About The Security Studies Review

The Security Studies Review offers free notes, insights, and commentary on security related materials - mainly research studies - for our smart and time-pressed readership.

In addition, we occasionally offer original research and analysis articles (and even more rarely, opinion pieces).

Let’s keep this simple, short & clear

There is an overwhelming number of excellent, super interesting, insightful, researches and analysis reports being published by a growing number of parties, such as professional and academic journals, think tanks, governments, et cetera. However, most folks cannot make use of it. Why? Because it requires a lot of time, energy and money. Most people don’t have personal aides, research assistants and ghost-writers working for them. In fact, most can’t even access these studies. The Security Studies Review aims to relieve this problematic situation. The Review fulfills a role one might portray as a ghost-reviewer.

The value we produce = your benefits:

  • You get high quality and reliable reviews

  • You save time, energy & money

  • You enrich your knowledge

  • You increase your productivity

Some more helpful than others, we respect the various initiatives and publications working to bridge the gap between the academia and policy makers & practitioners. These also help make the knowledge accessible to the general public.

Our strategic approach is simple, yet novel. We believe it is key for the leap forward needed to overcome common “bridging the gap” issues. For instance, we’ll read the lengthy documents (time); we’ll penetrate the jargon-rich papers, preparing comprehensible articles (energy); & we’ll pierce through the paywalls* (money).

Our readership audience:

  • Members of the academic community (e.g. scholars, students);

  • Experts and practitioners (e.g. think tanks personnel, security forces personnel, OSINT researchers, journalists); and

  • Any other members of the general public interested in security.

Supporting is easy:

  • Subscribe and help spread the word:
    Recommend to your friends and colleagues, forward e-mails, share on social media, etc., and following our social media accounts also helps!
    ***Warning: Following through social media without subscribing almost certainly means you’d miss out on new articles because of these platforms’ endless stream of noise. It’s a rookies’ mistake.



  • Contribute reviews:
    We welcome contributions from members of the Security Studies community of practice. Please feel free to send us messages describing your proposals (thereview.editors@gmail.com). We’ll respond in a timely manner.

  • Become a Member:
    Frankly, this option exists for our readership to express support and minimize our expenses (loses) because we truly don’t expect to make any profit out of this initiative. Any potential profit would help us improve the Review. It could also be shared among the fellows involved in the production of the Review (this includes, of course, cases of external contributors such as PhD students).

Our Principles & Standards

Our review articles are first and foremost reviews. Readers must understand that the review itself is at the center of the stage and must come at the expense of the summary. This is of particular importance due to copyright laws, which we certainly have no intention of violating. The notes and commentary are of the contributing reviewer, and these parts must be written in good faith and fairness. These parts are clearly apparent within the texts so as to ensure readers effortlessly discern between the original (paraphrased) text and the reviewers’ additional input. That is, regardless if noting compliments or criticism. Still, particularly for the latter, emphasis is put on comments written in professional and respectful manner.

We expect disagreements within our readership, especially as our audience is composed of intelligent, independent, and critical thinkers. We expect all discussions to be carried out in a polite, respectful, and professional fashion.

Please do not hesitate to contact us at thereview.editors {at} gmail.com if you see a deviation from these principles and standards. We’ll be right on it.

Finally, it is never redundant to state that we respect all copyrights and other rights of the owners of the sources mentioned within the Security Studies Review. In any case that a mistake might have happened, any mistake whatsoever, please contact us as fast as possible at thereview.editors {at} gmail.com so we would be able to fix the problem.

Overall style of the review articles:

  1. We cannot provide the abstracts’ text due to potential issues of copyright law violations. We encourage readers to click the link and read the original abstracts on the website of the publications’ websites. But here, the “Gist”/top part of each newsletter presents the essence for our readers to consider if they are interested in reading the entire review article.

  2. We’ll always clearly declare if any other section within the body of the original publication (i.e. excluding introduction and conclusion) was not reviewed. The range and scope, in terms of page numbers, paragraphs, articles, etc., will be clearly noted to alert the readers of the gap in the review.

  3. We’ll always clearly declare if the contributing-reviewer searched to extract specific information and insights from the text. After all, the perspective of the contributing-reviewer is likely to influence the final product (i.e. the review). We sure will use our best judgement and avoid extreme cases because our end goal is that the review pieces will be useful for you, our readers.
    To illustrate, consider an article which examines the effectiveness of a certain state-policy in three case studies – one in Latin America, one in Africa, and another in the Middle East. Now say that the contributing-reviewer was only interested in the study as a whole and the case study in Africa, not the rest. In that case, the review as appearing in the Security Studies Review includes the summary as explained in points 1-2 as well as declare the parts not reviewed (point 2) and clearly state the contributing-reviewer’s focus was on the piece as a whole and the African case study, not the Latin American and Middle Eastern ones. Such a situation may also refer to a contributing-reviewer specifically inspecting, say, a counterinsurgency policy research article with, say, a law/legal perspective in mind.

Our pace of operations (updates):

  • Minimum: one new review per month.

  • Maximum: one new review per week.

  • However, please note that we don’t commit ourselves to any specific pace of updates. It all depends what happens in our personal and professional lives. It might also be influenced by others’ willingness to submit contributions, & so on.

*—Note #1: This is not meant to suggest we take illegal actions. Quite the opposite. We are law abiding citizens. We have a lot of respect to the researchers, authors and whoever else has copyrights over the security studies which we review. We do notpierce through the paywalls” through abuse, trickery, or so.
Importantly, we attempt to obtain copyrights permissions for the review articles in order to be on the safe side – avoiding unpleasantries – although the law acknowledges such permission is not always required. This is particularly the case as we write reviews.
However, it’s not only a matter of good terms and friendly human conduct; with the copyrights-owners’ consent, the review article can be far richer. If permission is withheld, the review might become thinner, touching the text merely where relevant and required in order to make our comments. This is done on a case to case basis. The more comments and input we have, the more comprehensive the review is – the notes as well as the commentary.
Additionally, in cases where/when publishing companies might be reluctant to cooperate, we strive to obtain copies and copyrights permissions from the research-authors for the manuscript drafts prior to the stage they have forfeited their copyrights to the publishing companies (sadly, a common practice in academic publishing). It is suboptimal, however.

Subscribe to Security Studies Review

The Security Studies Review offers free insights and commentary on security issues - mainly research studies - for our smart and time-pressed readership.


Shahaf Rabi

Researcher, Data Analyst | Former Director, Israeli Center for the Study of Targeted Killing, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth