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

  Organization Type

  Geographic Foci


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