London Event 15th of October – A Green New Deal?

Tuesday, October 15th from 6 PM, Juju’s Bar and Stage, Ely’s Yard, 15 Hanbury St, London E1 6QR.

The Green New Deal is a term that has been thrown around by policymakers both in the US, Europe and in the UK. But what is the Green New Deal, and what are the policy implications of it? How far must British and European policymakers go in order to reduce their emissions by 2030? What industries will die down in this process, and who is this affecting? Is it feasible, both in an economic and political perspective, that politicians and policymakers will pursue a Green New Deal? Are there security implications for restructuring our economic policies to fit the new green policies? Are there security implications if we don’t?


Dr Leslie-Anne Duvic-Paoli is a public international lawyer, with expertise in international environmental law and climate and energy law, based at King’s College London.

Dr Simon Chin-Yee is also based at King’s College London, in the European Centre for Energy and Resource Security (EUCERS) in the War Studies department.

Christopher Barnard is the founder and president of the British Conservation Alliance, an organisation working to promote pro-market environmentalism and conservative conservation.

Peter Apps has been the Executive Director of PS21 since 2015, and is a Reuters global affairs columnist.

James Rising is an Assistant Professorial Research Fellow at the Grantham Research Institute at the LSE.

Alex Chapman is a consultant at the New Economics Foundation, with experience in qualitative and quantitative research, project evaluation and policy analysis.

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London Event 9 October – Careers in Foreign Policy

Wednesday, 9 October, from 06:30 PM, Room 1.01, Bush House NE wing, King’s College London, Strand, London, WC2R 2LS.

PS21 is pairing with YPFP to bring you a careers focused discussion on the foreign policy sector. We have assembled a panel of young experts to talk about their experiences in work, opinions on the sector as a whole and to provide advice to those aspiring to work in foreign policy. The event is an incredible opportunity for students to engage with experts who have recently left university.


Samuel Genge (moderator) – Chief of Staff, PS21

Yasmin Afina – Research Assistant, International Security Department, Chatham House

Mathieu Boulègue – Research Fellow, Russia and Eurasia Programme, Chatham House

Gurjinder Dhaliwal – Executive Director of YPFP.

Kyle Parks – Civil Servant and Diplomatic Service Fast Streamer

Elisa Cattaneo – Expert in international development, Youth Business International

Ulrike Esther Franke – Policy Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations

Doors open 6pm, discussion begins 6:30pm.
Please bring photo ID.

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London Event 17 September – What Will Historians Make of the 21st Century?

Tuesday, 17 September, from 06:00 PM, Juju’s Bar and Stage, Ely’s Yard, 15 Hanbury St, London E1 6QR.

What will future historians make of the era of Brexit, Donald Trump, Love Island, and the selfie stick. PS21 assembles a panel of historians, archaeologists and others to take an early shot at assessing how the last two decades might be remembered, and what that might tell us about the years to come. Expect arguments about what previous eras best reflect our own, what events, items, and personalities will be seen iconic, and whether anyone in the future will want to remember us at all.


Jonn Elledge (moderator) – Journalist, New Statesman.

Dr. Leslie James – Lecturer in Global History at Queen Mary University London

Richard Vinen – Professor of History at King’s College London

John Basset – Former GCHQ senior official and member of the PS21 International Advisory Group

Charlotte Yelamos – Doctoral researcher of Cold War archaeology at King’s College London

Jo Fox – Director of the Institute of Historical Research and Professor of Modern History at the University of London

Doors open 6pm, discussion begins 7pm.

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October 2 London Event – ‘The Changing Face of Conflict’

Tuesday, October 2. 6pm. Whitehall (exact location TBA to attendees)

PS21 returns to Whitehall for the next in our series of discussions on the changing face of conflict. We’ll be talking about the rise of non-state actors, means of countering insurgency and extremism, examples from recent wars and more. As usual, we shall move to a nearby pub afterwards to continue the conversation.

Peter Apps [moderator] – Reuters Global Affairs Columnist, Executive Director, PS21

Joana Cook – Senior Fellow, International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, Kings College London.

Kieran Mitton – Senior Lecturer in International Relations, Kings College London.

Eleanor Beevor – Anthropologist, Journalist, Research Analyst, Conflict, Security and Development Program, International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Please remember to bring photo ID with you.


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September 18 London Event – ‘Imagining the next crisis’

Tuesday, September 18. 6pm. Juju’s Bar and Stage, Truman Brewery, Brick Lane. 

Ten years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers sparked global financial turmoil and 17 since 9/11, PS21 looks where the next major crisis threatening humanity might come from. Bringing together experts in finance, security, cyberspace, public health and more, we’ll be looking at what we should be worrying about and how it might be managed. After the long summer, a great chance to network, question the experts and talk about what the rest of the year – and century – might have iin store.

Peter Apps [Moderator] – Reuters Global Affairs Columnist

Heather Williams – Lecturer in Defence Studies, Kings College London

Mike Dolan – Investment Editor, Thomson Reuters

Angela Chatzidimitriou – Global Blockchain Stakeholder Engagement Manager, Hewlett-Packard

John Bassett – Former senior official, GCHQ and member of the PS21 International Advisory Group

Dr Colin Brown – Consultant in Infectious Diseases, Public Health England

Doors will open at six p.m., with the discussion beginning at seven p.m. After brief presentations from each speaker, we will break for interval followed by a Q and A/panel discussion. The bar will remain open throughout.

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Event July 10 London Event – “The Nuclear Peninsula: the Future of the Two Koreas”

Tuesday, July 10. 6.30 pm. K2.31 (Nash Lecture Theatre), Strand campus, King’s College London.

The situation on the Korean Peninsula is a complex and ever changing one. In the space of one year, the political context has shifted from impending conflict, characterised by insults and fiery rhetoric, to renewed friendship between North and South, temporarily cemented by the promise of Northern Nuclear disarmament.

Due to the unpredictable nature of the situation on the peninsula, analysis as to its future is a complex task. To shed light on this topic, the Project for the Study of the 21st Century has gathered a panel of experts to discuss the current situation and how the situation may change.

Join PS21 as hosted by Kings College London’s War Studies Department for an evening of discussion on the future of the Korean Peninsula.

Confirmed panellists include:


Jihyun Park – Outreach Director at Connect: North Korea refugee support group, recipricant of the Natwest Chairman’s Award and North Korean defector.

Alison Evans – Head of Open Source Analytics and Senior Asia-Pacific Analyst, IHS Markit.

Karl Dewey – CBRN Analyst, proliferation editor at Jane’s, IHS Markit.

Hamish Macdonald – Contributor to NK News, Chief Operations Officer of the Korea Risk Group.

Dr Chris Weston – PhD in North Korean institutional economics, international business consultant on risk management.

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PS21 Event Writeup “Imagining the World in 2030”

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


The newest event of PS21’s 2030 series saw a panel of experts in tech, policy, defence, economics and more to discuss what the world would look like by 2030. Hosted by Juju’s Bar and Stage and in cooperation with Young Professionals in Policy, the discussion ranged from the changing impact of technology to rise in extremism, economic and social divisions and the importance of diversity.

Paola Subacchi, Senior Research Fellow at Chatham House, stressed the importance of equality, as well as the need for sustainable and inclusive growth as part of a broader and progressive agenda. Subacchi saw the world today at a turning point, with the rise of emerging economies and technological revolution creating a range of new opportunities but also dangers.

Gurjinder Dhaliwal from Young Professionals in Foreign Policy reflected on YPFP’s mission statement, which saw a shift to amplify voices of the next generation, bringing with it more autonomy. Dhaliwal hoped to see a future of greater democratisation of information but saw obstacles in a lack of vision and ideas. Dhaliwal highlighted the reality that change does not happen automatically but that it requires practical policies to bring about social change and equality. He also reflected on the lack of big political ideas from the political mainstream.

