RUSI's research programmes reflect its ability to combine traditional analysis and its background in military history with current concerns in the defence and security fields. It defines defence and security matters widely and builds new, authoritative research ideas on the foundations of its long-standing studies of military and defence affairs over nearly two centuries.
In 2008, RUSI was recognised as an agenda-setting research institution in key areas within the defence and security field. This year, RUSI’s natural comparative advantage as a policy institute will be emphasised. RUSI competes at the highest intellectual levels of analyses on defence and security matters and specialises in distilling material into policy relevant outputs.
Highlights for 2009
In 2009 RUSI will be undertaking several research initiatives to address a number of issues that have emerged.
Public policy studies
RUSI today launches a Public Policy research initiative that will focus on the government's performance in addressing national security issues and in implementing the National Security Strategy. The Government’s approach to national security issues has recently undergone an important evolution, developing a new level of inter-departmental co-operation in implementing the National Security Strategy. RUSI's Public Policy initiative intends to monitor and analyse this evolution as it develops further and to assess its results.
The economic crisis and its impact on global security
RUSI is developing an initiative jointly with the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation which will monitor the politico-economic responses to the present global economic crisis and explore new approaches to the early warning of geopolitical instabilities which the crisis is liable to promote.
The Armed Forces and Security Services in British Society
RUSI is intrinsically interested in the relationship of the wider society to our Armed Forces and, these days, also the members of our security services. The Institute analyses this from both directions; the changing attitudes of the general public to the professions of defence and internal security, and the way personnel in these fields relate to the wider society of the United Kingdom.
Recently launched programmes
Initiatives launched in 2008 seek to build on the strength of recent multidisciplinary areas of study developed at RUSI. This includes the British Security Policy project which focuses on the impact of international threats on the UK's security, and on UK policy responses. It also includes the Climate Security project which has initiated an extensive programme of events and research to analyse the effects and challenges that climate change has on security today.
RUSI’s research methodology
The Institute will exploit its unparalleled contacts and access within its main fields of study in identifying international flagship themes to conduct cutting-edge research that is designed to help identify and set the policy agenda.
Independent and authoritative
The contributions that policy think-tanks can make to policy agendas are non-partisan and based on independent research. RUSI will strengthen its ability to contribute in this way, building on its unique sources of historical research, its archives and its on-line data sources to create studies that display both authority and perspective.
Flexible and multidisciplinary
The greatest intellectual synergies can be created by bringing together clusters of top researchers from related but different research areas. The Institute will maintain and enhance its ability to do this and use its network of Associate Fellows, and other designated researchers, in conjunction with its salaried staff to enhance its multi-disciplinarity. Such flexibility is also intrinsic to the ability to maintain some surge capacity in research, to respond quickly to fast-moving events and opportunities.