Institute of International and Civil Security

Institute of International and Civil Security

Security is the insurance policy of the nation. It is a responsibility that we all must share. The MA in International and Civil Security program at Al Ghurair University will prepare you to be a leader in this field.

The 21st century combines the promise of great progress with the resurgence of old dangers and the emergence of new ones. Those dangers include terrorism, warfare, weapons of mass destruction, and natural disasters. Some of these dangers are rooted in technology, others in society, and still others in nature itself. Attaining the strategic vision of the UAE will require deep understanding of those threats, and the knowledge and skills to address them.

This unique Master’s Program is being offered by Al Ghurair University’s Institute of International and Civil Security. The Institutes’ mission is to become a leading academic center for supporting research, teaching and policy analysis in the field of security studies. In addition to what takes places inside the classroom, the institute hosts speakers, workshops, events, and works with other institutions- within government, academia, and the private sector - to advance security research, education, training, and policy-making.

Our students come from a variety of backgrounds and are professionals working on their graduate qualification part-time in order to specialise in civil and regional security fields. They work at a range of government agencies, including the police force, military, and government ministries. 

Contact Us

Institute of International & Civil Security

Room: 213, F Building, Al Ghurair University
Dubai, U.A.E


M.A in International & Civil Security

An MA in the Institute’s International and Civil Security Program has been designed to:

  • To provide current and future security professionals with sophisticated knowledge of the UAE, regional and global security environment.
  • To provide current and future security, diplomatic and intelligence professionals with the skills to produce, analyze and implement security-related research and policy.
  • To apply higher education and research towards enhancing UAE, regional, and international security.

Knowledge Outcomes

Our graduates will demonstrate and employ:

  • A sophisticated knowledge of the international, national, and regional security environment.
  • The Institute’s graduates will also possess a firm theoretical, historical, political and cultural foundation upon which to construct and analyze nuanced, implementable and sound policies in relation to conflict, natural or manmade disasters, civil security and foreign relations.
  • Sophisticated knowledge of natural and human caused threats to international, national, regional, and civil security.
  • An understanding of the relationships between and within the different levels of government and the private sector relative to international, national, regional and civil security.
  • Sophisticated knowledge of offensive and defensive technologies relevant to international, national, regional, and civil security.

Skill Outcomes

Our graduates will have demonstrated:

  • The quantitative and qualitative research and analysis skills needed to contribute to the security field as practitioners, researchers, policymakers and educators.
  • The written and verbal skills needed to effectively communicate within the field of international and civil security.
  • The organizational skills needed to contribute to the security field as practitioners, researchers and educators.
  • The skills to apply appropriate technologies to support national, international, and civil security.


Prof. Joel Hayward


Dr. Ashley Rossiter

Assistant Professor

Dr. Athol Yates

Assistant Professor

Dr. Brendon Cannon

Assistant Professor

The Institute of International and Civil Security (IICS) comprises a number of scholars whose publications and research relate directly to our MA program and civil and international security-related issues. They include works utilizing a variety of historical, political science, sociological and economic methods and methodologies.

British Records research from the Trucial States period
Researcher: Dr. Athol Yates

This project involves researching natural and technological disasters that occurred from the 1820s to the 1960s in the area (British Trucial States) that would eventually become the UAE. The research involves a systematic review of British Records held at the National Center for Documentation & Research in Dubai.
Dr. Yates's research was recently profiled in The National newspaper

The City of Mosul in Post-Saddam Iraq
Researcher: Dr. Ash Rossiter

This research project has two objectives. Firstly, it aims to show the significant influence Iraq’s second largest city has had on events in Iraq since 2003. Secondly, it demonstrates how local political dynamics can help to explain current developments in Mosul and can assist us to anticipate this vital city’s future trajectory.

Why al-Shabaab Attacks Kenya: Questioning the Narrative Paradigm
Researcher: Dr. Brendon Cannon

This article questions the current narrative paradigm and argues that al-Shabaab attacks Kenya for strategic and highly rational reasons, beyond sharing a border and having bases in southern Somalia closer to major population centers than Ethiopia or Uganda. Al-Shabaab targets Kenya more than other frontline states because of the opportunity spaces linked to Kenya’s international status and visibility, its relatively free and independent media that widely publicizes terrorist attacks, highly-developed and lucrative tourist sector that provides soft targets, the comparatively high number of Kenyan foreign fighters within the group’s ranks, the presence of terror cells in Kenya, expanding democratic space, and high-levels of corruption. These variables play into al-Shabaab’s motivations and aid planning and execution of terrorist acts that aim to fulfil the group’s quest to survive by maintaining relevance.
** This article has been accepted for publication in Terrorism and Political Violence and was co-authored with Dominic R. Pkalya at Kisii University, Nairobi, Kenya.

