About Us

Launched in the fall of 2009, the Institute for Security and Conflict Studies (ISCS) is an energetic academic community dedicated to furthering the study of international security. As our mission, we seek to:

  • Advance scholarly research on international conflict and strengthen the field of security studies through graduate education;
  • Improve public understanding of key international security issues; and
  • Inform policy debates related to U.S. national security.

The Institute boasts an exceptionally strong faculty with diverse research interests within international security studies. Our bi-monthly security policy workshop fosters lively interactions between faculty and graduate students by inviting eminent scholars from GW and other universities to present cutting-edge research. We host visiting scholars from the world's best universities and offer pre-doctoral fellowships to advanced Ph.D. students through an annual competition. The Institute also houses the Elliott School's Security Policy Studies M.A. program.

For public outreach, the ISCS sponsors events where policymakers and leading experts debate a variety of international security questions. Our location in downtown Washington, DC provides an ideal platform for disseminating the Institute's research to a wide audience. ISCS faculty and affiliates also frequently engage the public through op-eds, magazine articles and other media, providing insight on today's most pressing security issues.


Video: Stephen Biddle's Talk on U.S. Policy Against the Islamic State

On Monday, December 4 Professor Stephen Biddle unpacked the problems with the U.S. military approach against the Islamic State and presented three options that the U.S. military can choose. If you missed the talk or would like to share it, the video is now available! 

SPS Program Awarded FAO Regional Skill Sustainment Initiative Contract

The Security Policy Studies program, led by Joanna Spear, associate professor of international affairs, was awarded a competitive contract for the Foreign Area Officer (FAO) Regional Skill Sustainment Initiative. This program, beginning in July 2015, will provide FAOs with advanced understanding and analysis of the most current regional security affairs, and the impact of regional activities on interagency and joint operations.

Enhancing U.S. Support for Peace Operations in Africa

In this Council on Foreign Relations Special Report, Paul D. Williams argues that greater U.S. involvement is necessary to enhance the quality and success of peacekeeping missions.