Luis Simon

Prof. Dr. Luis Simón

Research Professor International Security
+32 2 614 80 36


Luis Simón is research professor at the Institute for European Studies and director of the Brussels office of the Elcano Royal Institute. His current research interests include the evolution of U.S. geostrategy and its impact upon the transatlantic relationship; European geopolitics and security; the future of NATO; and changing geostrategic dynamics in Asia and their implications for Europe. Luis is a frequent lecturer on geopolitical and strategic affairs at several universities and defence colleges, and his research has appeared in prestigious journals, such as Security Studies, International Affairs, The Journal of Strategic Studies, Geopolitics, Survival, Orbis or The RUSI Journal. He is also an Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) and the Baltic Defence College, and a member of the editorial board of Parameters: The US Army War College Quarterly. Earlier, he was a postdoctoral FWO Fellow at the School of International and Public Affairs (Columbia University) and a visiting fellow at the School of Advanced International Studies (Johns Hopkins University). Luis holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of London, and a Masters degree from the Institute d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po). 

Profile and Publications



  • SIMON, Luis. 2018. The Spectre of a Westphalian Europe, Whitehall Paper No. 90, Royal United Services Institute (London: Routledge, 2018) Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2014. Geopolitical Change, Grand Strategy and European Security, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Link


  • SIMON, Luis. 2017. Core Europe: France and Germany, in Amelia Hadfield, Ian Manners and Richard H. Whitman (eds.), Foreign Policies of EU Member States: Continuity and Europeanisation (Abingdon, Routledge, 2017) Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2016. The EU-NATO Conundrum in Perspective, in Lorenzo Cladi and Andrea Locatelli (eds.), International Relations Theory and European Security: We Thought We Knew (Abingdon: Routledge, 2016) Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2015. The United States: "Holding the Fort", in Grevi, G. and Keohane, D. (eds.), Challenges to European Foreign Policy in 2025: How others deal with disorder, Madrid: FRIDE, p. 23-30 Link

Peer Reviewed Articles

  • SIMON, Luis & LANOSZKA, Alexander. 2020. The Post-INF European Missile Balance: Thinking About NATO'S Deterrence Strategy, Texas National Security Review, Vol. 3, Issue 3 (Summer 2020) Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2020. Between punishment and denial: Uncertainty, flexibility, and U.S. military strategy toward China, Contemporary Security Policy (early view, January 2020) Link
  • Simón, Luis, Lanoszka, Alexander & Meijer, Hugo. 2019. Nodal Defence: The Changing Structure of U.S. Alliance Systems in Europe and East Asia, Journal of Strategic Studies (2019), [firstview] Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2017. Neorealism, Security Cooperation, and Europe's Relative Gains Dilemma, Security Studies, Vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 185-212. Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2017. Preparing NATO for the Future – Operating in an Increasingly Contested Environment, The International Spectator, early view (2017) Link
  • SIMON, Luis & KLOSE, Stephan. 2016. European perspectives towards the rise of Asia: contextualising the debate, Asia-Europe Journal, Vol. 14, No. 3, pp. 239-260 Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2016. The 'Third' US Offset Strategy and Europe's 'Anti-Access' Challenge, Journal of Strategic Studies, Vol 39, No. 3, pp. 417-445 Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2016. Balancing Priorities in America's European Strategy, Parameters, Vol. 46, No. 1, pp. 13-24 Link pdf
  • SIMON, Luis. 2016. Seapower and US Forward Presence in the Middle East: Retrenchment in Perspective, Geopolitics, Vol. 21, No. 1, pp. 115-147. Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2015. Britain, the European Union and the Future of Europe: A Geostrategic Perspective, The RUSI Journal, Vol. 160, No. 5, pp. 16-23. Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2015. Europe, the rise of Asia and the future of the transatlantic relationship, International Affairs, Vol. 91, No. 5 (2015), pp. 969-989. Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2015. Understanding US Retrenchment in Europe, Survival: Global Politics and Strategy, Vol 57, No. 2 (2015), pp. 157-172. Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2014. Assessing NATO’s Eastern European “Flank”, Parameters, Vol. 44, No. 3 (Autumn 2014), pp. 67-79. Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2014. ‘Back to Basics’ and ‘Out of Area’ Towards a Multi-Purpose NATO, RUSI Journal, Vol 159, n 3, pp. 14-19 Link
  • SIMON, Luis & FIOTT, Daniel. 2014. Europe after the U.S. Pivot, Orbis, Vol. 58, No. 3, pp. 413-428 Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2013. Reaching Beyond the Indo-Pacific, Comparative Strategy, Vol. 32, No. 4, pp. 331-353 Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2013. Setting the Tone: The 2013 French Defence White Paper and the Future of European Defence, The RUSI Journal, Vol. 158, No. 4, pp. 38-44 Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2013. The Spider in Europe’s Web? French Geostrategy from Iraq to Libya, Geopolitics, Vol. 18, No. 2, pp. 403-434 Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2012. CSDP, Strategy and Crisis Management: Out of Area or Out of Business, The International Spectator, Vol. 47, No. 3, pp. 100-115 Link
  • SIMON, Luis & ROGERS, James. 2011. British Geostrategy for a European Age, The RUSI Journal, Vol. 156, No. 2, pp. 52-58 Link
  • SIMON, Luis & ROGERS, James. 2010. The Return of European Geopolitics? All roads run through London”, The RUSI Journal, Vol. 155, No. 3, pp. 57-63 Link

