February 2018: Graduate update
Our former MA Security & Intelligence student Alexander Oberkersch is currently interning at the Embassy of Austria in Washington DC. In his capacity as an intern, he is writing reports and briefings for the Ambassador and other decision makers. He is attending several security and defence related Think Tanks and is representing the Republic of Austria at various meetings. He has benefitted greatly from report writing and analytical exercises during his Master degree at the University of Buckingham and remains in close contact with teaching staff and other former students. Upon invitation from United States Congressman Robert Pittenger of North Carolina, he had the chance to visit the White House.
August 2017: BUCSIS update
It is hard to think of any time in the past 25 years that the security of the West seems to be more threatened than it is today. Whether we look towards Russia, to China, to North Korea, to the Middle East, to Africa or to Asia, what the West faces is uncertainty at best – and an increasingly risky, dangerous and hostile environment at worst. Not surprisingly, the past six months have seen BUCSIS working at full tilt, speaking and writing about security and its delivery. Click here to read about some of the fruits of our labours.
July 2017: New book by Dr Julian Richards
Julian Richards, Extremism, Radicalization and Security: An Identity Theory Approach (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017). 228pp. ISBN 978-3-319-55202-6. Read more in our Publication of the week section (24 July 2017).
November 2016: News from the Bahamas
Lt Glenn McPhee of the Royal Bahamas Police Force, BUCSIS alumnus and Chevening Scholar 2013-14, met Sir Anthony Sheldon, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham, who visited the Bahamas this month.
November 2016: BUCSIS news bulletin
The latest BUCSIS news bulletin reports on current BUCSIS students, including the latest to be awarded a doctorate; the implications of Brexit and the US presidential election; the Advanced Studies seminar series. BUCSIS is now the largest department of its kind in the entire European Union. Click here to download the latest BUCSIS news.
November 2016: Putting Buckingham on the map!
The staff of BUCSIS continue to be involved in a regular flow of media interviews for major radio and television outlets in the UK and globally. Our opinions are frequently sought on everything from the security implications of Brexit to the war in Iraq and Syria; the implications of a growing Russian threat; cybersecurity; terrorist attacks; and security law and policy. Every day we are helping to put BUCSIS and the University of Buckingham on the map!
September 2016: Dr Vassilis (Bill) Kappis joins BUCSIS
Professor Anthony Glees and Dr Julian Richards are truly delighted to announce that Dr Vassilis (Bill) Kappis has been appointed as a lecturer in the Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies and will take up his post in the next few days. Bill holds a PhD degree in International Relations from the University of Sydney and Master’s degrees in Strategic Studies and European Integration from the Australian National University and the London School of Economics respectively.
Bill’s research interests lie in the strategic and psychological aspects of security crisis and foreign policy decision-making. An expert on the Eastern Mediterranean, having lived, studied and worked in Greece, Cyprus and Israel, Bill is also an awarded academic instructor (Excellence in Teaching Practice, 2013) and a policy-oriented scholar, with regular conference presentations and focused media contributions.
Bill is uniquely qualified to contribute to the Centre’s research and teaching mission and will help to take it forward into the next phase of its work.
July 2016: Alumnus news from The Bahamas
One of our esteemed MA graduates, Glenn McPhee, has recently had an article published in the prestigious Routledge peer-reviewed academic journal, The International Journal of Intelligence, Security and Public Affairs. Glenn is a senior officer in the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, based in Nassau. His article “Barriers to Collecting ‘Secret Intelligence’ in the Bahamas” is a unique geographical contribution to the Intelligence Studies literature, and helps to spread the word about BUCSIS and the high quality of students we have had the pleasure of teaching.
June 2016: BUCSIS in Rome
On 24 June, Dr Richards was invited to speak at the Luigi Sturzo Institute in Rome on a short course on Counterintelligence, for a mixed group of officers from Italian government departments and commercial enterprises. The event was hosted by the Gino Germani Institute for Social Sciences and Strategic Studies (http://fondazionegermani.org/wordpress/eng/), with whom BUCSIS has a long-standing relationship. The half-day workshop, entitled “Counterintelligence: A British Perspective”, was the latest in a line of BUCSIS activities in various parts of Europe.
