In the February–March 2016 issue of Survival, Thomas Rid and Daniel Moore explore the ‘darknet’; Ben Buchanan sketches the life cycles of cyber threats; Erik Jones considers the problem of Europe’s single market; Nadezhda Arbatova and Alexander Dynkin survey world order after Ukraine; Alexander Lukin considers Russia’s place in a post-bipolar world; Florence Gaub argues that ISIS is best thought of as a cult; Nick Childs measures British naval ambition; William Potter recaps the 2015 NPT Review Conference; Ben Fishman contributes a review essay on ISIS; Bruno Tertrais, Angela Stent and Lanxin Xiang review recent books; and Nigel Inkster argues for the West to come to terms with Chinese power.

Volume 58, Numbers 1-6

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  • Cryptopolitik and the Darknet

    Encryption policy is becoming a crucial test of the values of liberal democracy in the twenty-first century. The trigger is a dilemma: the power of ciphers protects citizens when they read, bank and shop online – and the power of ciphers protects foreign spies, terrorists and criminals when they pry, plot and steal. Encryption bears directly on today’s two top threats, militant extremism and computer-network breaches – yet it enables...
  • The Life Cycles of Cyber Threats

    Technology isn’t human, but it has stages of life. The period after the conception of a new piece of technology is often marked by significant investments of time and resources, often with little tangible return. If this work is successful, the technology begins to enter use, benefiting from iteration and design improvements. It may then begin to spread, gaining in popularity and begetting virtuous economies of scale. If all continues...
  • Confronting Europe’s Single Market

    In launching a renegotiation of the terms of British membership, and thereby declaring the current settlement to be inadequate, Prime Minister David Cameron has contrived to make a confusing case for the United Kingdom remaining part of the European Union. His task is made more difficult by the fact that – like many other supporters of the EU – he is selling a vision of Europe that misrepresents both the...
  • Noteworthy

    ‘France is strong, and even if she is wounded, she will rise once again. Even if we are in grief, nothing will destroy her.’ French President François Hollande addresses the nation on 14 November 2015, the day after a series of terrorist attacks killed 129 people in Paris.1 ‘He ... continued to shoot and shoot and slaughter and just scream at the top of his lungs “Allahu akbar.” And that’s...
  • World Order after Ukraine

    The crisis in Ukraine, and over Ukraine, has strained Russia’s relations with the West to breaking point. For the first time in 25 years, there is a threat of a new dividing line being drawn in Europe, which, since the end of the East–West confrontation, has been considered the world’s most stable region. The current crisis stems from the tension of a polycentric world order in which the hierarchy of...
  • Russia in a Post-Bipolar World

    Near the turn of the twenty-first century, one of the two poles of the system that had prevailed since the end of the Second World War destroyed itself. The Soviet communist project had become uncompetitive, leading to its failure. Soviet ideology had cornered itself. Derived from the Western Enlightenment tradition, its ideas of technological progress and the satisfaction of people’s physical needs were not new. But Soviet ideology vowed that...
  • The Cult of ISIS

    It has become commonplace to describe the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, as a cult. Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott, US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have all used the term, in an apparent attempt to discredit the organisation and strip it of its claim to Islamic credentials. But beyond the label lies a strategic implication: if ISIS...
  • The Measure of Britain’s New Maritime Ambition

    On 23 November 2015, the United Kingdom unveiled its latest Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), in conjunction with its new National Security Strategy.1 The SDSR was generally well received; this seemed to be a broadly coherent strategic document, in contrast to its predecessor in 2010,2 which had been driven by the imperatives of an austerity agenda, and which significantly reduced UK military capabilities. Against a more benign budgetary backdrop...
  • The Unfulfilled Promise of the 2015 NPT Review Conference

    The ninth review conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) was held in New York on 27 April–22 May 2015 under the presidency of Ambassador Taous Feroukhi of Algeria. Like its predecessors in 1980, 1990 and 2005, it failed to reach a consensus final document.  It bore a number of other superficial similarities to these prior failures, and especially to the 2005 conference, at which Egypt played...
  • Defining ISIS

    Looking back today, it is difficult to assess the state of the Middle East in summer 2014, before fighters from the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL) poured across the thinly guarded Iraqi–Syrian border and quickly seized a huge chunk of Iraq. To a certain extent, the chaos that had gripped the region since the onset of the Arab Spring in 2011 was beginning to settle. Syria’s civil...
  • Book Reviews

    Arms, Arms Control and Technology Bruno Tertrais The American Way of Bombing: Changing Ethical and Legal Norms, from Flying Fortresses to Drones Matthew Evangelista and Henry Shue, eds. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2014. £16.95/$24.95. 315 pp.  Sudden Justice: America’s Secret Drone Wars Chris Woods. London: C. Hurst & Co., 2015. £20.00/$27.95. 440 pp. During the past 25 years, aerial bombardment has been featured so often in international political debates as to have almost become synonymous...
  • Brief Notices

    Arms, arms control and technology A Dangerous Master: How to Keep Technology from Slipping Beyond Our Control Wendell Wallach. New York: Basic Books, 2015. $28.99. 328 pp. An ethicist scrutinises the implications of our society’s rapid technological development, suggesting that the moral questions which accompany new technologies are all too often overlooked. He proposes ways in which he believes society could exert better control over new technologies and the risks they pose. Community at...
  • Coming to Terms with Chinese Power

    If one story in 2015 epitomised the challenge faced by the Western world in coming to terms with a rising China, it was the state visit of President Xi Jinping to the United Kingdom from 20–23 October. Such visits are normally highly scripted and choreographed, involving more form than substance, and in many ways, this one was no exception. Much of the pageantry in which the UK excels was on...
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Survival: Global Politics and Strategy

February-March 2016

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