Research Opportunities


Security is the insurance policy of the nation. It is a responsibility that we all must share. The MA in International and Civil Security program at Khalifa University will prepare you to be a leader in this field.

The 21st century combines the promise of great progress with the resurgence of old dangers and the emergence of new ones. Those dangers include terrorism, warfare, weapons of mass destruction, and natural disasters. Some of these dangers are rooted in technology, others in society, and still others in nature itself. Attaining the strategic vision of the UAE will require deep understanding of those threats, and the knowledge and skills to address them.

This unique Master’s Program is being offered by Khalifa University’s Institute of International and Civil Security. The Institute’s mission is to become a leading academic center for supporting research, teaching and policy analysis in the field of security studies. In addition to what takes places inside the classroom, the institute hosts speakers, workshops, events, and works with other institutions-within government, academia, and the private sector – to advance security research, education, training, and policy-making.

Our students come from a variety of backgrounds and are professionals working on their graduate qualification part-time in order to specialise in civil and regional security fields. They work at a range of government agencies, including the police force, military, and government ministries.

Contact Us

Civil Security Unit

Room: 213, L Building, Khalifa University
Abu Dhabi, U.A.E

Email: athol.yates@ku.ac.ae


Academic Faculty

Graduate Students

Abdulla Sayedna Mohammed Graduate Student

The Institute of International and Civil Security (IICS) comprises a number of scholars whose publications and research relate directly to our MA program and civil and international securityrelated issues. They include works utilizing a variety of historical, political science, sociological and economic methods and methodologies.

Systems Evaluation for Coordinated Utilization of Resources in Emergency (SECURE) Supply Chains

Researchers: Dr. Athol Yates (KU – IICS), Dr. Brendon Cannon (KU – IICS), Dr. Nelson King (KU – Dept. of Industrial and Systems Engineering), Dr. Peng Yong-Kong (KU – Dept. of Electrical Computer Engineering), Dr. Raja Jayaraman (KU – Dept. of Industrial and Systems Engineering), Dr. Andrei Sleptchenko (KU – Dept. of Industrial and Systems Engineering).

The research carried out by the proposed Center for Systems Evaluation for Coordinated Utilization of Resources in Emergency (SECURE) Supply Chains (“Secure Supply Chain Center”) takes a multidisciplinary approach to address disruptions in supply in the UAE that result from disasters or geopolitical  events. The national infrastructure of UAE operates under unique conditions that few if any countries, including those in the region, face. While UAE does not regularly face natural disasters (e.g., earthquakes, cyclones, and tsunamis) other countries plan for, the country plans for these and other events. The research center focuses on modeling potential disruptions to UAE’s national infrastructure for water and food and extending its expertise to address enterprise supply disruption.

Development Trajectory of Defense Technologies
Researcher: Dr. Ash Rossiter (KU – IICS).
Decisions to develop any novel technology are taken under conditions of great uncertainty; there rarely is such a thing as a sure bet. Unforeseen technical hurdles encountered during development can stymie efforts to produce an operationally viable system. Even when the technology is brought to operational
maturity, potential end-users may fail to see the value of adopting it in the first place. In some instances, the technology simply fails to live up to its early promise. This research project evaluates the applicability of existing models of innovation cycles to defense-related technologies.

The Decision-Making Process to Enhance the UAE’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC)
Researchers: Dr. Brendon Cannon (KU – IICS), Prof. Steve Griffiths (KU – SVP Research and Development), Dr. Athol Yates (KU – IICS), Dr. Brian Efird (King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center).

This research project explores the UAE’s current Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris Climate accord. It takes a critical look at the political feasibility of enhancing the NDC by applying a model of collective decision-making processes (CDMPs) to assess the political will for enhancing the
NDCs despite significant interests within the UAE that prefer either no enhancement or limited enhancement.

Shifting Policies in Conflict Arenas: A Cosine Similarity and Text Mining Analysis: 2012-2016
Researchers: Dr. Brendon Cannon (KU – IICS), Dr. Ash Rossiter (KU – IICS), Prof. Mikiyasu Nakayama (University of Tokyo), Dr. Daisuke Sasaki (Tohoku University).

This project involves an analysis of the foreign policies of various frontline and peripheral states in conflict arenas. In order to make sense of states’ actions and reactions towards conflicts, the project attempts to draw lessons from quantitative methods and methodologies such as text mining, cosine similarity and cosine normalization of content from various state-owned news agencies. These methodologies are utilized in support of content analysis and qualitative analysis to investigate elite decision-making in during conflict scenarios.

The “Indo-Pacific”: Regional Dynamics in the 21st Century’s New Geopolitical Center of Gravity
Researchers: Dr. Brendon Cannon (KU – IICS), Dr. Ash Rossiter (KU – IICS).

Initiated in 2017, this project examines shifting geopolitical dynamics in the Indo-Pacific region. Due to the rate of economic growth taking place in the region, and the concomitant share of world power that comes with this, the Indo-Pacific is undergoing rapid transformation. Whilst the Indo-Pacific’s broad trajectory
points ineluctably to it acquiring increasing importance in world affairs, it is nonetheless difficult to anticipate what the consequences will be for the international relations of the region. Will the Indo-Pacific emerge as a zone of intense contestation between established and rising powers? If contestation is likely
to be a key feature of the region, what form will it take? How will small and medium powers navigate through these challenging times? Collaborating with internationally renowned scholars from across the region – from India to Japan – this project seeks to shed light on these pressing questions.