Alexander Mattelaer is the Assistant Director and Acting Academic Director of the Institute for European Studies. He obtained his PhD in Political Science from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Master degrees from the University of Bath and the University of Leuven. He is also a graduate of the Belgian Royal High Institute for Defence and the Belgian Advanced Staff College. His research interests include European defence policies, civil-military relations and operations planning. At the Vrije Universiteit Brussel he teaches the courses ‘Political Structures and Processes of the European Union‘ and ‘Major Issues of International Conflict‘. He is also a Senior Editor of the online magazine European Geostrategy (http://www.europeangeostrategy.org/) and frequently gives guest lectures on military affairs.