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:


I Ain’t Marching Anymore Dissenters, Deserters, and Objectors to America’s Wars

Chris Lombardi, New Press, 2020

I Ain’t Marching Anymore carefully traces soldier dissent from the early days of the republic through the wars that followed, including the genocidal “Indian Wars,” the Civil War, long battles against slavery and racism that continue today, both World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, the Cold War, and contemporary military imbroglios.


Mapping the International Presence of the World's Largest Arms Companies

SIPRI, December 2020 

This SIPRI Insights Paper aims to map the international presence of the world’s largest arms-producing and military services companies. It covers the 15 arms companies with the highest arms sales in 2019.

‘Minoritisation’ of the other: the Iranian ethno-theocratic state’s assimilatory strategies

Ahmad Mohammadpour and Kamal Soleimani, Postcolonial Studies, 2020

Since the establishment of the modern nation-state in Iran in the early twentieth century, the state has viewed Kurds and their political struggle for survival as an existential threat to its integrity. This paper casts light on the state’s assimilatory strategies in Eastern Kurdistan exerted through militarisation, minoritisation, and a steady cultural and demographic transformation of the region.

Turkey Advances in Africa against Franco-Emirati-Egyptian Entente

Michaël Tanchum, the Turkey Analyst, 2020

As Ankara advances its activities in Africa, the rivalry between Turkey and the Franco-Emirati-Egyptian entente is set to become entrenched as one of the main drivers of African geopolitics.

Pandemic drowns out women's voices

Leah de Haan, Chatham House, 2020

Men and women are affected differently in any health crises. Yet global responses to the Corona virus pandemic have not addressed this. As a result of the pandemic, women have been marginalized in academic research and policymaking at our peril to society at large and our ability to respond to this and other crises. Gender equality must therefore be incorporated into knowledge production, policy making and policy implementation. 

Decolonizing Mosquitoes: Processes and Experiments from the Periphery

Adriana Garriga-López, The Scholar & Feminist Online, 2020

This essay is part of S&F’s issue: Undiminished Blackness: Zora Neale Hurston as Theory and Practice. In this essay, Garriga-López considers Zora Neale Hurston’s work in thinking about the processes and modes of decolonizing ethnography and argues that we must de-transcendentalize our ideas about decolonization within anthropology, learning to see decolonization as an ongoing and open-ended process, rather than as an event after which we are simply done with interrogating the coloniality of anthropology.

Weak Police, Strong Democracy Civic Ritual and Performative Peace in Contemporary Taiwan

Jeffrey T. Martin, The University of Chicago Press Journals, 2020

An anthropological investigation of policing practices and their link with democratic development, which argues that police power, or lack thereof, can be treated as an index for the strength of democratic values institutionalized in the wider political environment.

Review of Urban Affairs (vol 55, issue 51)

Economic and Political Weekly

A collection of essays from the Economic and Political Weekly’s Review of Urban Affairs covering topics on infrastructures, labour, maintenance, repair and others from the global south. 

Bitter Years: Qatari Crisis and the Future of GCC Countries 

Ahmed M. Abozaid, Contemporary Arab Affairs (2020)

Since the outbreak of the so-called Arab Spring in 2011, the regional system in the Middle East, as well as in the sub-regional system of the Arabian Gulf, has been in flux. Under these new circumstances, the order of the status quo has started to unravel, and a new order is being imposed, accompanied by new regional dynamics and security arrangements. 

Re-envisioning civil society and social movements in the Mediterranean in an era of techno-fundamentalism

Ali Amro, European Institute of the Mediterranean, 2020

This paper focuses on the concept of techno-fundamentalism and provides an analysis of the opportunities and backlashes that can emanate from the use of modern digital technology as a political tool in the context of the Mediterranean basin. 

Abolition Is A Constant Struggle: Five Lessons from Minneapolis

Charmaine Chua

This essay reflects on the struggle for abolition in Minneapolis in the summer of 2020, and its conjunction with demands for housing for all. This essay argues that we have as much, if not more to learn from preceding and ensuing local efforts to build an abolitionist infrastructure as we do from the spectacular act of the riot in light of the current global upswell of calls to abolish the police.

Responsible Artificial Intelligence Research and Innovation for International Peace and Security

Dr Vincent Boulanin, Kolja Brockmann and Luke Richards, SIPRI, 2020

This report explores how responsible research and innovation could help to address the humanitarian and strategic risks that may result from the development, diffusion and military use of artificial intelligence (AI) and thereby achieve arms control objectives on the military use of AI.

Taking the trouble: science, technology and security studies

Rocco Bellanova, Katja Lindskov Jacobsen, Linda Monsees, Critical Studies on Security, 2020

A multitude of new research themes and objects, especially technological innovations and knowledge practices, have come to populate international relations and security politics. Many critical security scholars are engaging theoretical resources from the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) to make sense of things as diverse as fake news, climate change, financial surveillance, digital images and autonomous targeting systems. This Special Issue unpacks the core challenges and benefits we see when engaging with STS to approach the entanglements of science, technology and (in)security. 

