For a long time, policy analysis in the fields of foreign, security and defense policy was driven more by ideology, 'gut feeling', pathos and ego than by dispassionate, evidence-based, collaborative and (!) creative analysis. Much of that is starting to change. The increased availability of new publicly available (and often free) data-sets and -tools are finally starting to give us an opportunity to do much more rigorous work. This will hopefully start feeding into more evidence-based policies in also those important areas. Stephan shared some examples of recent and ongoing work that HCSS, a small but influential think tank in the Netherlands, has been doing along these lines. He also highlighted the role that international interns have been playing - and hopefully, will continue to play - in this work.
Stephan De Spiegeleire is senior scientist at HCSS. He has Master’s degrees from the Graduate Institute in Geneva and Columbia University in New York, as well as a C.Phil. degree in Political Science from UCLA. He worked for the RAND Corporation for nearly ten years, interrupted by stints at the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik and the WEU’s Institute for Security Studies. Mr. De Spiegeleire started out as a Soviet specialist, but has since branched out into several fields of international security and defense policy. His current work at HCSS focuses on strategic defense management, security resilience, network-centrism, capabilities-based planning, and the transformation of defense planning. He is particularly active in HCSS’s security foresight efforts to inform national and European security policy planning in the broader sense. He also teaches at Webster University in Leiden. Stephan keeps a personal blog, where he records his reflections on his fields of expertise. Please visit: gettingdefenseright.blogspot.com/