(22/09/2014) New Book by Professor Rosemary Foot

'The Oxford Handbook of the International Relations of Asia', edited by Rosemary Foot, Saadia Pekkanen and John Ravenhill, will be published by Oxford University Press in October 2014.

In the past quarter century, the importance of Asia in international relations has grown exponentially. This Handbook gathers the most important scholars in the field of international relations to address this epochal sea change in world politics.

The editors and contributors focus on three basic themes: developing appropriate theories for explaining Asia's evolving position in international relations both within Asia and with the rest of the world; tracing the recent history of Asia in world politics; and focusing on emerging trends. The Handbook brings readers up to date on the bilateral, regional, and global relations of Asian countries in the fields of political economy, national security, and human security. Comprehensive in theme, breadth, and methodology, this Handbook is a timely addition to the existing literature on the changes currently underway in Asian countries that promise to have significant implications for world politics.

It is edited by Rosemary Foot, Saadia Pekkanen and John Ravenhill, and is available to buy here: http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199916245.do

Professor Rosemary Foot is John Swire Fellow in the International Relations of East Asia, St Antony's College

(07/08/2014) CIS Research Associate Scott Atran writes on America’s role in the Gaza conflict

CIS Research Associate Scott Atran has written an article for The New York Times, titled ‘U.S. Must Help Deal Directly With Hamas’, on America’s role in the Gaza conflict.

In the article, Scott writes, ‘negotiations can only proceed if all sides agree on form – without preconditions on outcomes and each side recognizing that force alone cannot prevail. Can the United States convince Israel of this, and the Arab nations persuade Hamas?’

The full article can be read here

Scott Atran is the Director of Research, ARTIS and a CIS Research Associate.

(23/07/2014) New Podcast: 'A conversation with John Mearsheimer on American grand strategy, the state of IR theory and other topics'

A podcast of the recent CIS co-sponsored event 'A conversation with John Mearsheimer on American grand strategy, the state of IR theory and other topics' is now available online here

On 17 June 2014 John Mearsheimer (R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science, University of Chicago) visited Oxford, and gave a talk on American grand strategy and consequences for Europe of the US pivot to Asia.

The event was co-sponsored by the Centre for International Studies and the Changing Character of War Programme.

(14/07/2014) New Podcast: 'Does Europe need a demos to be truly democratic?'

A podcast of the recent CIS co-sponsored event 'Does Europe need a demos to be truly democratic?' is now available online here

Prof. Daniel Innerarity (University of the Basque Country / Basque Founcation for Science) answers the question 'Does Europe need a demos to be truly democratic?', followed by a discussion with Prof. Kalypso Nicolaïdis (St Antony's College, University of Oxford).  

This event took place on 11 June 2014 and was co-sponsored by the European Studies Centre (ESC) and the Centre for International Studies (CIS).

(11/07/2014) University of Oxford Impact Case Study on research by Walter Mattli

The University of Oxford has produced an impact case study about Walter Mattli’s research on international standards. 

Pioneering research by Walter Mattli and Tim Büthe has uncovered the inherent secrecy of global rule-making bodies, making them more accountable, enhancing democracy and illustrating the winners and losers from their practices.

To read the case study in full please click here.

Walter Mattli is a Fellow in Politics at St John’s College and Professor of International Political Economy at the University of Oxford

(30/06/2014) New Podcast: 'Divided Nations: Why global governance is failing, and what we can do about it'

A podcast of the recent CIS event 'Divided Nations: Why global governance is failing, and what we can do about it' is now available online here

On 2 June 2014, the Centre for International Studies (CIS) hosted a book launch event for Ian Goldin's (Director, Oxford Martin School and Professor of Globalisation and Development, University of Oxford) book 'Divided Nations: Why global governance is failing and what we can do about it' (Oxford University Press 2013). Discussants were Julia Amos (Merton College, University of Oxford) and Vinicius Rodrigues Vieira (DPIR, University of Oxford), and the event was chaired by Kalypso Nicolaïdis (St Antony’s College, University of Oxford).

Do we need a radical new approach to global governance? 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.

(30/06/2014) New Podcast: 'Secularism, Identity, and Enchantment (Convergences: Inventories of the Present)’

A podcast of the recent CIS event 'Secularism, Identity, and Enchantment (Convergences: Inventories of the Present)’ is now available online here

At this event Akeel Bilgrami (Sidney Morgenbesser Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University) discussed his new book 'Secularism, Identity, and Enchantment (Convergences: Inventories of the Present)’.

Bringing clarity to a subject clouded by polemic,'Secularism, Identity, and Enchantment' is a rigorous exploration of how secularism and identity emerged as concepts in different parts of the modern world. At a time when secularist and religious worldviews appear irreconcilable, Akeel Bilgrami strikes out on a path distinctly his own, criticizing secularist proponents and detractors, liberal universalists and multicultural relativists alike.

