Sven Biscop


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European strategy, European foreign and security policy, European defence


NEW BOOK: Grand Strategy in 10 Words.

A guide to Great Power Politics in the 21st Century.

Forthcoming in June 2021


Prof. Dr. Sven Biscop obtained his degree in Political Science at Ghent University in 1998, winning the best thesis award for his work on European defence. Subsequently awarded the Paul-Henri Spaak PhD scholarship of the Fund for Scientific Research – Flanders, he defended his dissertation in Ghent in 2002, published as Euro-Mediterranean Security: A Search for Partnership (Ashgate, 2003).

Currently Sven is the Director of the Europe in the World Programme at the Egmont – Royal Institute for International Relations in Brussels, which he joined in 2002, and a Professor at Ghent University. His research and teaching focus on the strategies of the European Union, NATO, and their Member States.

Sven regularly lectures for the EU’s European Security and Defence College (ESDC), as well as in various European and American staff colleges, and at the People’s University of China in Beijing, where he is a Senior Research Associate of the Centre for European Studies. Sven also is a Senior Associate Fellow of the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy and of the Baltic Defence College. He is a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (UK) and of the Clausewitz Society (Germany).

Sven chairs the jury of the annual Global Strategy PhD Prize awarded by Egmont and the ESDC. He represents Egmont in the Higher Studies in Security and Defence, a course for security practitioners organized with the Belgian Royal Higher Institute for Defence. With Richard Whitman, Sven co-edits the European Strategy & Security book series for Routledge, and he is a member of the editorial board of the journals European Security (UK) and The International Organisations Research Journal (Russia).

Sven’s latest book is European Strategy in the 21st Century – New Future for Old Power (Routledge, 2019).

Sven Biscop has been honoured with the cross of Officer of the Order of the Crown (Officier de l’Ordre de la Couronne, Belgium, 2020) and the Grand Decoration of Honour (Grosses Ehrenzeichen für Verdienste, Austria, 2017). In 2015, on the occasion of its 10th anniversary, Sven was made an Honorary Fellow of the ESDC.

Born in Willebroek (Belgium) on 10 February 1976, Sven now lives in Brussels with his husband Aberu, amid a great many books, military paraphernalia, and chinoiseries. Unfortunately they travel too often to keep a cat.


Online presentations

-15 Nov. 2020:  Sven Biscop was invited by the College of Europe (Bruges) to give the JEI Annual Lecture. The title of the lecture is "No Peace from Corona: Defining EU Strategy for the 2020s". Watch the video.

-9 July 2020:  Webinar "EU Defence Cooperation after COVID-19", organised by YPFP Brussels.  Discussion with EDA Chief Executive Ji?í Šedivý  and Sven Biscop who gave an academic analysis with regards to future of the EU defence. Read more.

-18 May 2020: Video event  "The Strength of Democracies: The Atlantic Relationship During COVID-19", organised by The Hudson Institute.
View the discussion on what democracies can do to bolster democratic principles and push back against authoritarian attempts to exploit COVID-19 for their illicit advantage. One of the speakers is Sven Biscop.  Read more.

-23 April 2020Wat zal corona veranderen voor de internationale politiek? Bekijk de video van Sven Biscop.
Voor het project Toekomst Talks van de Uitstraling Permanente Vorming (UPV), een door de Vlaamse Gemeenschap gesubsidieerde vorminstelling, reflecteren vooraanstaande wetenschappers en denkers over de vraag hoe wij, de samenleving, de politiek, enzovoort met de ervaring van deze coronacrisis verder moeten. Vandaag: Europakenner Sven Biscop van het Egmontinstituut.

-6 Feb. 2020: Watch the recorded livestream event @nupinytt:  EU’s role in a more instable world – towards a shared Grand Strategy? Discussion with Sven Biscop on how will 2020 turn out for the Union, and what role will it pursue in the future?

-15 May 2019: Watch the recorded livestream @diisdk: The EU as an emerging defence project with Sven Biscop #PESCO

-As part of the 2017 edition of the PONT Career Skills Training, Sven Biscop conducted a class on "how to write a policy brief". Find out more about PONT at:  and watch the video on Youtube.