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We are a world-leading authority on global security, political risk and military conflict. We were founded in 1958, and have offices in London, Washington, Singapore and Bahrain.
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Sounds Strategic International Institute for Strategic Studies

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We are a world-leading authority on global security, political risk and military conflict. We were founded in 1958, and have offices in London, Washington, Singapore and Bahrain.
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    The Armed Conflict Survey 2021

    The Armed Conflict Survey 2021

    Despite the coronavirus pandemic, mobility restrictions and calls from the UN for a global ceasefire, the number of conflicts hit a record high in 2020, with more active conflicts than at any time since 1945. To mark the launch of The Armed Conflict Survey 2021, host Meia Nouwens is joined by some of the team behind the annual flagship report exploring the political, military and humanitarian impacts of active armed conflicts across the world.  
    Whilst the world has been battling the coronavirus pandemic, a more familiar challenge has continued unabated – armed conflict. The coronavirus pandemic has caused huge economic damage and human suffering. This has added fuel to the fire of social and political instability, with a legacy that is likely to be felt for years to come. The Armed Conflict Survey raises important questions about how conflict is changing, who the main actors are and how conflicts can be resolved. It looks at new technologies and explores the trends and risks that are likely to shape conflict in the years ahead.  
     
    To discuss these important topics, Meia Nouwens is joined by: 
     
    Dr Irene Mia - Editor of the Armed Conflict Survey and Senior Fellow for Latin America and Conflict, Security and Development Dr Benjamin Petrini, Research Fellow for Conflict, Security and Development Dr Samir Puri, Senior Fellow in Urban Security and Hybrid Warfare 
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    We hope you enjoy listening to the episode. Don’t forget to follow, rate and subscribe to Sounds Strategic.
    Date of recording: 13 September 2021
    Sounds Strategic is recorded and produced at the IISS in London.

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    • 39 min
    IISS–Europe in Berlin

    IISS–Europe in Berlin

    In this special episode of Sounds Strategic to mark the opening of the IISS–Europe office in Berlin, we meet key members of our new European research team. From great-power competition to state-led influence operations, and arms control to emerging and disruptive technologies, they explain how the IISS will bring a unique perspective to the European strategic debate. 
      
    Joining host Meia Nouwens to discuss the strategic questions that the Institute’s new European research agenda seeks to address are: Dr Ben Schreer, Executive Director, IISS–Europe; William Alberque, Director of Non-Proliferation and Nuclear Policy; Dr Simona Soare, Research Fellow for Defence and Military Analysis; and Thornike Gordadze, Senior Fellow for Statecraft and Influence Networks.   
      
    As Ben explains, with IISS–Europe now fully open for business, the Institute is uniquely placed to facilitate a debate on key strategic questions in Germany and Europe as a whole, and between policymakers and industry alike. William, Simona and Thornike each explain the research themes that will dominate their work in the coming months, including arms control and non-proliferation initiatives, great-power competition, setting rules and norms for outer space and the cyber domain, the uses and challenges of emerging and disruptive technologies, and the changing, multidimensional influence operations of revisionist states. 
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    We hope you enjoy listening to the episode. Don’t forget to follow, rate and subscribe to Sounds Strategic on wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts. 
    Date of recording: 31 August 2021 
    Sounds Strategic is recorded and produced at the IISS in London. 
     

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    • 37 min
    Technology and security in urban landscapes

    Technology and security in urban landscapes

    In this episode, host Meia Nouwens is joined by Dr Samir Puri, IISS Senior Fellow in Urban Security and Hybrid Warfare, and Antônio Sampaio, Senior Analyst at the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime, to discuss how technology impacts urban security and the democratic landscapes of cities.  
    With over half of the world’s population living in cities, new technologies, such as smart cities or surveillance tech, have increasingly been leveraged to make life in cities safer and more efficient. This includes leveraging technology to combat crime and terrorism, to respond to natural disasters or to improve the quality of life of citizens. New technologies are also starting to play an important role in political landscapes, for example by connecting people in protest movements. But these technologies can also be leveraged to other ends: to suppress protesters and restrict freedom of speech. 
    We hope you enjoy listening to the episode. Don’t forget to follow, rate and subscribe to Sounds Strategic on wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts.
    Date of recording: 13 August 2021
    Sounds Strategic is recorded and produced at the IISS in London.

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    • 36 min
    Belarus one year on

    Belarus one year on

    In this Sounds Strategic episode, Meia Nouwens is joined by Dr Nigel Gould-Davies, Senior Fellow for Russia and Eurasia, Strategic Survey Editor and former ambassador to Minsk, to reflect on the protest movement in Belarus and Alexander Lukashenko’s regime.
    One year after an implausible election result ignited mass protests across Belarus, Nigel joins Meia to discuss authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko’s rule, the relationship between Putin’s Russia and Lukashenko’s Belarus, and why the 2020−21 protests became so widespread.
    Can Lukashenko, the autocratic president of Belarus since 1994, regain the legitimacy he has lost? And what is his standing within the country today? 
    We hope you enjoy listening to the episode. Don’t forget to follow, rate and subscribe to Sounds Strategic on wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts.
    Date of recording: 5 August 2021
    Sounds Strategic is recorded and produced at the IISS in London.


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    • 26 min
    40th Fullerton Lecture: US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III

    40th Fullerton Lecture: US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III

    This special episode of Sounds Strategic explores the significance of the 40th Fullerton Lecture, which US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III delivered on Tuesday 27 July 2021. Podcast host Meia Nouwens is joined by James Crabtree, Executive Director of IISS–Asia, Dr Euan Graham, Shangri-La Dialogue Senior Fellow for Asia-Pacific Security, and Aaron Connelly, Research Fellow in Southeast Asian Political Change and Foreign Policy.  
     
    Secretary Austin’s visit was the first to Southeast Asia by a member of US President Joe Biden’s cabinet. In his Fullerton Lecture on ‘The imperative of partnership’, the Secretary made the case for the United States’ role as a reliable partner in helping nations in the Indo-Pacific make their own choices and ‘build back better’ after COVID-19.  
    Watch the recorded lecture on our website - The International Institute for Strategic Studies (iiss.org)
     
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    We hope you enjoy listening to the episode. Don’t forget to follow, rate and subscribe to Sounds Strategic on wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts. 
    Date of recording: 29 July 2021 
     
    Sounds Strategic is recorded and produced at the IISS in London. 


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    • 26 min
    The Chinese Communist Party at 100

    The Chinese Communist Party at 100

    In this episode of Sounds Strategic, special guest host James Crabtree is joined by Meia Nouwens, Senior Fellow for Chinese Defence Policy and Military Modernisation, and Nigel Inkster, Senior Adviser for Cyber Security and China, to examine China’s domestic and international outlook. 
    As China marks the centenary of its ruling party, James, Meia and Nigel assess what this anniversary signifies for the Chinese Communist Party and how strong the party is today.
    James, Meia and Nigel also discuss why the centrality of the party is so important to President Xi Jinping, where the relationship between the CCP and the People’s Liberation Army stands today, what to take away from Xi’s anniversary speech and where the party goes from here.
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    We hope you enjoy listening to the episode. Don’t forget to follow, rate and subscribe to Sounds Strategic on wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts.
    Date of recording: 21 July 2021
    Sounds Strategic is recorded and produced at the IISS in London.

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    • 33 min

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