Akeel Bilgrami was joined by Paul Flather (Europaeum), Ankhi Mukherjee (Wadham College, University of Oxford) and Shruti Kapila (University of Cambridge) in a panel discussion chaired by Kalypso Nicolaïdis (St Antony’s College, Oxford).

This event was co-sponsored by the Centre for International Studies (CIS), Asian Studies Centre, European Studies Centre and Department of Philosophy.

(26/06/2014) Call for Proposals: Sciences Po Workshop 'The EU after the Crisis'

Sciences Po have announced a call for proposals for a PhD workshop they are organizing with the THESEUS network, taking place on October 16-17 2014.

The THESEUS PhD workshop 2014, 'The EU after the Crisis', is aimed at enabling PhD candidates to exchange ideas and discuss their research with their peers and senior academic colleagues.

Topic:The recent economic crisis challenged European integration and strengthened Eurosceptic political parties in national and European elections. The EU’s response to the crisis seems to give rise a wide range of social, economic and political issues, that this doctoral seminar aims at exploring. It welcomes papers that address the topic from various angles – the efficiency of EU institutions’ responses to the crisis, their impact on the legitimacy of the EU political system and the dynamics of integration, electoral trust and mistrust in the European Union, the impact of policy changes on recent and future enlargement.

How to apply:Please send your proposal to Pauline Prat (pauline.prat@sciencespo.fr) at the Centre d’études européennes at Sciences Po by June 29, 2014.

Candidates should send an abstract of 500 words describing their research questions, data, methods, and expected findings. The propositions must fit with criteria such as excellence and thematic proximity to the seminar.

Proposals from all domains of social sciences are eligible.

For further information please see the call for proposals here

(23/06/2014) New Podcast: 'Explaining the Rise of Diaspora Institutions'

A podcast of the recent CIS event 'Explaining the Rise of Diaspora Institutions' is now available online here

At this event, co-sponsored by the Centre for International Studies (CIS), the International Migration Institute (IMI) and COMPAS, Dr. Alan Gamlen asked the question 'Why do states establish and maintain diaspora engagement institutions?'

Formal offices of state dedicated to emigrants and their descendants have been largely overlooked in mainstream political studies, perhaps because they fall in the grey area between domestic politics and international relations. Now, diaspora institutions are found in over half of all United Nations member states, yet we have little theory and large-scale comparative evidence to guide our understanding of how and why they emerge. In response, we identify and then investigate empirical support for three theoretically-grounded perspectives on diaspora institution emergence: instrumentally rational states tapping resources of emigrants and their descendants; value-rational states embracing lost members of the nation-state; institutionally-converging states governing diasporas consistent with global norms.

Alan Gamlen (DPhil. Oxon) is a Senior Lecturer in Human Geography at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand and a Research Associate at Oxford University. He leads the Diasporas Engagement Policies project, part of the five-year Oxford Diasporas Programme funded by the Leverhulme Trust, and is Editor-in-Chief of Migration Studies, an academic journal published by Oxford University Press.

(18/06/2014) New Podcast: 'Responding to Conflict in Africa: the United Nations and Regional Organizations'

A podcast of the recent CIS event 'Responding to Conflict in Africa: the United Nations and Regional Organizations' is now available online here

At this event on 16 May 2014 Dr. Jane Boulden discussed the findings from her edited volume 'Responding to Crisis in Africa: the United Nations and Regional Organizations' which came out in a second edition in 2013.

With a particular focus on the implications of the nature of this UN-regional interaction for the UN, the talk affirmed some traditional assumptions about UN-regional cooperation while challenging others.

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

(17/06/2014) CIS research associate Matteo Garavoglia on the French humanitarian aid system within a European perspective

Matteo Garavoglia has written an article for the Annuaire Français de Relations Internationales (AFRI) - French Yearbook of International Relations on the evolving nature of the French humanitarian aid system within a European perspective (sponsored by the French Academy of Political and Moral Sciences).

In the article, Matteo explores how a greater degree of “Europeanization” of the French humanitarian aid system could both better serve humanitarian principles in general and the French state’s humanitarian agenda in particular. The article (in French) is available here and its English translation can be found here while this is the invitation to AFRI’s launch in Paris.

Matteo will also be a special guest at the “Head to Head” debate hosted by Mehdi Hasan (Al Jazeera) on Wednesday the 18th of June at the Oxford Union (19.30) with Doctors Without Borders (MSF) founder and former French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner [flyer here]. The debate will be broadcast worldwide by Al Jazeera.

