Center for Security Studies (CSS), ETH Zürich

The Center for Security Studies (CSS) at ETH Zurich is a center of competence for Swiss and international security policy. It offers security policy expertise in research, teaching, and consultancy and operates the International Relations and Security Network (ISN). The CSS promotes understanding of security policy challenges as a contribution to a more peaceful world. Its work is independent, practice-relevant, and based on a sound academic footing.

The CSS combines research and policy consultancy and, as such, functions as a bridge between academia and practice. It trains highly qualified junior researchers and serves as a point of contact and information for the interested public. The CSS also operates the ISN as a leading global open-source information platform in the field of international relations and security policy.

Since 2002, Prof. Dr. Andreas Wenger has headed the CSS, which is part of the Department of Humanities, Social, and Political Sciences (D-GESS) at ETH Zurich and was founded in 1986 by Prof. Kurt R. Spillmann. Together with the political science professorships at ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich, it makes up the Center for Comparative and International Studies (CIS). The CSS has maintained a strategic partnership with the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection, and Sports (DDPS) since 2004 and a similar partnership with the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) since 2012.


Haldeneggsteig 4, IFW
CH-8092 Zurich
Phone: ++41 44 632 40 25
Fax: ++41 44 632 19 41

Christian Nünlist is a Senior Researcher at the CSS and Head of the Think Tank Team “Swiss and Euro-Atlantic Security”. He has a PhD in History from the University of Zurich. His research focuses on Swiss foreign and security policy, transatlantic relations, and multilateral diplomacy.

Christian is the co-editor and frequent author of the monthly policy brief “CSS Analyses in Security Policy” (published in German, French, and English) and the annual yearbook “Bulletin zur schweizerischen Sicherheitspolitik” (in German).

His recent publications include Putin’s Russia and Western Security (CSS 2015), EU Foreign Policy: Mogherini Takes Over (CSS 2015), NATO after Wales: Dealing with Russia (CSS 2014), and Perspectives on the Role of the OSCE in the Ukraine Crisis (CSS 2014).

Christian has published several articles and essays on the Swiss OSCE Chairmanship of 2014, including “The Performance of the OSCE Ukraine Mission: A View from Switzerland” (2015), “Summing Up Switzerland’s 2014 Chairmanship of the OSCE” (2014), “OSCE Crisis Management in the Ukraine Crisis” (2014), “Testfall Ukraine-Krise: Das Konfliktmanagement der OSZE unter Schweizer Vorsitz” (2014), “Kidnapping for Ransom and Foreign Fighters: Two New Topics for OSCE Counter Terrorism Efforts” (2014), “Building Bridges for Everyone: Switzerland’s Chairmanship of the OSCE in 2014” (2014), and “Die Schweiz ist eine Mini-OSZE: Perspektiven auf das Schweizer OSZE-Vorsitzjahr 2014 (2013).