HCSS Digest

HCSS Digest | Week 40

October 2nd 2020 - 10:00

Whether you're quarantining in your small apartment or in a big White House, you can still stay up-to-date on all that matters with the Weekly HCSS Digest! So what's cooking in the world? Read on: 

"If the multilateral system collapses, it would have catastrophic consequences for the economy and security of an open country like the Netherlands." – Rob de Wijk

The international multilateral system, which brings the Netherlands a lot of benefits, is eroding – or even worse, on the edge of collapsing. How can we contribute to the revitalization of the international system? Read the new report by Rob de Wijk, Jack Thompson and Esther Chavannes: Full report here | Dutch summary here

Rob de Wijk will be the guest of this Sunday’s episode of podcast De Strateeg, where he will talk about the new report and the importance of the multilateral system for a middle power such as the Netherlands. Catch him on BNR, the BNR app, Spotify and/or Apple Podcasts.

Independent army magazine Armex has published a paper written by Frank Bekkers, Bianca Torossian and TNO’s Rick Meessen, where they discuss developments and trends in the field of hybrid threats – download the PDF here.

Last week HCSS published the  comprehensive “From Blurred Lines to Red Lines: Countermeasures and Norms in Hybrid Conflict”, written by Louk Faesen, Tim Sweijs, Alexander Klimburg, Conor MacNamara and Michael Mazarr.

This week, we started publishing the individual Case Studies from the report:

  • What norms and countermeasures helped push back against Russian cyberoperations targeting electoral infrastructure? Find out in the 1st Case Study, available now.
  • Russian disinformation is a serious challenge to Western democracies… but our new report highlights how active norm cultivation can counter this – read the 2nd Case Study here.
  • In 2014, ISIS propaganda was a serious concern to the West. Read about the U.S. countermeasures in the information environment and the normative benchmark they set for truthfulness in the 3rd Case Study.

Trump's strategy - to turn citizens against each other and then set himself up as the savior of the nation - is a tried and tested tactic of dictators, argues Rob de Wijk in his column in Trouw.

Unfortunately, De Strateeg wasn’t nominated for the Dutch Podcast Awards, but the favorite podcast of populists, Brexiteers and conspiracy theorists, Boekestijn and De Wijk, made it to the finals! Your vote matters! Vote Now!

With the race for the White House truly starting, HCSS data scientist – and expert on US Politics – Paul Verhagen will be dominating your retinas and eardrums in the weeks to come:

  • Much was at stake this week for the first debate between Trump and Biden – Paul, still enthusiastic before he had seen the actual debate, commented on NPO Radio 1.
  • How is it possible that one of the richest men in the US pays so little taxes? Listen to Paul talk on BNR Nieuwsradio about Trump, tax evasion and the possible consequences for the elections.

"Give the British a no-deal exit", Rob de Wijk wrote in his column in Trouw last week. After Brexit, England will still remain an island that has to import almost everything – albeit at a much higher cost.

"While European power wanes, the divisions remain. Safeguarding Europe's position starts with recognising that unpleasant reality," writes Subject Matter Expert Jonathan Holslag in EU Observer in a plea for a more "geopolitical Europe".

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Yes, it was an airplane, that broke through the sound barrier above Paris yesterday. But there are strict rules for doing this, and defense and air force specialist Peter Wijninga explained the how and why on EenVandaag.

Patrick Willemsen is the Communications Officer of HCSS, in charge of all communication, PR, publications, social media and press contacts, as well as special projects such as the BNR podcast De Strateeg.