Matteo Garavoglia is Research Associate, Centre for International Studies, Senior Common Room Member, St.Antony’s College, post-doctoral researcher at Sciences Po Paris and member of the International Humanitarian Studies Association (IHSA).

(10/06/2014) New Podcast: 'Conflicts and Post-Conflicts Dynamics (DRC and Rwanda): Occult Beliefs versus Modern Politics, Truth versus Justice and Justice versus Peace'

A podcast of the recent CIS event 'Conflicts and Post-Conflicts Dynamics (DRC and Rwanda): Occult Beliefs versus Modern Politics, Truth versus Justice and Justice versus Peace' is now available online here. A photo from the event can be viewed here

At this event, co-sponsored by the Centre for International Studies (CIS), the African Studies Centre, and the Oxford Transitional Justice Research Group, Alex Ntung provided insight into the significance of occult beliefs dynamics in the construction of modern political ideologies and discussed examples of transitional justice mechanisms - Truth versus Justice (Rwanda genocide) and Justice versus Peace (DRC peace building).

Alex Ntung 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.

(05/06/2014) Professor Kalypso Nicolaïdis writes on the prospects of an EU guided by 'Merkenzi' (Merkel & Renzi)

Kalypso Nicolaïdis has written an article for the website of the think-tank Policy Network (4 June) on the real winners and losers from the recent European parliament elections, particularly in the light of the alliance between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi (together sometimes referred to as 'Merkenzi').

In the article Kalypso writes, "Together, Angela and Matteo have sent the first and second-largest forces to the European parliament. They are both likely to stay in power for the next four years. And so with due respect for the later protestations against drawing a privileged axis with any country, it is the entente between Italy and Germany that is now most likely to shape the rules of the game in the European Union."

The full article can be read here: http://www.policy-network.net/pno_detail.aspx?ID=4676&title=Merkenzis-Better-Europe

Professor Kalypso Nicolaidis is Professor of International Relations, Director of the Centre for International Studies, Faculty Fellow, St Antony's College.

(16/05/2014) New Podcast: 'The New Terrain of International Law: Courts, Politics, Rights'

A podcast of the recent CIS event 'The New Terrain of International Law: Courts, Politics, Rights' is now available online here. Photos from the event can be viewed on the CIS facebook page here

At this event, jointly hosted by the Centre for International Studies and the Faculty of Law, Karen J. Alter (Professor of Political Science and Law, Northwestern University) discussed her new book The New Terrain of International Law: Courts, Politics, Rights.

In 1989, when the Cold War ended, there were six permanent international courts. Today there are more than two dozen that have collectively issued over thirty-seven thousand binding legal rulings. The New Terrain of International Law charts the developments and trends in the creation and role of international courts, and explains how the delegation of authority to international judicial institutions influences global and domestic politics.

Karen J. Alter is professor of political science and law at Northwestern University and a permanent visiting professor at the iCourts Center of Excellence, University of Copenhagen School of Law. She is the author of Establishing the Supremacy of European Law and The European Court's Political Power.

(19/03/2014) New Podcast: ‘Winning Friends Abroad: can Britain’s cultural power maintain its influence in the modern world?’

A podcast of the recent CIS event ‘Winning Friends Abroad: can Britain’s cultural power maintain its influence in the modern world?’ is now available online.

In this talk, which took place on 27 February 2014, Sir Martin Davidson KCMG, CEO of the British Council, examined the UK’s soft power capacity: its ability to make its national presence felt through its powers of cultural attraction rather than its economic muscle and military might. In a rapidly changing international environment, achieving its foreign policy goals will require all of the UK’s creativity, wit and innovation. Does the UK have what it takes?

Martin Davidson took up the role as Chief Executive at the British Council in April 2007. Prior to the British Council he worked for the Hong Kong Government as an Administrative Officer. He joined the British Council as Assistant Representative in Beijing in 1984. Martin was responsible for opening the South China office in Guangzhou in 1989 and returned to Beijing in 1995 as Director China. He speaks both Cantonese and Mandarin. He has also held various posts in the British Council’s London HQ with responsibilities covering South East Europe, the Middle East, East Asia and the Americas.

The event was chaired by Kalypso Nicolaïdis, Professor of International Relations and Director of the Centre for International Studies.

The podcast is available here

Photos from the event can be viewed on the CIS facebook page here

(11/03/2014) New Podcast: 'The Global Liberal Order and its Future' Event

A podcast of the recent CIS event 'The Global Liberal Order and its Future' is now available online.

The event took place on 24 January 2014 in the Manor Road Building. The speakers were Professor John Ikenberry (Princeton University and George Eastman Professor, Oxford University, 2013-2014 and Fellow of Balliol College) and Professor Andrew Hurrell (DPIR and Balliol College) and the event was chaired by Professor Rosemary Foot (St Antony’s College). The commentators were Ms Kate Brooks (Department of Politics and International Relations and Green Templeton College); and Mr Julian Gruin (Department of Politics and International Relations and St Antony’s College).

