International Society of Military Sciences (ISMS) Conference 2023

Jesper Nielsen's picture
Call for Papers
May 15, 2023
Subject Fields: 
Military History, Social Sciences, Humanities, World History / Studies

                 CALL FOR PAPERS

The International Society for Military Sciences (ISMS) is pleased to send the first call for papers for the ISMS annual conference.


Venue: DGI Byen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
November 6-8 2023

Theme of the ISMS XIV conference:

Defence Alliances and Partnerships



The Russian attack on Ukraine brought conventional war back to the European continent and changed the strategic and security outlook for defence and policymakers worldwide. The ripple effects of the conflict can be felt around the globe in the form of increasing energy prices, food shortages, inflation, and economic decline. Defence planners and strategists have since debated how to interpret this new security situation and how to structure and transform defence forces and industries to these new realities. Amongst NATO members, demands for increased defence spending have been met with bleak economic outlooks and the need for reduced spending on welfare services. Worldwide the double adverse effects of the Covid pandemic and the war in Ukraine have devastated the development and stability of many countries, which are now experiencing social unrest and unconstitutional takeovers. In addition to this, the world is polarised to an extent which has not been seen since the cold war.

The “old” security challenges did not go away when Russia decided to attack Ukraine. The challenge to decision-makers and defence planners worldwide is balancing the direct and concrete threat from the Russia-Ukraine conflict to national security while maintaining the capacity to deal with the tensing relationship between an ever-increasing and assertive China and the US. On the periphery of these security dynamics, great power competition and religious radicalisation in Africa and Asia are growing and destabilising often fragile states. The great powers and alliances in the international system cannot afford to focus exclusively on the short to medium-term threats from the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the tension between China and the USA, because globalisation from below makes problems in the “periphery” ever-present worldwide.

Defence planning is a long-term process that looks at least 10-20 years ahead. One of the many realities that interacted after the Russian aggression against Ukraine, the threat from radicalised insurgencies is that security, and especially security challenges, cut across national borders and that the current plethora of threats calls for multinational responses and partnerships as no single state can deal with the threats alone. The importance of alliances and partnerships has again come to the forefront.

The overarching theme of the ISMS 2023 annual conference is alliances and partnerships, with a specific focus on defence and security alliances. The recent crisis, but also the crisis that followed the global pandemic, stresses the importance of crosscutting cooperation and partnerships in the defence sector and beyond. While international relations and agreements are the centrepieces in defence alliances, contemporary forms of cooperation in military affairs go beyond state-to-state relationships to public-private and civilian-military relations; it also entails defence-industry-academia cooperation.

To understand the importance and nature of these varying forms of cooperation and alliances, the 2023 conference focuses on defence alliances and partnerships from a broad perspective. Partnerships and alliances come in many forms and shapes. Examples could be NATO, European Union (EU) and the African Union (AU), which either is a military alliance (NATO) or have a military dimension (EU and AU). However, it could also be short-term alliances or coalitions of the willing, which often are organised around common security challenges, e.g. MNJTF, G5-Sahel, or Operation Takuba. For this reason, the ISMS is calling for papers and abstracts within the sub-themes of the Society’s working groups. Potential authors are kindly encouraged to consider the following working groups and themes for their papers:


  • War Studies
  • Military History
  • Military Technology
  • Military Leadership, Command and Control and Basic Competences
  • Military Law and Ethics
  • Security and Defense Policy Strategy
  • Armed Forces and Society
  • Defence Management and Economics
  • Military Education
  • Military Strategy


Please send submissions to no later than May 15, 2023 along with an indication of your preferred working group (this deadline was previously 31 March). The submission form is an abstract of 1 (max 2) standard page(s), each 2,400 characters, including spaces. Organised panels, roundtables or sessions may also be proposed. Please indicate the point of contact for group submissions.


For practical information on the conference please visit

The ISMS is an informal network of peer institutions for military education and research in democratic countries. The purpose is to build a network for the creation, development, exchange and diffusion of research and knowledge about war, conflict management and peace support efforts.

Contact Info: 

Project officer ISMS 2023
Jesper Nielsen
Institute for Strategy an War Studies
Royal Danish Defence College

Contact Email: