Skip navigation

Foreign Policy Centre

Ideas for a fairer world

Research: Global Security Challenges

Related Research Projects
Energy and Environment
Middle East
South Asia
USA & Transatlantic Relations

The Global Security Challenges programme takes broad overview of the key security problems facing the international community. Its scope ranges from traditional defence and conflict issues to wider questions of competition for resources, climate change, migration, political and religious extremism.

Upcoming Events

Show just this event

> The Foreign Policy Centre at the 2014 Conservative Party Conference

The Foreign Policy Centre is hosting a fringe event at this year's Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham. Please click below to download the flyer. The event is open to all and there is no need to pre-register or to obtain Conference accreditation.

Download The Foreign Policy Centre at the 2014 Party Conferences (140 kilobyte PDF)

Show just this event

> The Foreign Policy Centre at the 2014 Labour Party Conference

The Foreign Policy Centre is hosting a fringe event at this year's Labour Party Conference in Manchester. Please click below to download the flyer. The event is open to all and there is no need to pre-register or to obtain Conference accreditation.

Download The Foreign Policy Centre at the 2014 Party Conferences (140 kilobyte PDF)


> Britons have already said no to citizens travelling abroad to fight, no matter what the cause

By Prof Thomas J. Scotto, Dr Jason Reifler, Prof Paul Whiteley, Prof Harold Clarke.

In this article, four senior UK and US academics use data gathered in a May 2014 survey they commissioned that focused on British foreign policy attitudes. The researchers asked UK respondents how the British Government should deal with UK nationals travelling abroad to fight against al-Assad in Syria, in Ukraine, and against Boko Haram in Nigeria. They found that pluralities of respondents in all three situations favour stripping such individuals of UK citizenship, and less than 20% of those surveyed believe the Government should allow its citizens to fight in any of these emerging conflicts. They argue that Home Secretary Theresa May would have public support behind her if, as planned, new measures are brought forth to crack down on UK citizens fighting for foreign armies or groups.

Download Britons have already said no to citizens fighting abroad (440 kilobyte PDF)

> FPC Briefing: Seven geo-political challenges facing China

By Matthew Funaiole.

This FPC Briefing by Matthew Funaiole examines seven of the key current geopolitical challenges currently facing China. Issues covered include the ambiguous regional order, the disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, the North Korean nuclear weapons program, cross strait relations with Taiwan, energy reserves in the South China Sea, domestic separatist movements in Xinjiang and Tibet, and the challenges of energy security and climate change.

Download FPC Briefing: Seven geo-political challenges facing China (900 kilobyte PDF)

> FPC Briefing: IS, Regional Security and the End of Sykes-Picot

By Dr Stephen Royle, Dr Simon Mabon.

In this briefing paper Dr Simon Mabon and Dr Stephen Royle examine the rise of the so-called 'Islamic State' or IS group in Syria and Iraq. They explore roots of sovereignty in the region and possible approaches for regional actors and the international community to take in combating the threat posed by IS.

Download IS, Regional Security and the End of Sykes-Picot (340 kilobyte PDF)

More Articles...


Show just this publication

> Shelter from the storm?

[Cover of Shelter from the storm?]

Adam Hug (Ed.)

April 2014

Download Shelter from the storm? (1.82 megabyte PDF)

Shelter from the storm? The asylum, refuge and extradition situation facing activists from the former Soviet Union in the CIS and Europe looks at some of the key issues around asylum, extradition and the provision of refuge for human rights defenders, political and religious activists and other controversial figures from the former Soviet Union. It examines the extent to which Russia and other CIS countries abide by their obligations under European and international law when facing extradition requests from fellow signatories to the Minsk Convention. It also explores European asylum and immigration policies and how they impact on activists from the former Soviet Union.

Shelter from the Storm? contains contributions from: Felix Corley (Forum 18); Elisabeth Dyvik (ICORN The International Cities of Refuge Network); Julia Hall and Maisy Weicherding (Amnesty International); Adam Hug (ed., Foreign Policy Centre); Dr David Lewis (University of Exeter); Kris Pollett and Claire Rimmer Quaid (European Council on Refugees and Exiles – ECRE); Alex Tinsley (Fair Trials International); and Daria Trenina (MGIMO-University).

