Strategic Analyses for Supporting Governmental Decision-making in the Field of Foreign and Security Policy

General background

The National University of Public Service has been granted multi-annual research funds from the European Union through the government of Hungary for the purposes of developing good governance practices, adopting best practices in this field, and improving the training, education and work of those employed in the public sector. Two main fields are to be targeted within this wide framework: KÖFOP-2.1.1. on developing public service institutions, training, education and services, and KÖFOP-2.1.2. on improving international embeddedness and developing research programs. Research grants are available to NUPS’ established research centers, research groups on specific topics and individual faculty members of NUPS for advancing skills, aiding research and supporting academic qualifications.

Within the KÖFOP-2.1.2-VEKOP-15–2016-00001 ‘Public Service Development Establishing Good Governance’ project funding framework the Center for Strategic and Defense Studies applied for funding from NUPS in an overarching research project ‘Strategic Analyses for Supporting Governmental Decision-making in the Field of Foreign and Security Policy’.

The Center for Strategic and Defense Studies (CSDS) of the National University of Public Service (NUPS) realizes the international EU-funded research project “Strategic Analyses for Supporting Governmental Decision-making in the Field of Foreign and Security Policy” within the KÖFOP-2.1.2-VEKOP-15–2016-00001 „Public Service Development Establishing Good Governance” project funding framework in the timeframe October 2016 – September 2018.


The project is made up of 8 pillars, each focusing on a key area of interest for Hungary, overseen by the director of CSDS, Dr. Péter Tálas. Three methodological pillars aim at gaining access to best practices and lessons learnt in the fields of Strategic foresight (1), Strategic guidance and planning (2) and Analytical methodology (3), while five pillars focus on geographical regions, in order to improve our understanding of drivers, trends and processes that govern foreign and security policies in Central Europe (4), the Balkans (5), the Post-Soviet region (6), Africa (7) and the Far East (8). Scholarly work within the pillars will be directed and coordinated by policy field coordinators affiliated with CSDS.

Research carried out within each pillar include analytical, methodological and comparative study volumes, policy papers, journal articles both in Hungarian and in English, as well as a series of scientific workshops, seminars and conferences.

The "Strategic Analyses for Supporting Governmental Decision-making in the Field of Foreign and Security Policy" project is built on six pillars.

1. ’Strategic Guidance and Planning' 

The aim of the research of the ’Strategic Guidance and Planning’ pillar is to identify the strengths and deficiencies of the strategic guidance and planning practices of the Hungarian foreign and security policy community. Accordingly, the research provides a comprehensive analysis about the contemporary developments of this field applying the most recent academic results and empirical observations in strategic public management.

During the research project we review the international academic literature and analyse the most relevent practical experiences concerning strategic public management. We compare them with the experiences regarding the strategic and guidance system of the Hungarian public administration in general and the practices of the Hungarian foreign and security policy in partucilar through original research supported by expert seminars.

2. Central-Europe

The central project of the Central European pillar is the creation of comparative studies on 10 policy fields in 10 East Central European countries written by subject-matter experts of the region.The 10 studied and analyzed policy fields are: Security perception; Economic integration and interdependence; Defense policy role in NATO & EU; Demography and migration; Foreign & security policy institutions and decision-making; Regional cooperation; Relations with the United States; Relations with Russia; Relations with Germany and Relations with China. The 10 countries are: Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine.

The regional embeddedness is the project is supported by the Central European Perspectives Workshop Series organized by CSDS since 2013. These expert workshops and seminars, organized twice a year in the Spring and Autumn academic semesters, offer a meeting point for practitioners and analysts of foreign, security and defense policy issues, both on a national and regional basis. The added value of these events is their fundamental comparative nature, as participants always discuss a central current security policy topic of their shared interest, having regional implications for Central Europe or even beyond.

In addition, recognized Hungarian experts will evaluate the relations of great powers to Hungary, Central Europe, the Balkans and the V4.

3. Balkans

The Balkans research sub-project has a dual goal: it aims at describing the political processes in countries of the Balkans and revealing the history of the Republic of Turkey and the country’s relations with the Balkans and Central Europe. The Balkans sub-project is supervised by two researchers of the Centre for Strategic and Defence Studies: Zoltán Egeresi ( and Nikolett Pénzváltó ( The sub-project will produce for volumes until the end of 2018:

1)      Republic of Turkey in the history: the monograph’s goal to describe the history of Republic of Turkey between 1923 and 2017,

2)      Turkish-Hungarian relations: the paper summarizes the history of relation of Turkey and Hungary after 1989 until present time;

3)      Relation of Turkey with the Balkans, Central Europe and V4: the paper shows Turkey’s relations with our region in the post-bipolar era;

4)      Political History of Balkans (1989-2018): the volume’s aim is to reveal the main patterns in the political development of the Balkan countries after the regime changes.

In spring 2018, an international conference will be held in the framework of the project which serves as a tool for disseminating of the research findings and enlarging the NUPS’s international relations.

4. Post-Soviet Space

This pillar of the KÖFOP project studies the post-Soviet space mainly from the perspective of security policy, by focusing on the actual processes and on their effects on Hungary. The need for this research originates from the fundamental changes that have taken place in the European security system since 2014, thus since the eruption of the crisis in Ukraine. These changes affect not only the security of Hungary, but also the activities Budapest needs to conduct in EU and NATO frameworks. Hence, thorough and systematic analysis of the processes that led to these changes, as well as of the subsequent trends induced by them is highly necessary.

Therefore, in the framework of this pillar six major analytical studies will be prepared, each in the length of approximately 120.000 characters. These papers will analyze those trends and developments of Russia’s foreign, security and defense policy, which are the most relevant for Hungary. Studied topics will include the analysis of Hungarian-Russian relations, as well as Russia’s foreign and security policy towards the Balkans, Central-Europe, the post-Soviet region, as well as towards Northern Europe. Besides, researchers will conduct a study trip to Moscow in the first half of 2018. In addition to all these, project participants are going use and present the acquired knowledge in several public and also non-public events, such as expert conferences and trainings held for employees of Hungarian state organs (including the Hungarian Defense Forces).

5. Africa

Nowadays the importance of the African continent has been increasing. This trend has not avoided the attention of the Hungarian government, and led to such initiatives as the policy of Southern Opening and the re-establishment of the autonomous Africa Department in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. To support this process, it is a must that the public servants get better understanding on the continent and to refresh their – sometimes decade-old, obsolete – perceptions and knowledge about Africa. The aim of the Africa research team is to develop materials which can be used both in the public administration, the trainings and teaching, and make easier for public servants and students to receive adequate information in the different Africa-related topics.

Therefore, the main productsof the team would be the book titled Hungary and Africa 2017-2025, which will contained analyses and country studies which examine the relations of Hungary and the continent.

6. Asia

The goal of the subproject to create a complex and up-to-date picture on the foreign and security policy and long term strategic aspirations of the leading Asian powers, especially the People’s Republic of China, India and Japan. During this, the examined states’ relations with the other power factors of the continent, particularly with the United States of America, receive special attention. Besides, the subproject aims to conduct research on Hungarian relations with Asia too, in order to evaluate the opportunities of Hungarian foreign policy and make it more effective in each countries.

As a result of the subproject, two monographs, two books and one working paper are going to be prepared. The authors of each publication are young, but experienced experts of the actual topics. The two monographs will analyse the security policy of India and Vietnam, while the working paper will deal with Japan’s foreign and security policy in the last decades. First, one of the two books analyses the Asian-Hungarian relations, while the second one looks at the aspirations and opportunities of the United States in relation to the most important Asian countries.