Articles, Essays & Reviews

  • DESMAELE, Linde & SIMON, Luis. 2019. East Asia First, Europe Second: Picking Regions in U.S. Grand Strategy, War on the Rocks, 7 August 2019 Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2019. What is Europe's Place in Sino-American Competition, War on the Rocks, 14 February 2019 Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2017. Don't Believe the Hype About European Defense, War on the Rocks, 27 June 2017 Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2017. Trump, Europe, and the Non-Handshake Seen Round the World, War on the Rocks, 20 March 2017 Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2017. Demystifying the A2/AD Buzz, War on the Rocks, 4 January 2017 Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2016. Britain and the Fate of the Europe we Know, War on The Rocks, 24 October 2016 Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2016. European Strategy in Times of Geopolitical Interdependence, European Defence Matters, Issue 11 (2016), pp. 14-15 Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2016. A European Perspective on Anti-Access/Area Denial and the Third Offset Strategy, War on The Rocks, 3 May 2016 Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2015. The 'third' US offset strategy and Europe's 'anti-access' challenge, European Geostrategy Long Post, 25 October 2015 Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2015. Securing the Eastern European Flank: A Joint EU-NATO Endeavour, European Leadership Network, 18 September 2015. Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2014. The Ukraine Crisis, NATO's Wales Summit and the Future of CSDP, Lettre IRSEM 8 Dossier stratégique (December 2014), pp. 7-8. Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2014. NATO and the Security of the 'Eastern Flank': A European Perspective, RUSI Newsbrief, Vol. 34, No. 6 (November 2014), pp. 5-7. Link
  • ROGERS, James & SIMON, Luis. 2014. Strategy: waging political warfare, European Geostrategy Long Post, 16 November 2014 Link
  • ROGERS, James, FIOTT, Daniel & SIMON, Luis. 2014. European Geostrategy’s ‘Audit of Major Powers’: the world’s fifteen most powerful countries in 2014, European Geostrategy Long Post, 7 January 2014 Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2013. Japan reaches out to the world: an opportunity for Europe?, European Geostrategy Long Post Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2013. The 2013 French Defense White Paper: Don’t Write the French Off Just Yet, European Geostrategy, Long Post 5 Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2011. The Euro-debt crisis: from finance to geopolitics?, RUSI Analysis, December 2011. Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2010. The Politics of EU Military Planning and Conduct, CFSP Forum, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp 14-19

Commissioned Research & Policy Work

  • SIMON, Luis . 2020. A geopolitical Commission? Beware the industrial-strategic gap in EU defence policy, ARI 1/2020, Elcano Royal Institute Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2019. EU-NATO Cooperation in an Era of Great-Power Competition, German Marshall Fund of the United States, 26 November 2019 Link
  • BRUSTLEIN, Corentin & SIMON, Luis. 2019. Battle-Ready? Preparing European Military Forces for a More Competitive Environment, in Brustlein, Corentin (ed), Mutual Reinforcement: CSDP and NATO in the Face of Rising Challenges, Paris: IFRI, Focus Strategique 93, pp. 33-44 Link
  • SIMON, Luis & SPECK, Ulrich (eds.). 2018. Natural partners? Europe, Japan and security in the Indo-Pacific, Elcano Policy Paper, November 2018 Link
  • SIMON, Luis & Speck, Ulrich (eds.). 2017. Europe in 2030: Four Alternative Futures, Elcano Policy Paper 2, 2017 Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2016. EU Strategy and European Defence: What Level of Ambition?. Clingendael Policy Brief, November 2016. Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2016. Off-Setting NATO's "Anti-Access" Challenge, German Marshall Fund of the United States, March 2016 Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2016. Beyond Brexit: the future of the Spanish-British relationship, Análisis del Real Instituto Elcano 71/2016 Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2015. Europe and Japan: Towards a "Trans-Eurasian" Partnership, German Marshall Fund of the United States, Policy Brief (April 2015) Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2014. “España después de Europa”: la proyección marítima como elemento de la renovación estratégica española, Estrategia Exterior Española 14/2014, Real Instituto Elcano Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2013. America's Asian "Rebalancing" and the Future of Europe, in BISCOP, Sven & FIOTT, Daniel (eds), The State of Defence in Europe: State of Emergency?, Egmont Paper 62, November 2013 Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2013. No Might, No Right: European Must Re-discover Military Power, Análisis del Real Instituto Elcano EGS 2/2013 Link
  • SIMON, Luis & ROGERS, James. 2013. The Crisis in Libya: Spanish and European Options, OPEX Memorandum No. 155/2011 Link
  • SIMON, Luis, MATTELAER, Alexander & HADFIELD, Amelia. 2012. A Coherent EU Strategy for the Sahel, Brussels: European Parliament (DG for External Policies), May 2012 Link
  • SIMON, Luis & MATTELAER, Alexander . 2011. EUnity of Command: The Planning and Conduct of CSDP Operations, EGMONT Paper, Nº 41 Link
  • SIMON, Luis & ROGERS, James. 2010. The New Franco-British Entente and European Defence: Implications for Spain, OPEX Memorandum No. 151/2010 Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2010. European Defence Capabilities: No Adaptability without Co-operation”, Occasional Paper Royal United Services Institute, London, March 2010 Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2010. The Spanish Presidency and CSDP: Time to get serious about the Union´s Military Planning and Conduct capability, Análisis del Real Instituto Elcano, 33/2010 Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2010. Command and Control? Planning for EU Military Operations, Occasional Paper EU Institute for Security Studies, nº 81 Link pdf
  • ROGERS, James & SIMON, Luis . 2009. The status and location of the military installations of the Member States of the European Union and their potential role for the European Security and Defence Policy, Briefing Paper prepared for the European Parliament’s Sub-Committee on Security and Defence (February 2009) Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2008. Sarkozy’s dilemmas, the forthcoming French EU Presidency and ESDP? What’s in it for Europe?, Análisis del Real Instituto Elcano 76/2008 Link

Newspaper Op-eds & Online Commentary

  • SIMON, Luis. 2016. Brexit: What now for Europe?, Defence Matters, 20 July 2016 Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2016. Brexit: Eastern Flank Consequences and NATO's Next Steps, Defence Matters, 22 July 2016 Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2015. Japan’s defense policy – A new ‘normal’?, FRIDE Commentary, 9 September 2015 Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2015. Offsetting challenges to western military-technological supremacy, European Geostrategy, 12 July 2015 Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2015. How Japan matters to Europe, European Geostrategy, 11 January 2015 Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2014. From maritime security to European seapower, European Geostrategy, 3 December 2014 Link
  • ROGERS, James & SIMON, Luis. 2014. The Baltic states: an affirmation of the West, European Geostrategy, 14 September 2014 Link
  • ROGERS, James & SIMON, Luis. 2014. Brexit: a European Union without the United Kingdom?, European Geostrategy, 24 June 2014 Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2014. Europeans reach out to Asia: the role of Japan, European Geostrategy, 2 June 2014 Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2014. Interview with Takehiro Kano, European Geostrategy, 26 May 2014 Link
  • ROGERS, James & SIMON, Luis. 2014. Germany as European leader?, Standpoint 3, European Geostrategy, 11 May 2014 Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2014. Interview with Zack Cooper, European Geostrategy, 2 May 2014 Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2014. Interview wit Michito Tsuruoka, European Geostrategy, 28 April 2014 Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2014. A post-European world? American-Russian relations in perspective, European Geostrategy, 20 April 2014 Link
  • ROGERS, James & SIMON, Luis. 2014. After Crimea: ‘hold’ the east, plough the ocean, Standpoint 2, European Geostrategy, 8 April 2014 Link
  • ROGERS, James & SIMON, Luis. 2014. Ukraine: Europe in turmoil?, Standpoint 1, European Geostrategy, 23 February 2014 Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2013. ‘Leading from behind’ in the southern neighbourhood: can it be done?, European Geostrategy Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2013. Europe after the ‘pivot’, European Geostrategy Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2013. Germany Risks Overplaying Its Hand, The European Voice, 23 May 2013 Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2013. Interview with Kenneth Waltz, European Geostrategy Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2012. Britain and France: A New Agency for the Neo-West?, European Geostrategy Link
  • SIMON, Luis. 2011. Libya: Time for Boots on the Ground?, Europe’s World, 29 April 2011
  • SIMON, Luis. 2011. The (geo)politics behind Europe’s Libya split, POLITICO, 13 April 2011 Link