The podcast is available here

(18/02/2014) CIS Research Associate Scott Atran briefs the U.S. Defense Science Board on Countering Violent Extremism

CIS Research Associate Scott Atran has delivered an ARTIS briefing on Countering Violent Extremism to the U.S. Defense Science Board, a senior advisory board for the Secretary of Defense that advises on strategy and research.

A similar briefing was also given by Scott to the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee Staff and at the Department of State.

The briefing can be read here.

Scott Atran is the Director of Research, ARTIS and a CIS Research Associate.

(28/01/2014) New Book by CIS Research Associate Evelyn Goh

CIS Research Associate Evelyn Goh’s new book, The Struggle for Order: Hegemony, Hierarchy, and Transition in Post-Cold War East Asia, has been published by Oxford University Press.

How has world order changed since the Cold War ended? Do we live in an age of American empire, or is global power shifting to the East with the rise of China? Arguing that existing ideas about balance of power and power transition are inadequate, this book gives an innovative reinterpretation of the changing nature of U.S. power, focused on the 'order transition' in East Asia.

For more information on this book please see the Oxford University Press website here.

Evelyn Goh is the Shedden Professor in Strategic Policy Studies at the Australian National University and a Research Associate at the Centre for International Studies, University of Oxford.

(22/01/2014) Charles Wallace Trust Visiting Fellowship for Pakistan 2014-2015

The Charles Wallace Pakistan Trust Visiting Fellowship is now accepting applications for the 2014-2015 academic year. The deadline for application submission is 1 April 2014.

The Charles Wallace Pakistan Trust will sponsor one scholar or practitioner from Pakistan as a visitor to the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford, for one Oxford term in the 2014-2015 academic year.

The purpose of the fellowship is to advance the understanding of contemporary problems and issues facing Pakistan across a broad range of themes. The Fellowship will provide return economy airfare from Pakistan and a monthly stipend to cover costs at Oxford.

The Visiting Fellow may be a scholar or a practitioner. Selection follows the Department policy and procedure for Academic Visitors and is subject to the approval of the Charles Wallace Pakistan Trust and the British Council in Pakistan.

The Deadline for the 2014-2015 round is Tuesday 1 April 2014.

Charles Wallace Trust Visitor Application Form

Further details on applying for the Charles Wallace Trust Visiting Fellowship for Pakistan can be found here.

(22/01/2014) Charles Wallace Trust Visiting Fellowship for Burma 2014-2015

The Charles Wallace Burma Trust Visiting Fellowship is now accepting applications for the 2014-2015 academic year. The deadline for application submission is 28 February 2014.

The Charles Wallace Burma Trust will sponsor one scholar or practitioner from Burma as a visitor to the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford, for one Oxford term in the 2014-2015 academic year.

The purpose of the fellowship is to advance the understanding of contemporary problems and issues facing Burma across a broad range of themes. The Fellowship will provide return economy airfare from Burma and a monthly stipend to cover costs at Oxford.

The Visiting Fellow may be a scholar or a practitioner. Selection follows the Department policy and procedure for Academic Visitors and is subject to the approval of the Charles Wallace Burma Trust and the British Council in Burma.

The Deadline for the 2014-2015 round is Friday 28 February 2014.

Charles Wallace Trust Visitor Application Form

Further details on applying for the Charles Wallace Trust Visiting Fellowship for Burma can be found here.

(06/12/2013) New York Times article discusses the implications of studies by CIS Research Associate Scott Atran and his research team

An article published in The New York Times discusses the implications of studies by CIS Research Associate Scott Atran and his research team (Jeremy Ginges, New School for Social Research; Morteza Dehghani, USC; Gregory Berns, Emory) for how sacred values constrain negotiation strategies by prohibiting people from making material tradeoffs that threaten to compromise those values, as when land becomes “holy land".

Examples cited include Palestinian refugee and Israeli settler attitudes towards territorial compromise, and sacralization of the nuclear issue in Iran. Sacred values appear to act as moral imperatives that inspire non-rational sacrifices, which brain imaging experiments associate with rule-bound behavior executed regardless of consequences.

The article can be read here.

(02/12/2013) New Publications by CIS Research Associate Jochen Prantl

CIS Research Associate Jochen Prantl has recently had an edited book titled 'Effective Multilateralism: Through the Looking Glass of East Asia' (St Antony's Series, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) and a journal article titled 'Global Economic Governance in East Asia: Through the Looking Glass of the European Sovereign Debt Crisis' published. The journal article was published in a special issue of the journal Studia Diplomatica (Vol. LXVI-1, 2013), which Jochen also guest edited.

