Defence Research Network

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Monthly Members' Newsletter

For new friends, welcome! We are an interdisciplinary network of Masters, PhD and Early Career Researchers focused on defence, security and military topics in relation to policy, strategy, history, culture and society. We hope you find our network interesting, exciting, informative, and supportive.

For old friends, thanks for your continued involvement. We would be nothing without you! This October, we're celebrating Black History Month, rounding up September's theme of counterterrorism by questioning why misogyny has not been made a hate crime in the UK, and bringing you another round of brilliant opportunities to boost your new-term motivation.

Scroll down to get up to date with the news, opinions, and events from our members...

In February of this year, Amnesty International and Open Society Foundation published their Human Rights Guide for Researching Racial and Religious Discrimination in Counter-Terrorism in Europe. The guide, aimed at those working in the human rights and anti-discrimination fields, encourages its readers to "speak back to counter-terrorism", challenging the normalisation and acceleration of excessive and misdirected counterterrorism programmes.

In the forward, 
Tendayi Achiume and Fionnuala Ní Aoláin explain that "countering terrorism, which remains undefined, has been on a growth trajectory in Europe with no end in sight" whilst, at the same time, "the costs of securitization and counter-terrorism have had identifiable and disparate impacts on certain historically and socially marginalized groups perceived as ‘threats’ to national security". The guide offers a toolkit for applying anti-discrimination law to the counter-terrorism field, with the goal of protecting those subject to unjustified and illegal treatment under the guise of combatting terrorism.

The 20th anniversary of 9/11 provides an important contextualization for this publication. Alongside paying tribute to the thousands who tragically died in these attacks, we must reflect upon the ways that responses to this event have
negatively impacted racialised communities (and Terrorism Studies as a discipline) over the past two decades. As the world celebrates Black History Month throughout October, it would be disingenuous and downright dangerous to dismiss the continued violence and discrimination experienced by marginalised individuals and communities in the name of (inter)national security. In this vein, recognising how the language of terrorism was used by politicians and security services to stoke fear and discredit the Black Lives Matter movement once again reveals the racist political work (for more, see our paper spotlight below), and the violent and long-lasting repercussions, of (counter)terror discourse.

This left me questioning: what is, or what should be considered, (counter)terrorism? How can counterterrorism be used productively to promote safer, more peaceful societies? If 2020 was the year of
(supposed) racial reckoning, then 2021 was the year those in power faced up to their compliance in misogynistic violence. Catalysed in the UK by the abduction, rape, and murder of Sarah Everard, we seem to be experiencing a 'turning point' in the way violence against women is understood and responded to. However, and despite the outpouring of support and evidence to justify the move, the UK government has refused to label misogynistic violence a hate crime (scroll for more on this). Activism and scholarship on 'extreme misogyny', 'incel terrorism', 'misogynist terrorism', 'gender terrorism', and 'everyday terrorism' gives us the language to call out this refusal as just another example of 'state failure'. How, then, can we reframe counterterrorism to protect us all?

As always, we wish you a happy and healthy month!

The DRN Team 

In the News... 
Misogyny in the Met
One of the key factors is now how to elevate it, giving it the same importance as something like counter-terrorism."

Last week's sentencing of Wayne Couzens for the abduction, rape, and murder of Sarah Everard, alongside the rape charge faced by an officer in Couzens' unit, and the ongoing criminal investigation into abusive and offensive messages shared between Couzens, two serving, and one ex-police officer over WhatsApp are among a litany of evidence that the Metropolitan Police has a serious misogyny problem. This has led to calls for violence against women to be reframed and elevated to the status of a hate crime (although this is by no means the first time these calls have been made by a longlong stretch). This would give authorities greater access to resources and enhanced sentencing powers when facing perpetrators.
While several forces in the UK have independently introduced misogyny hate crime policies, this has yet to be rolled out nationally - despite a commitment to do so in the wake of Sarah Everad's murder. This week, the UK government refused to support making misogyny a hate crime, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson stating:
"What you need to do is get the police to focus on the very real crimes, the very real feeling of injustice and betrayal that many people feel."

