CIS-Relevant Events
CIS-Organised Events

All forthcoming events

Mon 28 April 2014 to Tue 29 April 2014, 09:15

Third Oxford Graduate Political Theory Conference: 'Democracy in Global Perspective'

Venue:St. Antony's College

The Oxford Graduate Conference in Political Theory is a forum for graduate students in political theory. Established in 2012, the conference aims to explore themes and topics in political theory that resonate with contemporary political events and phenomena. Now in its third year, the conference  brings together original thought from graduate students as well as professors.

The 2014 keynote addresses will be given by Professor Wendy Brown (UC Berkeley) and Dr. Rahul Rao (SOAS). The programme and registration form can be found here.

Registration for this event closes on Monday 21st April.

Contact Puneet Dhaliwal

Tue 29 April 2014, 17:00

Dahrendorf Lecture: 'The Cosmopolitan Outlook: How the European Project can be Saved'

Speaker: Ulrich Beck (University of Munich and LSE)

Venue:Nissan Lecture Theatre, St. Antony's College

Discussants: Kalypso Nicolaïdis (St Antony's College, Oxford) and Lord (David) Hannay (Former UK Permanent Representative to the EU and UN)
Convenor: Timothy Garton Ash (St Antony's College, Oxford)

Mon 05 May 2014, 17:00

'How Race Is Made in America: Immigration, Citizenship, and the Historical Power of Racial Scripts'

Speaker: Natalia Molina (University of California, San Diego)

Venue:Pavilion Room, Gateway Building, St. Antony's College

North American Studies Programme Event

Convenor: Dr Halbert Jones

Tue 06 May 2014, 17:00

'The New Terrain of International Law: Courts, Politics, Rights'

Speaker: Karen J. Alter (Professor of Political Science and Law, Northwestern University)

Venue:Lecture Theatre, Manor Road Building


At this event Karen J. Alter (Professor of Political Science and Law, Northwestern University) will be discussing her new book The New Terrain of International Law: Courts, Politics, Rights

If you would like to attend this event please register by emailing Matthew Kennedy ( A chapter of the book will be sent to those that confirm they are attending. 

Contact Matthew Kennedy

Thu 08 May 2014, 17:00

Astor Lecture: 'North American Exceptionalism: Invasions and Environments over the Very Long Durée'

Speaker: John R. McNeill (Georgetown University)

Venue:Nissan Lecture Theatre, St. Antony's College

North American Studies Programme Event

Convenor: Dr Halbert Jones

Sat 10 May 2014

‘New Wars? No Wars? Peacemaking in New Contexts’

Venue:St John’s College, Oxford

OxPeace invites you to its annual Day-Conference‘New Wars? No Wars? Peacemaking in New Contexts’, on Saturday 10th May 2014 (end of Second Week, Trinity term) at St John's College, Oxford.  

Please return the Registration form.

We also invite you to the Conference Dinner, with guest speaker Professor Mary Kaldor (LSE) on the evening of Friday 9th May, 7 for 7.30 pm at Rewley House, corner of St John St and Wellington Sq. 

Conference Dinner

The Conference Dinner will be addressed by Professor Mary Kaldor on the theme: ‘New Wars? No War?’

Mary Kaldor is Professor of Global Governance and Director of the Civil Society and Human Security Research Unit at the London School of Economics. She is the author of many books, including 'The Ultimate Weapon is No Weapon: Human Security and the Changing Rules of War and Peace', 'New and Old Wars: Organised Violence in a Global Era' and 'Global Civil Society: An Answer to War'. Professor Kaldor was a founding member of the European Nuclear Disarmament and of the Helsinki Citizen's Assembly. She is also convenor of the Human Security Study Group which reported to Javier Solana, and now to Cathy Ashton.

Day-Conference Saturday 10 May 2014:  09.00 registration, ending ca 17.00.

