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The Integrated Review in Context: Defence and Security in Focus

The Integrated Review in Context: Defence and Security in Focus

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The Integrated Review in Context

The second volume of the series of essays on the Integrated Review, published by the Centre for Defence Studies in the Department of War Studies, King’s College London. They provide insight and analysis into the defence and security implications of the United Kingdom’s most recent national strategy, Global Britain in a Competitive Age: the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy.

Whilst the Review adopts an upbeat tone, particularly about seizing opportunities, the uncertainty and insecurity of the last five years creates a very different mood of reception for the Review’s title, Global Britain in a Competitive Age. The collapse of the Afghan government and the announcement of the Australia-United Kingdom-United States (AUKUS) agreement on defence and security cooperation, are the two most recent examples of events that prompt a reappraisal of initial assumptions about how the ideas and ambitions of the Integrated Review would be implemented in practice.

This volume of 19 essays – which follows our first instalment in the series – are written by a diverse range of distinguished contributors, both former national security practitioners, established and early-career scholars, most of whom are affiliated with the School of Security Studies at King’s. In this anniversary year – the celebration of sixty years of War Studies at King’s – we hope that this series of essays highlights the breadth and depth of expertise in the Department and the wider School of Security Studies family. We will follow it up on another anniversary, in March 2022, with a third volume assessing the impact of the Review a year since its publication.

Each essay in the present volume addresses a different aspect of the Review’s subject-matter, exploring its implications for the Armed Forces, intelligence, cyber and space power, the nuclear deterrent, and the role of industry and science/technology in defence and security innovation.

The collection builds on the first volume, developing the contextual, historical and strategic analysis of the Integrated Review, assessing whether it lives up to its description by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson as the ‘biggest’ strategic review conducted since the end of the Cold War, and whether it offers a strategy fit for the next decade and beyond. The essays cover key themes of the Review, such as its implications for the British Army, the potential defence contribution to the Indo-Pacific Tilt, and debating salient issues such as the Review’s impact on the global nuclear non-proliferation regime.

The contributors differ in their respective assessments. Some praise the breadth of the Review’s ambitions, others criticise the gap between its ambitions and detailed ideas for translating them into practice.

The assessments, insights and provisional forecasts offered by the contributing authors can be returned to over the next five-to-ten years, used as indicators of how expert opinion regarding the Review has shifted – as it will – over its implementation cycle.


About the editors

Dr Joe Devanny is Lecturer in National Security Studies in the Department of War Studies and deputy director of the Centre for Defence Studies (King’s College London).

Professor John Gearson is Professor in National Security Studies in the Department of War Studies and director of the Centre for Defence Studies (King’s College London).