After demonstrating their questionable understanding of the issue at hand (whatever you do, don't forget that this is our Justice Secretary), this outright dismissal left me simultaneously speechless and sadly unsurprised. It is up to us to challenge this apathy towards women's security by supporting brilliant work from groups such as the Fawcett Society, Engender, Citizens UK, Women's Aid, and Solace

What do you think? Let us know on Twitter!
What we've been up to... 
Researcher Spotlight: Black Women in British Military History
Our researcher spotlight looks a little different this month. To celebrate Black History Month this October, DRN Co-chair Jemma has been doing some brilliant research into the history of Black women's relationship to the British Army. Here, we spotlight three Black British women who held pioneering roles in the Second World War effort.
Amelia King was a 3rd generation Afro-Caribbean woman living in Stepney London during the Second world war. Amelia was born into a military family, her father was a firefighter in the British Merchant Navy, whilst her brother served in the Royal Navy. Amelia was inspired to join the British war effort by applying for the Woman’s Land Army. However, in 1943 Amelia was turned away from her local branch on account that her ethnicity would make it difficult to place Amelia for accommodation.
Amelia’s case garnered national press coverage and was even discussed in the house of commons after she presented her case to her local MP. Amelia being denied entry into the Women’s Land Army was considered to be detrimental to the greater war effort. Thereafter, the Women’s Land Army admitted Amelia into its ranks, finding her work on Firth Farm in Portsmouth.

Lilian Bader was a pioneer for Black women in the Royal Air Force. Born in Liverpool in 1918 to a merchant seaman from Barbados who had fought in the First World War, Lilian enlisted in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) in March 1941. She qualified as an Instrument Repairer - a role that had only been made available to women in 1940. By December 1941, she was promoted to Leading Aircraftwoman (LACW) and soon gained the rank of Acting Corporal.
Lilian passed away in 2015, but after a life overcoming discrimination, her legacy as one of the first black women to join the British Armed Forces continues to resonate.
Esther Bruce was born in 1912, in Fulham London. Esther’s Father was from British Guiana, whilst her mother was from London. During the Second World war, Esther worked as a cleaner for the Brompton Hospital. During this time Esther also volunteered to be a mobile woman. She and other mobile women watched as bombs dropped over London, ready to put out any resulting fires. After the war, Esther remained at Brompton Hospital, working as a seamstress.

DRN Essay Competition 2021 • Future Threats & Challenges: Is the World Ready? 
Now is the last chance for you to enter our inaugural essay competition!

We are pleased to invite all Masters students and recent graduates in International Relations, History and related fields to submit an essay for our inaugural essay competition. The essays should explore the future of global security and look to answer the following question in an innovative, creative and critical way: Future Threats and Challenges: Is the World Ready?         
The competition is a chance for you to share your thoughts in a new way, not restricted by academic standards. By participating you will get useful experience and can give valuable visibility to your research. 
The submission will be peer-reviewed by the DRN committee, and three prizes will be awarded (in Amazon vouchers). The first prize of £50 will be awarded to the Best Essay'. Two other prizes of £25 each will be awarded to The Most Creative Essay’ and the essay presenting ‘The Best Case-Study’. The winners will also receive recognition on the DRN’s social media platforms.
The essays must be written in English and should not exceed 2,000 words (excluding references and bibliography). You are free to use any referencing style as long as its use is consistent. To keep hold of this information, download our flyer.

Please send your essays to and include ‘DRN 2021 Essay Competition’ in your subject line.

The deadline for submission is 17th October 2021.

Good luck! 