UAE national security development
Researcher: Dr. Athol Yates

This project involves examining the modernization of UAE security organisations and processes. This includes examining the drivers for reform, the adaption of international best practice, and the success of reforms. His work focuses on the following:

• UAE security forces including (1) Dubai Police (1956–), (2) Dubai Police (1957-), (3) Northern Emirates Police Services, (4) Dubai Defence Force (1965–76), (5) Ras al-Khaimah Mobile Force (1969–96), (6) Dubai Defence Force (1971–96), (7) Sharjah National Guard (1972–76), (8) Umm Al Quwain National Guard, (9) Union Defence Force (1971–76), (10) UAE Armed Forces (1976-).

• National security machinery of government
• National security policy making
• Civil security organisations, arrangements and policies
• UAE disaster management arrangements

One aspect of Dr. Yates's research was profiled in The National newspaper

The Saudi-Yemen Border: Transition from Boundary to Frontline
Researcher: Dr. Ash Rossiter

Traditionally, the Saudi-Yemen border has operated more as a theoretical boundary than as a barrier enforcing the division of territory and peoples. This research explores the implications from Saudi Arabia’s reconceptualization of the boundary in security terms. At various times since 2003, Riyadh has set about constructing walls and fencing on the border in attempt to disrupt relatively unhindered movement of goods and people. In recent years, the conflict in Yemen, following Saudi military intervention, has transformed the border into a frontline.

The Political Economy of Terrorism-Related Travel Advisories
Researcher: Dr. Brendon Cannon

Tourism, travel and global geopolitics have become interconnected in mapping global ‘risk’ and threats to security through the mechanism of travel advisories issued by various states. This article aims to explore the political economy of terrorism-related travel advisories, particularly as they adversely affect travel, tourism and research activities. The mechanisms behind this will be defined and deconstructed using a comparative approach with a focus on Islamist terrorist incidents and targets as well as the travel advisories issued (or not issued) for Kenya, Turkey and France.

Catastrophes, Crashes and Crimes in the UAE: Newspaper articles of the 1970s
Researcher: Dr. Athol Yates

Like any country, the United Arab Emirates have had their share of criminals, accidents, natural disasters and downright weird incidents. Most of these events merit a few pages in the newspapers before disappearing from history. Dr. Yates is the editor of this book, which brings the tragic, strange and illuminating stories from the 1970s back to life in a compilation of 168 of the best, drawn from past UAE newspapers - UAE News, Emirates News, Dubai News and the Gulf Weekly Mirror. The common theme of the articles are that they have all had an impact on safety, security and stability of the UAE. They cover a vast range of topics, from smuggling deaths to murders, from assassinations to plane hijackings, and from mermaid hoaxes to UFO sightings. Together, they provide a fascinating glimpse into the past, and many of the stories still resonate today.

Terrorists, Geopolitics and Kenya’s Proposed Border Wall with Somalia
Researcher: Dr. Brendon Cannon

Published in the Journal of Terrorism Research (2022), this article tests the hypothesis that addressing border security may be a plausible approach for states that suffer from terrorism. Kenya’s border wall is to keep al-Shabaab terrorists out of Kenya. Utilizing a comparative approach, the efficacy of border walls, particularly Kenya’s wall with Somalia is explored. Findings show that walls rarely accomplish stated goals and have unintended consequences. In Kenya’s case, it may reignite border disputes and separate communities. The success of Kenya’s border wall is low given the high levels of corruption and the fact that walls have been demonstrated to only be as good as the people who guard them.

Deconstructing Turkey’s Efforts in Somalia
Researcher: Dr. Brendon Cannon

Selected for publication in Bildhaan: The International Journal of Somali Studies, this article explores the Republic of Turkey’s much-lauded diplomatic and development efforts in Somalia in an effort to deconstruct the reasoning and rationale behind it. This article is among the first to answer key questions regarding the causes and conditions that led to Turkey's involvement in Somalia and gauges Turkey's successes and failures there. It also looks at long-term prospects for both Turkey and Somalia and explores the security conundrums faced by Turkey, Somalia and other regional and international actors in regards to Turkey’s forays.