May 2016: BUCSIS trip to the House of Lords
BUCSIS students and staff were kindly invited to visit the Houses of Parliament by Lord Young of Cookham as part of BUCSIS’s series of Prebend House talks. Our group watched from the public gallery in the House of Lords for over an hour with issues including the junior doctors’ strike, High-Speed Rail Two, and social care for the elderly all being debated. Our group was then given a talk by Lord Young on the state of politics in Britain, the EU referendum, Britain’s role in the world, and about the House of Lords. Read full report.
January 2015: An update on BUCSIS’s activities over the past few months from Professor Anthony Glees and Dr Julian Richards
Anthony writes: As director of BUCSIS since 2008 I’ve seen the Centre achieve a national and international reputation when it comes to our analysis of intelligence-led security activity, whether in the UK or more widely. BUCSIS’s reputation is a matter of twofold importance. First of all, it demonstrates that what we research into, and the teaching that we derive from it has a very wide appeal. It helps us to recruit our excellent students. At any one time, we can boast twenty world-class MA students, from all over the world, as well as ten world-class MPhil and DPhil students.
November 2014: Workshop on the Syria crisis
On 14 November, Prebend House was proud to host a one-day workshop on the security implications of the Syria crisis. The workshop aimed to discuss the policy and security implications of the Syria crisis, focusing on three dimensions: implications for security in the UK, with a special emphasis on policy towards jihadist fighters travelling out to the conflict; underpinning dimensions of the conflict within Syria itself; and implications for international policy responses and strategy, including questions of intervention and conflict resolution. Visiting speakers comprised DS Chris Geen from Thames Valley Police; Mr Jonathan Paris from the Chertoff Institute; Mr Haian Dukhan and Dr Omar Imady, both from the Centre for Syrian Studies at the University of St Andrews. Speakers from within the University of Buckingham’s faculty comprised Drs Mohga Bassim, and Valentina Kostadinova. Dr Julian Richards acted as chair and discussant for the event, with additional perspectives from Professor Anthony Glees, director of BUCSIS. An Executive Summary of the day’s discussion can be seen here: Syria Crisis Nov 14 – Executive Summary. A recording of Jonathan Paris’ talk is available here.
November 2014: Bletchley Park
Students from the MAs in Security & Intelligence Studies, Security, Intelligence & Diplomacy and Global Affairs & Diplomacy visited the historical site of Bletchley Park on Friday 7 November. Bletchley Park was the site of British codebreaking activities during WW2 and the birthplace of the modern computer. These codebreaking activities played a decisive role in the Allied war victory. Students were given a tour of the park as well as a look at the new and improved elements Bletchley have introduced over the past year.
October 2014: Evidence sessions at the ISC Privacy and Security Inquiry
Our interest in connecting with policy developments and the relevance of BUCSIS within the UK’s intelligence and security realm were both underlined this month by the invitations issued to Professor Glees and Dr Richards to give written and oral evidence to the parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee’s (ISC) Privacy and Security Inquiry. Both answered questions on the role of the state’s intelligence capabilities within the framework of a contemporary liberal democracy. Recordings of the evidence sessions can be seen via the ISC’s webpage.
October 2014: An MA SIS/DIP student scopes the United Nations Headquarters, New York
Thanks to being awarded one of the generous £1,000 mobility scholarships offered to students at the University of Buckingham by Santander Bank, I was able to travel to New York to participate in a tour of the UN in September 2014, designed for those with concerns in international security issues.
As someone from a law background but hoping to pursue a professional career in diplomacy and security policy, I believe this visit added concrete value to my academic studies as well as giving me some serious insights into how the UN works. I gained, too, from seeing how global policy directed at establishing peacefulness (one of my core concerns) might be developed within an institution dedicated to that goal.
Uloaku Anaba (Class of 2014)
October 2014: BUCSIS graduate in Afghanistan
Mikko Keltanen, from Finland, joined BUCSIS in September 2011 and graduated a year later. That he was awarded a Distinction came as no surprise to those who had the pleasure of teaching him. Like many of our Master’s students in Security and Intelligence Studies, Mikko used his time with us to refine his understanding of the subject, and the context in which it exists, and developed both his talents and his skills. And like many of our Master’s students, Mikko soon found the opening doing the really useful work for which his studies had prepared him. We are proud of every single one of our students at BUCSIS, wherever their career paths take them. Our job is to help them achieve their individual goals in our field – something that so many of them do with such speed.
