CIS-Relevant Events

All forthcoming events

Fri 28 November 2014, 12:30

'Feminism and Cultural Pluralism'

Speaker: Elizabeth Frazer (DPIR), Patricia Daley (School of Geography and the Environment) and Henrike Donner (Department of Social Sciences, Oxford Brookes)

Venue:Manor Road Building, Seminar Room G

This seminar seeks to explore the relationship between the ideals of (western) feminism and of cultural pluralism, looking to examples of how tensions between the two discourses have manifested within international politics. Multi-national and non-governmental campaigns against violence proclaim ‘women’s rights are human rights’, yet the discourse of human rights is rejected within many societies as a Western imposition that is at best insensitive to, and at worst wholly incompatible with, indigenous cultural norms. Critical and post-structural theoretical approaches provide intellectual frameworks that help us to make sense of and attempt to work through these dilemmas.

This seminar aims to explore and extend these debates. To what extent have western conceptions of feminism ‘travelled’ and thereby strengthened the power asymmetries between ‘the West’ and ‘Others’? Should ’feminism’ and ‘gender equality’ be considered inherently Western phenomena that risk essentialising women? Can we reconcile tensions between different concepts of gender equality and the rights of individuals? Should we? What does all of this mean for international initiatives to end various forms of violence against women and girls, which implicitly rely on the rhetoric of universal human rights? What role should these concepts play in culturally plural international and domestic societies?

Organisers: Fay Clarke and Leandra Bias, Oxford University


Critical theories and world politics seminar series

This is a new student-led roundtable series at Oxford University for interdisciplinary discussion of world politics. Supported the Centre for International Studies (CIS), these seminars draw on approaches from the humanities and the social sciences, explicitly seeking to bring different disciplines to bear on each other and on common areas of intellectual inquiry.

The series seeks to consider questions about world politics using methodological approaches informed by critical theories. We are particularly interested in issues of representation, language and ideology, gender, race, class, memory, space/place, political ecologies, anti-colonial politics, resistance and in thinking beyond and around borders. We hope that the series will provide a forum for ‘research training’ in these areas for interested students.

Each session is organised by different students, from a range of disciplinary backgrounds, who put forward a theme or topic they would like to see discussed. The format may vary from session to session, but the baseline structure will be a roundtable discussion led by 2-3 speakers and followed by an informal discussion.


Fri 28 November 2014, 17:00

SEESOX Film Screening: “My Child”

Venue:Seminar Room, European Studies Centre 70 Woodstock

SEESOX Film Screening

“My Child” A Turkish Feature Documentary

Panellists: Can Candan (Director), Metehan Ozkan (Co-producer/Advisor)

Chair: Elisabeth Kendall (Pembroke College, Oxford)

Mon 01 December 2014, 12:30

‘R2P’s Unfinished Journey: the Lingering Promise of Prevention’

Speaker: Monica Serrano (Professor of International Relations, El Colegio de México)

Venue:Seminar Room, European Studies Centre 70 Woodstock

Centre for International Studies (CIS) event, co-sponsored by Ethics Law and Armed Conflict (ELAC)

Discussants: Janina Dill (DPIR, University of Oxford), Hugo Slim (DPIR, University of Oxford) and Gjovalin Macaj (St Antony’s College, University of Oxford)

Chair: Kalypso Nicolaïdis (St Antony’s College, University of Oxford)

Mon 01 December 2014, 17:00

‘Lessons of the Ukraine crisis’

Speaker: Andrew Wilson (University College London)

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

Convenors:  Roy Allison (St Antony’s, SIAS) & Neil MacFarlane (St Anne’s, DPIR)

All are welcome


(created in Harry’s memory by Fay and Geoffrey Elliott)

This event is part of the Russian and Eurasian Foreign Policies and Politics seminar series.

Mon 01 December 2014, 17:30

'Humanitarian Aid'

Venue:MCR, Merton College

Global Directions Discussion Evening

Humanitarian assistance and protection has become a major field of international relations in recent years. In 2013, official budgets for humanitarian aid rose to a new peak of $22 billion with large new programmes in the Syrian Crisis and South Sudan. This is a huge increase on the global budget of $3.5 billion just ten years earlier in 2004. Many aid agencies are now large transnational organizations and there are more humanitarian workers around the world than ever before.

What are the challenges and opportunities in this global expansion in humanitarian aid? What is it like to make a career in humanitarian action? Is humanitarian aid distributed fairly around the world? Do humanitarian agencies make a real difference in people¹s lives?

