Special Issue - Alliances: Evolving Configurations of Power

The Editors of the Journal of Intelligence, Conflict, and Warfare have released the Call for Papers for a forthcoming Special Issue on the theme of “Alliances: Evolving Configurations of Power” (Volume 5, Issue 1, May 2022). This special issue will be overseen by Dr. Erin Gibbs Van Brunschot, Director of the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies (CMSS) at the University of Calgary.

Over the past two years, the global pandemic has taught us that borders may become increasingly meaningless in the face of emerging security threats. Notions of Westphalian sovereignty are undermined in the face of global threats whether these threats are viruses or climate emergencies. At the same time, the pandemic has drawn attention to “vaccine nationalism” – underscoring that opportunity and vulnerability are not equally distributed. At the same time, ‘going it alone’ is also a challenge.

On a global scale, vulnerability due to global threats affects state-to-state relationships, which are under increasing pressure to manage divergent positions relative to risk and security. A large proportion of alliances emerged in eras that pre-date many of today’s most pressing security threats. For example, Five Eyes, an intelligence-sharing alliance among the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, emerged during WWII. Today, each member state experiences crises differently given its relative proximity to emerging threats and threatening actors. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), consisting of thirty member countries, must regularly address security issues that clearly do not equally impact all members.

In this issue, we consider the pressures on alliances in the security landscape of 2021. What are the emerging security concerns and how will current alliances manage these threats? What difficulties do alliances face in the security context today? What factors provide opportunities for re-establishing or creating alliances in the face of security threats? How might alliances be strengthened in the face of emerging security threats?

This special issue is an opportunity for both scholars and practitioners to advance understanding of these issues. The editors welcome submissions that investigate:

  • Contemporary alliances and threat management
  • Vulnerability of state-to-state relationships
  • Future alliances and potential benefits
  • Re-establishing and strengthening alliances in the face of new security threats
  • Security threats and their impact on alliances

The JICW always welcomes papers and briefings true to its name which focus on:

  • Critical Perspectives on Security 
  • Unconventional warfare, involving non-state actors
  • Information warfare
  • Hybrid warfare
  • Cyber warfare
  • Asymmetric, compound, and irregular warfare
  • Transnational crime
  • Fifth generation warfare
  • Net-centric warfare
  • Extremism
  • Identity and social conflict
  • Insurgencies
  • State v. State conflicts
  • Intelligence analysis, failures, or modern challenge

Articles under 7000 words should be submitted before March 13, 2022, through our online editorial system: 

Full information on types of submissions, manuscript format, and guidelines for submission, can be found at: 

The JICW Editorial team will select papers that reflect high quality, relevance to contemporary security issues, and well-articulated arguments and counterarguments.