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Research Themes

Our School research themes bring together researchers from across the War Studies and Defence Studies Departments to forge partnerships and collaborations around some of the vital issues in the security and defence world.  

Research themes aim to:

  • make research and activities more accessible to global audiences by highlighting areas our work focuses on and providing opportunities for collaboration and funding.
  • further develop communities of research practice within the School, providing enhanced support and mentoring opportunities for postgraduate students, post-doc and early career researchers. 
  • help to bridge geographical distance between King’s College London campuses and the Shrivenham sites, allowing students and staff in War Studies and Defence Studies to connect more closely.
  • enhance leadership and professional development opportunities for academic staff and students.

Our Research



View our latest research output from the School of Security Studies.

Research Themes

Defence & Diplomacy

Defence & Diplomacy

The Defence & Diplomacy research theme brings together a wide variety of scholars who study…

Strategic Studies

Strategic Studies

Scholars working at the intersections of strategy, politics, history, intelligence, foreign policy…

Annual Research Conference

The School of Security Studies, holds an annual 2-day research conference showcasing the latest analysis and research from academics and PhD students from across the eight research themes. In 2020, the conference was entitled Global Shocks: Security implications of major worldwide crises and included eight panel events from each research theme offering ethical, technological, historical and diplomatic perspectives on the challenges we face during international crises today, like Covid-19, and during historical shocks such as the end of the Cold War.

Main Conference 3

How militaries around the world joined the battle against Covid-19

Whilst the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic is a threat to health, the crisis has had an impact across most aspects of societal function including economics, security, business, transport, education and personal behaviours. Many leaders have compared the threat to a ‘war’, which is testing crisis response systems in countries across the world, with states enlisting elements of their military and security systems to support civil efforts to tackle the virus.

Military face masks 2

Learning to be less surprised by surprises like Covid-19

Intelligence enables better and timelier decisions to be made by reducing the ignorance of the decision takers. Having assessed intelligence does not mean being able to give exact predictions of how a situation may develop nor does it always involve simplifying decisions. Indeed, intelligence analysis often shows that issues are far more complex than current politics might suggest.

Graph on laptop screen

The end of the 'Golden era'? What Covid-19 means for UK-China relations

The Covid-19 global crisis has thrown into sharp relief the importance of developing a carefully considered UK strategy towards China. The lack of a proper UK strategy towards China to date is the result of strategic oversight, in much the same way the country’s handling of the pandemic has been – we were fully aware of the likelihood of the risks but didn’t adequately plan for them.

UK and china

The Role of the Italian Military in the age of Covid-19

A presentation by Dr Michele Groppi on the role of the Italian Military in the post World War Two era, international missions, providing domestic aid and during the Covid-19 crisis, as well as what role they will play in future scenarios.

The UAE's Global Efforts in Response to the Novel Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19)

A presentation by Sara Al Mahri that looks at the role of the UAE military, how this role has changes during the pandemic and what impact the crisis has had on civil-military relations.