Read what Mikko has written about the European Union Police Mission in Afghanistan (EUPOL): Afghanistan’s New Future.
September 2014: Visit by Japanese professors
On 21 September Professor Anthony Glees was called on by Professors Motohiro Tsuchiya, head of the Graduate School of Governance at Keio University, and Izumi Harada of the Information Society Research Department and the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies in Tokyo, and Captain Keizo Kitagawa, the Defence Attache of the Embassy of Japan in the UK. They came to discuss current BUCSIS teaching and research work, with a special concern for our model of security and intelligence teaching (not yet found in Japan) and the work done by us on the impact of Snowden’s revelations. Japan is currently the subject of intense cyber attack from China and there is a wish to consider how best it might protect its security in the future.
September 2014: Media interest
Over the past few weeks, media interest in BUCSIS’s analysis of domestic and foreign security issues (always much in demand) was especially strong. Professor Glees was interviewed by the national and international media repeatedly, with in-depth interviews on the BBC TV News Channel, two interviews on Sky TV News, interviews and talks on German national and regional radio, including InfoRadio Berlin and Hessischer Rundfunk, BBC Radio Scotland on multiple occasions, BBC regional radio networks, BBC Asian Network, as well as interviews for the Daily Mail, The Times, The Scotsman and many major national newspapers throughout the world.
September 2014: Conference keynote talk
On 16 September Professor Glees was invited to give the conference keynote talk on “Intelligence politics and policies in the post-Snowden environment” as the guest of 4-Secure, Information Security Specialists, in the Churchill War Rooms in Whitehall, London.
September 2014: BUCSIS and Tanzania
BUCSIS bids a sad farewell this week to our first student from Tanzania, Mr Kasara Materere. But we sincerely hope that Kasara will not be the last student to join us from this part of the world, to which end we were honoured at the end of the September to receive a visit from the Tanzanian Defence Attache in London. Discussions covered the ways in which BUCSIS could strengthen its ties with the Tanzanian government and security agencies, in the shape of sponsorship of further students; exchange programmes and short courses. There are several exciting opportunities which we look forward to developing with the help of our friends in Tanzania. Pictured are Dr Richards with Kasara, and the Tanzanian Defence Attache, Colonel Jackson Mwaseba.
September 2014: Gift from BUCSIS graduates
Graduates of BUCSIS’s 2013/14 programmes have bestowed Prebend House with a fabulous parting gift, which emphasises how BUCSIS continues to attract a very international mix of students. The gift comprises a beautifully framed picture featuring a bank note from each of the student’s home countries and regions. Notes displayed are from the UK, the Eurozone, the Bahamas, Tanzania, Romania, South Korea, the Philippines, South Sudan, Nigeria, Kenya & India.
July 2014: Chevening Scholars
Glenn McPhee, a student on the MA in Security & Intelligence Studies programme and a Chevening Scholar, recently attended The Chevening Scholars Farewell reception where there were some 600 scholars in attendance. He is pictured with Rt. Hon Hugo Swire, Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
June 2014: Commencement of new exchange programme with Madrid
At the end of the Spring Term, one of our esteemed Master’s students, Glenn McPhee, undertook an exploratory visit to the Rey Juan Carlos University in Madrid, to sit in on one of the modules on the Master’s for Intelligence Analysts course. The module in question concerned competitive intelligence and was delivered in English. The visit was made possible by the kind support of the Santander Universities scheme and marks the beginning of a regular programme of exchanges between Madrid and Buckingham for our respective Security and Intelligence Master’s students. Pictured on the far right is Glenn at the Madrid campus of Rey Juan Carlos, along with selected other students on the programme from Spain and Mexico. Thanks go to Santander Universities, and to Dr Ruben Arcos Martin in Madrid.