Come and discuss these and other questions about humanitarian aid over a drink with two Mertonians. James Darcy has more than 20 years experience as a frontline humanitarian worker with Oxfam and as an advisor to many UN agencies. Chelsea Purvis works in the global advocacy team at the International Rescue Committee (IRC) where she focuses on Afghanistan, Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

The discussion will be chaired by Dr Hugo Slim from the Oxford Institute of Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict.

Join the event on Facebook at:

About Global Directions

Global Directions (GD) is a research group based at Merton College. GD was founded in 2005 to serve as a cross-disciplinary forum for exploring pressing global issues and to foster a robust policy-relevant dialogue within the University and in conjunction with visiting experts and practitioners. Throughout the year we host a wide range of events, including lectures, film screenings, and lunchtime seminars on issues in international relations, global security, and development.  

Follow Global Directions on Facebook ( to receive regular information on events and IR news. For more information about Global Directions please visit us at:

Tue 02 December 2014, 14:00

‘Pakistan’s Metamorphosis to Modernity’

Speaker: Ayesha Siddiqa (Charles Wallace Trust Fellow)

Venue:Fellow’s Dining Room, Hilda Besse Building, St Antony’s College

Convenor & Chair: Dr Faisal Devji

This event is part of the South Asia Seminar Series seminar series.

Tue 02 December 2014, 20:30

'Russian "Deniable Involvement" in Ukraine'

Speaker: Roy Allison (Oxford)

Venue:Old Library, All Souls College

£2 entry fee for nonmembers.

This event is part of the OUSSG Seminar Series seminar series.

Thu 04 December 2014, 12:30

IR Research Colloquium: 'Islamists and Nationalists: Rebel Motivation and Counterinsurgency in Russia’s North Caucasus'

Speaker: Monica Duffy Toft (Blavatnik School of Government)

Venue:Manor Road Building, Seminar Room G

Discussant: Hanna Notte (St Antony’s)

Pre-registration required. To register and receive the colloquium paper please email no later than noon on Wednesday 3 December.

This event is part of the IR Research Colloquium seminar series.

Fri 05 December 2014, 14:00

'Should corporations be allowed to sue governments? Controversies in the proposed EU-US trade deal'

Venue:Lecture Theatre, Blavatnik School of Government, 10 Merton Street, Oxford, OX1 4JJ

Controversy and debate on the EU-US trade deal has focused on the fact that it could give investors the right to pursue international legal action against governments.

What exactly is going on in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)? Who stands to gain, and who stands to lose from these controversial clauses on investor-state protection? What rights and responsibilities should corporations have?

At this GEG seminar, experts on trade and investment unpack the secretive negotiations, and analyse the politics and consequences of an agreement.

  • Dr Lauge Poulsen, Lecturer in International Political Economy, University College London
  • Taylor St John, Senior Researcher, Global Economic Governance Programme
  • Jansen Calamita, Director, Investment Treaty Forum, British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL)
  • Professor David Gantz, the Samuel M Fegtly Professor of Law and Director of the International Trade Law Program, University of Arizona



Fri 05 December 2014, 17:00

'Chinese Reform in Light of James Meade’s Liberal Socialism'

Speaker: Zhiyuan Cui (School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University)

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

Huang Hsing Foundation – The Dr Chun-tu Hsueh Annual Lecture

China’s economic and political reform since 1978 has been a major event in recent world history. The lecture asks whether these on-going reforms can be interpreted, at least to some extent, by reference to James Meade’s “Liberal Socialism”. James Meade was educated in “Philosophy, Politics and Economics” at Oxford from 1926 to 1930 and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1977. He describes himself as “an inveterate explorer of improvements in economic arrangements”. It will argued that Meade’s ideas can shed light on some major moves in the Chinese reform of the state owned enterprises’ sector and the rural cooperative sector. The next challenge in China is to combine “liberalism” and “socialism” in the political sphere as well.

Professor Zhiyuan Cui is a teacher in Comparative Public Policy and Governance and Development at Tsinghua University. As a graduate of China's National University of Defense Technology, Cui went on to obtain both an MA and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Chicago. He has been awarded visiting fellowships and instructor positions at various world-renowned institutions including MIT, the National University of Singapore, Harvard University Law School, the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin, and Cornell University. Dr. Cui has also served as a member of the editorial boards for various journals and publications.

Chair: Professor Rosemary Foot