Julia Ebner, Research Fellow at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, specialising in far right and Islamist extremism, took up Dhaliwal’s thought on “winning the battle of ideas”. According to Ebner, the current generation grew up after 9/11, amid talk of a war between the West and Islam. This idea was dangerous with far right counter-cultures exploiting it to take advantage of frustrations with mainstream ideas. Ebner warned fringe groups had the ability to create the impression online that they were more widespread than in reality, making the media more receptive towards their ideas and ultimately reaching more people.

Former British Army officer and cyber security specialist Harry Porteous saw warfare becoming increasingly technological, altering its character but not its fundamental nature. Recent examples included cheap, off-the-shelf drones employed by militants in Northern Iraq and Syria. These capabilities were no longer limited to states. Porteous predicted such ‘human-on tech’ conflict would be followed by ‘tech-on-tech’ combat, likely first in a maritime environment in the form of unmanned vehicles. Speaking on Russia, Porteous highlighted that Russia had the same means and accessibility to tech as the UK but was prepared to go further and faster.

Catalina Butnaru from Women in AI called for accuracy in understanding technology, particularly citing the need to distinguish between machine or automated intelligence and common-sense, self-aware intelligent systems. AI, she said, was not conscious and lacked both awareness and common sense, relying only on algorithms, data, and human intervention. The nature of jobs and employment would change drastically, she said, but existing levels of job automation suggests computers will not be able to take over entirely. Companies should slowly incorporate AI into current jobs, she said, using it to augment, not displace jobs. Two key components of this transition were building in user interface levers for adequate AI adoption amongst digitally literate workers, and helping the remaining workforce develop complex cognitive skills needed to make the most of AI-driven systems at work.

Hedge fund portfolio manager Subhajeet Parida saw democracies increasingly challenged through a range of hybrid structures within them. Access to opportunities across the world remained very varied, he said, creating its own economic and political strains. Reflecting on the adoption of technology in his own sector, Parida said banking had leapt ahead in some areas but more cautiously in others, sometimes without a coherent strategy. The emergence of Blockchain could bring about a further raft of changes in a large number of sectors, he said, potentially including news and publishing as the world sought new solutions to fake news and other problems.

PS21 Event Writeup – ‘What next for Iran’

Given the recent protests in the Islamic Republic and the controversies regarding its nuclear deal, the Islamic Republic finds itself at a crossroads. PS21 gathered in Whitehall to discuss what happens next.

Dina Esfandiary, Fellow at King’s College London, noted the occurrence of riots in Iran was in itself nothing new, however she identified differences from previous unrest: the protests were widespread and the protesters themselves had become bolder with slogans directly attacking the Supreme Leader.

A key difference lies in the government reaction. Unlike during the 2009 post-election protests, the government was willing to at least partially legitimise the demonstrations through acknowledging their demands. This time, the complaints were largely over economic grievances rather than political.

Esfandiary did not see this as an advance towards democratisation but rather as a new tactic of the system: reforms to stay in power, realising that the riot response from 2009 will not be accepted anymore.

Forward looking, Esfandiary sees growing discontent in the Republic, as well as worsening relations with Gulf Arab states (except for Qatar) which will not result in a direct war but will play out through regional rivalries and conflicts.

Dr Aniseh Bassiri Tabrizi, Research Fellow at RUSI, presented a more detailed insight into the Iran nuclear deal and the uncertainty surrounding it since October 2017.

Tabrizi referred to a “conversation shift” that had taken place over the past few weeks between the Europeans and the US. European governments are trying to figure out a way to address the concerns raised by the Trump by the deadline of May 12th, when the US might not renew sanctions waivers, but doing so without antagonising Iran is a tall order.

For Iran the connection between the deal and the economic state of the country were crucial, as this was the basis that President Rouhani ran his campaign on. The uncertainty which characterises the future of the deal following Trump’s election thus also affects the economic situation of the country, Tabrizi stated.

PS21 update weekending January 12

A really great event to begin the year last week hosted by the Cabinet Office looking ahead to 2017 really helped us discern some of the big themes for the year. We know, of course, that this is the year in which Brexit will begin to really mean Brexit. Within days, Donald Trump will be in the White House. Our discussion, though, went rather  wider, looking at the really big questions of whether the liberal order is really in permanent retreat and what it might take for a more progressive, leftist message to emerge once again.

Some of those issues are considered on PS21 this week with this piece looking at whether Germany is genuinely moving to the right. My own peaceful Reuters, meanwhile, looks at the impact of the more salacious Russia-linked allegations around Trump and how that will likely dog his presidency, whether they are ultimately found to be true or not.

A really excellent discussion coming up in London next week will look at one of our perennial larger themes, the future of nuclear proliferation – or nonproliferation, for that matter. Clearly, this is going to be one of the themes of the Trump presidency, which appears to be keen on a nuclear deal with Russia even as it looks to tear up the one the Obama administration did on Iran. North Korea, meanwhile, lingers in the background, with a very real potential that it will finally perfect a credible nuclear tipped ballistic missile at some point in the coming presidency.

We have a range of other really great events timetable for the future, including some interesting wargames and scenario discussions. Amongst other topics, we will be looking at the rise of extremism in Europe, the future for humanitarianism and human rights after events in Aleppo and the largest questionable – how globalization can possibly work in an increasingly fraught decade and century.

We look forward to seeing you there,





The future of nuclear [non?] proliferation

Tuesday, January 24, six p.m.. Kings College London, Strand

From North Korea to Iran, Europe to the South China Sea, nuclear tensions seem on the rise this century. PS21 examines the drivers and technologies that encourage and allow this trend, and asks what – if anything – Western states can do to keep the risks in check.

Peter Apps [moderator] is executive director, PS21 and global affairs columnist, Thomson Reuters.

Cristina Varriale is a Research Analyst with RUSI’s Proliferation and Nuclear Policy Team. She specialises in non-proliferation, deterrence policy and CBRN security. Prior to joining RUSI, she worked in nuclear policy and research with the International Centre for Security Analysis (ICSA) and the British American Security Information Council (BASIC). Cristina holds an MA in Non-proliferation and International Security from King’s College London. She has also been a contributor at IHS Jane’s, and has written on nuclear issues for publications such as the Huffington Post and Prospect Magazine.

David Smart is a former UK civil servant who worked on Counter-Proliferation and Counter-Terrorism, and pioneered the exploitation of Financial Intelligence (FinInt) in these areas. Since leaving government service he has acted as a senior advisor to public and private sector clients on risk and security, with particular emphasis on economic crime and cyber-security.

John Bassett OBE worked for the British foreign service from 1991 to 2010. He was an adviser to the UK delegation during the final phase of negotiations on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and has 25 years of experience in various aspects of counterproliferation and arms control.

Paul Ingram is Executive Director of BASIC, responsible for developing its strategy to help reduce global nuclear dangers through disarmament and collaborative non-proliferation. Paul has authored a number of BASIC’s reports and briefings covering a variety of nuclear and non-nuclear issues since 2002. Paul has an extensive media experience and hosted a weekly peak-time talk show on IRINN (Iranian domestic TV News in Farsi) addressing issues relevant to global security 2007-2012. He also taught systems approaches on the flagship Top Management Programme at the UK government’s National School of Government 2006-2012.

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London Event- 14 Nov, 21st Century Peacebuilding from N Ireland to Syria

Monday November 14, 6pm War Studies Meeting Room, K6.07 Kings College London

According to the Global Peace Index, there are only 10 countries in the world in 2016 which can be considered free from conflict. The ongoing crisis in Gaza; worsening conflicts in the Middle East; the international stand-off  in Ukraine and the lack of a solution to the refugee crisis are some examples of the contributing factors that have made the world less peaceful in 2016 than it was in 2015.

