The Institute for Conflict, Cooperation and Security (ICCS) was established at the University of Birmingham in February 2012. Its key purpose is to promote a multidisciplinary approach to the security challenges that arise from global interconnectedness. These security challenges pose theoretical and practical questions relating to the possibilities of reducing the risks of violent conflict, as well as developing cooperation and trust, both regionally and globally.
The ICCS aims to produce cutting-edge, internationally renowned research, which has a significant impact on the key practitioner communities with which it engages. The Institute also offers advanced postgraduate training through its newly inaugurated Master’s degree in Global Cooperation and Security. This research-led teaching is supported by work in the following thematic areas:
These themes currently shape the Institute‘s research priorities and our work explores the possibilities for promoting sustainable security both within and between communities at the local, national, and global levels.
The Institute shares the wider University‘s tradition of pushing the frontiers of understanding, by asking the big research questions of the day. There are none bigger here than the question of how humanity can learn to better cooperate in order to manage global security challenges such as - nuclear weapons and climate change - as well as the challenge of overcoming intractable conflicts at both the inter-state and intrastate level. The Institute combines a series of existing strengths within Birmingham and beyond in the field of International Relations, and its related subfields of Security Studies and Strategic Studies, as well as War Studies, Development, Law and Ethics.
Alongside more formal research output, we publish our work in the ICCS Brief, a policy-targeted newsletter, as well as on our online weekly ICCS blog to generate our more conceptual and experimental discussions on security.
The Institute runs an MSc in Global Cooperation and Security, in conjunction with the Department of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS) at the University of Birmingham.
The programme provides students with an advanced interdisciplinary training in the theory and practice of global cooperation and conflict transformation. In particular the course considers how far actors with different values, cultures, histories and security conceptions can co-exist peacefully in an anarchic international system. The course is taught through an important mix of academic and practitioner input to immerse students in the politics of cooperation and conflict transformation.
The Institute hosts an annual five day training programme on ‘Trust-building and Conflict Transformation’ for students and practitioners interested in innovative models of conflict transformation in global politics.
We deliver specialist lectures by internationally renowned academics and conflict practitioners with a wealth of experience in dealing with negotiations and mediation in deeply adversarial settings. This includes a mixture of training specialists and policy makers who have dealt with intractable conflicts at both the local and global level, employing models of best practice and reflecting from personal experience. Alongside these specialist lectures, we provide participants with the core mediation and communication skills deemed essential for successful negotiations through two days of intensive training.
The Institute regularly organises conferences reflecting our current research themes and invites a variety of international scholars and policy-makers to participate. Previously we have hosted conferences on: ‘Trust, Cooperation and the Global Nuclear future’, ‘Civil Wars and the State-building Challenge’, and ‘Somalia: Negotiating the balance between ‘African Solutions’ and international responses’.
Each academic semester, the Institute also runs a prestigious seminar series, attracting high-profile academics and practitioners who are at the cutting edge of their field.