The Monthly Digest is a resource provided by Security in Context that provides a list of recent publications, calls, conferences and other items relevant to the critical global, security, and international political economy studies audience. In addition to new items, our digest may contain relatively recent entries, so please double check dates on any calls or conferences. All descriptions taken from their original sources unless otherwise indicated. If we’ve missed something, or you have items you’d like to contribute for future digests, please email us at:


Semi-State Actors in Cybersecurity

Florian J. Egloff

The universe of actors involved in international cybersecurity includes both state actors and semi- and non-state actors, including technology companies, state-sponsored hackers, and cybercriminals. Among these are semi-state actors--actors in a close relationship with one state who sometimes advance this state's interests, but are not organizationally integrated into state functions. In Semi-State Actors in Cybersecurity, Florian J. Egloff argues that political relations in cyberspace fundamentally involve concurrent collaboration and competition between states and semi-state actors. To understand the complex interplay of cooperation and competition and the power relations that exist between these actors in international relations, Egloff looks to a historical analogy: that of mercantile companies, privateers, and pirates.

Pirates, privateers, and mercantile companies were integral to maritime security between the 16th and 19th centuries. In fact, privateers and mercantile companies, like today's tech companies and private cyber contractors, had a particular relationship to the state in that they conducted state-sanctioned private attacks against foreign vessels. Pirates, like independent hackers, were sometimes useful allies, and other times enemies. These actors traded, explored, plundered, and controlled sea-lanes and territories across the world's oceans--with state navies lagging behind, often burdened by hierarchy.

Today, as cyberspace is woven into the fabric of all aspects of society, the provision and undermining of security in digital spaces has become a new arena for digital pirates, privateers, and mercantile companies. In making the analogy to piracy and privateering, Egloff provides a new understanding of how attackers and defenders use their proximity to the state politically and offers lessons for understanding how actors exercise power in cyberspace. Drawing on historical archival sources, Egloff identifies the parallels between today's cyber in-security and the historical quest for gold and glory on the high seas. The book explains what the presence of semi-state actors means for national and international security, and how semi-state actors are historically and contemporarily linked to understandings of statehood, sovereignty, and the legitimacy of the state.

China's Next Act: How Sustainability and Technology are Reshaping China's Rise and the World's Future

Scott M. Moore

From solar panels to synthetic biology, an accessible-yet-authoritative overview of how climate change, the global Covid-19 pandemic, and emerging technologies are changing China's relationship with the world, and what it means for governments, companies, and organizations across the globe.

Ever since China began its ascendancy to great-power status in the 1980s, observers have focused on its growing economic, military, and diplomatic power. But in recent years, Chinese officials, businesses, and institutions have increased their visibility and influence on every major global issue, from climate change and artificial intelligence to biotechnology and the global Covid-19 pandemic. How have these newer issues changed China's relationship with the world? And, importantly, how can we prepare for a future increasingly shaped by China? 

In China's Next Act, Scott M. Moore re-envisions China's role in the world, with a focus on sustainability and technology. Moore argues that these increasingly pressing, shared global challenges are reshaping China's economy and foreign policy, and consequently, cannot be tackled without China. Yet sustainability and technology present opportunities for intensified economic, geopolitical, and ideological competition--a reality that Beijing recognizes. The US and other countries must do the same if they are to meet ecological and technological challenges in the decades ahead. In some areas, like clean technology development, competition can be good for the planet. But in others, it could be catastrophic--only cooperation can lower the risks of artificial intelligence and other disruptive new technologies. 

In this clearly written and accessible overview, Moore examines how countries like the US must balance cooperation and competition with China in response to shared challenges. With an emphasis on opportunities as well as threats, Moore addresses not only key developments in sustainability and technology within China, but also their implications for foreign countries, companies, and other organizations. China's influence on sustainability and technology is both global and granular--and twenty-first century China itself looks more like a network than a nation-state. Featuring original interviews and an in-depth look at Chinese government policy, China's Next Act provides a unique--and uniquely balanced--window into these new dimensions of China's global ascension.

The Politics of Arab Authenticity: Challenges to Postcolonial Thought

Ahmad Abgaria

By the beginning of the 1970s, the modernizing political and cultural movements that had dominated the postwar Arab world were collapsing. The postcolonial project they had fashioned, which sought to create a decolonized order and a new Arab man, had suffered a shattering defeat in the wake of the Arab-Israeli War in 1967. Disillusioned with modern ideologies that presented the past as a burden from which postcolonial societies must be liberated, a growing number of Arab thinkers began to reconsider their cultural heritage.

The Politics of Arab Authenticity illuminates how Arab societies and their leading intellectuals responded to the collapse of the postcolonial project. Ahmad Agbaria tells the story of a generation of postcolonial thinkers and activists who came to question their modernist commitments and biases against their own culture. He explores the rise of a new class of postcolonial critics who challenged and eventually superseded the old guard of Arab nationalists. Agbaria analyzes the heated cultural and intellectual debates that overtook the Arab world in the 1970s, uncovering why major figures turned to tradition in search of solutions to postcolonial predicaments. With balanced attention to cultural debates and intellectual biographies, this book offers a nuanced understanding of major cultural trends in the contemporary Arab world.

Lectures & Webinars

Landscapes of Insecurity

The University of Oklahoma

On September 16 & 17, join the OU Center for Peace & Development and Security in Context in Zarrow Hall for their inaugural conference, "Landscapes of Insecurity." Scholars will be presenting on a variety of topics, and the sessions are free and open to all.

Strategic Patience: Sustainable Engagement with a Changed Afghanistan

The Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft

A year has passed since the withdrawal of U.S. troops and Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. The United States remains the single largest humanitarian donor to the people of Afghanistan, with over $774 million USD distributed since the Taliban takeover, but the United States maintains no diplomatic presence in the country — nor does it send official diplomatic envoys. Nor have U.S. sanctions altered the Taliban’s calculus on human rights or ties with al-Qaeda. The Taliban has proved intransigent and unrealistic in its relations not only with Washington but also with neighboring countries like Pakistan. 

How can the United States retain what little leverage it has over the Taliban without punishing the Afghan people? Are these two goals in conflict? If sanctions are not altering Taliban behavior, then what purpose do they serve? How can aid be effectively delivered to the Afghans going forward? Are there lessons from the past that can inform development and aid provision in a post-Taliban Afghanistan? 

Join us for a panel that explores how the United States and its partners can develop an Afghanistan policy that is sustainable in the face of Taliban intransigence, especially regarding counterterrorism and human rights, and ready to capitalize on fleeting moments of Taliban pragmatism. The conversation will feature Graeme Smith, senior consultant for the International Crisis Group, Haroun Rahimi, assistant professor of law at the American University of Afghanistan and visiting professor at Università Bocconi, Tara Moayed who is a social development consultant who worked and lived in Afghanistan from 2014 to 2019 where she helped develop women’s economic empowerment programs and advised the Ministry of Finance, and Jordan Kane is senior analyst in the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). QI research fellow Adam Weinstein will moderate


Brown University, Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. Watson Institute Postdoctoral Fellow 2023-2025

The application for the Watson Institute Postdoctoral Fellows Program 2023-2025 is now open. The fellowship competition is open to candidates from the social sciences, including anthropology, economics, history, political science, and sociology. The selection process, open with regard to nationality and geographic area of research, is highly competitive and typically generates over 500 applications for 4 or 5 places. Scholars who have received their PhDs within two years of the application deadline are eligible to apply.  Individuals who are currently – or have previously been – postdoctoral fellows in other programs are not eligible to apply.  Fellows will receive an annual stipend of $60,000, for this benefits-eligibleposition.  Additional funding will be made available for research expenses and research-related programming on campus.  Candidates selected for the Postdoctoral Fellows program who have not completed their dissertations by July 1, 2023, will be paid a reduced salary until their dissertation is defended. To receive full consideration, the following materials should be submitted by September 30, 2022 

Global Africa Translation Fellowship

As part of its African Languages and Translation Program, The Africa Institute invites applications to the third cohort of Global Africa Translation Fellowship for the year 2023-2024.

The fellowship welcomes applications from across the Global South for a grant of up to $5,000 to complete translations of works from the African continent and its diaspora, into English or Arabic. This is a non-residential fellowship which allows the recipient scholar to complete the work outside of The Africa Institute (Sharjah, UAE). The aim of the fellowship is to make important texts in African and African Diaspora studies accessible to wider readership across the world.

The fellowship provides funding in the range of $1,000 to $5,000, depending on the quality and breadth of the project. Selected projects may be retranslations of old, classic texts, or previously untranslated works, collections of poetry, prose, or critical theory. The project may be a work-in-progress, or a new project feasible for completion within the timeframe of the grant.

The deadline for applications is October 15, 2022.

Journal Articles

(Re)creative Violence

Henrique Tavares Furtado

Critical Studies on Security

This contribution builds on my current research in exploring alternative ways of understanding the phenomenon of violence, traditionally conceived of as either a destructive force or a system of injustice. By exploring my personal position navigating between the borders of different versions of Europe (the Swedish border and the walls of gated communities in Brazil) the contribution explains how, in the modern colonial world, violence adopts a (re)creative or (re)creational aspect, fundamentally tying it to a whole economy of playfulness and pleasure. This economy is neither destructive nor necessarily unjust, in the sense that it complicates the liberal duality of inclusion/exclusion, structuring the pursuance of the easy life (a mode of living that maximises convenience) in different levels of (post)colonial racialised ‘enclaves’. The reflection ends with an invitation to take the concept of (re)creative violence seriously and to rethink the specific role of death and insecurity in the making of the international order.