This set of publications departs from the observation that Western liberal order is in transition.  The authority of the United States-led order has become challenged by the gap between the escalating geographical, functional, and normative ambitions of international society and the lack of (institutional) means to deliver them. 

Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass taught us long ago about the discontents of authority.  His famous character of Humpty Dumpty, the talking egg in a cravat sitting on top of a wall and talking down to little Alice, epitomizes a satirical and ultimately dystopian view of authority that is pretentious and without substance.  Consequently, the episode of Humpty Dumpty ends with his fall from the wall, depicting the great fall of false authority.  The central research questions both publications pose is therefore: How do we generate ‘real’ authority under conditions of order transition?  What is the nature of cooperation?

Effective Multilateralism: Through the Looking Glass of East Asia (http://us.macmillan.com/effectivemultilateralism/JochenPrantl) makes the case for a new approach to understand and explain collective action, juxtaposing the European concept of effective multilateralism with the empirical reality of regional cooperation in East Asia.  The edited volume offers a careful examination of cases that lead to a better understanding of the scope conditions of analytical frameworks of multilateralism.

Global Economic Governance in East Asia: Through the Looking Glass of the European Sovereign Debt Crisis aims at making the following two contributions: first, it narrows the focus of the excessively broad global governance discourse by examining the impact of a specific collective action problem, that is, the European Sovereign Debt Crisis, on regional economic governance in Asia; secondly, it exposes and explains the global-regional and regional-regional nexi driving the mechanisms and processes of East Asian economic and financial integration.

(28/11/2013) Dr Rama Mani receives the Peter-Becker-Prize for Peace and Conflict Research

On Friday 22nd of November, at a ceremony in the Great Hall of Marburg’s Old University, CIS Research Associate Dr Rama Mani and the Komitee für Grundrechte und Demokratie (Committee for Basic Rights and Democracy, Cologne) received the Peter-Becker-Prize for Peace and Conflict Research from the Chancellor of the University, Dr. Friedhelm Nonne.

The prize, endowed with an overall sum of 10,000 Euros and awarded every two years, is the highest endowed award for peace and conflict research in Germany.

In her laudation on Rama Mani, Prof. Dr. Claudia von Braunmühl (Berlin) emphasized: “Dr. Rama Mani researches on burning issues of peace, peace making and its pre-requisites on the one hand and on the other membership in bodies which are mandated with designing policy avenues to just and sustainable peace and with advising and lobbying to that effect. Rama Mani rightly describes herself as a ‘scholar-practitioner of peace-building’.”

First awarded in 2005, the Peter Becker Prize is awarded (every two years) to promote the application of peace research in practical projects. The prize money is donated by the Marburg lawyer Peter Becker, who is also the spokesperson for the German section of the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA). The aim is to support projects which make a significant contribution to promoting peace.

To view a photograph of the event please click here.

(25/11/2013) Dr Sarmila Bose asks 'Is India's potential prime minister driven by anti-Muslim prejudice?'

Sarmila Bose has written an op-ed piece for AlJazeera (24 November) exploring the past of the Bharatiya Janata Party's "de facto prime-ministerial candidate", Narendra Modi.

She writes, "It may not be obvious to those who have only heard him speak in slightly halting English, but in 2002 I found Modi to be an immensely effective orator in Gujarati. He played the crowds' emotions skilfully, and stoked their prejudices with bone-chilling messages about "enemies of the state"."

The full article can be read here: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/11/india-potential-prime-minister-driven-anti-muslim-prejudice-2013111973628103751.html

Dr Sarmila Bose is Senior Research Associate, Centre for International Studies.

(13/11/2013) Dr Othon Anastasakis comments on Greece’s Radical Politics

Dr Othon Anastasakis, CIS Research Associate, has written an article for the e-International Relations website titled ‘Greece’s Radical Politics on the Dark Side of Dawn’.

In the article Othon comments on the rising popularity in Greece of the far right party Golden Dawn.

The full article can be read here.

Othon Anastasakis is the Director of the European Studies Centre, St Antony’s College, Oxford; the Director of South East European Studies at Oxford (SEESOX); and a CIS Research Associate.

(24/09/2013) Dr Ishtiaq Ahmad analyses British policy towards Pakistan since 9/11

In an article published in Strategic Studies, Ishtiaq Ahmad argues that the UK has, pursued a hotchpotch of short-term security-centric realism and long-term development-driven liberalism in its post-9/11 engagement in Pakistan.

The British counter-terrorism-centric policy, argues Ahmad, has shown relative consistency due to the multiplicity of historically rooted political, economic and social links between the UK and Pakistan. He states: “These links, particularly the existence of a sizeable British population of Pakistani descent facing complicated issues of identity, integration and immigration, ensure Pakistan’s continuing long-term relevance to the UK’s foreign policy and durability of their bilateral relations—an attribute that visibly contrasts with the relatively unstable nature of US-Pakistan relations.” Ahmad further argues, “The comparative steadiness in UK-Pakistan relations in the past, including in the post-9/11 period—due largely to the multiplicity of historically rooted political, economic and social links with the UK—means Pakistan will remain a country of crucial concern and interest for the British establishment in the foreseeable future.”

The full article can be read here

Dr Ishtiaq Ahmad is Senior Research Associate, Centre for International Studies

(24/09/2013) Dr Ishtiaq Ahmad comments on the implications of religion as a basis of statehood in Pakistan

Ishtiaq Ahmad was quoted in Al-Jazeera (16 August) in an article entitled “Is this the world's most dangerous moustache?”.

In it, he said, “The controversy over such a trivial matter speaks volumes of the steep decline in Islamic values of peace, compassion and tolerance in Pakistan.”

Referring to the partition and its consequences for Pakistan, Ahmad said, "[Pakistan is] a country born in the name of religion, yet religion has now become its principal headache. For it is in the name of Islam that Muslim-on-Muslim violence occurs on a daily basis.”  

"Unless the Pakistani state reshapes itself conceptually and structurally, the exclusivist, regressive form of religiosity, inspired by violent Wahhabi-Deobandi creed, will continue to grow. This will further narrow down space for any sort of cultural expression.”

The full article can be read here

Dr Ishtiaq Ahmad is Senior Research Associate, Centre for International Studies

(24/09/2013) Dr Ishtiaq Ahmad comments on Pakistan’s founding paradox

Ishtiaq Ahmad has written a piece for Politics in Spires (22 March) titled “Pakistan: A nation defined by religion yet being torn apart by it”.

Ishtiaq writes, “There is little doubt that the consistent growth of fanaticism, especially in its recent militant manifestations, has become Pakistan’s most formidable challenge today. The roots of this gory trend are to be found in the nature of Pakistan’s birth as a nation.”

The write-up can be read here

Dr Ishtiaq Ahmad is Senior Research Associate, Centre for International Studies

(24/09/2013) Dr Ishtiaq Ahmad comments on Al-Qaeda’s shifting strategic focus from South Asia to the Middle East

Ishtiaq Ahmad was quoted in The National (7 March) in an article entitled “Al Qaeda's 'wanted dead or alive' list confirms its propaganda machine is still running”.

In it, he said, “Al Qaeda is in retreat after serious blows to their war efforts in the north-western tribal areas of Pakistan, purely because of the drone campaign… They have lost some key leaders and others have gone into hiding."

Ishtiaq also argued, “It was logical that they should seek to extend their influence in the Arabian peninsula and Africa, exploiting popular uprisings originally driven not by Islamist, anti-Western sentiment but temporal issues of employment, equality and greater political freedom…The involvement of articulate, English-speaking activists was further evidence that the idea of Al Qaeda attracting only poor, ill-educated volunteers was a myth.”

The full article can be read here

Dr Ishtiaq Ahmad is Senior Research Associate, Centre for International Studies

(24/09/2013) Dr Ishtiaq Ahmad comments on the prospect of reconciliation in Afghanistan

Ishtiaq Ahmad has written a piece for Politics in Spires (18 February) titledAs Western withdrawal gains momentum, peace in Afghanistan hinges on one factor: Pakistan”.

Ishtiaq writes, “Pakistan seems to have undertaken a calculated shift in its regional security approach. This shift is occurring essentially in response to NATO’s military exit from Afghanistan, and entails an unavoidable compromise in its past policy of realizing India-specific security interests in Afghanistan through sponsorship of religiously radicalized Afghan groups, the Mujahideen in the 80s and the Taliban afterwards. It is currently inclined to accept the establishment of an Afghan regime that includes the Taliban but is not dominated by them.”

The write-up can be read here

Dr Ishtiaq Ahmad is Senior Research Associate, Centre for International Studies

(18/07/2013) Dr Sarmila Bose comments further on Bangladesh's International Crimes Tribunal

Sarmila Bose has appeared on BBC World Service's 'Newshour' programme (17 July) commenting on Bangladesh's International Crimes Tribunal. As in her recent appearance on ABC's 'Rear Vision' she commented that there are two major problems with the Tribunal: firstly that it is one-sided – that is, the victorious side is trying one part of the defeated side – and secondly that many international observers have commented that it does not meet the standards that would normally be expected of an international tribunal.

