Research & Teaching

Research Projects and Grant Work

ACIPSS and its academic leadership support numerous projects based in Austria and beyond examining a wide-range of topics spanning the globe. Below is a selection of completed and ongoing research projects being conducted under the umbrella of ACIPSS and by ACIPSS staff as well as theses supervised and courses given.

Ongoing Projects

Austrian exiles in World War II military intelligence of the US Army. A collective wartime biography of the „Ritchie Boys“


The Future Funds of the Republic of Austria, Project No. P14-1658; Jubilee Funds of the Austrian National Bank, Project No. 16356

Project Team:

Siegfried Beer (project leader), Robert Lackner, Florian Traussnig

Project synopsis:

During the Second World War, hundreds of Austrian exiles and refugees served in various military intelligence organizations of the US Army. When US soldiers with crucial skills such as native knowledge of German and detailed local familiarity (geographic, topographic, economic, and strategic) were located, they most often found themselves transferred to the Military Intelligence Training Center in Camp Ritchie, Maryland as well as Camp Sharpe, Pennsylvania. There they were instructed in how to operate as interrogators of prisoners of war and propaganda specialists. Upon graduation, they would primarily see service on the Western Front in Europe, providing as intelligence experts and resistance supervisors an important contribution to the defeat of the Nazi regime.

The purpose of this project is to collect and analyze selected biographies of these exiled Austrians. For the first time it will be determined how many of these Austrian “Ritchie Boys” were trained by the US Army, where they saw action in the war and how they can be typologically, politically and socially assessed.


493 Austrians were received an intelligence or propaganda training at the MITC. Their names including further biographical data are available in an online database.

Further documents:

Press Release (June 2018)

JIPSS article on the goals, protagonists and first highlights of the project (2015)

Completed Projects



European Commission

Project Team:

Siegfried Beer, Eduard Staudinger, Andreas Gémes, Oliver Plauder, Mario Muigg, Wolfgang Göderle

Project synopsis:

In June of 2005 ACIPSS members began taking part in the CLIOHRES (“Creating Links and Innovative Overviews for a New History Research Agenda for the Citizens of a Growing Europe”) research project. This project is a result of the 6th Framework Program of the EU Commission with the express goal of fostering a better understanding of history and creating a self-portrait of present day Europe (based on that history).

Researchers and doctoral students from 76 different institutions of higher learning (from 45 different countries) took part in the project which concluded in 2010. Additionally an annual assembly as well as two work-group meetings per year were organized throughout various university towns across Europe. The project placed a special emphasis on encouraging the work and publication of promising “up and coming” researchers. Alongside the various results of the work-groups, a series of doctoral dissertations (of those students involved) were also published.

Siegfried Beer (ACIPSS Director) and Eduard Staudinger (JIPSS Associate Editor) were the organizers of the project for the University of Graz (the only Austrian institution to take part). Additionally four doctoral students (all of whom ACIPSS staff) were involved: Andreas Gémes (2005-2008), Oliver Plauder (2005-2008), Mario Muigg (2008-2010) and Wolfgang Göderle (2008-2010).

Academic Research

Ongoing Dissertations

Oliver Plauder, Die Rolle der amerikanischen, britischen und irischen Geheimdienste im Nordirlandkonflikt. Strategien und Taktiken im Kampf gegen die IRA

Completed Dissertations

Florian Traussnig, Geistiger Widerstand von außen –  Österreicher in US-Propagandainstitutionen des Zweiten Weltkriegs (2013)

Gaj Trifkovic, Making Deals with the Enemy: Partisan-German Contacts and Prisoner Exchanges in Yugoslavia 1941-1945 (2013)

Completed Master/Diploma Theses

Duncan Bare, Hungarian Affairs of the US Office of Strategic Services in the Mediterranean theater of operations from June 1944 until September 1945 (2015)

Jeremy Stöhs, The Decline of European Sea Power: Europe’s Navies in a Time of Austerity and Brinkmanship (2015)

Armin Schmidhofer, The Power of the Swordless Samurai: New Threats and Perspectives for Japanese Security Policies in the 21st Century (2012)

Robert Lackner, Zionist Terrorisim and Imperial Response. British Policies towards Jewish Resistance in Palestine, 1944-1948 (2009)

Completed Bachelor Theses

Duncan Bare, A Hungarian Show with American Assistance: The OSS “Sparrow” Mission to detach Hungary from the Axis in March 1944 (2013)

Courses (from 2009 onwards)

Summer Semester 2015
Lecture with Activities (VU): Intelligence, Propaganda and Subversion in the Cold War Era

Summer Semester 2014
Privatissimum: Intelligence and War in the Twentieth Century

Summer Semester 2013
Privatissimum: Cold War Intelligence Revisited

Winter Semester 2012
Seminar: Terrorism in Modern History

Summer Semester 2012
Privatissimum: Dominant Issues of the 21st Century: Intelligence, Security, Terrorism
Konversatorium: Militär und Sicherheit

Winter Semester 2011
Lecture with Activities (VU): Einführung in das Studium der Neueren Geschichte (Propaganda and Media in the First World War)

Winter Semester 2010
Lecture with Activities (VU): The National Security State since 1900. Internal and External Challenges to Order and Power

Summer Semester 2010
Privatissimum: Intelligence Reform since World War II

Winter Semester 2009
Lecture with Activities (VU): Secrecy and Espionage in the Modern World, from Machiavelli to Obama

Summer Semester 2009
Privatissimum: New Research in Intelligence and Security Studies