Welcome to the War Studies podcast. We bring you world-leading research from the School of Security Studies at King’s College London, the largest community of scholars in the world dedicated to the study of all aspects of security, defence and international relations. We aim to explore the complex realm of conflict and uncover the challenges at the heart of navigating world affairs and diplomatic relations, because we believe the study of war is fundamental to understanding the world we live in and the world we want to live in. If you’ve enjoyed this podcast, please rate and review us on your preferred podcast provider – it really helps us reach more listeners. The School of Security Studies harnesses the depth and breadth of expertise across War Studies and Defence Studies to produce world-leading research and teaching on issues of global security that develops new empirical knowledge, employs innovative theory, and addresses vital policy issues. DISCLAIMER: Any information, statements or opinions contained in these podcasts are those of the individual speakers. They do not represent the opinions of the Department of War Studies or King's College London.
Intelligence and the Norwegian Resistance retold with Dr Tony Insall
Who were the shadowy figures and unsung individuals that lay behind the extraordinary story of the Norwegian resistance during World War II? What were the extreme conditions they worked under? And how did they contribute to major allied intelligence-gathering operations, including helping to stall German efforts in producing atomic bombs?
In this episode we speak to Dr Tony Insall, Senior Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of War Studies and Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, on his recent book ‘Secret Alliances: Special Operations and Intelligence in Norway 1940-1945’. Credited with shining a new light on the story of the Norwegian resistance movement, British intelligence and special operations in war-time Norway, it draws on hitherto unpublished materials buried deep in Norwegian and British intelligence archives.
He discusses the uniquely close Anglo-Norwegian political relationship and cooperation that gave rise to the successful resistance movement, the desolate conditions agents based in Norway operated under, the role of code breakers and the story behind one of the world’s most famous Christmas trees – a festive gift from Oslo to London which is displayed in Trafalgar Square every year.
'The Great War': War in TV and film with Dr Peter Busch
‘We are telling a story as great as that of the Bible’, wrote Tony Essex to Gordon Watkins in 1964. These television producers had been given the opportunity of a lifetime - to bring to life the first major multi-episode television documentary on the Great War for the 50th anniversary.
In this episode, we talk to Dr Peter Busch, historian and expert in propaganda and strategic communication, about how the ‘Great War’ made TV history and transformed historical documentaries going forwards.
He discusses how the BBC used innovative techniques, including eye-witness testimonies to represent the voices of ‘ordinary’ people, but also the extent to which televised or cinematic representations of war can blur fact and fiction, in ways that aren’t always clear to us.
Women, Peace and Security: The Global South
In the final episode of our special three-part series celebrating 20 years since resolution 1325 was passed by the UN Security Council on Women, Peace and Security, we take a look at how we can help shape reform in moving Global North policy, dominating WPS, to more grassroots and how we can push the agenda in communities of the Global South.
Although the WPS agenda has led to significant changes in the way women are considered in times of conflict and peace-brokering activities, there are still many challenges that remain.
In this episode, we explore whose voices actually count in pursuing the aims of the WPS agenda and how the agenda is viewed in countries of the Global South.
Experts in the field, Dr Soumita Basu (South Asian University) and Dr Swarna Rajagopalan (The Prajnya Trust & Women’s Regional Network) discuss the opportunities needed to allow women to take a seat at the table of conversations on war and peace, as well as illustrating the need for women to be included in every stage of conflict resolution, conflict prevention, conflict management and peacemaking processes.
Religion, War and Israel’s Secular Millennials with Dr Stacey Gutkowski
How do secular Jewish Israeli millennials feel about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? How has coming of age during a series of wars, in which many of them fought, and the shadow of the failed Oslo Peace Process impacted this generation? Why have their attitudes changed so significantly since their parents’ youth, that they no longer believe in a two state solution and see Occupation as ‘reasonable if regrettable’?
In this episode we talk to Dr Stacey Gutkowski, Senior Lecturer in Conflict Studies and Co-Director for the Centre for the Study of Divided Societies in War Studies, about her new book – ‘Religion, War and Israel’s Secular Millennials: Being Reasonable?'.
Based on fieldwork, interviews and surveys conducted after the 2014 Gaza War, it offers a close reading of the lived experience and generational memory of participants and a new explanation for why attitudes to Occupation have grown increasingly conservative over the past two decades.
Women, Peace and Security: The Privatisation of War
In the second episode of our three-part series celebrating 20 years of Women, Peace and Security (WPS), we look at the escalating threat that private companies, hired to provide military and security services, pose to the rights of women and minorities in conflict settings.
This privatisation of war can have incredibly damaging consequences. Private companies often occupy a murky territory outside the legal frameworks of states and international organisations, meaning human rights abuses, including gender-based and sexual violence, are committed under their watch with little or no comeuppance for the perpetrators.
Dr Jamie Hagen, Lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast, and Professor Saskia Stachowitsch, from the University of Vienna, join Dr Amanda Chisholm from our own School, to discuss the challenge of this threat, in particular for women and the LGBTQ community. And how Women, Peace and Security might be leveraged to highlight these atrocities and bring justice to the communities affected.
The War on Drugs and Anglo-American Relations with Dr Philip Berry
In 2001 Tony Blair introduced what would become a controversial, expensive and ultimately disastrous policy programme to stamp out the drugs trade in Afghanistan in just ten years.
Dr Philip Berry, Lecturer in War Studies, joins us to discuss his new book, ’The War on Drugs and Anglo-American Relations: Lessons from Afghanistan’, which reveals the inside story on the Blair Government's mission to destroy opium production at source. We explore why counter-narcotics became such a key foreign policy objective for Blair, his overconfidence in setting such unrealistic timelines and why this whole episode caused considerable tension in UK-US relations, putting significant strain on the ‘Special Relationship’.
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