For any queries about the competition please contact the DRN via email ( or reach out to us on our social media platforms
Do you want to participate in a panel or roundtable at the 2022 BISA conference?
The DRN is planning a workshop that will help you meet fellow PhD and early career researchers to develop a panel or roundtable for the 2022 BISA conference.

*Please note this workshop is completely separate to BISA, all submissions developed via this workshop will be subject to the usual BISA application process. *

Panels and roundtables are a great way to build your confidence with presenting and are a great opportunity to discuss your research with likeminded researchers. The BISA 2022 conference is centered on the question: 
Can the world survive? With such a broad question guiding the call for submissions, this conference is a great opportunity to showcase your research and its applications. The panels and roundtable workshop will take place in mid to late October (TBC), giving everyone time to develop and consolidate their ideas for the submission’s deadline on the 8th of November. If you are interested in attending this workshop, please fill in this online form with your contact details and themes of interest. We will choose several thematic areas to cover in the workshop based on the responses we receive. If you have any questions, please email: 
Artificial Intelligence at the EU borders: Ethical implications of technological and political worlds
13th October 2021
12.30pm - 1.30pm BST
As part of King's College London's 'New Voices in Global Security' series, Ana Valdivia will be discussing the digitalisation of borders in relation to Europe's management of the so-called refugee crisis. She will explore how socio-technical systems, such as interoperable databases, biometric systems, lie detectors, and maritime surveillance models, are operating nowadays and analyse their technical specifications. After that, she will discuss the ethical impact and human rights violations that this situation is causing. For more information and to register, click here.
Book Launch: The Defender's Dilemma 
19th October 2021
9am - 10am BST 
RUSI is inviting you to join them for the virtual launch of Associate Fellow Elisabeth Braw's new book 'The Defender's Dilemma'. In the book, Braw discusses aggression in the 'grey-zone' between war and peace, such as cyber intrusion and disinformation, subversive economics, diplomatic coercion, and subversion of civil society. She analyses this range of grey-zone aggression currently directed against the West and outlines strategies for deterring it. While this is a virtual event, RUSI has put aside 40 places for its Members to attend the event in person. To find out more about the event, how to apply for an in-person ticket, and to register, click here. And if this has piqued your interest, the America Enterprise Institute has made the PDF available free of charge here
Professor Cynthia Enloe In Conversation: Feminist Analysts and Strategizers Inside Masculinized Organizations: Do They Matter?
20th October 2021
4pm - 5.30pm BST
On the 20th of October, City University of London is hosting a virtual lecture with the legendary Cynthia Enloe to discuss her illustrious career and perspective on feminist interventions in masculinised institutions. One of the most frequently cited names in Feminist IR, Professor Enloe's sustained feminist critique of globalisation and militarism spans over two decades, has populated fifteen books, and has won her countless awards. This is bound to be an exciting and unmissable hour and a half. For more information and to register, click here
The LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security October Events
22nd, 25th, and 28th October 
In preparation for October's theme of Women Peace and Security, the LSE's Centre for Women, Peace and Security has a fantastic lineup of virtual events covering feminist peace and peace education. Here are three upcoming events which we will definitely be attending: 

Crisis as an Opportunity for Transformative Change
22nd October 2021
1pm - 2pm BST
This event is co-hosted with the 
Women’s International Peace Centre and launches the second edition of their Feminist Peace Series magazine. The 2nd edition focuses on how women and, in particular, feminist peace activists are responding to the direct and indirect consequences of Covid-19 and elaborate on the practical and theoretical implications for feminist peace.

Rethinking peace education in a time of endless wars
25th October 2021
10am - 11am BST 

For this event, join Professor Dianne Otto to ask: what does ‘peace’ mean to us, and to our students, in today’s world of endless wars? How can we explain why the project of ‘universal peace’, so ardently dreamed of by the ‘peoples’ of the United Nations in 1945, has failed so profoundly?

