Zysk, Katarzyna
DepartmentNorwegian Institute for Defence Studies, Centre for security policy
PositionProfessor/Deputy Director/ Head of Centre for Security Policy
Phone+47 23 09 59 22
E-mailkzysk [a] ifs.mil.no

Katarzyna Zysk is professor of international relations and contemporary history. She is Deputy Director at the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies, where she also serves as head of Centre for Security Policy. She was director of research from 2017 to 2019.  

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 at the University of Oxford. 

She is also a member of the Hoover Institution's Arctic Security Initiative and a member of The International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS). Prof. Zysk was research fellow (resident and non-resident) at the Center for Naval Warfare Studies of the US Naval War College, where she also cooperated with the War Gaming Department. In 2016, she served as 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. 

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, security and defense policies, military innovation and the Russian Navy, in addition to focusing extensively on security and geopolitics in the Arctic. Currently she is working on several research projects, including one on military developments in the Arctic, and the evolution of Russia's military strategy and its adaptation to the changing character of warfare.

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

She is a frequent commentator in the media, including interviews in the New York Times, Foreign Affairs, Bloomberg, Politico, NPR, Newsweek International, Die Zeit, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Le Monde, France Culture, Liberation, Le Point, Vice News, ABC News, 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. 

Fields of interest

  • 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

Katarzyna Zysk'S Selected Publications

For a complete list of Zysks publications, lectures and media appearances: https://www.cristin.no/as/WebObjects/cristin.woa/2/wa/personVis?type=PERSON&pnr=59517&la=en&instnr=1627


  • Schulte, Paul, Paal Sigurd Hilde, Katarzyna Zysk, Lukasz Kulesa and Jacek Durkalec. 2013. "Prospects for information sharing and confidence building on Non-Strategic Nuclear Weapons in Europe". Report, The Polish Institute for International Affairs.
  • Zysk, Katarzyna. 2008. Stanowisko Norwegii wobec rozszerzenia NATO na panstwa Europy Srodkowej, ze szczegolnym uwzglednieniem Polski, w latach 1989–99 [Norway’s Approaches Toward NATO Enlargement to Central Europe, with a Special Emphasis on Poland, 1989–1999]. Nicholas Copernicus University Press and The Learned Society of Torun Press.

Parts of books/reports

  • Zysk, Katarzyna. 2019. "Russia's Strategic Underbelly: Military Strategy, Capabilities, and Opearations in the Arctic". In The Russian Military in Contemporary Perspective, edited by Stephen Blank, 687–724. Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College.
  • Zysk, Katarzyna. 2018. "Russia". In The Handbook of European Defence Policies and Armed Forces, edited by Hugo Meijer and Marco Wyss. Oxford University Press.
  • Zysk, Katarzyna. 2016. "Maritime Security and International Order at Sea in the Arctic". In International Order at Sea. How it is challenged. How it is maintained, edited by Geoffrey Till and Jo Inge Bekkevold, 141–174. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Zysk, Katarzyna. 2015. "Forsvars- og sikkerhetspolitikken – nye muligheter, ny usikkerhet". In Naboer i frykt og forventning. Norge og Russland 1917-2014, edited by Sven Gabriel Holtsmark, 555–564. Pax Forlag.
  • Zysk, Katarzyna. 2015. "Managing Military Change in Russia". In Security, Strategy and Military change in the 21st Century: Cross-Regional Perspectives, edited by Jo Inge Bekkevold, Ian Bowers and Michael Raska, 155–177. Routledge.
  • Zysk, Katarzyna. 2015. "Mellom fredsretorikk og militær opprustning: Russlands sikkerhetspolitiske og militære atferd i nordområdene". In Norge og Russland. Sikkerhetspolitiske utfordringer i nordområdene, edited by Tormod Heier and Anders Olav Kjølberg, 71–84. Universitetsforlaget.
  • Zysk, Katarzyna. 2015. "Russia turns north, again: interests, policies and the search for coherence". In Handbook of the Politics of the Arctic, edited by Geir Hønneland and Leif Chr. Jensen, 437–461. Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Zysk, Katarzyna. 2014. "Back to Basics? NATO and Article Five post-Ukraine". In Trends and Threats. NATO in the 21st Century, edited by Dahl Ann-Sofie, 5–5. University of Copenhagen: Centre for Military Studies, University of Copenhagen.
  • Zysk, Katarzyna. 2012. "Russia’s Naval Ambitions: Driving Forces and Constraints". In Twenty-First Century Seapower: Cooperation and Conflict at Sea, edited by Peter Dutton, Robert Ross and Øystein Tunsjø, 112–135. Routledge.
  • Zysk, Katarzyna. 2011. "Military Aspects of Russia’s Arctic Policy: Hard Power and Natural Resources". In Arctic Security in an Age of Climate Change, edited by James Kraska, 85–106. Cambridge University Press.
  • Zysk, Katarzyna. 2011. "The Evolving Arctic Security Environment: An Assessment". In Russia in the Arctic, edited by Stephen Blank, 91–138. Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College.
  • Zysk, Katarzyna. 2009. "Russia in the High North: Security and Defence Perspectives". In Security Prospects in the High North: Geostrategic Thaw or Freeze?, edited by Sven Holtsmark and Brooke Smith-Windsor, 102–129. Roma: Nato Defense College.
Full list

