Recent Publications

Elie Perot

A recurring debate in international politics centres on the distinction between peace and war. In recent years, this debate has resurfaced as a result of several developments, such as the Ukraine crisis and Chinese maritime activities in the South China Sea, which seem to blur the distinction. The Cold War confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union made it clear that international relations could not be seen only through the lens of clearly separable cycles of peace and war. But the growing attention to the post-Cold War phenomenon of ‘hybrid warfare’ suggests that the line between peace and war simply cannot be drawn. This means that what constitutes war is destined to remain a contentious political matter. Yet it may be salutary that the contemporary strategic impulse to exploit this indeterminacy comes from the persistent fear of a general war, as it did during the Cold War. How this fear will evolve is key to envisioning the future of world politics and, in particular, its central uncertainty: whether the United States and China will go to war.


Elie Perot (2019) The Blurring of War and Peace, Survival, 61:2, 101-110, DOI: 10.1080/00396338.2019.1589089

Elie Perot

Law and politics are the two constituent parts of a collective defence architecture. In Europe, such an architecture currently rests on a series of legal commitments: NATO’s mutual defence clause (Art.5 of the North Atlantic Treaty), but also the EU mutual assistance clause (Art.42.7 TEU) and the EU solidarity clause (Art.222 TFEU). Many asymmetries exist, however, between those legal clauses: they are often overlapping but not always identical with respect to their respective conditions of activation, territorial scopes, binding strengths, and modalities of implementation. Because of those legal asymmetries as well as prevailing political realities, there are many obstacles in fact to a clear-cut division of labour within Europe’s collective defence architecture between NATO and the EU. In Europe, collective defence should thus not be apprehended as a uniform task but rather as the art of balancing multiple legal and political constrains, come what may.

KEYWORDS: NATO Article 5, EU mutual assistance clause, EU solidarity clause, collective defence, law and politics

Elie Perot (2019) The art of commitments: NATO, the EU, and the interplay between law and politics within Europe’s collective defence architecture,European Security, 28:1, 40-65, DOI: 10.1080/09662839.2019.1587746

Elie Perot

On 22 January 2019, Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel signed a new treaty on “Franco-German cooperation and integration” in Aachen. Complementing the 1963 Elysée Treaty which symbolized the reconciliation between Germany and France in the post-war period, the Aachen Treaty aims to further strengthen the ties between the two countries in the domains of economy, culture, administration, environment, diplomacy and defence. Although the Treaty has been criticised for its lack of ambition, a closer reading of its text reveals some hidden gems, including its mutual defence clause. What does this new clause mean for the Franco-German tandem and for collective defence in Europe?

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Dohee Jeong

This policy brief gives a brief statistical survey of the immigration situation in South Korea and looks at the legal status of foreigners in the country. It examines the question of whether, as is commonly assumed, immigrants are responsible for the increase in criminal offences.

March 2019

The project European Leadership in Cultural, Science and Innovation Diplomacy (EL-CSID) was conducted between February 2016 and February 2019, in the context of the H2020 programme on Europe as a Global Actor. This final report identifies the research undertaken, its research outcomes and policy recommendations.

The final report is presented at the Final EL-CSID Conference on 27 February 2019, Brussels.

Florian Trauner
Ariadna Ripoll Servent
Eva Magdalena Stambøl

The pursuit of internal security objectives has become increasingly important in EU foreign policy and external relations. The EU now invests a growing amount of efforts towards fighting ‘security threats’ and transnational crime in the (extended) neighborhood. This is particularly evident in the Sahel region of West Africa, where initiatives focusing on bolstering internal security apparatuses and borders are mushrooming. The question is whether the EU’s emerging role as a ‘global crime fighter’ contributes to fostering human security or satisfying the internal security priorities of the member states and whether the two are at all compatible. A closer look at EU policies in the Sahel suggests that solutions based on criminalisation and repression can have harmful unintended consequences which can even destabilise the region. 

Anthony Antoine
Luk Van Langenhove


Institutions of higher education across the world are expected to contribute to the resolution of economic, social, and environmental problems and to respond to them. However, in order to meet these expectations, universities need to have a strong sense of university governance to provide academics and researchers with a high degree of independence. 

University Governance and Academic Leadership in the EU and China provides innovative insights into the evolving higher education system of university governance in Europe and China. The content within this publication analyzes university governance, education technology, academic integrity, higher education, clear role positioning, and more. It is a vital reference source for education administrators, educators, academicians, policymakers, government officials, professionals, researchers, and consultants seeking coverage on topics centered on successful and effective leadership in modern universities.


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Jos Leijten

This policy brief explores how innovation becomes an increasingly important topic in international relations, with a deep impact on collaboration as well as on competition between countries. It analyses how the patterns of techno-economic change lead to changes in the global distribution of innovative activities around the world. It outlines three near future scenarios of the international politics of innovation. The first, called “populism and protectionism” describes an international environment which is becoming dominated by populist and nationalist tendencies. The second outlines the consequences of an approach of “innovation as a global public good”, in which ultimately everybody benefits, and global collaboration is the dominant model. The third scenario is called “bottom-up innovation” and describes what happens to the international dimensions when large international firms and the regions in which they are based become the dominant forces. Together these scenarios describe the range of potential developments over the next 10 years. The final paragraph discusses what Europe can and should do in its external relations to provide adequate answers to the forces outlined in the three scenarios. It results in a vision, which is laid down in four policy directions: a) the European “open” model of research and innovation should remain the starting point; b) Europe should actively seek to build level playing fields for commercial, technological and innovation powers; c) Europe should identify and foster its technological strengths and the critical technologies that need special attention, both in offensive and defensive ways; and d) Europe must identify and spread the key social values and goals (e.g. in relation to quality of life, quality of labour, culture including privacy, and sustainability) that it wants to pursue in its internal and external innovation policies and collaborations. This vision must guide the development of an international innovation policy and the work of innovation diplomats.  

Seita Romppanen
  • The new EU land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) Regulation takes a novel approach to emissions accounting, giving EU Member States discretion in sustainable forest management.
  • The Forest Reference Levels (FRLs) in the National Forestry Accounting Plans required by the Regulation need to be in line with other requirements of the Regulation, including the critical requirement to maintain or strengthen long-term carbon sinks.
  • The FRL does not constrain national sustainable forest management in qualitative or quantitative terms but ensures that the climate impacts of the decisions made are accounted for in a transparent and reliable manner.
  • The Regulation’s environmental integrity is tied to the Paris Agreement’s long-term goals and ambition mechanism, making the Regulation a dynamic forward-looking instrument that is open for review, and revision.