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.

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Javier Argomaniz - Good Morning Scotland (08/04/17)

Javier Argomaniz has been interviewed by BBC Radio Scotland about ETAs announcement to unilaterally disarm on Saturday 8 April. Javier described during the interview the significance of the decision and its implications for Basque domestic politics.

(Start: 1.46.28; End: 1.54.40 (Available for 30 days))

Tim Wilson speaks at workshop on "Dealing with the Past"

Dr Tim Wilson participated by invitation in a workshop held at Hertford College, Oxford, on 19th October last to discuss what role leading historians and social scientists could make to the challenge of 'dealing with the past' in Northern Ireland: a role envisaged by the Stormont House Agreement of 23 December 2014. Nearly 20 years on from the Good Friday Agreement, the challenge of dealing with communal memories of past political violence that are fractious and contested remains very much an issue of pressing importance.'

A report of the deliberations can be found here:

BREXIT: International Relations Implications

Chaired by Professor Anthony Lang

Contributors: Dr Faye Donnelly, Dr Mateja Peter, Professor William Walker, Dr Bernhard Blumenau, and Dr Jeffrey Murer

5pm Arts Lecture Theatre Monday, September 19, 2016

Book Launch: Richard English with Does Terrorism Work? in St Andrews


Wednesday 28th September
The Bookshop, 7 Greyfriars Garden, St Andrews, KY16 9HG
Doors open: 7.30pm
Start time: 8pm

University staff and students are entitled to a discount £4 ticket, which they can redeem against the book on the night. To book these, just click here.

Does Terrorism Work? is the groundbreaking new publication from political historian and former University of St Andrews professor Richard English. At a time of unfortunate relevance, English poses a question largely subdued by both sensationalist headlines and terrorism academia alike – simply, does terrorism actually work? Looking through the lens of organisations such as al­Qaida, the Provisional IRA and Hamas, English argues that we need a much more honest understanding of the degree to which terrorism works, as well as a more nuanced insight into the precise ways it does so.

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Security Studies Podcast - Episode 2 - Richard English on Terrorist Innovations

In this episode Professor Richard English discusses terrorist innovations - covering three historic examples of the Black September group, the LTTE, and the Taliban - before discussing today's innovations. He also engaged in the encryption debate, talked about the Islamic State's so-called "Cyber Caliphate" and articulated the challenges in contemporary scholarship.

CSTPV experts speak at Georgetown Conference on the Future of Terrorism (Updated)

Update: The videos of all panel discussions from this conference can now be viewed at

On 28 and 29 April 2016 Richard English, Bernhard Blumenau and David Veness were speakers at “The Future of Terrorism” - a two-day conference jointly sponsored by CSTPV, University of St Andrews and the Center for Security Studies, Georgetown University.

The conference examined current and future trends in international and domestic terrorism with particular reference to the international and domestic security environment in the aftermath of the November attacks in Paris and San Bernadino shootings in December. It analysed the potential second- and third order effects of both the rise of ISIS and a resilient al Qaeda and their respective affiliates and franchise as well the continuing challenges involved in international cooperation and intelligence sharing; the intelligence of counterterrorism at a time of dynamic, diffuse and highly fluid threats; and, the future of terrorism of studies both in light of these developments and as a field of academic inquiry and relevance.

Bernhard Blumenau interviewed on Lithuanian Public Radio

Pasaulio laikas - 27-03-2016

Javier Argomaniz - The Human Rights of Victims of Terrorism

Dr Javier Argomaniz spoke on 11 February at the United Nations (UN) on the Human Rights of Victims of Terrorism. Dr Argomaniz discussed in the UNCTITF organised conference the lessons that can be learnt from the Spanish experience with regards the protection of victims rights within the criminal justice system. He argued that the Spanish authorities have learnt over the years to better protect victims’ rights but there are still important challenges to address.

Bruce Hoffman - National Jewish Book Award Winner 2015

Book of the Year Awarded to Anonymous Soldiers by Bruce Hoffman


From JBC press release:

The Everett Family Foundation Jewish Book of the Year Award is awarded to Anonymous Soldiers: The Struggle for Israel, 1917 – 1947 (Knopf) by Bruce Hoffman, “a morally illuminating and challenging work about the role of violence in politics.” This crucial new study examines anticolonial attitudes and actions of Jewish operations in the last three decades of Mandate Palestine preceding the establishment of the State of Israel.

