Centre for Security and Defence Studies


The Royal Higher Institute for Defence (RHID) is the specialised reference think tank of the Belgian Ministry of Defence. Among other responsibilities, it is in charge, both at national and international level, of conducting interdisciplinary research in the field of security and defence in the service of society.

Within the RHID, the Centre for Security and Defence Studies (CSDS) is in charge of feeding the reflection governing the preparation of future policies in the field of security and defence thanks to the result of its research activities.

For that purpose, the CSDS delivers objective analyses and develops longer-term visions in order to optimise the political reflection and draw the decision-makers’ attention to key points in the field of security and defence policy.

The CSDS also offers an interdisciplinary platform aimed at supporting the reflection of the decision-makers in their task, giving room for debate with experts and developing the cooperation between the institutions and the researchers interested in security and defence issues.

The CSDS meets its missions among others through the publication of studies and articles and the organisation of events such as evening conferences and colloquia. Through its activities, the CSDS ensures the link between actors and experts in the field of security and defence and civil society.

Scientific research in the field of security and defence

Within the framework of scientific research in the field of security and defence, the CSDS conducts studies on the political, military, institutional, technological, socio-economic and ideological trends that are likely to have an impact on the rise, development and consequences of crises and conflicts in the world.

The researchers of the CSDS conduct studies within the framework of the CSDS research lines organised according to the following thematic and regional approaches:

Security and defence architecture
Threats, challenges and strategic responses
Defence capabilities and technologies
Transatlantic relations
Middle East and North Africa
Sahel and Sub-Saharan Africa

The CSDS publishes the results of its research activities in three series, available on its website and/or in paper format:

The Security & Strategy review publishes the studies related to security and defence that are planned in the Belgian Defence’s annual scientific research programme. The proposed studies are based on the research lines, the developments in the security environment, the provisions of the Belgian Government’s “Strategic Vision for Defence”, the General Staff guidelines and the researchers’ own expertise;

The Focus Paper series publishes the research results that, strictly speaking, do not fall within the scope of the Belgian Defence’s annual scientific research programme. The proposed studies cover ad hoc issues as well as the results of research conducted by trainees at the CSDS;

The e-Notes are articles covering topical issues.

Interdisciplinary platform

The CSDS is also an interdisciplinary platform where experts and persons interested in security and defence can meet and discuss these issues.

In that capacity, the CSDS organises a monthly evening conference and an annual colloquium on subjects related to security and defence. The conferences and colloquia are free and open to the general public. The audience essentially consists of high-ranking officers from Belgian and foreign armed forces, persons active at academic and executive level in the field of security and defence, as well as citizens interested in these issues.

The researchers of the CSDS share the result of their researches with other defence actors, experts from the academic community and citizens, by giving courses, seminaries and conferences among others within the Defence College, during High Studies for Security and Defence sessions or in various universities and institutions. They regularly contribute to specialised and popular reviews in the field of security and defence. The researchers also intervene in the media to offer their expertise and express their point of view on topical issues.

In addition, the CSDS regularly receives trainees who are asked to prepare a research paper on security and defence matters. This gives trainees the opportunity to acquire a professional experience in this area and to publish the results of their research. The information on traineeships and traineeship vacancies is published on our website.

Contact the Study Centre: cesd-scvd@mil.be