Peer-reviewed articles

  • Zysk, Katarzyna. 2007. Norwegia wobec polskich aspiracji euroatlantyckich w latach 1989-1995 [Norway and Polish Euro–Atlantic Aspirations, 1989–1995], Polish Academy of Sciences. Dzieje Najnowsze 4 : 215–233.
  • Zysk, Katarzyna. 2006. Norwegia wobec aktualnych tendencji w stosunkach transatlantyckich [New Tendencies in Transatlantic Relations – The Norwegian Perspective], Polish Institute of International Affairs. Polski Przeglad Dyplomatyczny 6 (4/32): 125–149.
  • Zysk, Katarzyna. 2005. Ewolucja norweskiej polityki bezpieczenstwa po II wojnie swiatowej [Evolution of Norway’s Security Policy after World War II], Institute of International Relations, University of Warsaw. Stosunki Miedzynarodowe (1-2): 57–77.
  • Zysk, Katarzyna. 2004. Synteza dziejow polityki zagranicznej Norwegii [Synthesis of the History of Norway’s Foreign Policy], The Learned Society of Torun. Zapiski Historyczne 2-3 : 185–196.
  • Zysk, Katarzyna. 2003. Norwegia wobec "trzeciej Europy" Józefa Becka [Norway’s Attitudes towards Joseph Beck’s Idea of the Third Europe], Polish Institute of International Affairs. Polski Przeglad Dyplomatyczny 3 (13): 75–114.
Full list

Non-refereed articles

Full list

Op-eds/comments/blog posts

  • Zysk, Katarzyna. 2014. Iskander missiler til Kaliningrad. Offiserbladet.
  • Zysk, Katarzyna. 2013. "Vil vise muskler i nord (originaltittel "Hva vil Russland i Arktis?")". Aftenposten (morgenutg. : trykt utg.), 29 January.
  • Zysk, Katarzyna. 2012. Book review: Barbara Kunz, "Kind words, cruise missiles and everything in between. A neoclassical realist study of the use of power resources in U.S. policies towards Poland, Ukraine and Belarus 1989-2008", Doctoral thesis in Political Science at Stockholm University, Stockholm Studies in Politics 136: 2010. Nordisk Østforum.
  • Zysk, Katarzyna. 2007. Russlands skygge i nord. Dagbladet, 24 December.
  • Zysk, Katarzyna. 2006. Book review: Arne Ørum, "Fred i vår tid. Retorikken bak Oslo–prosessen", Tapir Akademisk Forlag, Trondheim 2004. Polski Przeglad Dyplomatyczny.
Published 07 May 2015 13:10.. Last updated 01 July 2020 20:08.