Academic Books and Monographs

  • 2012 Warfare in the Qur’an (Amman: Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre / Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought, 2012).
  • 2012 Editor, Air Power and the Environment: The Ecological Consequences of Modern Air Warfare (Montgomery, Alabama: Air University Press, 2012).
  • 2009 Editor, Air Power, Insurgency and the “War on Terror” (Royal Air Force Centre for Air Power Studies, 2009).
  • 2003 For Godand Glory: Lord Nelson and His Way of War (US Naval Institute Press, 2003).
  • 2003 Co-Author, Born to Lead: Portraits of New Zealand Commanders (with Glyn Harper: Exisle Press, 2003).
  • 2000 Adolf Hitler and Joint Warfare (Wellington: Military Studies Institute, 2000).
  • 2000 A Joint Future? The Move to Jointness and its Implications for the New Zealand Defence Force (Wellington: Centre for Defence Studies, 2000).
  • 1998 Stopped at Stalingrad: The Luftwaffe and Hitler's Defeat in the East 1942-1943 (University Press of Kansas, 1998 and other editions).
    Books in Progress (with signed contracts)
  • 2013/2014 An EcologicalHistory of War: The Environmental Consequences of Warfare from Antiquity to the Present (Cambridge University Press, 2013/2014).
  • 2013 Prophet and Warrior: The Conduct and Justice of Muhammad’s Military Campaigns (Markfield: AGUbe Publishers, 2013).

Key book chapters and Peer-reviewed Articles

  • 2013 “Warfare in the Qur’an” in HRH Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad, Ibrahim Kalin and Mohammad Hashim Kamali, editors, War and Peace in Islam: The Uses and Abuses of Jihad (Amman: Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre / Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought, 2013), pp. 28-56.
  • 2011 "Qur’anic Concepts of the Ethics of War: Challenging the Claims of Islamic Aggressiveness", Cordoba Foundation Occasional Paper (Series 2, April 2011).
  • 2011 "Reflections on the Maxwell ‘Revolution’: John Warden and Reforms in Professional Military Education” [with Dr Tamir Libel], Air Power Review, Vol. 4, No. 1 (Spring 2011), pp. 11-33.
  • 2010 "The Qur’an and War: Observations on Islamic Just War”, Air Power Review, Vol. 13, No. 3 (2010), pp. 41-63.
  • 2010 "Air Power, Ethics and Civilian Immunity during the Great War and its Aftermath”, Global War Studies, Vol. 7, No. 7 (2010), pp. 102-130.
  • 2010 “Adding Brain to Brawn: The School of Advanced Air and Space Studies and its Impact on Air Power Thinking” [with Dr Tamir Libel], Air Power Review, Vol. 13, No. 2 (Summer 2010), pp. 69-80.
  • 2010 "Demasiado Poco, Demasiado Tarde: Un Análisis del Fracaso de Hitler en Agos-to de 1942 de Dañar la Producción Petrolífera Soviética." Traducido por Francisco Medina Portillo (Edciones De La Guerra, 2010), pp. 1-19.
  • 2009 "Air Power: The Quest to remove Battle from War," in Ashgate Research Companion to Modern Warfare, ed. by George Kassimeris and John Buckley, (Ashgate, 2009), pp. 49-72.
  • 2009 "Air Power and the Environment: The Ecological Implications of Modern Air Warfare", Air Power Review, Vol. 12, No. 3 (2009), pp. 15-41.