The EU-Tunisian relationship after 2011: Resilience, contestation and the return of the neglected socio-economic question

Luigi Narbone, Middle East Directions, 2020

With rising socioeconomic problems reigniting popular contestation, Tunisia’s democratic system is under strain.  This report critically analyzes  the EU’s policy responses to  Tunisia's transition and evaluates how they have evolved in line with the shifting challenges that Tunisia has faced. The report shows that, while EU policies have helped Tunisia in establishing formal democratic institutions and in tackling security challenges, they have produced disappointing results in supporting Tunisia in addressing its socioeconomic challenges and in fostering social resilience.  The report concludes by offering policy recommendations for promoting more ambitious EU policies in Tunisia as well as in the wider North African region.

For a Sociology of Sectarianism: Bridging the Disciplinary Gaps beyond the “Deeply Divided Societies” Paradigm

Rima Majed, The Oxford Handbook of the Sociology of the Middle East, 2020

This chapter offers an overview of the study of sectarianism in the Middle East. It argues that, because it has often been treated as an area studies topic, the study of sectarianism has long been absent from the mainstream sociological literature. This chapter is a call for the development of a “sociology of sectarianism,” one that moves beyond Middle East exceptionalism to study the phenomenon of sectarianism in its complexity by locating it historically and analyzing it globally within the broader interlocking systems of social stratification.

The true cost of the global military to our climate and human security 

Dr. Ho-Chih Lin, Deborah Burton, and Angela Burton, Tipping Point North South, 2020

This report focuses specifically on the military-oil industry relationship to reveal its role in climate breakdown. It argues that we must start to quantify, expose and act upon the climate burden put upon people and planet by the world’s big military spenders.

Conferences/Calls for Papers or Abstracts

Iran and Global Decolonization: Call for Papers

Middle East Studies Association

Deadline: January 15, 2020

MESA invites submissions for a symposium on Iran and Global Decolonization, organized by the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California Los Angeles, to be held online on

Thursday, May 20 and Friday, May 21, 2021. The symposium invites scholars whose work investigates Iran’s experiences with colonialism and decolonization from a multiplicity of perspectives – including race and ethnicity; foreign relations; intellectual history; social and economic networks; as well as cultural studies.


Internships & Fellowships

The Arms Control Association

Deadline: January 5, 2021

The Arms Control Association is seeking applicants for two openings in its Winter-Spring 2021 remote internship program. Selected candidates will telework for up to 20 hours per week and be compensated $20 per hour. The internship will run from February 1 through mid-April. 

Call for Applications: Europe in the Middle East—The Middle East in Europe (EUME)

Forum Transregionale Studien 

Deadline: January 6, 2021

The Berlin-based Forum Transregionale Studien invites scholars to apply for up to

five postdoctoral fellowships for the academic year 2021/2022 for the research

program Europe in the Middle East—The Middle East in Europe (EUME). 

Fellowship: Middle East Initiative

Harvard Kennedy’s School Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Deadline: January 15, 2021

The Middle East Initiative offers one-year fellowships for research related to Middle Eastern governance and public policy. Priority will be given to applications pursuing one of these six primary areas of focus: (1) improving governance; (2) building peace; (3) revitalizing the state; (4) broadening financial and labor markets; (5) governing technology; or (6) adapting to environmental challenges. 

Yale Program in Iranian Studies: Ehsan Yarshater-PHF Post-Doctoral Fellowship, 2021-2022

Yale University: MacMillan Center

Deadline: January 15, 2021

The Yale Program in Iranian Studies, part of the Council on Middle East Studies, accepts applications for the Ehsan Yarshater-Persian Heritage Foundation Fellowship in Iranian and Persian Studies for 2021-22. The Post-Doctoral Associate will teach one undergraduate seminar in the Fall or Spring semester, pursue their own research, and help to organize the activities of the Yale Program in Iranian Studies (YPIS). Post-doctoral Associates are expected to work collaboratively with the Council on Middle East Studies and be in residence from August 2021 to May 2022.

Research Fellowship in the study of Race and Anti-Racism

Gonville & Caius College, University of Cambridge

Deadline: January 21, 2021

Gonville & Caius College is electing a Research Fellow in the study of Race and Anti-Racism. The successful candidate may work in any discipline, including the sciences, arts, humanities and social sciences. The candidate's research will need to advance the college's commitment to anti-racist scholarship, learning and teaching. It may consider the constructions, uses and, experience of race - in any discipline or over any period of time or in any language or literature. 


The COVID Crisis: Lessons Learned, What Next?

University of Sydney, Centre for International Security Studies

The 2020 Global Forum explores the COVID crisis through the lens of the Centre for International Security Studies’ research areas, in a webinar series on regional security, human security, ecosecurity and nuclear risk.

