An abandoned German WWII bunker on a French beach. Once part of an extensive coastal defence line, it is now starting to lose its battle with the sea. Still, the structure remains a testimony to the era of wars that so deeply crushed Europe. Picture taken by Phillips O’Brien.

The Institute for the Study of War and Strategy was established in 2016 as an interdisciplinary research institute involving the Schools of International Relations and History and the Department of Philosophy.

Its mission is to conduct and facilitate research and public debate on issues of war and strategy broadly conceived. Topics of interest include:

  • The role of armed forces and war in contemporary politics
  • Military and naval history, and the history of war and society
  • Legal and ethical issues pertaining to war and strategy
  • Cultural representations and repercussions of war and strategy

The Institute is built upon three core convictions:

  • The value added by the interdisciplinary nature of its research agenda
  • The importance of fostering exchange between the academic world and practitioners, especially those from an armed forces background
  • The significance of a close connection between research and teaching

The Institute serves as an intellectual hub within the University of St Andrews bringing together permanent post-holders, early career researchers, PhD students, postgraduate taught students and practitioners whose expertise and interest is in the area of war and strategy. It hosts the M.Litt programme in Strategic Studies which is taught jointly by faculty in the Schools of International Relations and History and the Department of Philosophy.

The activities of the Institute include:

  • Seminars and roundtables
  • Workshops and conferences
  • Study days and problem-oriented retreats for practitioners
  • Master classes for postgraduate students