May / June 2014: BUCSIS on the road
Dr Richards flew the BUCSIS flag at two international events recently. During May, in parallel with the Analytical Simulation Exercise module that runs during the Spring term, Dr Richards delivered a three-day workshop at Link Campus University in Rome on Intelligence Analysis and Dissemination. During the workshop, students undertook a discussion of the psychological and organisational factors affecting intelligence analysis, then applied these to a contemporary analytical challenge. They then thought about how to brief senior policy-makers appropriately on the results of their analysis, looking at the JIC process as a model. Attendees were mostly professionals working in the police, military and commercial organisations, with varying degrees of experience in intelligence analysis. It is hoped that this event will form the basis of a developing relationship between BUCSIS and universities in the Mediterranean area, offering opportunities for student and staff exchanges. Thanks go to Professor L. Sergio Germani for hosting the workshop.
In early June, Dr Richards joined Chief Inspector Elaine Axe of Thames Valley Police informing the UK delegation at a conference at NATO’s “Defence Against Terrorism” Centre of Excellence (COE-DAT) in Ankara, Turkey. The conference was the first of a planned series of events looking at the responses of NATO countries and their immediate partners to contemporary terrorism threats. This first meeting focused on the “homegrown threat”, with particular reference to the phenomenon of foreign fighters in the Syrian conflict, and involved participants from Turkey, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain and Italy, in addition to the UK.
15 April 2014: Intelligence & Psychology Workshop
At this Workshop, Prof Markus Denzler, chair in Psychology at the Federal University for Applied Administrative Sciences, Intelligence Department, set out the major research findings of significance to intelligence studies and professionals in the field.
Intelligence activity, of course, takes a strong interest in understanding and predicting human behaviour. However, it is also concerned with more detailed and complex psychological problems in cognition, the psychological issues involved in running agents for the collection of intelligence and the interrogation of persons of interest in an ethical, lawful, humane but also effective manner.
Members of the Workshop were offered an advanced introduction to the problems and questions relating to heuristics, the psychology involved in collecting evidence and assessing it, for example, overconfidence, acceptance, scarcity value and compliance.
The Workshop also benefited greatly from presentations by Professors Jan Goldman (Georgetown University) and by Mark Phythian (Leicester) who provided their own expert insights into operational psychological and ethical matters with great care and clarity.
The Workshop led to much discussion, outstanding in quality and in which almost everyone participated, and also to several important proposals for future pathways in intelligence studies, showing once again that the study and practice of intelligence-led activity can, and must, be enhanced by the inclusion of expertise in other fields.
This Workshop was the second time BUCSIS has derived great benefit from the outstanding work that has been done with the help of the minister in the German Embassy in promoting our link with the Federal University for Applied Administrative Sciences, Intelligence Department, as part of the outreach of the German Intelligence Service, the BND.
Prebend House Advanced Studies Seminar Series – Spring 2014
Shiv Malik (investigative journalist, The Guardian and author of Jilted Generation – How Britain has bankrupted its youth) speaking at his seminar entitled “The Messenger” on 24 April 2014 is pictured with Tony Heal, BUCSIS Fellow.
February 2014: Visit by senior defence officials from Nigeria and Tanzania
Senior defence attachés from Nigeria and Tanzania visited Prebend House to attend the lecture given by the Head of Force Intelligence and Specialist Operations at Thames Valley Police, Detective Chief Superintendent Richard List, on intelligence-led policing on Thursday 27 February.
The picture shows Brigadier General Pellegreen J. Mrope (Defence Attaché and Advisor) and Mr Idrissa Zaharani (Minister Counsellor from the Tanzanian High Commission) being welcomed by Kasara Materere (MA in Security, Intelligence & Diplomacy student) and Professor Anthony Glees.
November 2013: Visit to Bletchley Park
Students from the MAs in Security & Intelligence Studies and Security, Intelligence & Diplomacy visited the historical site of Bletchley Park on Friday 22 November. Bletchley Park was the site of British codebreaking activities during WW2 and the birthplace of the modern computer. These codebreaking activities played a decisive role in the Allied war victory. Students were given an extensive tour of the park and were able to get a first-hand look at the world’s first semi-programmable computer – Colossus. A fun but educational time was had by all and the students would like to once again thank Bletchley Park for their support in arranging this visit.
November 2013: Defence strategy in Europe
In late November, Dr Julian Richards spoke at a symposium at the Link Campus University in Rome, concerning the changing dynamics of European defence capability and strategy in the face of budget cuts. In early December, the EU will hold a Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting dedicated to questions of defence and security. The issue of Europe’s long-running but largely unsuccessful Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) is likely to loom large, especially in relation to the proposed formation of a Mediterranean Task Force.