Show just this publication

> Europe in the World: Can EU foreign policy make an impact?

[Cover of Europe in the World: Can EU foreign policy make an impact?]

Adam Hug (Ed.)

February 2013 Hard copy: £4.95, plus £1 p+p.

Download Europe in the World: Can EU foreign policy make an impact? (2.02 megabyte PDF)

The Foreign Policy Centre's new publication, Europe in the World: Can EU foreign policy make an impact?, examines both how Europe is seen on the world stage and the effectiveness of the new External Action Service in delivering on its key objectives: building an effective new diplomatic service, strengthening EU influence in the neighbourhood and developing relations with strategic partners. It explores the institutional and organisational challenges surrounding the creation of the EEAS and considers what tensions remain with other EU institutions and national governments, with particular reference to the UK's difficult relationship with Europe.

Europe in the World is edited by Adam Hug (Foreign Policy Centre). It contains contributions on a range of topics and different perspectives from: Dr. Jozef Batora (Comenius University), Thiago de Aragão (Foreign Policy Centre), William Gumede (Foreign Policy Centre), Jacqueline Hale (Open Society Foundations), Richard Howitt MEP, Stefan Lehne (Carnegie Europe), Dr. Simon Lightfoot and Dr Balazs Szent-Ivanyi (University of Leeds), Prof. Anand Menon (Kings College London), Rt. Hon. Sir Malcolm Rifkind KCMG, QC, MP, Edward Macmillan-Scott MEP, Prof. John Peterson (University of Edinburgh), Dr. Neil Winn (University of Leeds). Rt. Hon. Douglas Alexander MP (Shadow Foreign Secretary) provides the foreword.

The findings of the Europe in the World publication have been extensively referenced in the UK Government's Review of the Balance of Competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union: Foreign Policy paper.

Show just this publication

> Responsibility to the poor: A new agenda for changed times

Rt Hon Douglas Alexander MP

September 2010

Download Responsibility to the poor: A new agenda for changed times (790 kilobyte PDF)

In a publication launched by the Foreign Policy Centre entitled 'Responsibility to the poor: A new agenda for changed times', the former UK Secretary of State for International Development, Rt Hon Douglas Alexander MP, outlines why justice not charity needs to underpin the fight against global inequality and poverty. FPC Co-President Baroness Jay provides the foreword.

More Publications...

Past Events

Show just this event

> The crisis in Syria and public opinion: views from the UK, US and France

Date: Tuesday 11 March 2014

Time: 6.30-8.00pm (please note amended start time)

Venue: Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Room(off Westminster Hall), Houses of Parliament, London SW1A 0AA


  • Ian Lucas MP, Shadow Middle East Minister
  • Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP, Former Middle East Minister
  • Prof. Thomas Scotto, Professor of Government, University of Essex
  • Dr. Jason Reifler, Senior Lecturer, University of Exeter
  • Joe Twyman, Director of Political and Social Research, YouGov

Chair: Deborah Haynes, Defence Editor, The Times

Foreign Policy Centre is delighted to host upcoming panel, with the kind support of the University of Essex, which will examine some of the key findings of new research being conducted by the Universities of Essex, Exeter, and Texas-Dallas, with assistance of YouGov and a grant from the ESRC. The event will look to enhance public understanding of the nature and consequences of the reaction of citizens in three mature democracies (UK, US, and France) to the dynamic and volatile military and humanitarian situation in Syria. It will examine the size and effectiveness of aid contributions to the region against the backdrop of rising aid scepticism linked to the downturn.

The event will examine the findings of research surveys that explore the views of the UK,US and French publics as to:

  • whether people are capable of forming coherent and durable foreign policy judgments;
  • how people weigh costs and benefits of alternative courses of action that leaders propose to respond to the Syrian crisis;
  • what extent are public reactions to the Syrian crisis affected by attitudes about the political elite(s) proposing various responses;
  • what are citizens' beliefs about the morality of war and the necessity of humanitarian relief in their reactions to the Syrian crisis;
  • levels of public engagement with their country's responses to the crisis;
  • how core values and personality characteristics shape attitudes toward the Syrian crisis;
  • national and socio-demographic variation in responses to the crisis.

