What are the critical maritime security challenges of the confined Baltic Sea region today and to what extent are they inter-regional? What counter-strategies do key stakeholders employ and what are their security policy implications? What are the risks and prospects for tomorrow?

These questions will be addressed by the panellists of the inaugural symposium of the annual Baltic Sea Strategy Forum series in Vaasa, Finland, co-arranged by Åbo Akademi University (ÅA), Swedish Defence University (SEDU), Institute for Security Policy at Kiel University (ISPK) and Centre for Military Studies (CMS) at the University of Copenhagen. Successive events will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark (2018) and in Kiel, Germany (2019). This symposium series offers opportunities for academics, policy-makers and military representatives to engage in dialogues on the multi-faceted maritime security issues of a region marked by current challenges to the rules-based security order. It aims to shed light on the role of the maritime domain in its current political and military development, broader geopolitical implications, recognising the risks to the interests of states large and small but also the international political system as a whole.

The afternoon symposium is preceded by the public PhD viva voce of Lt Cdr Stefan Lundqvist, orally defending his thesis titled “Continuity and Change in post-Cold War Maritime Security: A Study of the Strategies Pursued by the US, Sweden and Finland 1991–2016” in the presence of Professor Geoffrey Till, King’s College London, UK. The dress code for the symposium and the dinner is uniform / business casual.

For more information about the symposium and the series, please visit


Registration & Welcome Coffee                                        08:45 – 09:45



Public PhD viva voce                                                           10:00 – 12:00

Chair: Dr. Steve Lindberg, Åbo Akademi University

Candidate: Lt Cdr Stefan Lundqvist, Swedish Defence University

Opponent: Professor Geoffrey Till, King’s College London

Refreshments                                                                       12:00 – 12:30

Examination Board Deliberations and Announcement of PhD Grading


Additional Registration Opportunity                              12:00 – 12:30

Networking Lunch                                                                12:30 – 13:30



Welcome Address                                                                 13:30 – 13:40

Professor Mikko Hupa, President, Åbo Akademi University

Introduction                                                                          13:40 – 13:50

Commodore Ewa Skoog Haslum, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Swedish Defence University

Dr. Sebastian Bruns, Institute for Security Policy at Kiel University

Panel                                                                                        13:50 – 15:30

Chair: Lt Col Anders Enström, Swedish Defence University


  • Dr. Sebastian Bruns, Institute for Security Policy at Kiel University: The Baltic Sea and German Maritime Strategy
  • Dr. Gary John Schaub Jr, Centre for Military Studies at the University of Copenhagen: Hybrid Maritime Warfare: Building Baltic Resistance
  • Professor Geoffrey Till, King’s College London, UK: T.B.A.

N.B. the concluding discussion of this panel is held under Chatham House Rules.

Vin d’honneur, Coffee and Networking                          15:30 – 16:30

Registered participants

Press Conference                                                                   16:00 – 16:30

Symposium panellists and organisers

Symposium/Doctoral Dinner                                              19:00 – 22:00

Registered participants



Conference attendees will be required to make their own travel arrangements to and from Vaasa. For more information please click here or use the button Location in the top right corner.


To register for the Baltic Sea Strategy Forum, please click here.