November 2013: Prebend House Advanced Seminars
A number have taken place this term, with Prebend House full to bursting. Appearances have included Professor Alan Woodward from the University of Surrey, Professor Geoff Sloan from the University of Reading, Lord Powell – Foreign Policy Advisor to Lady Margaret Thatcher, and the Rt Hon Hazel Blears MP.
Professor Clarke will continue to offer lectures to our MA students as part of their learning experience on recent British history and the British ‘constitution’. He will also hold academic conversation classes with those of our students who are academically or professionally qualified to benefit fully from our MA programme but who would benefit from additional English language skills.
Professor Anthony Glees continues to be in demand as an objective media analyst on intelligence matters and has recently appeared several times on BBC TV News, BBC World News, Sky News and various BBC radio outlets as well as being quoted on national and international media.
August 2013: New video
May-June 2013: Conferences and media appearances
From 20-23 May 2013 Professor Anthony Glees represented BUCSIS at the Ninth Annual Conference of the International Association for Intelligence Education (IAFIE) meeting at El Paso University in Texas, giving talks on the work that BUCSIS does as well as on the current and future challenges facing intelligence education and training in the UK. During May and June, both Anthony Glees and Julian Richards were heavily in demand from the national and international media, including BBC TV, BBC TV News Channel, Sky TV News, Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph and many other newspapers and outlets around the world including the Christian Science Monitor and German National Radio. Professor Glees and Dr Richards provided expert comment first in connection with the Islamist attack on a British soldier in Woolwich, London, and then with the implications of the Wikileaks and Snowden affairs.
In June Anthony Glees attended the European Ideas Network summer conference in Porto, Portugal where he spoke on security policy and in July he gave a talk at Wilton Park, the Foreign Office conference centre in Sussex, to the British German Forum on the future of Europe and on a similar theme to the European Academy in London. BUCSIS continued to feature prominently in the media at home and abroad.
May 2013: Links with Madrid
During May, Dr Richards developed further links between BUCSIS and universities in Madrid by participating in a workshop at Universidad Carlos III (UC3M) on connections between information science and intelligence analysis. He also appeared on the panel for a discussion on doctoral research opportunities in information science, with a focus on intelligence issues. With Diego Navarro Bonilla at UC3M, we are exploring institutional links between our universities which could allow us to conduct further staff and student exchanges next year. For full details of the workshop in which Dr Richards participated, see www.diegonavarrob.blogspot.com.es.
April 2013: International Studies Association, San Francisco
In early April, Dr Julian Richards represented BUCSIS at the annual convention of the International Studies Association (ISA), in San Francisco. He delivered papers on links between intelligence analysis and cognitive psychology; on the training and professionalisation of intelligence analysts; and acted as a discussant on a panel concerning risk management strategies. Dr Richards was also elected as joint-section chair of the Intelligence Studies Section of the ISA, which will be held in Toronto in March 2014.
Randy Wilson was BUCSIS’s first MPhil graduate, in 2012. He completed his studies while serving in Afghanistan, and is now serving with the US Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs as the Senior Police Advisor in Liberia. Read about his experiences of studying while working in a war zone. Read more.
March 2013: Prebend House Seminars – Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali
The new Prebend House seminar series continued during the Winter Term with a visit from Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, who delivered a fascinating tour de table around a number of current issues, from radicalisation to the role of religion in society, and the question of gay marriage. The Bishop has published some important work recently on religion, conflict and society, and it was a great honour for our staff and students to discuss some of these thorny issues with him.
February 2013: Symposium – Counter-terrorism in 2013
February saw the hosting of a symposium in Prebend House on issues concerning contemporary counter-terrorism policy in the UK. Heading the bill was the former government adviser on counter-terrorism legislation and Liberal-Democrat peer, the Rt Hon. Lord Carlile of Berriew QC. Also speaking were Dr Anthony Richards from the University of East London, Tony Heal (BUCSIS Fellow and a former senior official at the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism, OSCT), Jaswant Boora, an experienced youth worker from the West Midlands, and our own Professor Anthony Glees. A lively and stimulating discussion was enjoyed by all.