The opening Plenary features Prof. Sir Hew Strachan, Prof. Margaret Macmillan and Dr Heather Jones (LSE).  They will focus on the Conference theme, which sits at the nexus of three current areas of investigation in the field of peace and conflict studies. The first is the persistent claim that the nature of warfare has shifted fundamentally since the end of the Cold War, as interstate war has been incrementally superseded by what some describe as ‘complex emergencies’ – civil conflicts that that blur the lines between war, politics and organized crime. This focus on the shifting dynamics of war, however, has been countered by an intellectual movement which argues that violence within and between societies is not so much morphing, as declining. The thesis of an apparent end to violence and war, in turn, invites reflection on a third area of investigation:  the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of what was to be the ‘war to end all wars’ – the First World War.

Breakout sessions will explore:   Peace and Conflict in Burma; Wars and peacemaking in the Balkans; ‘Peacemaking and new media: current examples, old practices?’; Arts and Culture in conflict and peacebuilding.

A further plenary session on either chemical weapons or battlefield robots is in preparation.

Registration for the Saturday 10 May Day-Conference is free of charge (a small contribution of £5 per student, £10 per non-student will be asked on the day to cover the cost of sandwich lunch and refreshments).  Please return the attached Registration Form to Esther.Kwan@exeter,ox,ac,uk.

The dinner cost is £35, but the first 20 students to apply will pay only £10 for a subsidized place. Instructions on how to pay will be sent via email.

Any enquiries to Conference Assistant

Sat 10 May 2014 to Sun 11 May 2014, 09:30

International Conference: 'Pakistan: Opportunity in Crisis'

Venue:Nissan Lecture Theatre, St. Antony's College

Asian Studies Centre International Conference

Pakistan has experienced political turbulences in the past, and its current security and economic challenges are indeed formidable. Yet the country continues to show remarkable national resilience in the face of these challenges. This is contrary to its doomsday portrayal in mainstream media and literature—which remains largely impervious to the myriad complexities of Pakistan’s internal realities, especially some viable social, political and economic transformations the country has undergone in recent years. Occurring amid critical circumstances, these transformations entail rare opportunities for reshaping Pakistan’s domestic politics and foreign policy, which need in-depth analysis and fresh insight. Hence this conference, which brings together prominent scholars and writers on Pakistan from UK and the rest of the world to critically debate the historical, political, social, economic and regional contexts underpinning such transformations, and thus rationally assess their potential outcomes for internal politics and external relations.

Confirmed Speakers include: Dr Faisal Devji (keynote), Mr Ahsan Iqbal (keynote), Mr Hamid Mir, Prof Ian Talbot, Prof Rasul Bakhsh Rais, Prof Mohammad Waseem, Mr Toaha Qureshi MBE, Mr Imtiaz Gul, Mr Owen Bennett-Jones, Prof Saeed Shafqat, Dr Hassan Abbas, Mr Tariq Malik, Prof Yunus Samad, Mr Mosharraf Zaidi, Dr Adeel Malik, Mr Raza Rumi, Dr Tahir Wasti, Dr Ishtiaq Ahmad, Mr Adnan Rafiq

Further details concerning speakers, schedule, registration and the registration fee, please visit:

Contact Mr Adnan Rafiq

Tue 13 May 2014, 14:00

‘Religion as a Motive for Exclusion in Contemporary Western Democracies’

Speaker: Charles Taylor

Venue:Nissan Lecture Theatre, St. Antony's College

All are welcome

Convenor & Chair: Dr Faisal Devji

Sponsored by the Asian Studies Centre, the Dahrendorf Programme for the Study of Freedom, the Middle East Centre and the North American Studies Programme


Wed 14 May 2014, 13:00

'Conflicts and Post-Conflicts Dynamics (DRC and Rwanda): Occult Beliefs versus Modern Politics, Truth versus Justice and Justice versus Peace'

Speaker: Alex Ntung

Venue:Manor Road Building, Seminar Room A

CIS Event

Alex Ntung will share his personal experience of surviving extreme poverty and violence at a terrifying scale in Rwanda and DRC, as well as his experience in working with INGO and as a researcher. The talk will provide insight into the significance of occult beliefs dynamics (the beliefs in ‘invisible worlds’, the world of ancestors, ‘evil’ or ‘good spirits’, and belief in religious supernaturalism) in the construction of modern political ideologies. Alex argues that these dynamics of conflicts have often been interpreted simplistically, and conveying the complexity of its impacts has remained an issue unrecognised by the interventionists. Alex will also discuss examples of transitional justice mechanisms - Truth versus Justice (Rwanda genocide) and Justice versus Peace (DRC peace building).