Fetishizing the Tactical: how cultural practices, policy, and politics converge in US militarization

(KCL War Studies)

A talk with Dr. Jesse Crane-Seeber on his paper that emerges from his wider book project, and provides a broad, general overview of my theoretical and empirical arguments. Written in narrative form, the paper traces the development of a post-Vietnam contestation over the meaning of ‘Professionalism’ in US military organizations, one that made Special Forces and a mythology around the capacities of commandos central.

Sensing Everyday Militarisms: Tracing the Transnational Circuits of “Pandemic Drones”'

Drone Cultures Symposium

Professor Caren Kaplan's keynote lecture for the Drone Cultures Symposium is on 'Sensing Everyday Militarisms: Tracing the Transnational Circuits of “Pandemic Drones”.

Job Openings

Researcher, Sahel-West Africa Programme

Swedish Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)

Deadline: January 10, 2021

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)  is seeking a Researcher for its Sahel and West Africa programme. The SIPRI Sahel-West Africa programme is a part of SIPRI’s Conflict, Peace and Security research area. The programme conducts analyses of the key conflicts, security and peace-building issues affecting the contemporary Sahel and West Africa region.

The ACSS is hiring: a Finance Manager and a Communications & IT Manager

The Arab Council for the Social Sciences

Deadline: Rolling

Tenure-track Assistant professorship in History and society in the modern Middle East

University of Copenhagen

Deadline: January 20, 2021

The Department of Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, Faculty of Humanities, Copenhagen University (UCPH), Denmark, invites applicants for a tenure-track assistant professorship in History and society in the modern Middle East under the study programme “Middle Eastern language and society” to be filled by September 1st 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Tenure Track Professorship in Postcolonial/ Colonial Studies Maghreb

Philipps-Universität Marburg

Deadline: January 29, 2021

Post-Doctoral Research Assistants in History

Faculty of Arts, Design and Social Sciences, Northumbria University

Deadline: January 21, 2021

Northumbria University seeks to appoint two Post-Doctoral Research Assistants in History, for three years fixed term, from 1 September 2021.  These opportunities arise through the successful award of a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship to Dr Felicia Gottmann, entitled ‘Migration, Adaptation, Innovation: A Comparative Global History, 1500-1800’. 

University College London

Department of Political Science

Lecturer / Associate Professor in Public Policy x 2

Deadline: January 22, 2021

The Department of Political Science/School of Public Policy at UCL is seeking to fill a position in British and Comparative Politics, either at the Lecturer or Associate Professor level (equivalent to tenure-track Assistant/Associate Professor U.S. positions). The successful candidate will have research expertise in British and comparative political institutions and constitutions. This could include, for example, legislatures, judicial politics, territorial politics/devolution, the executive and civil service, institutions of public participation (electoral systems, referendums, citizens’ assemblies).

Lecturer / Associate Professor in Comparative Politics x 2

Deadline: January 22, 2021

The Department of Political Science/School of Public Policy at UCL is seeking to fill two (2) positions in Comparative Politics, either at the Lecturer or Associate Professor level (equivalent to tenure-track Assistant/Associate Professor U.S. positions). The successful candidate will have research expertise in one or more of the following areas:

Lecturer / Associate Professor in British and Comparative Politics

Deadline: January 22, 2021

The Department of Political Science/School of Public Policy at UCL is seeking to fill a position in British and Comparative Politics, either at the Lecturer or Associate Professor level (equivalent to tenure-track Assistant/Associate Professor U.S. positions). The successful candidate will have research expertise in British and comparative political institutions and constitutions. This could include, for example, legislatures, judicial politics, territorial politics/devolution, the executive and civil service, institutions of public participation (electoral systems, referendums, citizens’ assemblies).

Postdoctoral Research Fellow Middle East and North Africa and / or Asia

The German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA) 

Deadline: January 15, 2021

The successful candidate will work in the project “World Order Narratives of the Global

South”, pending external funding. A research team of six postdocs and several senior researchers and visiting fellows will investigate what world order narratives have emerged in

the Global South after the end of the Cold War and how this reflects the position of the respective countries in a changing geopolitical landscape. 

Associate Professor in Gender and Diversity Studies

Maastricht University

Deadline: February 1, 2021

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Department Literature and Art is seeking an Associate Professor with demonstrated excellence in teaching, research, and management in the field of Gender and Diversity Studies.

Associate Professorship in Politics or International Relations

Oxford University

Deadline: February 8, 2021

The Department of Politics and International Relations at Oxford, in association with St Antony’s College, seek to appoint an inspirational teacher and accomplished research scholar to an Associate Professorship in Politics or International Relations with specialization in the Middle East. Applications are welcomed from outstanding candidates with teaching experience and a strong research background in Politics or International Relations and expertise in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).


Universal Enemy: Scholar Darryl Li on the Relationship Between Transnational Jihadists and US Empire

The Intercept

In this episode, the Intercept speaks with Darryl Li and discusses his recent book, “The Universal Enemy: Jihad, Empire, and the Challenge of Solidarity.”



Al-Muzāharāt is a collective project that translates documents from the Arabic-speaking left with the purpose of introducing them to a wider (English-speaking) audience.

Article or Event Link
Jan 4, 2021



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