International Institute for Strategic Studies
International Institute for Strategic Studies

Founding Year: 1958

Staff: 60


International Institute for Strategic Studies
(1958; London + Bahrain, Singapore, Washington; ~60 staff;

A non-partisan institute to advance a wider understanding of critical 21st-century security issues and their potential resolution.  Its policy themes include climate change and security, Arctic climate change and security, geo-economics, non-proliferation and disarmament, security and development, and transnational threats.  The Institute holds security summits in Singapore and Bahrain for high-level officials. It provides information and analysis, advances understanding, enlarges networks, and influences the adoption of sound policies on security globally.  Heads of state, foreign and defense ministers, high-level diplomats and officials attend IISS security summits for the opportunity to discuss policy in private as well as in public, assisting in greater international understanding and conflict avoidance.

Work Regions:


  • The Shangri-La Dialogue, held in Singapore since 2002, is Asia’s most relevant defense summit and has gained a reputation as the “military Davos.”
  • The younger Manama Dialogue, held in Bahrain since 2004, is becomingly similarly influential in the Middle East.


  • Defence and Military Analysis – Concerned with military and security policies and capabilities; defense spending, procurement and industry; and the impact of new technologies.
  • Non-Proliferation and Nuclear Policy – Brings clarity and original thinking to the public debate on nuclear- and missile-security issues. It supports international efforts to strengthen the non-proliferation regime and deal with the most dangerous nuclear threats.
  • Cyber, Space and Future Conflict – Analyses the military and intelligence application of information and communications technology, from satellites and robotics to artificial intelligence and social media, as well as impending advances such as quantum computing.
  • Conflict, Security and Development – Exploring the drivers and socio-economic implications of conflict and instability, producing analysis of the interplay between international security and global development.
  • Geo-economics, Geo-politics and Strategy – Analyzing the global interplay of economics and geopolitics, in the context of a redistribution of economic power from West to East.


  • Blogs and podcasts
  • Strategic Dossiers – e.g., on nuclear programs, insurgent groups, North Korean security challenges.
  • Strategic Comments – Online analysis of international security and politico-military issues.
  • The Military Balance – The Institute’s annual assessment of the military capabilities and defense economics of 171 countries worldwide.
  • The Military Balance+ Database – An online data base that provides information and analysis for individuals and users in government, the armed forces, the private sector, academia, the media and more.
  • Armed Conflict Database – Provides in-depth data, timelines and reports on conflicts worldwide.
  • Survival: Global Politics and Strategy – A bimonthly journal for analysis and debate of international and strategic affairs.
  • Adelphi Series – An academic research contribution on issues of international security.
    • Strategic Survey: Annual Review of Geopolitics – In-depth analysis of the developing relationships between major powers, charting the significant events and strategic decisions of the previous year.
    • Armed Conflict Survey – An annual publication with in-depth analysis of the political, military and humanitarian dimensions for all major armed conflicts. Provides detailed data on conflict-related fatalities, refugees and internally displaced people.

Leadership: John Chipman (Director-Genera and, Chief Executive)
Budget: Airbus, BAE Systems, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Taylor and Francis all contributed in excess of $125K to IISS in 2018. It is asserted and not denied that IISS received over $30M from the Bahraini royal family in 2016 and rumored that over 50% of the Institute’s family comes from Bahraini sources.

International Institute for Strategic Studies contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals

  • 1. No Poverty

    Calls for an end to poverty globally by 2030 and promotes increased access to basic services and social protection.

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  • 2. Zero Hunger
    Aims to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
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  • 3. Good Health and Well Being
    Aims to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, by reducing mortality rates and increasing access to equitable health care for men and women.
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  • 4. Quality Education
    Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
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  • 5. Gender Equality
    Aims to end gender discrimination in all forms and promote equal opportunity for all women and girls in terms of education, career, and sexual/reproductive rights.
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  • 6. Clean Water and Sanitisation
    Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by promoting global access to adequate sanitation and hygiene.
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  • 7. Affordable and Clean Energy
    Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by promoting affordable and reliable energy sources.
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  • 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
    Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
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  • 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
    Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.  
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  • 10. Reduced Inequalities
    Aims to achieve economic growth by reducing inequalities regarding social, economic and political opportunities and freedoms.
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  • 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
    Aims to promote the globalization of sustainable cities and communities in turn providing universal safe and affordable housing.
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  • 12. Responsible Consumption and Production
    Aims to create responsible and sustainable practices involving consumption and production through efficiently using natural resources.
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  • 13. Climate Action
    Calls to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts through global awareness, education, and integration into government policies.
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  • 14. Life Below Water
    Calls to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development and prevent and reduce marine pollution in order to protect ecosystems and achieve healthy oceans.
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  • 15. Life on Land
    Aims to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
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  • 16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
    Aims to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. Calls to reduce all forms of violence and deaths related to violence and to end abuse and exploitation
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  • 17. Partnerships for the Goals
    Aims to strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development by mobilizing domestic resources in order to provide support for developing countries.
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