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War Studies Podcast

The War Studies podcast brings you world-leading research from the School of Security Studies, the largest community of scholars in the world dedicated to the study of all aspects of security, defence and international relations.

We aim to explore the complex realm of conflict and uncover the challenges at the heart of navigating world affairs and diplomatic relations, because we believe the study of war is fundamental to understanding the world we live in and the world we want to live in.

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What did the British empire, it’s history and legacy mean for Britain’s fascists? And what does this tell us about where the radical right fits into the politics of race in Britain today? In this special Black History Month episode, Dr Liam Liburd, Historian in Colonial/Postcolonial British History, argues that the study of British fascism has so far failed to recognise the imperial obsession of British fascists and the Far Right, or to approach it through critical race theory. He unpicks the reasons behind this and calls for the excavation of critical black perspectives to understand the motivations and impact of Britain’s fascist movement on the country.

In the summer of 2008, just 20 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, China’s lavish opening ceremony at the Olympic Games in Beijing showed the world a ‘glorious civilisation’ with a desire to reconquer what was lost. Just a few weeks later, on 15 September, Lehman Brothers crashed, the West was thrown into a deep financial crisis. With American hegemony and its interventionist strategy of spreading liberalism around the globe on the back foot, so too is the LIO. But what’s causing these major global shifts and how might they shape global politics going forward? In this episode of the podcast, Dr Zeno Leoni, Teaching Fellow in the Defence Studies Department at King’s, joins us to discuss his new publication, American Grand Strategy from Obama to Trump: Imperialism After Bush and China's Hegemonic Challenge.

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In this episode we speak to a special guest - Telegraph journalist Lucy Fisher about her new book, Women in the War, which tells the stories of remarkable women who dedicated their young adulthood to the second world war effort –and is based on – their final words.s of the surviving women of the Second World War, and weaves together the oral histories of ten remarkable women who dedicated their young adulthood to the war effort.

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Billions of dollars are spent every year on pacifying conflict zones by international organisations and NGOs. However, the past five years have seen the worst refugee crisis in the world since World War II, and conflicts continue to erupt despite unabated these massive peacekeeping missions. So why is the aid industry failing to deliver lasting peace and what can we instead? In a special episode of the podcast we talk to Professor Séverine Autesserre, professor of political science at Barnard College, Columbia University. An award-winning researcher and author, writing on conflict, peacebuilding and international aid, her research has helped shape the intervention strategies of several United Nations departments, foreign affairs ministries, and non-governmental organisations.

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In this episode of the podcast we chat to Dr Sukanya Podder, Senior Lecturer in the Defence Studies Department, to explore the world-wide issue of children affected by armed groups, including in civil wars to violent extremism. She shares case studies of personal experience with affected youths and describes the evolving global recruitment methods including social media, the violence children are subjected to and the complexities involved in rehabilitating them back into society post-conflict. We’re also joined by Rocco Blume from NGO War Child, who shares how the problem has evolved over the past decade and their dedication and Professor Funmi Olonisakin, Vice-President and Vice-Principal (International), King’s College London, who shares insights from her time in the Office of the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict, including the vital role the UN played in drawing international attention to and combatting the issue of child recruitment into armed groups.

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Dr Lyndon Burford explores the truth behind growing nuclear stockpiles and how blockchain will revolutionise the world in aiding disarmament processes and increasing trust between states. Lyndon also discusses the political, legal and ethical challenges of nuclear weapons and the role new technologies in general can enable us to work towards a more peaceful future. He also talks about his fascinating career changes, from a native New Zealander landing himself a role on the set of the Lord of the Rings films as an Armour Weapons Technician to pursuing a career researching nuclear disarmament.

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Professor Malcolm Murfett shares insights into naval operations that have gone down in history for the infamy, tragedy or glory associated with them and the naval figures that led such missions. Offering narrative on First Sea Lords, such as Sir Dudley Pound, Malcolm highlights the scale of naval tasks, the challenges at sea and how crucial mistakes led to some of history’s biggest naval disasters. Malcolm also discusses his work as an Associate Editor for the Oxford Dictional of National Biography - he reveals the personal endeavours of individuals he’s come across - the good, the bad and the ugly.

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Following the rise of an increasingly resurgent and highly unpredictable Russia under Putin, many in the West have raised the spectre that Russia's military actions are leading to a restoration of the former Soviet Union in a new shape and form. But how credible is this interpretation of Russian foreign policy over the last 30 years and how careful should we be before jumping to conclusions about what lies behind the Russian state's actions?

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In this special episode marking 150 years since the Paris Commune, guest presenter and War Studies historian, Dr Mark Condos, speaks to Dr Julia Nicholls, Lecturer in French & European Studies at King’s, about the events of the Commune, its aftermath and its enduring legacy. Julia discusses her book Revolutionary Thought after the Paris Commune, 1871 – 1885, exploring what happened to the revolutionaries exiled from France post-Commune, how they kept their revolutionary ideas alive once scattered around the globe and what this means for understanding French politics during this period and beyond.

