Turbulent Times Ahead: What to Make of the German General Elections 2017

Bernhard Blumenau writing in Current Affairs in Perspective (No 7 |September 2017)

At 18:00 CEST, the German federal elections that for a long time had the air of boringness and predictability all of a sudden turned very surprising. The first prognoses of the election results were broadcast by German TV programme ARD and they revealed an unexpected development: despite a participation rate of 75% of the electorate, the two big parties lost massively and, combined, now only account for roughly 50% of the votes (33% for the Christian Democratic CDU/ Christian Social Union group1 of Angela Merkel; and 20.5% for the Social Democratic SPD under Martin Schulz) while in earlier times together they easily commanded two-third majorities in parliament. Less surprising was the entrance into parliament of the right-wing Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), although a worrying 12.6% of the votes, made it the third biggest party. What had happened and what are the likely consequences? This paper will attempt to provide some thoughts on both these questions.

Read the article

CSTPV Announcement - New Director Appointed

Dr Tim Wilson has been appointed Director of the Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St Andrews. Dr Wilson developed a distinguished early career track record at Queen’s, Belfast and Hertford College, Oxford, before transferring to St Andrews in 2011. Trained as an historian, his work ranges widely across sectarian conflict, state terrorism and nationalist violence.


Dr Wilson said in an inaugural statement:

As we approach our 25th anniversary in 2019, it is both an enormous honour and a privilege to assume the Directorship of an academic centre of truly global reputation. Back in 1994, our founding fathers Paul Wilkinson and Bruce Hoffman showed quite exceptional far-sightedness in foregrounding terrorism as a compelling subject for academic investigation in its own right: the tragic experiences of the early 21st century have only confirmed the wisdom of that original verdict. Under my leadership, the Centre will continue to champion research and teaching that is distinguished both for its intellectual quality and for its depth of insight.

CSTPV at conference on dynamics of conflict, Oxford

On Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21st September a strong CSTPV/St Andrews contingent contributed to a highly successful graduate conference on the dynamics of conflict held at Nuffield College, Oxford.


From left to right:

Dr Tim Wilson (Director, Handa CSTPV); Juergen Brandsch (co-organiser/leader of the conference); Andre Python, Elena Zhirukhina. [Erika Brady not shown here]

CALL FOR PAPERS - Graduate Conference 2018

The Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence
Graduate Conference

‘Contemporary Issues in Terrorism Studies’

1 & 2 March 2018
University of St Andrews, Scotland

Deadline for abstracts: 17th November 2017
Email: cstpvgc@st-andrews.ac.uk

Book Review: The Great War and the Middle East by Rob Johnson

In late 1917 – following the Bolshevik Revolution and the collapse of the Russian war effort, and while the Germans and the Ottomans faced the strategic dilemma of how to make the best use of the new reserves that had been released from Europe and the Caucasus – the Middle East, especially Palestine and Syria, witnessed a collision of competing Allied interests, which was to continue long after the end of the war. This new book by Rob Johnson aims to focus on the strategic aspects that defined the war experience in this region.


Johnson, Rob. The Great War and the Middle East. Oxford University Press, 2016. Read the review

Sneha Reddy is a PhD candidate at CSTPV

Irish History- Solving The Riddle Of Erskine Childers - [50 mins radio doc]

CSTPV director Tim Wilson contributes to this new radio documentary on Erskine Childers

Graduate Workshop on Conflict Dynamics, September 20-21 2017, Nuffield College, University of Oxford

The director of CSTPV, Dr. Timothy Wilson will give the key note together with Dr. Rob Johnson, Director of the Changing Characters of War Program, University of Oxford

Further details

Javier Argomaniz - Selected media contributions (August 2017)

* Dr Javier Argomaniz was interviewed in the aftermath of the Barcelona attacks at the BBC World Service Newsday programme. Dr Argomaniz discussed the situation on the ground, the Spanish response to the terrorist threat and the growing use of vehicles as weapons by violent extremists in Europe. (18 August 2017)

* Dr Javier Argomaniz has been interviewed today at BBC Radio 5 live Daily about the ISIS threat to Spain and the Counter-terror response by the authorities (18 August 2017)

* Javier Argomaniz has been interviewed at BBC News where he discussed the reasons for terrorists selecting Barcelona as a target, how the Spanish authorities are coping with the attack and the Moroccan connection. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/10318089/bbc-news-channel

* Javier Argomaniz interviewed about Jihadist radicalisation for BBC report http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-40973190

* Javier Argomaniz article at The Herald about the Barcelona attacks discusses the changing and growing radicalisation problem in Spain. http://www.heraldscotland.com/opinion/15483061.The_changing_face_of_Spain___s_long__painful_history_of_terrorism/

*Javier interviewed by Die Zeit on the Barcelona attacks (24 August 2017) PDF

Conference - Understanding European jihadists: criminals, extremists or both?

Alexander Kupatadze (King’s College) and Javier Argomaniz (CSTPV) organised on 5 September in London the workshop Understanding European jihadists: criminals, extremists or both? The event was funded by the British Academy through their Leverhulme Small Research Grants scheme and it brought together recognised experts on the subject, young scholars working on original research and experienced practitioners to discuss the intersection between terrorism and crime, a crucial question for modern counter-terror efforts.

Conference Agenda