Dashkova Centre

Erickson Lecture 2019 - 'Russian Views of War in the Twenty First Century'

The strong sense of competition between the Euro-Atlantic community and Russia, often characterised as a “new Cold War”, has generated much discussion about the nature of the threat that Russia poses and the need for enhanced deterrence. But what is to be deterred? What is the nature of the military threat posed by Russia?

To be sure, the Russian military has, within a decade, been transformed through a major re-equipment programme, combined with reforms and thousands of exercises, and the establishment of the National Defence Management Centre. The results of this transformation are clear, not only in the fighting in Ukraine and Russia’s campaign in Syria, and the emphasis by the Russian leadership on increased combat readiness, but also in the increasingly obvious presence of the Russian military in the Arctic and Central Asia, and yet further afield in the Pacific and Africa. 

This lecture will explore the concepts the Russian defence community uses when discussing contemporary warfare, and how they compare and contrast to Western debates and understandings of Russian thinking. It will underscore the importance of geostrategy in Russian military thinking, and use this lens to sketch out how Moscow sees  the shifting international landscape and threats, and it will look at the strong influence of history on Russian contemporary military thinking, and reflect on the debates underway about the changing character of war. 

This event is free to attend but ticketed. To book spaces at the event please visit our Eventbrite page:

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Dr Andrew Monaghan is the Director of Research on Russia and Northern European Defence and Security at the Oxford Changing Character of War Centre at Pembroke College. He is also a Senior Associate of Pembroke College.

He has previously held positions as Senior Research Fellow in the Russia and Eurasia Programme at Chatham House (2013-April 2017) and leading the Russia related research in the Research Division of the NDC (2006-2012). Additionally, he was Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the INSS in the National Defence University, Washington, D.C. from 2016-2017. He has also served as an expert witness to several parliamentary committees including the UK’s National Security Strategy Committee, the House of Commons Defence and Foreign Affairs Select Committees.

His new book Dealing with the Russians is to be published in April 2019, and is also the author of the books Power in Modern Russia: Strategy and Mobilisation (MUP, 2017), The New Politics of Russia – Interpreting Change (MUP, 2016) and The Elements of Impact. Making Your Point in Public Speaking and Writing (2015). He is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh, and received his PhD in Russian foreign policy (Russian perspectives of Russia-EU security relations) from the Department of War Studies, King’s College, from where he also obtained an MA in War Studies, graduating with the Simon O’Dwyer Russell prize.

Celebrating 100 years of Russian lecturing at Edinburgh

Russian centenary logo

This event is one of a series taking place in 2019 to celebrate the centenary of Hugh G. Brennan’s first lecture on a graduating course in Russian at the University of Edinburgh. We are proud to be the oldest Russian department in Scotland, with non-graduating lectures starting in 1916, and our undergraduate degree course introduced in 1949. Today, we offer a range of undergraduate degrees, an MSc by Research, and a PhD in Russian Studies, as well as teaching in interdisciplinary masters programmes. The University also hosts the Princess Dashkova Russian Centre, an internationally recognised research and public engagement centre which runs a series of academic and cultural events, including conferences, lectures, film festivals, and events with Russian award-winning writers.


Find out more about Russian Studies at the University of Edinburgh

Palace Square, Saint Petersburg by Vasily Sadovnikov

Erickson Lecture 2019 - 'Russian Views of War in the Twenty First Century'

The Erickson Lecture 2019 will be given by Dr. Andrew Monaghan, Director of Research on Russia & Northern European Defence & Security at the Oxford Changing Character of War Centre at Pembroke College.

Playfair Library Hall
Old College
South Bridge