Webster Geneva IR Publishes on Urban Warfare, Security Forum

| July 11, 2013
Gyula Csurgai, Alexandre Vautravers and Pierre Pascallon, in the courtyard of the Castle/Museum of Morges

Gyula Csurgai, Alexandre Vautravers and Pierre Pascallon, in the courtyard of the Castle/Museum of Morges

The International Relations Department at Webster University Geneva has launched two new publications, the edited proceedings of two conferences that took place at the Geneva campus in the spring of 2009 and 2011 respectively.

Urbanization and Warfare

Conflits en zone urbaine is a significant volume, showing how urbanization has changed the face of warfare. Indeed, since the early 1970s, the majority of the world’s population is urban; the ratio is now almost three quarters. There are now more cities of over 1 million inhabitants in the developing South than in the industrialized North.

Today and tomorrow’s crises – as witnessed in Mali, in Syria and today in Egypt — are essentially urban phenomena. So are humanitarian emergencies, as well as displaced persons: Most Bosnian or Iraqi refugees were urban and moved into urban resettlement areas in the region or overseas. The authors stressed that one must adapt to the urban realities of modern crisis and conflicts – whether military, humanitarian or insecurity.

This volume was edited by Gyula Csurgai, of the Geneva Institute of Geopolitics; Pierre Pascallon, a former French member of Parliament, and Alexandre Vautravers, head of Webster University Geneva’s International Relations Department. It was published by the French editor Le Polémarque.

Security Forum 2011

The Security Forum of 2011 was held on the theme of Counterinsurgency (COIN), a joint doctrine developed in 2004-2006 by the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps to deal with the challenges of stabilization in Iraq and Afghanistan. This doctrine drew heavily on the French experiences during the Algerian war of independence in the 1960s.

The authors of this publication addressed the historical and operational aspects of COIN, through a number of case studies. Their conclusion is that the paradigm of low intensity conflicts may now be giving way to the return of conventional arms and strategies, in order for the United States of America to meet its new challenge, in particular in Asia.

These conference proceedings were edited by Vautravers and Matthew Goulding, a graduate of the Global MA in International Relations. Matt has, since earning his degree, had an extremely successful career in Washington D.C. as an advisor for several senators. Several of the chapters were written by Webster students, prepared in the course of the INTL 5550 War & Diplomacy graduate class.

This is the fifth volume of the series, after a conference on Security in a Globalization World (2007), Identity and Conflict (2008), Military and Political Incidents (2009), Disarmament and Arms Limitations (2010). Another two volumes, on Information Warfare (2012) and Water and Security (2013) are due later this year.

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Category: Faculty, International & U.S. Campuses

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