The mission of the Prague Security Studies Institute is to help safeguard and strengthen the individual freedoms and democratic institutions of the countries in Central and Eastern Europe and beyond. The Institute also seeks to illuminate select unconventional threats emanating from authoritarian governments that challenge the transatlantic alliance and other partners globally, especially in the economic & financial and space domains. PSSI is dedicated to the education and training of new generations of security-minded students and young professionals, including through its programmatic activities and growing academic network in the Czech Republic and abroad.
Message from the Chairman and Co-Founder
Since its inception in early 2002, the Prague Security Studies Institute (PSSI) has endeavored to serve as a valued resource in the field of security policy and studies. It is also dedicated to identifying and analyzing a range of security-related challenges facing the post-communist states and allied partners worldwide, with a focus on countering economic and financial hybrid warfare and threats to the space domain.
Capitalizing on Prague’s central location and unique history, the Institute has not only become a training and academic hub for talented young Czech students and professionals, but those of the region as well. Its conferences, workshops and roundtables have been addressing topical, 21st century security issues for nearly two decades and have attracted highly respected and well-known speakers and lecturers from across the globe.
The Institute has also taken advantage of the insights and rich experiences of business-statesmen from the private sector who have not only given of their valuable time, but offered their counsel to our graduating Security Scholars and our Charles University Master's Degree graduates.
To advance its mission, PSSI has established four core programs – our Security Scholars Program, Space Security Program, Economic and Financial Threat Program and Russian and Chinese Influence Program. These programmatic activities have permitted the Institute to:
engage in the security-minded education and training of generations of regional university undergraduate and graduate students (particularly those of Charles University in Prague) under the auspices of its Robinson-Martin Security Scholars Program;
establish and sponsor a Masters Degree program in Security Studies at Charles University to serve as a force-multipier for its indigenous academic courses and attract English-speaking MA candidates from abroad;
become a security policy and academic hub where students can interact with high-level current and former policy practitioners from around the world in small group settings;
institutionalize the James Q. Whitaker Lecture Series within the Faculty of Social Sciences at Charles University;
convene world-class conferences and roundtables, bolstered by our robust research capabilities in our selected fields;
gain exclusive rights to an intelligence software tool called IntelTrak, developed by PSSI principals, that tracks and visually maps all Russian and Chinese transactions globally on a daily basis with data going back 6 years;
partner with NATO over the past 15 years in the convening of a NATO Summer School for highly-qualified graduate students from roughly a dozen countries annually;
establish an affiliate organization in Washington D.C., PSSI Washington in 2006, that is a designated tax-exempt 501(c)(3) – the first of its kind for a Czech security-oriented public policy group;
Sponsor, along with Charles University, two Ph.D. scholarships at the University (one in Economic and Financial Statecraft and the other in Space Security); and
Create a Cyber Security Academy that meets annually to hear from luminaries in this burgeoning field.
As we go forward, we will continue to benefit from the extraordinary backgrounds and skill sets of our distinguished International Advisory Board and Executive Committee members as well as the innovative ideas and recommendations of our many generous supporters and donors. Although our mission is clear, PSSI prides itself in maintaining an open architecture that permits us to address promptly breaking developments in the global security environment and make the necessary programmatic adjustments to do so. We welcome and respect a wide spectrum of views and opinions in the area of security policy, while remaining committed to our underlying philosophy of „Peace through Strength“.
Roger W. Robinson Jr., PSSI Chairman and Co-Founder
The founding of PSSI in February 2002 was the result of some five years of planning and development. In 1998, the National Security Assessments Program (NSAP) was established as an independent program within Civic Institute, one of the Czech Republic’s first non-profit policy groups founded following the Velvet Revolution.
The initial focus of the NSA Program was to enrich the national and regional debates with respect to the security-related dimensions of post-communist governance. Over a two year period, the NSA Program made substantial progress in informing and influencing the largely neglected national security policy agenda of the Czech Republic.
The NSA Program, headed by Petr Vančura and Roger Robinson, convened three annual conferences, each with over 200 participants. The first conference, “NATO and Central European Security in the 21st Century” held in April 1999, was held on the fiftieth anniversary of NATO. The second conference, “A Tenth Anniversary Assessment of Central European Freedoms” in April 2000, was held to commemorate this historical development. The third, “Trans-Atlantic Missile Defense and Security Cooperation” took place in April 2001.
Speakers from eight Western and Central European countries and the U.S. attended each of these annual conferences. Distinguished speakers included former CIA Director, Hon. James Woolsey; former U.S. National Security Advisor, Hon. Richard Allen; U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic, John Shattuck; Hon. Richard Perle; prominent Soviet dissident, Vladimir Bukovsky; former Advisor to the Prime Minister of Poland, Piotr Naimsky; Air Marshal and former Chief of British Defence Intelligence, Sir John Walker; Professor of International Security Studies at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, Dr. Robert Pfaltzgraff, Jr.; German Ambassador Hagen Graf Lambsdorff; Sorbonne Prof. Franćoise Thom; Director of the Institute for Strategic Studies in Bonn, Dr. Holger Mey; Hon. William F. Martin and Hon. Roger W. Robinson, Jr.
In 2000, the NSA Program was spun off from the Civic Institute to create The Bell-Association for Freedom and Democracy. In the succeeding two years, the concept of a security-minded training program for future policy practitioners evolved and led to the founding of the Prague Security Studies Institute with Oldrich Cerny in early 2002.
PSSI in rankings
Each year, the Think Tank and Civil Society Program (TTCSP) at the University of Pennsylvania releases its “Global Go-To Think Tank Index Report“. The Global Go To Think Tank Index is the result of an international survey of over 3,750 scholars, public and private donors, policy-makers, and journalists who helped rank more than 8,100 think tanks using a set of criteria developed by the TTCSP.
In 2018, PSSI has been ranked as #8 in Central and Eastern Europe and Russia.
Below is a summary of PSSI‘s achievements over the past year:
8th “Top Think Tank in Central and Eastern Europe and Russia“
61st among the “Top Foreign Policy and International Affairs Think Tanks“ in the world
63rd among the "Top Defence and National Security Think Tanks" in the world
28th in the category of “Think Tanks to Watch“
60th among “Best Managed Think Tanks“
PSSI would like to express our sincere appreciation to our partners, donors, staff, researchers, alumni and other supporters for their generous time and resources, without which we would not be able to maintain this upward trajectory in the fulfillment of our mission.
Please read the full report here.
Prague Security Studies Institute - Washington
In the fall of 2006, the Prague Security Studies Institute Washington (PSSI Washington) was established in Washington, DC. Its mission is to strengthen U.S. understanding of the security challenges facing Central and Eastern Europe, and other post-communist states. PSSI Washington also seeks to enrich the public policy debate on both sides of the Atlantic with respect to the connectivity between transatlantic security issues and those confronting our allies in the Asia-Pacific region. It is also a leading resource in the expanding fields of space security and economic and financial statecraft. PSSI Washington is committed to helping communicate, explain and predict official U.S. perceptions and policy options with regard to key global flashpoints. It convenes periodic, co-sponsored conferences and roundtables and continues to serve as the first Czech non-governmental security policy organizations to establish a presence in the United States.