Gendering Peace Education: In-between Dialogue, Difference and Dissidence
28th October 2021
10am - 11am BST 
This event will see Shweta Singh asking: is the trajectory of peace education about paying attention to the ‘politicization of experiences’, and re-centering our gaze to the language of dialogue, difference and dissidence?

For more information on these events, and to keep up with the Centre's programme, follow this link.
Reporting the Siege of Sarajevo
26th October 2021
1pm - 2pm BST

On the 26th of October, the 
War Crimes Research Group Seminar Series, based out of King's College London, is hosting Dr Paul Lowe and Professor Kenneth Morrison to discuss their book 'Reporting the Siege of Sarajevo'.
Providing the first detailed account of the reporting of this siege - the longest in modern European history - and the role journalists played in highlighting both military and non-military aspects of it, the book draws on detailed primary and secondary material in English and Bosnian, as well as extensive interviews with international correspondents. It also includes hitherto unpublished images taken by the co-author and award-winning photojournalist Paul Lowe. For more information and to register, click here
Defence and Security Doctoral Symposium
9th November 2021, 10am - 4pm GMT 

Hosted by Cranfield University, the Defence and Security Doctoral Symposium provides research students and early career researchers in defence and security with an opportunity to present their work to a sector-wide audience. It covers both technological and social science research.

This year, they are holding an all-virtual event running between 10am and 4pm on the 9th of November. As well as panels, roundtables, and posters, the event also includes exhibition space for industry and other employers of defence and security researchers. Although the deadline for submissions has now passed, registration is open and we are looking forward to seeing as many of you there as possible! 

 To find out more and register, check out their webpage

Landpower Wargame
30th November, 10pm-1am (GMT) (6pm-9pm EST)
On the 30th of November Mike Dunn, a Battle Simulations Specialist with the Army University at FT Leavenworth, KS, will be virtually conducting a session of Landpower, a US Army educational wargame. This tabletop wargame was developed to prepare the next generation of mid-grade officers to plan, fight, and win on the potential future battlefield. Dunn will take you through the structure and professional military uses of this game. To learn more and register, click here.
As always, keep an eye on our Twitter for new events and opportunities posted/retweeted every day!

Planning a future event?
If you are planning a defence-related event and you would like to reach an audience of like-minded researchers, we'd love to come along! Drop us an email and we can include it in our next newsletter.
If you are interested in any of our events but don't want to go alone, or simply want to expand your network, please reach out on Twitter or drop us an email and we can connect you with fellow DRN members who may be planning to attend.

If you would like to advertise any upcoming opportunities, please let us know via email.
Hillary Clinton Early Career Fellowship
Queen's University Belfast 
Deadline for applications: 11th October 2021
The Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences is inviting applications from outstanding early-career scholars for a one-year Hilary Rodham Clinton Early Career Fellowship to be taken up during the academic year 2021/22. This Fellowship is scheduled to begin on the 1st January 2022. They are open to applications from outstanding early career researchers in the following broad areas: international relations, conflict transformation; global security; human rights, including women’s rights and children’s rights; international law; international politics; women in politics. For more information and to apply, follow this link.
Call for Papers: The Algorithmic Turn in Security and Warfare Conference
6th - 7th January 2022
Centre for War Studies, University of Southern Denmark, Odense.
Deadline for submissions: 15th October 2021

Launched in August 2020, “AutoNorms: Weaponised Artificial Intelligence, Norms, and Order” is a five-year, ERC-funded project that brings together a research team under the leadership of Dr Ingvild Bode. It features research exploring how the development and application of autonomous weapon systems transform use-of-force norms. 

Holding a conference on the "algorithmic turn" in security and warfare, they invite participants to discuss functional applications of AI shaping the social, business, legal, and political fields. Looking to diverse settings such as borders, surveillance, predictive policing, weaponised AI, and military applications of AI, they are interested in submissions that draw upon various social sciences, such as science and technology studies, political theory and ethics, critical geography, history, cultural analysis, international law, and International Relations.

