on battlefield performance, rather than on innovation processes directly. Additionally, the few publications that do turn their attention to innovation, in the majority of cases, focus on their effects or origin. Overarching analyses of different factors influencing military innovation processes are rare and where this study will add to existing literature.

Supervisors

Dr Christian Tripodi (primary) and Dr Warren Chin