  • 2008 "The Luftwaffe and Agility," in N. Parton, ed., Air Power: The Agile Air Force(Royal Air Force Centre for Air Power Studies, 2008), pp. 40-49.
  • 2002 "Current and Future Command Challenges for New Zealand Defence Force Personnel", Australian Defence Force Journal, No. 155 (July/August 2002), pp. 39-45.
  • 2002 “Prayers Before Battle: The Spiritual Utterances of Three Great Commanders", The [U.S.] Army Chaplaincy, Winter-Spring 2002, pp. 32-40.
  • 2001 "Horatio Lord Nelson's Warfighting Style and the Maneuver Warfare Paradigm", Defence Studies, Vol. 1, No. 2 (Summer 2001), pp. 15-37.
  • 2001 “Adolf Hitler 1889-1945: German Dictator and War Leader”, in Charles Messenger, ed., Reader’s Guide to Military History (London: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2001), pp. 229-233.
  • 2000 "Too Little, Too Late: An Analysis of Hitler's Failure in August 1942 to Damage Soviet Oil Production", The Journal of Military History, Vol. 64, No. 3 (July 2000), pp. 769-794.
  • 2007 Republished in Jeremy Black, ed., The Second World War, Volume I: The German War 1939–1942 (London: Ashgate, 2007), pp. 511–536.
  • 2000 “Leonard Henry Trent”, Vol. 5, The Dictionary of New Zealand Biography (Auckland University Press, 2000), pp. 515-526.
  • 1999 "A Case Study in Early Joint Warfare: An Analysis of the Wehrmacht's Crimean Campaign of 1942", The Journal of Strategic Studies, Vol. 22, No. 4 (December 1999), pp. 103-130. ― Republished in Jeremy Black, ed., The Second World War, Volume I, pp. 483–510.
  • 1999 “Eine Fallstudie früher integrierter Kriegführung: Eine Analyse des Krimfeldzuges der Wehrmacht im Jahre 1942”, Vierteljahreshefte für Geschichtsforschung, 3. Jahrgangs. Heft 1 (März 1999), pp. 21-37.
  • 1999 "NATO's Air War in the Balkans: A Preliminary Analysis", New Zealand Army Journal, No. 21 (July 1999), pp. 1-17.
  • 1999 “Adolf Eichmann” and “Simon Wiesenthal” (articles), in John Sandford, ed., The Routledge Encyclopedia of Contemporary German Culture (Routledge, 1999).
  • 1998 "A Case Study in Effective Command: An Analysis of Field Marshal Richthofen's Character and Career", New Zealand Army Journal, No. 18 (January 1998), pp. 7-18.
  • 1997 "The German Use of Airpower at Kharkov, May 1942", Air Power History, Vol. 44, No. 2 (Summer 1997), pp.18-29.
  • 1997 "Stalingrad: An Examination of Hitler's Decision to Airlift", Airpower Journal, Vol. 11, No. 1 (Spring 1997), pp. 21-37.
  • 1997 “Von Richthofen's 'Giant Fire-Magic': The Luftwaffe's Contribution to the Battle of Kerch, 1942”, The Journal of Slavic Military Studies, Vol. 10, No.2 (June 1997), pp. 97-124.
  • 1995 "Hitler's Quest for Oil: The Impact of Economic Considerations on Military Strategy, 1941-1942", The Journal of Strategic Studies, Vol. 18, No. 4 (December 1995), pp. 94-135. ― Republished in Jeremy Black, ed., The Second World War, Volume I, pp. 441–482.
  • 1991 Holocaust Revisionism in New Zealand: The 'Thinking-man's Anti-Semitism?'", Without Prejudice: The Journal of the Australian Institute of Jewish Affairs, No. 4 (December 1991), pp. 38-49.