To take part in the conference, submit a 300-word abstract by the 15th of October 2021. For more information and how to submit, download their flyer here.
Job Opportunity: Lecturer (Teaching) Politics/International Relations
University of Bath
Deadline for applications: 17th October 2021
The Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies is looking for a lecturer (teaching) in politics and international relations to join their team. The successful candidate will specifically contribute to undergraduate and masters level modules on research methods in politics and international relations, as well as modules on gender and on international relations. To find out more, follow this link.
Call for Contributions: Book Project, Military/Ex-service Personnel Life
DRN member Lee Yarwood-Ross has an exciting opportunity for a book project that he wanted to share with our network. If you are interested, make sure to get in contact using the details below: 
"Hello, my name is Dr Lee Yarwood-Ross and I am Lecturer and researcher in adult nursing at the University of Wolverhampton. I recently presented at the Royal College of Nursing International Research Conference around combat-related limb-loss, and was approached by Springer Publishing to write a book. My colleagues Dr Lauren Godier-McBard and Dr Hilary Engward and I are looking for contributors. Provisionally, the book will be an interdisciplinary one that explores the different perspectives surrounding military/ex-service personnel life e.g. trauma and transition. If you want to discuss further, please email me"
Job Opportunity: Project Coordinator, Arms Unit
Saferworld, London
Deadline for applications: 17th October 2021

This post will further the work of Saferworld’s Arms and China Programmes at national, regional and international levels, supporting efforts to promote full implementation of the laws, policies and norms that provide the bedrock for responsibility and restraint in the global trade in arms and dual-use goods. Find out more and apply here. You can download the full job description here.
Job Opportunity: Wargaming Analyst
Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
Deadline for applications: 18th October 2021
Dstl is looking to hire a team of Wargaming Analysts to join the Defence Wargaming Centre. Using wargaming as a structured analytical technique to understand conflict, the team will provide advice to the Ministry of Defence and the wider UK Government. Analysts brought into the Defence Wargaming Centre will benefit from Dstl's Wargaming Development Framework to give a broad range of opportunities to develop the breadth of skills needed to be a professional wargamer. As well as building a broad range of skills, you will be given opportunities to specialise in areas of wargaming. For more information and to apply, follow this link.
Job Opportunity: Lecturer in War Studies (C20th Military History)
University of Wolverhampton 
Deadline for applications: 31st October 2021
The Department of History, Politics and War Studies is looking to appoint a permanent, part-time (0.5 post) Lecturer in War Studies. They are particularly looking for candidates with teaching and research expertise in C20th War Studies/Military History, with a focus on the history of the First and/or Second World Wars. An ability to teach aspects of non-European conflict is also desirable. For more information and to apply, follow this link.
Call for Abstracts: History of Weapons and War Symposium
28th January 2022
Deadline for submissions: 1st November 2021
The Society for the History of War is looking for abstract submissions for its upcoming symposium. Check out their advertisement below, and submit your 250-word abstract to by the 1st of November.
Call for Papers: BISA Conference 2022: Can the world survive?
Submissions open: 4th October 2021
Deadline for submissions: 8th November 2021
Conference held: in person, Civic Centre, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 15th June 2022
Submissions will soon be open for BISA's 2022 conference and we are very much looking forward to what is always a brilliant event. This year, they are asking: can the world survive? Is the world able to cooperate effectively to address global challenges? With global attention turned towards the pandemic, what major shifts in global politics are taking place out of sight? Does the digitisation of international politics create new forms of hybrid activism and change, or augment existing divides and inequalities? And how do we access international politics? Answering these questions is no easy task, and they are looking for brilliant individual paper, panel, and roundtable submissions that are up to the challenge. They encourage submissions which are topically, empirically, theoretically, and methodologically diverse and adventurous. Find out more here.

