Episode 10: Forceful Persuasion: The Psychology of Convincing an Opponent They Are Beaten


From counterinsurgencies to protracted sub threshold competition between states, modern conflict provides both politicians and military men with few clear signposts by which to define victory. How does one "win" a competition in which annihilating an opposing force is not always an option?

In this adversarial studies seminar, Dr Quintin Van Zyl of Kings College London will outline his argument that the study of behavioural psychology can offer useful insights into how an opponent can be persuaded that they have lost in circumstances short of outright military defeat. The webinar is chaired by Dr Sidharth Kaushal, a RUSI Research Fellow.

Dr Quintin Van Zyl holds a PhD from Kings College London, where his work examined the behavioral dimensions of conflict outcomes and the risk attitudes of belligerent parties. He is a veteran of numerous Southern African conflicts, and spent twelve years in uniform as a mechanised infantry officer.

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PRESENTED BY

Dr Sidharth Kaushal

Research Fellow, Sea Power

Military Sciences

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