Alex was born into a family of cattle-herders, semi-nomadic and pastoralists in South Kivu. Growing up he survived extreme poverty and hardship, child spying, and violence at a terrifying scale. His hunger for education took him to a school in Uvira and then university in Rwanda. Here he was witness to the 1994 genocide and the subsequent violence and conflict in the region fuelled by Tutsi and Hutu ethnicity. He became a humanitarian worker for UN related NGOs and then came to the UK where he underwent a stringent asylum process and later gained an MA in Anthropology of Conflict, Violence and Conciliation at the University of Sussex. He is currently an author, DRC analyst and is involved in peace and political mediation work for civil society organisations. He is an experienced speaker and lecturer with an honest insight into issues of war and human security, cultural insensitivity and conflict resolution.

Contact Matthew Kennedy

Fri 16 May 2014, 12:30

'Responding to Conflict in Africa: the United Nations and Regional Organizations'

Speaker: Jane Boulden (Canada Research Chair in International Relations and Security Studies, Royal Military College of Canada)

Venue:Manor Road Building, Seminar Room A

Centre for International Studies (CIS), Oxford Network of Peace Studies (OxPeace), and the African Studies Centre co-sponsored event

Drawing on an edited volume of the same title, Dr. Boulden will present the findings of her recent study on how the United Nations and regional organizations respond to conflict in Africa. With a particular focus on the implications of the nature of this UN-regional interaction for the UN, the talk will affirm some traditional assumptions about UN-regional cooperation while challenging others.

Contact Matthew Kennedy

Sun 18 May 2014 to Mon 19 May 2014

International Conference: 'Global Conflict and Conflict Management: Israel/Palestine and Beyond'

Venue:St Anne's College

Sponsored by the Middle East Program in the University of Oxford’s School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies

For almost two decades after the signing of the Oslo accords in 1993, it was assumed within the international community that the Israel-Palestine conflict would be resolved through the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside of Israel, that is, through the completion of the partition scheme approved by the United Nations in 1947.  Partition in indeed one possible technique for managing nationality conflict, but the circumstances under which it can be implemented and succeed are specific to certain situations, and it is not clear if partition remains a viable solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.  This conference seeks to explore on a global scale the history and legacy of partition as well as other attempts to resolve or manage nationality conflict in the twentieth century.  Its operative assumption is that the Israel-Palestine conflict is not unique and that our understanding of it can benefit from comparative analysis, just as our understanding of conflicts throughout the world can be enhanced with references to Israel and Palestine.  Bringing together students of international relations, history, anthropology, psychology and other disciplines, this conference treats nationality conflict as an affective state as well as the product of political structure.  Placing the Israel-Palestine conflict in a comparative framework does not diminish its significance or slight its tragic consequences, but it can open the way to new understandings of what can – and cannot – be reasonably expected from its protagonists in terms of constructive resolutions.  

Each of the conference’s panels features speakers with expertise on Israel/Palestine and on other parts of the world.  The panels focus on key terms that describe the mechanisms of conflict, its aftermath, management, and resolution.  The conference deals with topics such as: Partition and integration as alternative conflict-resolution strategies; the causes and results of forced migration; the emergence of quasi-states and pariah states in the wake of conflict; psychological consequences of conflict, e.g., trauma, obsession, and denial; bilateral and multilateral attempts at peacemaking; and strategies for reconciliation.