Does this all sound a bit daunting to you? Keep your eyes peeled on our socials as we are planning on arranging an informal workshop to discuss BISA abstracts in the next couple of weeks. What's more, if you've been reading carefully (scroll up!) you'll know that the DRN committee is keen to put forward a DRN panel or roundtable for next years BISA. If you are interested, please fill out this form.
Call for Papers: Documenting War Conference 
May/June 2022
Deadline for applications: 15th November 2021
The Sir Michael Howard Centre for the History of War at King's College London is looking for papers for its upcoming 'Documenting War' conference.
Foregrounding the contemporary policy relevance of primary sources, the conference will provide a space for scholars to reflect on conflict records, broadly conceived, in historical and contemporary terms. This will (hopefully) be a two-day event that will include both paper presentations and a case-centric programme of doctoral-level discussion and training. For more information and how to submit your abstract, download their flyer here.
Job Opportunity: Postdoctoral Fellowships in Political Science - Oslo Nuclear Project
The University of Oslo
Deadline for applications: 1st December 2021
The Department of Political Science at the University of Oslo is looking to recruit 2 Postdoctoral Fellows with backgrounds in political science or a closely related field. The successful applicants will work full time on the Oslo Nuclear Project´s Strategic Stability research cluster. The Oslo Nuclear Project is a research program supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Defence, The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The appointment is for a fixed, non-tenured term of 4 years with a 25% requirement for teaching. For more information and to apply, follow this link.
Grant Opportunity: Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy 
Deadline for applications: 1st December 2021
The deadline for applications for Horowitz Foundation grants is fast approaching! The Foundation makes approximately twenty-five grants each year. Research grants are open to researchers in all social science disciplines and are not restricted to US citizens or those enrolled in US institutions. The awards range from $7,500 - $12,500. For more information about criteria and eligibility, download the call for applications or visit their website.
Call for Papers: Journal of Advanced Military Studies

Deadline for submissions: 1st January 2022
The journal of Advanced Military Studies is looking for submissions for its Spring 2022 issue exploring military response to national emergencies and natural disasters. They are keen to read articles that address both contemporary and historical examples, including both foreign and domestic use of the military in emergency and disaster response scenarios. Submissions should be between 4,000 and 10,000 words. For more information, click here and/or contact 

Call for Papers: The Journal of Aeronautical History
The Journal of Aeronautical History is looking for papers that speak to diverse and non-technical areas of aeronautical history, from scholars at all stages of their careers.
As an internationally recognized, free-to-access, web-based, peer-reviewed publication of the Royal Aeronautical Society, the JAH covers all aspects of aerospace history and the development of aircraft and aeronautical engineering. The editors are particularly interested in hearing from PGRs, ECRs, and scholars researching non-technical aspects of aerospace history, whether that be the evolution of the science and engineering of flight, biographies of notable individuals, and/or civil and military organizational and operational histories. For more information visit their website, or e-mail , or Twitter @Cobraball3.
Call for Contributors: Defence-In-Depth
The Defence-In-Depth blog is run by Kings College London and has recently featured a number of blogs from DRN members. Their content is well suited to the breadth of our network and they are keen to hear from you with contributions from a wide range of subject areas. To submit a piece or discuss your ideas, contact the editor at
Supporting our community...
Call for Participants: Commonwealth Military Partners or Ex-Partners 
Alice and Hannah are looking to speak to military partners or ex-partners from Commonwealth communities to broaden their research project on military partners. If you would like to know more or be involved in their research, please contact Hannah using the details above. 
Fundraising for PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide  
At the end of this year the brilliant Gav Topley, a former co-chair of the DRN, is tackling Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for PAPYRUS, the national Charity for the Prevention of Young Suicide.  