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As we move beyond the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic, we talk to Rose Bernard about how this new type of biowarfare could incorporate the use of cyber capabilities to undermine sociopolitical systems by virtually escalating natural outbreaks. Such a campaign could have a catastrophic impact – potentially diverting the course of an epidemic by preventing people from accessing treatment, increasing civil conflict, and provoking attacks on health workers.

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Climate Change & National Security mini-series

What is climate engineering? How and why are certain shifting geoengineering policies engendering conflict? How do we differentiate between and prioritise the multitude of governance factors? How does funding affect the outcome of policy implementation and how are traditional concepts still being utilised, in tandem with more modern ideas. In the fifth and final episode of this five-part mini-series on Climate Change and National Security focuses on these challenges. Dr Duraid Jalili from the King’s Environmental Security Research Group and Professor Matt McDonald from the University of Queensland, speak to Professor Olaf Corry, Professor of Global Security Challenges at the University of Leeds and expert in international politics and geoengineering, and Dr Naho Mirumachi, Reader in Environmental Politics and Convenor of the King’s Water Hub Research Group. They will discuss the challenges, risks and potential controversy facing proposed solution mitigation and adaptation of implementing large and small scale geoengineering policies.

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Vulnerable nations are really feeling the negative effects and implications of climate change and the associated security repercussions. To what extent is climate change a security issue in vulnerable states? How are the coalitions between under-developed nations helping in the fight against climate change? What are the key issues and divisions in the approaches of the global north and south? Recorded just after COP 26, the fourth episode of this five-part mini-series on Climate Change and National Security focuses on these challenges. Dr Duraid Jalili from the King’s Environmental Security Research Group and Professor Matt McDonald from the University of Queensland, speak to Dr Hillary Briffa, Lecturer in National Security Studies, Assistant Director of the Centre for Defence Studies and Co-founder of the Centre for Grand Strategy at King’s College London and Dr Simon Chin-Yee, Lecturer in International Development at University College London and Research Associate at King’s College London. They will discuss how we understand the unique challenges facing small island states and the global south more broadly on the existential problem of climate change and securitization, and the struggle of how these nations fight to get their voices heard and their successful influence on higher powers.

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The three major powers at the centre of COP26 - China, India and the USA, have differing perspectives on the link between climate and security. Yet how does this impact their climate policy? What are the drivers behind the ways the different countries think about the relationship between security and the environment? How does this impact the vital cooperation needed to make COP 26 a success? Recorded just as COP 26 was getting underway, the third episode of this five-part mini-series on Climate Change and National Security focuses on these questions. Dr Duraid Jalili from the King’s Environmental Security Research Group and Professor Matt McDonald from the University of Queensland, speak to leading climate security experts including Erin Sikorsky, Director of the Center for Climate and Security and the International Military Council on Climate and Security, Dhanasree Jayaram, Assistant Professor in the department of Geopolitics and International Relations at the Manipal Academy of Higher Education in India, and Karl Hallding, Senior Research Fellow at the Stockholm Environmental Institute. In this honest discussion, reveals where the governments are going wrong the experts reflect on the barriers and obstacles of different climate security approaches as well as emerging opportunites. Including whether China’s Belt and Road initiative is actually as ‘green’ as they claim, how territorial contestations undermine climate cooperation and how bringing a climate lens to security can help strengthen relationships with partners and allies.

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What's the UN's role in addressing the security risks of climate change? And what are the obstacles faced by UN bodies in meeting these challenges? In the second episode of this five-part mini-series on Climate Change and National Security, Dr Duraid Jalili from the King’s Environmental Security Research Group and Professor Matt McDonald from the University of Queensland, speak to Dr Lucile Maertens, Senior Lecturer at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. As a leading expert on the actions being taken by international organisations relating to climate change and securitisation, Dr Maertens will discuss the ways in which the climate change agenda is being driven at the UN and the obstacles affecting the implementation of these principles. From the fear that bringing climate change at the UN Security Council will give too much power for the UN over national sovereignty, to the ignorance, competition and collaboration of different UN entities, she shares how much the UN is engaging with wider perspectives on the security implications of climate change, beyond its potential status as a driver of conflict

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Throughout November and October we're bringing you the special podcast mini-series ‘Climate Change and National Security’, in the run up to the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), hosted by the Environmental and Security Research Group in the School of the Security Studies. How do different states view the relationship between climate and security? Is there a best practice for climate security and a sense of momentum as we move into COP26? Should we be worried about the securitisation of the climate agenda? In the first of this five part mini-series Climate Change and National Security, Professor Matt McDonald from the University of Queensland and Dr Duraid Jalili from the King's Environmental Security Research Group consider different governmental responses to climate change and national security from '50,000 feet’.

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