Societal Threats

(DS:21 Defence and Security in the 21st Century)

Burning buildings in a post-apocalyptic world

Researching the future of war in a period of geopolitical and technological transformation?

Societal Threats (DS:21) is a research space where we explore the changing nature of war, technology, and international politics in the 21st century. In the 21st century new technologies are transforming all aspects of society and war, creating new techniques and technologies of conflict (for example, the type of conflict some policymakers refer to as ‘ambiguous war’). The ‘pace of change’ in technology and geopolitics is creating new possibilities and new vulnerabilities in global politics and societal threats is a space that sets out to develop research that combines the insights and research from across the faculties.

Societal Threats has two objectives:

  • To identify and explore emerging areas of technical and social infrastructure that are only beginning to be examined in terms of new vulnerabilities.
  • To think about what this ‘pace of change’ means for how organisations think about the future – and how they plan and prepare for the future.

Societal Threats is interested in exploring the areas of security and war that are not always on the forefront of research (such as military logistics)– as well as using our interdisciplinary capability to explore critically the issues that are increasingly central to debates about the future of war (Artificial Intelligence, Robotics). Our approach is to create events where policymakers and academics can engage in discussion over emerging trends, to develop and support more long term research projects, and to publish short policy ‘briefs’ on the research conducted in the institute.

Our current research priorities are:

  • The changing nature of military logistics
  • Maritime cyber security
  • Ambiguous war
  • Deterrence and Cyber Security
  • Urban war and technology
  • Robotics and war

But central to societal threats is the idea that we will be seeking to develop workshops and events that respond to new events in geopolitics and technology.


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SL: Cyber Security Body of Knowledge (CyBOK)
01/12/2023 → 29/02/2024

SL: How to use unconventional defence methods used in conventional organisations
10/02/2020 → 31/03/2020