Suicide is the biggest killer of young people under the age of 35 in the UK, in 2018 over 1800 young people took their own lives. PAPYRUS provides confidential support and advice to young people struggling with thoughts of suicide, and anyone worried about a young person through their helpline, HOPELINEUK. We'd love it if you would donate to Gav's challenge here, and you can read about PAPYRUS' good work here. 
#DefResChat: Counterterrorism
Thank you to Annick Wibben for recommending this brilliant panel during our monthly Twitter Hour!
For September's  #TwitterHour, we marked the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks by discussing all things counterterrorism. We posed four questions: 
Q1: What are you working on in the field of counterterrorism studies? 
Q2: How has the Western understanding of terrorist threats evolved and what are the weaknesses in this understanding?
Q3: What is the tension between preserving civil liberties and countering terror?
Q4: Are there any obstacles to building international cooperation against terrorism?

If you couldn't be with us during the hour but still want to join the conversation, get in touch on Twitter! We would love to hear about what new work is going on in this field. During our conversation, our members have shared some valuable resources with us. See below for links:
  • Panel Discussion: 20 years after 9/11
This panel discussion, held on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in the United States, takes stock of 9/11 and its long-term implications on practising counterterrorism, counterinsurgency, and building resilience at home and abroad. You can access the YouTube video here (or watch it directly above).
  • Special Issue: Reflections on Remembering: 9/11 Twenty Years On
Leonie Jackson, Harmonie Toros & Lee Jarvis (2021) Editors’ introduction: what place for 9/11 in critical terrorism studies?, Critical Studies on Terrorism, DOI: 10.1080/17539153.2021.1980180
  • What’s in a name? The disaggregation problem that undermines counterterrorism strategy
Jason Warner and Stephanie Lizzo’s article argues that Boko Haram’s disaggregation problem should concern the global community due to the consequences of flawed assumptions and incomplete data -formulation of ill-informed policy. You can access the article on the Modern War Institute’s website.
Thanks to all who contributed! Keep your eyes peeled on our website for all the info on the next #DefResChat, and don't forget to follow our Twitter. 

You can also find all our previous #DefResChats on the Archive section of our
website. Make sure to tag @DefenceResNet and hashtag #DefResChat to join the conversation.
Find Out More
What we're reading...
'In Conversation': The Milspo Effect
Following from our July theme of military partners, in September we were lucky enough to chat to Jess Sands about her work connecting, networking, and building businesses with military spouses, partners, and other-halves. Alongside owning and running a successful graphic design business (Design Jessica), Jess is a podcast host and the founder of The Milspo Network CIC.
The Milspo Network encompasses both the InDependent Spouse podcast and The Milspo Business Network, which both aim to support military partners through times of transition and isolation, whilst building their confidence and skills to start their own businesses. Scroll down to hear more from Jess herself, and check Milspo out here
Hi, Jess! Thanks for chatting with us today. Could you tell us some more about Milspo? 
The Milspo Network, standing for MILitary Spouses, Partners and Other-halves, is a global network with over 1,200 members. Our community supports SPO’s (spouses, partners and other-halves) to build successful, resilient businesses that reflect modern military life, and in turn, directly supports the UK’s defence mission.
The partners of serving military personnel face unique challenges not encountered by their civilian counterparts. For example, armed forces life means that families are regularly moved, often with little notice, to different parts of the UK and world for operational needs. Such a transient way of life means that partners often find themselves separated from their support network and struggling to find suitable work, isolating them further and detrimental to their mental health.

Many in this predominantly female community have found a solution in self-employment. However, here again, military life poses challenges. It is difficult to build a client or customer base when moving every few years. If a business fails, it just reinforces feelings of isolation and low self-worth. That is where the Milspo network comes in. It provides vital support to military-partner run businesses, but more than that, it provides a place to belong.

