IES Research - International Security



The International Security Cluster

Group photo of the International Security Cluster (January 2018)

Researchers that are part of the International Security (IS) cluster operate at the crossroads of geopolitical analysis, strategic studies and European studies. In keeping with an increasingly turbulent international landscape, cluster researchers analyse the on-going re-ordering of the European political architecture and how it relates to the wider world. In doing so, they pay particular attention to geopolitical competition between Russia and the West, instability in the broader Middle East, the rise of Asia and its implications for Europe and the transatlantic relationship, the changing face of international diplomacy and the exigencies of modern warfare.

The cluster is led by Prof Dr Luis Simon and Prof Dr Alexander Mattelaer. It offers a home to various projects, such as the Korea Foundation-VUB Korea Chair chaired by Dr. Ramon Pachecho Pardo and assisted by Paula Cantero Dieguez. Additional senior researchers include Prof Dr Luk Van LangenhoveDr Richard Higgott, Guest Professor Dr Raluca Csernatoni, Postdoctoral Researcher Dr Stephan Klose, and Postdoctoral Fellow Liviu Horovitz; as well as Dr Tongfi Kim, Dr Carolin Liss, Dr Giulia Tercovich and Dr Antonio Calcara of Vesalius College. Furthermore, a number of PhD researchers are involved with the cluster: Linde Desmaele, Maximilian ErnstAntonios Nestoras, Elie Perot, Laura Vansina and Maaike Verbruggen. The cluster also welcomes Distinguished Associate Professor Michael Reiterer (EEAS), Visiting Professor Dr Daniel Fiott (EU ISS), KF-VUB Korea Chair Visiting Fellows Young-Hun Kim (ROK Ministry of Unification), Young-In Lee (ROK Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism) and Sung Kyoo Ahn, Visiting Fellow Dr Jordan Becker (NATO), Associate Researcher Dr Benedetta Berti and Associate Researcher Dr Anna K. Stahl (Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung). 

Latest publications

  • ARTEAGA, Felix, FIOTT, Daniel, HARTLEY, Keith, MATELLY, Sylvie, MAULNY, Jean-Pierre & MARRONE, Alessandro.  2020a.  Europas Verteidigung sollte nicht Opfer des Lockdowns sein [European defence should not be a sacrifice of the lockdown], FAZ, 26 April 2020. Link.
  • ARTEAGA, Felix, FIOTT, Daniel, HARTLEY, Keith, MATELLY, Sylvie, MAULNY, Jean-Pierre & MARRONE, Alessandro.  2020b.  La défense européenne ne doit pas être l’une des victimes du Covid-19 [European defence should not be a victim of COVID-19], L’Express, 30 April 2020. Link.
  • CALCARA, Antonio.  2020.  Preparing for War in the Fog of Peace: The Transatlantic Case, War on the Rocks, 30 April 2020. Link.
  • FIOTT, Daniel.  2020a.  The EU must not let the four horsemen of the Apocalypse weaken Europe’s security, EuroNews, 17 April 2020. Link.
  • FIOTT, Daniel.  2020b.  This Franco-Italian Naval Deal is a Litmus Test for European Strategic Autonomy, War on the Rocks, 29 April 2020. Link.
  • FIOTT, Daniel, TERLIKOWSKI, Marcin & SCHÜTZ, Torben.  2020.  It’s time to vaccinate Europe’s defence budgets, EurActiv, 20 April 2020. Link.
  • PACHECO PARDO, Ramon.  2020a.  Korea, the West and Covid-19, Hankyoreh, 28 April 2020. Link.
  • PACHECO PARDO, Ramon.  2020b.  La verdadera lección coreana [The real Korean lesson], Agenda Pública, 9 May 2020. Link.
  • PACHO PARDO, Ramon.  2020.  한국인의 열등감 예방할 코로나 바이러스 : 칼럼 : 사설.칼럼 : 뉴스 : 한겨레 [The coronavirus prevents inferiority among Koreans], Hani, 28 April 2020. Link.
  • TERCOVICH, Giulia & AMADIA VICERÈ, Maria Giulia.  2020.  What role for the EU High Representative during the Covid-19 crisis? Reflections on Potential Avenues of Research, Institute for European Studies, 8 May 2020. Link.
  • VERBRUGGEN, Maaike.  2020a.  AI & Military Procurement: What Computers Still Can’t Do, War on the Rocks, 5 May 2020. Link.
  • VERBRUGGEN, Maaike.  2020b.  Beyond the buzz: A primer on swarms, The Interpreter, 29 April 2020. Link.
  • VERBRUGGEN, Maaike.  2020c.  The extensive role of artificial intelligence in military transformation, in Petr Topychkanov (ed.) The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Strategic Stability and Nuclear Risk: Volume III South Asian Perspectives, Stockholm: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, pp.9–16. Link.


Please see the International Security Publications page for an overview of our publications.

Cluster members in the news

  • Daniel Fiott co-authored commentary piece on saving defence budgets during the pandemic. Initially published in EN with Euractiv but subsequently published in DE (with FAZ), FR (with L’Express), IT (with Formiche) and ES (with Elcano).
  • Daniel Fiott wrote a commentary piece on European security and the pandemic for Euronews.
  • Daniel Fiott was quoted by Defense News on COVID19 and defence spending.
  • Michael Reiterer was interviewed by Korea JoongAng Daily in the context of Europe Day.
  • Michael Reiterer was interviewed by EBS on European views on the South Korean response to COVID19.
  • Ramon Pacheco Pardo discussed the Korean response to COVID19 in El Pais, Sky News, Hani, and Hankyoreh
  • Ramon Pacheco Pardo commented on the questions surrounding the health of Kim Jong-un for el Periódico, RFA, El Ciudadano, Perfil, the Japan Times, Radio Cut, and Voice of America.
  • Ramon Pacheco Pardo talked about South Korea's foreign policy and its position amidst changing geopolitical dynamics on the Asia Unscripted podcast.

Please see the International Security News page for an overview of our media engagements.

Latest International Security Events

19 November 2019 Deterrence in an Era of Great Power Competition: Views from Europe and East Asia Roundtable
18 November 2019 The State, the Firm and Europe: Defence Industrial Cooperation in the European Union Book Presentation
7 November 2019 The Russian understanding of war: Blurring the lines between peace and practice Book Presentation
29 October 2019 Trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific dialogue: Alliances at crossroads Conference
1 October 2019 The Korean Peninsula in flux: Nuclear weapons, trade, peace Panel Discussion

Please see the International Security Events page for an overview of our events.

[Back to Research]