Cambridge Security Programme (CSP)

December 2007. The Cambridge Security Programme is operationally closed. This site is maintained as a historical archive. Information on this site is no longer current.


The Problem

In the post-9/11 world, international terrorism, cultural and ethnic turmoil, and the effects of globalisation, have introduced a complex set of security challenges that require inter-related, multi-level responses. Founded just six months after the tragic events of 9/11, CSP is a response to the demands to find an answer to the compelling need for new ways to address the instability and uncertainties that characterise the current climate of insecurity. Drawing upon the resources of a world-class university, this innovative research-based programme brings a broad-based perspective and cross-disciplinary approach to the issues.

CSP works closely with Academics within the University of Cambridge, integrating work from various faculties including history, anthropology, divinity, international law, and the social and political sciences. Just as importantly, it promotes cross-institutional research and inquiry, combining work by younger scholars with more established academics and practitioners to develop pragmatic new approaches to the challenges at hand.

The roster of projects already in process is both exciting and far-reaching. CSP is already working with the EU, NATO, military establishments in both the UK and US, and other universities here and abroad. It’s first book, A New Security Paradigm, which draws on a Seminar co-hosted with the British government in the summer of 2003, has received very positive feedback. Pilots for several exciting new projects are expected to begin soon once funding is in place. Already, in the first year since its inception, CSP has hosted seminars, round-tables, workshops and undertaken several specialised studies. We expect that the energy and synergy that CSP brings to the challenges of security will mean continued expansion this coming year.

What is CSP?

CSP is important because:

  • it facilitates dialogue among public, private and the corporate sectors, helping to unravel complex security issues, and offering solutions to the different needs of varying environment
  • it applies intellectual breadth of knowledge and a range of academic research to pragmatic problem-solving
  • it works within an international context to develop relevant ‘knowledge models’ that are adapted to meet the needs of specific situations
  • it draws on an international web of academics, post-graduates and experts, combining broad range scholarship with input from long established links with top-class institutions around the world.


Cambridge Security focuses on three core competencies:

  • Mindset: The Why?
    The cultural perceptions, paradigms and orientations underlying the causes of instability and insecurity;
  • Networking: The How?
    The legal and illegal interactions, structures and institutions, including information and communication technologies (ICT), developing in the present environment;
  • Actions and Decisions: The What?
    Risk assessment, policy formulation, corporate responses and long-term strategic mechanisms to protect against threat and prepare for new challenges.

Information Output

  • Specialised research (topic-specific studies and the development of knowledge models);
  • Closed round-tables;
  • Conferences and seminars in collaboration with partner institutions;
  • Publications: research papers, working-paper series, booklets;
  • Ongoing open workshop series;
  • Specialised studies for the government, corporate and NGO sectorsthe Seminar’s organisers to establish a process that would have lasting impact on policy formulation in a variety of ways. The results of this Game in turn fed directly into the review of the Government’s current defence requirements.
  • A workshop in 2003 commissioned by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to undertake a peer review of current government research on illegal terrorist networks, led by CSP.
Helicopter behind dome of mosque.