Centre interdisciplinaire sur les enjeux stratégiques (CIENS)

A new look for CIENS: three questions for Frédéric Gloriant, CIENS Director

CIENS is getting a facelift, with expanded teaching and research themes, new management and a reinforced team of researchers. Frédéric Gloriant, the new director, answers our questions. 

What are CIENS’ objectives and challenges?

The “core business” of CIENS is the study of high-intensity inter-state conflict, with a focus on the possibility of escalation to extremes – in other words, nuclear war, which deterrence aims to avoid. From this nuclear focus, CIENS has broadened its research and teaching fields to include all contemporary strategic issues, such as cyber-defense, outer space, arms control and disarmament, the study of developments in strategic thinking, artificial intelligence, information manipulation, etc.

What research is currently being carried out?

Research at CIENS has three main focuses. The first focuses on Europe, Europeans and nuclear deterrence, against the backdrop of the highly topical question of the conditions under which European strategic autonomy is possible. The second concerns strategic knowledge, while the third focuses on the emergence of new areas of conflict such as cyber, space, AI and information space.

As a privileged junction between the world of research and that of international relations practitioners, CIENS also aims to develop a multi-disciplinary approach for each of these areas, combining history, political science and philosophy, among others.

What are the major CIENS events in 2024?

In conjunction with the Philosophy Department, we have organized a symposium on January 30 and 31, 2024, entitled Penser le monde avec Pierre Hassner: academics, diplomats and intellectual figures who knew the international relations philosopher Pierre Hassner gathered around his work to examine its relevance and topicality. On March 21, 2024, we are organizing a CIENS launch event, focusing on the Russian-Ukrainian war. Next year, we are also preparing a major international symposium devoted to nuclear decision-making: not only decisions on the use of nuclear weapons, but also decisions on capabilities, strategy and alliances… in a word, all the variations of nuclear power, which we will try to re-examine by linking disciplines, past and present eras, and the countries involved.