Coloniality, Racialisation, and Migration: Preliminary Reflections Toward a Conversation

Ali Kassem

The Arab Council for the Social Sciences Working Paper Series

Migration and forced migration (or refugee) scholarship has received significant critique from various positions across national and disciplinary divides. This paper draws on critiques focusing on Eurocentrism, ahistoricity and the analytical erasure of dehumanisation. It then develops the insights from anti, post, and decolonial scholarship that could generatively contribute to moving beyond extant limitations. Taking the case of Syrian refugees in Lebanon, it briefly sketches the generative potential and contribution of such a re-framing – particularly absent from research focusing on the Arab-majority world. The paper concludes by inviting further research and an advancement of the conversation between migration and refugee studies and the developing ‘decolonial turn’.

Job Openings

The University of Texas at Arlington 

Assistant/Associate Professor of Public Affairs

The Department of Public Affairs and Planning at UTA invites applications for a full-time Professor (Tenure-Track Assistant or Associate) to begin in the Fall 2023 semester. The ideal candidate will have a research and teaching focus on one or more of the following areas: urban policy, urban economy, sustainable economic development, micro-economics, behavioral economics, and financial management. We are particularly interested in candidates who have a strong commitment to transdisciplinary approaches to challenging urban issues and advance our commitment to diversity and inclusion.

The London School of Economics and Political Science

Assistant Professor of International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies

The Department promotes interdisciplinary postgraduate teaching and research on processes of political, economic, and social development and change. We are dedicated to understanding problems of poverty and late development within local communities, as well as national and international political and economic systems. You will contribute to the intellectual life of the School through conducting and publishing outstanding quality research, engaging in high quality teaching as instructed by the Head of Department, and participating in the School and wider Department activities.

Candidates should have a completed PhD, or close to obtaining a PhD, by the post start date. This should be related to the study of humanitarian emergencies ideally with a focus on the dynamics of forced displacement and the management of refugee populations. They will be from a social science discipline such as Anthropology, Sociology, Politics, International Relations, Development Studies, Economics or related subject. Candidates will also have a proven record of outstanding research, as evidenced by existing publications, or potential, to publish in top journals or with leading book publishers in humanitarian and development studies, as well as research experience in the developing world, or evidence that such a record is being developed. Candidates will also have a well-developed and viable strategy for future outstanding research that has the potential to result in world-leading publications. Ideally candidates will have advanced training in quantitative and/or qualitative methods.

To apply for this post, please go to If you have any technical queries with applying on the online system, please use the “contact us” links at the bottom of the LSE Jobs page. Should you have any queries about the role, please email

The closing date for receipt of applications is 14 October 2022 (23.59 UK time). We are unable to accept any late applications.


Securitisation of food and climate in the Syrian conflict with Dr Marwa Daoudy

Dr Daoudy discusses her second book, which addresses the food security in Syria and the environmental repercussions of the politics of the Syrian government, which many debates were a drive for the Syrian conflict; she also discussed how the War on Ukraine impacts the food security in the World and the double standards in dealing with crises.

Speakers: Dr Marwa Daoudy is an Associate Professor of International Relations at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service (SFS) and the Seif Ghobash Chair in Arab Studies at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS). Dr Daoudy's second book, The Origins of the Syrian Conflict: Climate Change and Human Security(Cambridge University Press, 2020), won the 2020 Harold and Margaret Sprout Prize by the International Studies Association, awarded for the best books in the field of environmental studies. 

Bassam Haddad: Director of the Middle East and Islamic Studies Program and Associate Professor at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University.

Rabie Nasser: Economist, researcher and co-founder of the Syrian Center for Policy Research (SCPR).

Nivi Manchanda, Katharine Millar, and Chris Rossdale: Neglected Encounters: Militarism, Race and the Politics of Coloniality

In this episode, we talk to Nivi Manchanda, Katharine Millar, and Chris Rossdale about their recent special issue on militarism, race and coloniality. They explain their motivation for collaborating on a project focused on foregrounding the racial and colonial character of militarism. We discuss in greater detail their respective articles on the political thought of the Black Panther Party and the normative imaginary of violence invested in a military support charity for American snipers. Hosted by Antoine Bousquet. 

Article or Event Link
Sep 1, 2022



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