  • 2012 Splitting the Moon: A Book of Islamic Poetry (Markfield: AGUbe, 2012).
  • 2003 Jenny Green Teeth and Other Short Stories (Palmerston North: Totem Press, 2003).
  • 2003 Lifeblood: A Book of Poems (Palmerston North: Totem Press, 2003).

Recent Key Conference Speeches (representative selection)

  • 2012 "Islam, War and Peace" at Faizan-e-Madina Masjid, 8 November 2012.
  • 2012 "Prophet Muhammad's Campaigns in the Light of Modern Military Ethics", Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge, 2 November 2012.
  • 2012 "The Compatibility of Western and Islamic Values", Eighth Annual SACRE Lecture, 19 September 2012.
  • 2012 “The Islamic Ummah and its Importance to International Relations”, University of Nottingham Ningbo, China, 19 June 2012.
  • 2011 "Islam, Radicalisation and Terrorism", at the "Tackling Extremism Promoting Peace and Integration" Conference, Northampton Academy, 24 July 2011.
  • 2011 "Western and Islamic Values: Why Do They Current Seem to Differ?", Karimia Islamic Camp, Karimia Institute, Hollowford Centre, 23 July 2011.
  • 2011 “The Challenges for Muslims in a British Military Context", Markfield Institute of Higher Education, 18 May 2011.
  • 2011 "You Can be British and Muslim”, Staffordshire Muslim Youth Council Conference, Staffordshire University, 7 May 2011.
  • 2012 “Qur'anic concepts of justice and war,” York St John University, 17 February 2012.
  • 2010 “Islam, War and Peace,” an Eid lecture to the Armed Forces Muslim Association, 17 December 2010.
  • 2010 “War and Ethics: The Compatibility of ‘Western’ and Islamic Thought,” A Keynote Paper presented at the Global Peace and Unity Conference, ExCel London, 23 October 2010.
  • 2010 “Interdiction and Close Air Support: A Complex Relationship,” A Paper at the Air-Land Integration and Joint Fire Support Conference, London, 20-21 May, 2010.
    2010 “Ethics: The Use of Air Power and the Dangers of its Misapplication,” A Paper at the Air Power Middle East 2010 Conference, Muscat, Oman, 28-29 April 2010.
  • 2010 "Domestic Security, Air Forces and Commercial Air Lines,” A Paper at the Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Public Private Partnerships (PPP) for Infrastructure Development 2010 in conjunction with the Infrastructure Asia 2010 Conference and Exhibition, Jakarta, Indonesia, 16 April 2010.
  • 2010 “Air Power: Emerging Concepts, Habits and Effects,” Mubarak Al Abdullah Joint Command and Staff College, AGUwait City, AGUwait, 19 January 2010.
  • 2009 “UAVs and UCAVs: Legal and Ethical Dimensions,” A Paper presented at Defence-IQ’s Unmanned Combat Air Vehicles Conference, London, 23 June 2009.
  • 2009 "Air Power and Ecology: Destroying Enemies but not the Environment," Keynote Paper presented at the 2009 Air Power Asia conference, Singapore, 13 May 2009.
  • 2008 "Air-Land Integration: Some Thoughts on Its Evolution," Keynote Paper presented at the ALI Conference, Royal Danish Air Force, Copenhagen, 21 April 2008.
  • 2008 "Academics and professional military education," Keynote Paper presented at the 2008 Conference of the Council of Military Education Committees of the Universities of the United Kingdom (COMEC), 11 September 2008.
  • 2008 "Coercion, Effects and Ethics," Keynote Paper presented at the Typhoon IPT Conference, Coningsby, 8 April 2008.
  • 2008 "Imbedded Academics" a Paper presented at the Force Development Annual Symposium, 19 March 2008.
  • 2007 "Integrated versus Independent Air Power: A Challenge for the Future," a Paper presented at the NATO Air Command, Ramstein, Germany, 21 November 2007.
  • 2007 "Air Power and Ethics," a Course taught at the Luftkrigsskolen, Trondheim, Norway October 2007.

Dr Rossiter is currently completing a monograph of his PhD thesis for publication, which analyses the origins and evolution of the security forces of the Arab Gulf states. In addition to authoring numerous briefing papers for private and public sector audiences, Dr Rossiter has recently published articles in the Naval Review and Liwa (the journal of the UAE National Archives) and is preparing several articles for submission.

Forthcoming publications: 

  • “Contracted Foreign Advisors in the Dubai Police Force: Explaining Their Enduring Presence from 2002 to 2015.” Police Advising and Militarization (Donald Stoker and Edward B. Westermann, eds) Abingdon, UK: Helion & Co., 2022.
  • “Explaining five decades of embedded western expatriates in the Armed Forces of the Emirates from 1965 to 2015.” Journal of Arabian Studies. (2022) December

Selected publications: 

  • Cannon, Brendon J. (2022). Legislating Reality and Politicizing History: Contextualizing Armenian Claims of Genocide. Offenbach am Main: Manzara Verlag ISNB 978-3-939795-67-4 (German and Turkish-language versions: est. mid-2022)
  • Cannon, Brendon J. (2022). Terrorists, Geopolitics and Kenya’s Proposed Border Wall with Somalia. Journal of Terrorism Research. 7(2), pp. 23–37. DOI:
  • Cannon, Brendon J. (May 2022). Turkey in Kenya and Kenya in Turkey: Alternatives in Diplomacy, Trade and Education to China and the West. African Journal of Political Science and International Relations. Vol. 10(5), pp. 56-65. DOI: 10.5897/AJPSIR2015.0861. ISSN: 1996-0832
  • Cannon, Brendon J. (2022). Deconstructing Turkey’s Efforts in Somalia. Bildhaan: The International Journal of Somali Studies.
  • Cannon, Brendon J. and Pkalya, Dominic R. Why al-Shabaab Attacks Kenya: Questioning the Narrative Paradigm. Terrorism and Political Violence (Accepted for publication: 2022)
  • Cannon, Brendon J. Politicizing History and Legislating Reality: History, Memory and Identity as Explanations for Armenian Claims of Genocide. Ph.D. diss., Salt Lake City, UT: Department of Political Science-University of Utah, 2009.
  • Cannon, Brendon J. “Uzbekistan” in Stearns, Peter N. Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World: 1750 to the Present. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.
  • Cannon, Brendon J. Nationalization of Society and Economy in Turkey: Historical Roots and the Case of the Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association. M.A. Thesis, Salt Lake City, UT: Department of Language and Literature-University of Utah, 2002.