Digital solutions from Milspo currently provide hugely successful free virtual meet-ups, networking opportunities, workshops, expert training, annual events, and resources that are not limited by location, enabling Milspo members to share experiences and champion each other to achieve their dreams. Milspo’s true stregth lies in connecting an isolated and dispersed community and inspiring them to achieve something greater for themselves.
During the pandemic, the stresses of military life became a catalyst in an already difficult time. Military partners felt even more pressure with extra deployments to the front line on Covid-19 response and the usual operations continuing. In response, Milspo stepped up their online meet-ups to cater to all partners posted worldwide, giving our members an essential link to ‘home’. In addition, it has given Milspo members a vital lifeline to others in business. Together, we have supported and advised business owners and signposting them to crucial government business support.

Achieving ERS silver status this year is particularly special to Milspo members as these awards celebrate the Armed Forces community we live in. We are 100% run by military partners for military partners, so we are proud to see those keeping the ‘Home Front’ being recognised in this way.
If this is something you might be interested in, be sure to visit Milspo's website here.
Want to go back and read last month's 'In Conversation' interview? You can! We are cataloguing all of our In Conversation pieces separately on our website.

If you know someone interesting who would be willing to take part in our In Conversation series, please let us know via 
Paper Spotlight: Counterterrorism and Race

"The aim must be to pursue the study of counterterrorism and race in a way that is both self-reflective and considerate of the genealogies of terrorism studies and of how these genealogies have contemporary effects on the ways in which racial violence is framed and pursued by liberal democracies today." (Abu-Bakare, 2020: 95)

Dr Amal Abu-Bakare is a lecturer in the politics of race and decolonial studies at the University of Liverpool and a Visiting Fellow at the University of South Wales’ International Centre for Policing and Security. She holds a PhD in International Politics from Aberystwyth University, successfully defending her thesis in November 2020. Her work centres on using anti-colonial IR theory to explore how North American and European political/security institutions continue to empower racially configured exclusions and terror. Her most recent publication extends an important conversation in IR by interrogating the racial dynamics of counterterrorism politics. To begin the piece, Abu-Bakare presents a contextualization of the relationship between race and counterterrorism through the racial politics of knowledge production and introduces a number of key interdisciplinary texts in this area. She then offers two overlapping frameworks for examining counterterrorism as racialised: as an issue of coloniality, and as a phenomenon of the racial state of world affairs. Finally, she outlines the main challenges faced by scholars and policymakers attempting to conduct anti-racist counterterrorism work.

Citation: Abu-Bakare, A. (2020) Counterterrorism and race. International Politics Reviews, 8: 79-99. 

To read more from Dr Abu-Bakare, check out her website
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New Books
The Secret Royals: Spying and the Crown, from Victoria to Diana
Richard Aldrich & Rory Cormac
This book is based on original research and new evidence, and it presents the British monarchy in a new light. It explores the interaction between intelligence and British royalty. The book presents exciting examples of such interactions, for instance showing secret services’ attempts to assassinate Victoria or by pointing out the role King George VI played in restoring trust between the secret world and the royals.
You can buy a copy 
Tackling Terrorism in Britain: Threats, Responses, and Challenges Twenty Years After 9/11
Steven Greer
This upcoming book reflects on counterterrorism in Britain in the past twenty years, and it summarises the essence of domestic law and policy. The book examines domestic terrorism as well as global jihad, and it also assesses the four tenets of the CONTEST strategy, as well as challenges related to counterterrorism. 

You can buy a copy 
Pause for thought...

"growing markets for surveillance technology and persistent institutionalised and systemic problems of disregard and discrimination in European security cultures are mutually reinforcing undignified treatment of racialised and marginalised groups."

In a blog for LSE, their Justice, Equity and Technology Project Directors Esra Ozkan and Sanne Stevens discuss the relationship between surveillance technologies and racial discrimination, showing how data-driven policing serves to entrench systemic racism in the European context. The convergence of discriminatory policing, immigration control, and counterterrorism measures has legitimised extremely invasive security measures against racialised communities. Compounded with a growing market in surveillance technology and the push towards 'data-driven solutions', a 'racialised digital capitalism' emerges that boosts technologies of discriminatory policing and institutional racism. Read the full blog here.

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