Katarzyna Zysk

Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies
Phone: 23095922

Katarzyna Zysk is professor of international relations and contemporary history at the  Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies (IFS), which is part of the Norwegian Defence University College (NDUC) in Oslo. At the IFS, she also served as Deputy Director (2017–21), Head of Centre for Security Policy (2019–21) and Director of Research (2017–21). In 2016, she was Acting Dean of the Norwegian Defence University College, where she also teaches regularly. In 2015, she received Chief of the Norwegian Defence University College's Teaching Award. 

In the academic year 2016–17, she was visiting scholar at the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) at Stanford University and subsequently visiting research fellow at the Changing Character of War Centre (CCW) at the University of Oxford. Since 2010, she was research fellow (resident and non-resident) at the Center for Naval Warfare Studies of the US Naval War College (Strategic Research Department), where she also cooperated closely with the War Gaming Department. Currently, she also serves as Governing Board Member of the European Initiative for Security Studies, and member of The Hoover Institution's Arctic Security Initiative and a member of The International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS).

Prof. Zysk has an academic background in international relations and international history. Following her PhD thesis (2006) on NATO enlargement, her research has focused on security, defence, and strategic studies, in particular Russia's military strategy and warfare, security and defense policies, military change, defence innovation and breakthrough technologies, the Russian Navy, in addition to extensive studies of security and geopolitics in the Arctic.

Her published research has appeared in SAIS Review of International Affairs, Journal of Strategic Studies, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Asia Policy, RUSI Journal, Politique Etrangère, International Relations, Jane's Navy International, War on the Rocks, and others, including in books published by Cambridge University Press and Oxford University Press. 

Recent publications:

  • Defence Innovation and the 4th Industrial Revolution: Security Challenges, Emerging Technologies, and National Responses, special issue of Journal of Strategic Studies, including: ”Defence Innovation and the 4th Industrial Revolution in Russia
  • “Predictable Unpredictability? US Arctic Strategy and Ways of Doing Business in the Arctic”,War on the Rocks
  • Russia’s Military Build-Up in the Arctic: To What End? CNA’s Occasional Paper, CNA

Prof. Zysk is a frequent commentator in the media, including interviews in the New York Times, CNN, BBC World Service, Euronews, Foreign Affairs, NPR, Newsweek International, Deutsche Welle, Die Zeit, Le Monde, France Culture, Liberation, Vice News, ABC News, Politico, WNYC Radio, The Voice of America, The Daily Beast, Radio Canada International, Politiken, Belingske, Morgenbladet, Aftenposten, and others, including in documentary movies.

Language competence: fluent in English, Norwegian, Polish, French, and Russian. 


    • Russia, security and defence 
    • contemporary military thought
    • the Russian Navy
    • Arctic geopolitics
    • maritime security
    • NATO and transatlantic relations
    • Northern Europe, security and defence
    • international security
    • military strategy