When asked on this occasion whether a trial was needed and if so what it should look like, she replied that she felt a trial was needed, but a trial that dealt with crimes committed by both sides of the political divide, in a neutral venue and conducted according to the appropriate standards of an international war crimes tribunal under the auspices of the International Criminal Court. She added that this alone may not be enough, and that ideally there would also be some form of Truth & Reconciliation commission to help heal the scars of the past.

The full interview can be heard here (approx. 26:30 on iPlayer clock): http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01bxkc4

Dr Sarmila Bose is Senior Research Associate, Centre for International Studies

(15/07/2013) Professor Jennifer Welsh appointed UN Special Adviser

The Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon, has announced (12 July) the appointment of Somerville Fellow and Tutor in International Relations, Professor Jennifer Welsh, as his Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect.

The Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General on the Responsibility to Protect is charged with the development and refinement of the Responsibility to Protect concept and with continuing a political dialogue with UN Member States and other stakeholders on further steps toward implementation.

The role is located within the Office of the Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide. The two Special Advisers work closely together, with responsibilities including alerting relevant actors to the risk of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity, enhancing the capacity of the United Nations to prevent these crimes, including their incitement, and working with Member States, regional and sub-regional arrangements, and civil society to develop more effective means of response when they do occur.

Jennifer says of the appointment: “I am very honoured to have been chosen to advise the UNSG on this crucial area of international policy, and to contribute my expertise to the UN. It is of vital importance that we continue to build the capacity of international organisations and individual states to protect populations from mass atrocity crimes. In particular, I hope to improve upon the international community's capacity to prevent crises from occurring or escalating.”

At Somerville College, Jennifer is a core member of the PPE team, with a focus on the second and third year Politics papers in International Relations. She is also actively involved in graduate teaching and supervision within the Department of Politics and International Relations, concentrating on courses and theses related to International Normative Theory, International Relations Theory, and the use of military force in international society.

Jennifer's research interests lie at the intersection of ethics and armed conflict, with a particular focus on the United Nations Security Council, the practice of military intervention, and the evolving principle of the Responsibility to Protect. She currently co-directs the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict (ELAC).

Professor Jennifer Welsh is Professor in International Relations, co-director of the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict, Fellow of Somerville College

(08/07/2013) New Podcast: 'Shaping Europe's Destiny: Vision and Opportunities' Event

A podcast of 'Shaping Europe's Destiny: Vision and Opportunities' event is now available online.

This event, part of the Justice and Democracy beyond the Nation-State: Lessons From and For Europe seminar series, aimed to bring together people interested in legal and political philosophy with those interested in Europe for a discussion about where these areas meet. The event took place on Tuesday 11th June in the Manor Road Building.

The speaker was Professor Philippe Van Parijs (Visiting Professor, Oxford) and the discussants were Dr. Pavlos Eleftheriadis (Faculty of Law, Oxford), Professor David Miller (DPIR, Oxford), Luuk Van Middelaar (Advisor and Speechwriter to the European Council President, Herman Van Rompuy) and Professor Kalypso Nicolaidis (DPIR, Oxford).

The podcast is available here.

A photograph from the event can be viewed here.

(24/06/2013) Dr Sarmila Bose comments on Bangladesh's International Crimes Tribunal

Sarmila Bose was interviewed for a radio programme (2 June) entitled 'Rear Vision' on Australia's ABC network. The episode was called 'Justice or retribution: the story of Bangladesh's International Crimes Tribunal', and dealt with the International Crimes Tribunal that the Bangladesh government has created to assess accusations of war crimes in the 1971 war of Bangladesh independence.

Sarmila commented, "There are two problems with the tribunal. One is that the process itself has been described by many international observers as being unfair and not meeting international standards, and the other is that it's the victorious side of that war trying one part of the defeated side. And this is unjust. And Bangladesh seems cursed by this process to keep re-living the injustices in a vicious cycle."

The full programme can be heard (and transcripts can be read) here: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/rearvision/tribunal-or-retibution/4690858

Dr Sarmila Bose is Senior Research Associate, Centre for International Studies

(12/06/2013) 'Symbolic Power in the World Trade Organization' book launch event held at the Manor Road Building

On 29th May 2013 Matthew Eagleton-Pierce launched his new book 'Symbolic Power in the World Trade Organization' at an event held at the Manor Road Building, in association with CIS.

Matthew Eagleton-Pierce is a Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Exeter. He previously taught at the London School of Economics and the University of Oxford. His research interests lie within the field of international political economy and international political sociology. His first monograph, Symbolic Power in the World Trade Organization (Oxford University Press, 2013) examines the relationship between power, language, and practices of legitimation in world trade. The event served as an opportunity to debate questions arising from the book.