The winners of the 2015 National Jewish Book Awards will be honored on March 9 at a gala awards celebration to be held at the Center for Jewish History in New York City .

About the National Jewish Book Awards : As the longest running North American awards program in the field of Jewish literature, the National Jewish Book Awards is designed to recognize outstanding books of Jewish interest. The honor is awarded in 1820 individual categories. A complete list of the 2015 National Jewish Book Award winners and finalists follows and additional information is available at

Rashmi Singh - Chaotic Situation in Yemen Benefits Al-Qaeda

CSTPV’s Dr Rashmi Singh was interviewed by Sputnik International on the ongoing trouble in the Yemen.

Sputnik International - 27 March 2015

Increased security vacuum caused by chaos in Yemen will benefit al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), experts told Sputnik.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The security situation in Yemen has deteriorated in the past several weeks as the country is split among opposition Houthi fighters battling troops loyal to President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi in the center of the country, and al-Qaeda militants gaining a foothold in the south.

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Rashmi Singh - Yemen Interview on Radio Sputnik World Service

CSTPV’s Dr Rashmi Singh was interviewed by Dana Zolkina on Radio Sputnik World Service (Moscow Bureau) on ‘Yemen’s President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi asks UNSC to back military action by willing countries against Houthi rebels’.

CSTPV Director Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh

Professor Richard English, Director of the Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE). The RSE was founded in 1783, and its work includes the awarding of research funding, taking a leading role in major inquiries, informing public policy, and delivering events across Scotland to inspire knowledge and learning.

Sarah Marsden lectures at Edinburgh University


On March 16 2015 Sarah Marsden gave a lecture at Edinburgh University’s Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies on the legacy of Israel’s early ‘radical right’. Discussing the efforts by this milieu to influence the political, social and religious direction of Israel over the last 50 years, Dr Marsden examined how the ideas and practices associated with this fringe element of Israel’s right wing continue to resonate in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories today.

Dr Javier Argomaniz speaks at USEK Lebanon

Drawing from his own previous research, CSTPV lecturer Javier Argomaniz gave a lecture (26 February 2015) on the subject of European Counter-terrorism to Holy Spirit University Kaslik (USEK) staff members and students. During his presentation, Argomaniz spoke about the drivers that transformed the European Union into a counter-terror actor, discussed whether the EU has been effective in this role and reflected on the difficulties the EU response has had in keeping the right balance between liberty and security.

Deradicalisation Interview - Dr Sarah Marsden

Dr Sarah Marsden’s article on the issue of extremist reintegration and 'deradicalisation' has just been published in Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression: 'Conceptualising 'success' with those convicted of terrorism offences: Aims, methods, and barriers to reintegration. This short interview is based on that article.

Dr Rashmi Singh at the ISA Conference 2015

On 18 February 2015 Dr Rashmi Singh presented a paper titled 'Designing an Appropriate Counter-Terrorism Response' on the panel 'Globalising and Diversifying International Studies Pedagogies: Innovative Lesson Planning for a Changing Discipline' at this year's International Studies Association (ISA) Conference which is being held in New Orleans, USA

Dr Sarah Marsden - Reintegrating Extemists

Dr Sarah Marsden's research on reintegrating extremists has been covered widely in the media this weekend.

She appeared on BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning and Wave FM, as well as receiving coverage in The Times, The Scotsman, The Courier, and the Western Morning News.

Sarah also contributed to a piece in the Sunday Herald about the threat from militant Islamists in Scotland.

Her latest article on the issue of extremist reintegration and 'deradicalisation' has just been published in Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression: '
Conceptualising 'success' with those convicted of terrorism offences: Aims, methods, and barriers to reintegration.

Donald Holbrook interviewed on his new book - The Al-Qaeda Doctrine

CSTPV Research Fellow Dr Donald Holbrook was interviewed by New Books in National Security in which he discussed his new book The Al-Qaeda Doctrine: The Framing and Evolution of the Leadership’s Public Discourse.

The interview can be listened to here.