Mon 19 May 2014, 17:00

'Northern Exposure: Anti-Americanism and Canada-US Relations in the Kennedy Era'

Speaker: Asa McKercher (Queen’s University, Canada)

Venue:Pavilion Room, Gateway Building, St. Antony's College

North American Studies Programme Event

Convenor: Dr Halbert Jones

Wed 21 May 2014, 12:00

Book Manuscript Workshop: 'Between Interests and Law: The Politics of Commercial Disputes under Private Institutions and Public Authority'

Speaker: Thomas Hale

Venue:Manor Road Building, Seminar Room G

This is a CIS and GEG co-sponsored event.

If you would like to attend this event please register by emailing Matthew Kennedy ( Draft chapters of the book manuscript will be sent, in advance of the event, to those that confirm they are attending.

Transnational commercial dispute resolution is fundamental to global economic exchange, yet to date has been relatively understudied by political scientists. How can we explain the emergence of commercial arbitration as one of the world’s most successful providers of global public goods, and what are its implications? Did the commercial arbitration regime develop in response to the material interests of private firms, or as the diffusion of legal norms and practices?

On 21 May, the Centre for International Studies (CIS) and The Global Economic Governance Programme (GEG) will co-host a book manuscript workshop on GEG Senior Researcher Tom Hale’s book-in-progress on these topics. Tom’s book, which builds off his doctoral thesis, explores how states and private actors have sought to provide the necessary rule of law to facilitate global economic exchanges in a world divided between nearly 200 sovereign states. It traces the emergence of the current tripartite, hybrid system in which private, transnational judges’ decisions are enforced in domestic courts under international law. The book draws on a series of global surveys of corporate attitudes toward dispute resolution, archival and statistical research on the diffusion of intergovernmental treaties concerning commercial arbitration, and detailed case studies of the United States, China and Argentina.

The workshop will consist of three sessions:

12:00 Light lunch

12:15 – 1:30 Two theories of commercial disputes under private institutions and public authority

  • Chair: Kalypso Nicolaidis (Professsor of International Relations, Oxford University)
  • Discussants: Walter Mattli (Professor of International Political Economy, Oxford University)
  • Duncan Snidal (Professor of International Relations, Oxford University)
  • Jan Kleinheisterkampf (Associate Professor of Law, LSE)

1:45 – 3:00 The development of the regime for commercial disputes over the "long" 20th century

  • Discussants: Lauge Poulsen (Postdoctoral research fellow, Nuffield College)
  • Taylor St. John (Dphil Candidate, University of Oxford)

3:15 - 4:30 The reception of the regime outside the West: Argentina and China

  • Discussants: Christian Arnold (Departmental Lecturer in the International Relations of Latin America, Oxford University)
  • Anthony Dicks (Emeritus Professor of Chinese Law, School of Oriental and African Studies)


Contact Matthew Kennedy

Mon 02 June 2014, 17:00

'Divided Nations: Why global governance is failing, and what we can do about it'

Speaker: Ian Goldin (Director, Oxford Martin School and Professor of Globalisation and Development, University of Oxford)

Venue:Manor Road Building, Seminar Room G

CIS Book Launch Event

Do we need a radical new approach to global governance?

Published by Oxford University Press in 2013, Divided Nations is a new book written by Professor Ian Goldin.

With rapid globalization, the world is more deeply interconnected than ever before. While this has its advantages, it also brings with it systemic risks that are only just being identified and understood. Rapid urbanization, together with technological leaps mean that we are now physically and virtually closer than ever in humanity's history.

We face a number of international challenges - climate change, pandemics, finance, cyber security and migration - which spill over national boundaries. It is becoming increasingly apparent that the UN, the IMF, the World Bank - bodies created in a very different world, more than 60 years ago - are inadequate for the task of managing such risk in the 21st century.

Ian Goldin explores whether the answer is to reform existing structures, or to consider a new and radical approach. By setting out the nature of the problems and the various approaches to global governance, Goldin highlights the challenges that we are to overcome and considers a road map for the future

Contact Matthew Kennedy

Tue 17 June 2014, 14:00

'Indian elections: politics beyond numbers'

Speaker: Sarmila Bose and Faisal Devji

Venue:Manor Road Building, Seminar Room A

CIS Event