Download The crisis in Syria and public opinion (220 kilobyte PDF)

Show just this event

> INTERPOL and international justice: are authoritarian states using the system to silence dissent?

Date: Wednesday December 11th 2013

Time: 6pm-7.30pm

Venue: Committee Room 9, House of Commons, Westminster


  • Rt Hon Richard Ottaway MP, Chair, Foreign Affairs Select Committee
  • Libby McVeigh, Head of Law Reform, Fair Trials International
  • Bartosz Kramek, Chair, Open Dialog Foundation
  • William Browder, CEO, Hermitage Capital Management

Chair: Peter Oborne, Chief Political Commentator, Daily Telegraph

The Foreign Policy Centre is delighted to host a Westminster seminar, kindly supported by the Open Dialog Foundation, that aims to address important issues around the use and potential abuse of Interpol's legal mechanisms by authoritarian states. The event will examine the potential misuse of Interpol 'Red Notices', the international instruments that seek to locate and arrest those wanted by law enforcement agencies with a view to extradite or undertake similar lawful action, at the request of a member government. The use of Red Notices has come under fire from campaigners who argue that the mechanism is being used by authoritarian states to pressurise and potentially extradite dissident voices living in exile. There have been recent controversial Red Notice cases involving Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and a number of other countries.

The event will explore how effective Interpol is in upholding human rights values and complying with its own 'neutrality clause'. Red Notice subjects are required to appeal to the independent Commission for the Control of Interpol's Files (CCF). The event can explore whether the CCF has the capacity it needs to deal with political cases swiftly and fairly. The event could also examine how Interpol can work more effectively with other international institutions, civil society and external experts to improve its understanding of potential political cases submitted by its member states and look at how foreign and home affairs ministries can work to improve cooperation around challenging cases. The event will seek to place these issues within the wider debate around the UK's engagement with other international legal mechanisms such as the European Court of Human Rights and the European arrest warrant.

The event is free and open to all.

Please RSVP to

Download Interpol and international justice (310 kilobyte PDF)

Show just this event

> Nagorno-Karabakh: avoiding war and working for peace in the South Caucasus

Date: Wednesday 9th October 2013

Time: 6pm-7.30pm

Venue: Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Room, Houses of Parliament

Keynote Speaker: Ambassador Philippe Lefort, EU Special Representative (EUSR) for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia


  • Dr Laurence Broers, Caucasus Projects Manager, Conciliation Resources
  • Dr Michael Kambeck, Secretary General, European Friends of Armenia
  • Craig Oliphant, Senior Advisor, Saferworld and FPC Senior Research Associate

Respondent: Con Coughlin, Defence Editor, Daily Telegraph

Chair: Gemma Doyle MP, Shadow Defence Minister

The Foreign Policy Centre is organising a Westminster Seminar event, kindly supported by the European Friends of Armenia, that will take stock of the current situation in the unresolved Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The impact of 2013 Presidential election cycle in Armenia and Azerbaijan, coupled with end of a period of Russian shuttle diplomacy under Medvedev have contributed to a period of inertia in efforts to resolve the conflict. Although the OSCE's long-running Minsk process has helped prevent a return to war, it has not yet made significant progress in moving the parties in the conflict towards a peaceful resolution. The seminar would look at what opportunities exist in the new negotiation cycle and at the possibilities for reform of the Minsk Group to improve its effectiveness. It will examine the role of both the EU and the UK to support conflict prevention and progress in the peace process.

The seminar will look at the current situation in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh regarding attitudes to the conflict and some of the continuing challenges including levels of military spending, conditions in the armed forces, IDPs and refugees. The event will discuss the role of people to people contact in peace-building, looking at the work done by local and international NGOs and the response of the governments in the region to such initiatives. It will examine recent sources of tension and explore confidence building measures.

The event is free and open to all.

Please RSVP to

Download Nagorno-Karabakh: avoiding war and working for peace (270 kilobyte PDF)

More Past Events...