International Relations and Security Network

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The International Relations and Security Network (ISN) is part of the Center for Security Studies (CSS) at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, which is located in Zurich, Switzerland.[1] It is an online information service that provides a range of open access products and resources that concentrate on international relations (IR) and security studies.[2]


ISN was established in 1994 as a means of improving cooperation between security policy institutes and making research programs, projects and papers widely available on the internet. It was initially sponsored by the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sports, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research and the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies.

Today, its mission is to promote dialogue and cooperation in the fields of international relations and security studies, primarily by creating, distributing and processing open access information on these issues. As part of Switzerland’s contribution to NATO’s Partnership for Peace (PfP) initiative, ISN personnel also lead the organization’s Advanced Distributed Learning Working Group and develop joint training programs with its partners.[3] Finally, ISN is a co-organizer of the Swiss-sponsored International Security Forum (ISF), which is a large conference held every two years in Geneva and Zurich on a rotating basis.[4]


  • Kurt R. Spillmann (1994–2002)[5]
  • Andreas Wenger (2002–present)[6]


ISN’s current web-based, information-providing activities and services can be divided into four main categories.

  • Digital Library – ISN’s Digital Library began as a repository of declassified Cold War documents and conference proceedings relevant to PfP countries. It now contains over 66,000 downloadable publications including journal articles, books, working papers and government reports.[7] The Digital Library also includes an archive of web articles, blog posts, podcasts and videos as well as a directory of international organizations, NGOs, research institutes and other organizations active in the field of international relations and security.
  • Editorial Products – In cooperation with its partner network, ISN publishes daily expert analyses, commentaries and blog posts as well as regular multimedia features on current IR- and security-related issues. It also provides Dossiers on a range of topics relevant to the international relations and security community.[8]
  • Communities and Partners – ISN provides an online knowledge network of over 250 partner institutions and affiliates, consisting of international organizations (IOs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), state ministries, think tanks, universities and research institutes.[9]
  • E-learning – ISN has a small E-learning and advanced distributed learning team that works with NATO PfP to provide defense and security sector training via free online courses, downloadable web-learning technologies and software components such as ILIAS LSM, as well as consulting services for the production of online learning materials.[10]


  1. ^ Center for Security Studies (CSS), About us
  2. ^ CSIS Pacific Forum, Partners
  3. ^ Partnership for Peace Consortium, ADL Working Group
  4. ^ International Security Forum (ISF) 2013, Conference Partners
  5. ^ German Wikipedia, Prof Kurt R. Spillmann
  6. ^ Center for Security Studies (CSS), Prof Andreas Wenger
  7. ^ International Relations and Security Network (ISN), Digital Library - Publications
  8. ^ Center for Security Studies (CSS), Annual Report 2013
  9. ^ International Relations and Security Network (ISN), Partner Network
  10. ^ International Relations and Security Network (ISN), E-Education

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