The Prague Security Studies Institute (PSSI) has agreed to cover the living expenses stipend for a full-time student of a doctoral programme in International Relations at the Charles University Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of International Relations at the Institute of Political Science Studies. It will be in the field of the “Economic and Financial (E&F) Threat Domain” in the name of Oldřich Černý, the Co-Founder and former Executive Director of PSSI.
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Although economic warfare has been an integral part of warfighting for millennia, its 21st Century iteration is not widely understood and no longer relies on a number of the classic tools and tactics of such warfare, such as sieges, embargoes, the physical destruction of economic infrastructure, and economic sanctions. Instead, the new brand of “hybrid warfare” makes prominent use of activities in the open and legal international trading and financial systems to achieve a number of strategic goals. These range from efforts to compromise the freedom of action of neighboring countries to attempts to project power and influence for a variety of other reasons.. In recent years, it has been the actions of certain Russian and Chinese companies that have come under the most Western scrutiny in this regard.
It is the objective of PSSI to assist Charles University in building a cadre of professional E&F analysts and policy-makers equipped to understand and counter this often subtle and sophisticated form of soft power projection by actual and prospective adversaries. The Institute also seeks to train Ph.D. students to identify, and, if necessary, leverage the rather glaring E&F vulnerabilities of those questionable state actors operating in this domain that the U.S. and its allies created and dominate.
This Ph.D. scholarship is in the name of Oldřich Černý to reflect his exemplary and lasting contribution to achieving, and consolidating, the freedom of the Czech Republic from Soviet oppression, serving, at different times, as the National Security Advisor and Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service under his close friend, then-President Václav Havel. Mr. Černý (known as Olda) began PSSI in February 2002 with his fellow Co-Founder, Roger W. Robinson Jr., former Senior Director of International Economic Affairs at the White House National Security Council under President Ronald Reagan and former Chairman of the Congressional U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission.
Olda Černý lived to celebrate PSSI’s tenth anniversary before passing away in March 2012. He was a visionary, selfless leader who was fervently committed to human rights and individual liberties. Olda strongly believed in the prosecution of intelligent, well-crafted security policies that could defeat the predations of the foes of freedom with minimum loss of life. We believe that advanced study of the E&F Threat Domain, which he understood well, fits this profile.
Additional PSSI Support
Fortunately, PSSI possesses among the foremost capabilities in this category of E&F statecraft in the NGO community through its Economic and Financial Threat Program and open-source software tool called IntelTrak, developed by PSSI’s principals (more information on this tool is available at: www.rwradvisory.com). The Institute would work with the Ph.D. candidate on an ongoing basis to offer guidance and react to research questions and findings.