Drawing on the lessons learnt in the Northern Ireland peace process, our speakers will assess 21st centruy peacebuilding strategies in the context of 21st century conflicts. Do we haev the tools to tackle some of these seemingly intractable situations? What have we learnt and what have we not learnt? Our speakers will look at conflict resolution and peace building strategies, contextualised in 21st century examples.


Dr Gordon Clubb is a Lecturer in International Security at the University of Leeds and is the director of the Terrorism and Political Violence Association. He has published on former combatants in Northern Ireland and the disengagement and de-radicalisation of terrorist movements.

Dr. Anastasia Voronkova is Research Fellow for Armed Conflict at the International Institute for Strategic Studies and Editor of the IISS’s new annual publication, the Armed Conflict Survey. Anastasia holds a PhD in comparative conflict studies from Queen Mary, University of London. She has extensive fieldwork experience in Northern Ireland and the South Caucasus. Her research interests include comparative conflict resolution, communication strategies and rhetoric of non-state armed groups, the political economy of armed conflicts, security and terrorism. Prior to joining IISS she held teaching positions at University College London and Queen Mary University of London.

Haid Haid is a Syrian columnist and researcher who focuses on security policies, conflict resolution, Kurdish and Islamist movements. Prior to that, he was a programme manager on Syria and Iraq at the Heinrich Böll Stiftung-Middle East Office in Beirut. He also worked as a senior community services-protection assistant at UNHCR- Damascus office. He has a BA in Sociology, a post graduate diploma in counseling, an MA in social development and has just completed another MA in conflict resolution at King’s College.

Moderator: Professor Joe Maiolo is the Deputy Head of the Department of War Studies, Director of the Sir Michael Howard Centre for the History of War, and Professor of International History. He is an editor of The Journal of Strategic Studies, and co-editor of The Strategy Reader, a member of the editorial board for Intelligence & National Security, and a fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He is currently a Visiting Research Professor at the Norwegian Defence Intelligence School, Oslo.

This event is being run in partnership with the Sir Michael Howard Centre for the History of War, at KCL.

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London Event- 8 Nov, US Election Night

clinton-trumpTuesday 8th November, from 20:00

SE1 9FU – Holland Street Pavillion A near Bankside, London, SE1 9FU

Join PS21 to watch what may be the most sensational US election in living memory. Whatever the result may be, come along for drinks and good company.

To RSVP, click here.

Any volunteers wanting to publish their immediate reflections next Wednesday please contact the Web Editor before election night [].


As always, we look forward to seeing you there,

The PS21 Team.


London event Nov 2 – 15 years of the Afghan war

Wednesday, November 2, six p.m. Kings College London
A decade and a half after US-led forces first entered the country in the aftermath of 9/11, the Afghan war still simmers on. What are the lessons of the initial intervention, which ousted the Taliban from Kabul with little more than a handful of special forces and local fighters? How did it evolve into the troop-heavy NATO mission that followed, and what can we expect now most foreign troops have gone? PS21 and the Afghan Society at KCL pulls together an expert panel to discuss what for the West has been one of the defining conflicts of the century so far.

Emma Graham-Harrison – former Afghanistan Bureau chief, Guardian

Professor Theo Farrell – Dean of Arts and Social Sciences, City University. Researching and co-authoring a book on the history of the Taliban’s war in Afghanistan

Robert Johnson – Pembroke College Oxford, Director of the Oxford Changing Character of War Programme

Christopher Kolenda – Senior Military Fellow, Kings College London. Former Senior Advisor on Afghanistan and Pakistan to the Department of Defense senior leadership and has served four tours of duty in Afghanistan with the US military

Peter Apps [Moderator] – Reuters Global Affairs Columnist and PS21 Executive Director