The discussants were Valéria Guimarães de Lima e Silva (Global Research Fellow, Hauser Global Law School Program, NYU) and Thomas Hale (Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford). The event was chaired by CIS Director Kalypso Nicolaidis.

 

To view photographs of the event please click here.

 

A summary of the book is as follows:

Questions of power are central to understanding global trade politics and no account of the World Trade Organization (WTO) can afford to avoid at least an acknowledgment of the concept. A closer examination of power can help us to explain why the structures and rules of international commerce take their existing forms, how the actions of countries are either enabled or disabled, and what distributional outcomes are achieved. However, within conventional accounts, there has been a tendency to either view power according to a single reading - namely the direct, coercive sense - or to overlook the concept entirely, focusing instead on liberal cooperation and legalization. In this book, Matthew Eagleton-Pierce shows that each of these approaches betray certain limitations which, in turn, have cut short, or worked against, more critical appraisals of power in transnational capitalism. To expand the intellectual space, the book investigates the complex relationship between power and legitimation by drawing upon Pierre Bourdieu's notion of symbolic power. A focus on symbolic power aims to alert scholars to how the construction of certain knowledge claims are fundamental to, and entwined within, the material struggle for international trade. Empirically, the argument uncovers and plots the recent strategies adopted by Southern countries in their pursuit of a more equitable trading order. By bringing together insights from political economy, sociology, and law, Symbolic Power in the WTO not only enlivens and enriches the study of diplomatic practice within a major multilateral institution, it also advances the broader understanding of power in world politics.

For reviews, see here.

 

(23/05/2013) New Podcast: 'The Future of Constructivist Research in International Relations' Event

A podcast of 'The Future of Constructivist Research in International Relations' event is now available online.

The event took place on Tuesday 30th April in the Manor Road Building. The event discussed the contributions of constructivism and what the future constructivist research agenda might look like.

Sessions included Professor Kathryn Sikkink, (McKnight Presidential Chair in Political Science, University of Minnesota and Visiting Professor, Blavatnik School of Government), speaking on ‘The Role of Agency in Constructivism’; Professor Iver Neumann (Montague Burton Professor of International Relations, LSE), speaking on ‘Constructivism and the Turn to Practice’; Professor Martha Finnemore (University Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, The George Washington University), speaking on ‘Are legal norms distinctive and what do they add to the analysis of political change?’; and Professor Amitav Acharya (Christensen Fellow, St Catherine's College, Oxford, and Professor of International Relations, American University, Washington, D.C.), speaking on ‘Constructivism and the Study of Global IR’.

The podcast is available here, and is also available on iTunesU.

(01/05/2013) Dr Alia Brahimi comments on the invasion of Iraq, and the reasons for closing Guantanamo Bay

Dr Alia Brahimi, Research Associate at the Centre for International Studies, has written two opinion pieces for Al Jazeera. The first article comments on the invasion of Iraq, 10 years on, and the Bush administration’s case for war against Saddam Hussein, and the second article comments on the reasons for closing Guantanamo Bay.

The article on the invasion of Iraq can be read here.

The article on the reasons for closing Guantanamo Bay can be read here.

Dr Alia Brahimi is a Research Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Research Associate at the Centre for International Studies.

(02/04/2013) Professor Adam Roberts discusses India’s and Pakistan’s defence, security and nuclear weapons policies

Professor Adam Roberts was a member of a team from the International Institute for Strategic Studies, London, at joint workshops with leading specialists in New Delhi and Islamabad to discuss India’s and Pakistan’s defence, security and nuclear weapons policies, 3–9 March 2013.

In addition, in both cities he gave lectures on 'Addressing Violent Extremism: Lessons from Sri Lanka', marking the publication in India and Pakistan of his latest book, Democracy, Sovereignty and Terror: Lakshman Kadirgamar on the Foundations of International Order, I.B. Tauris, London, 2012.

The book is available for purchase from Amazon here

Professor Roberts is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for International Studies and an Emeritus Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford.

(02/04/2013) Professor Richard Caplan awarded British Academy mid-career fellowship on 'Measuring Peace Consolidation'

Congratulations to Richard Caplan, who has been awarded a British Academy mid-career fellowship for a project entitled 'Measuring Peace Consolidation'.

This project will investigate how various actors within the UN system differ in their understandings of the characteristics of, and requirements for, a consolidated peace, and the implications that these differences have for the formulation and implementation of coherent peacebuilding strategies. It will focus on the technical, organizational and political challenges of devising operational measures of effectiveness, in particular measures of progress towards the achievement of a consolidated peace.

This project will start on 2 September 2013 and run until 29 August 2014.

Professor Richard Caplan is Professor of International Relations and Official Fellow, Linacre College

(19/03/2013) Professor Henry Shue comments on the climate change implications of Canada's tar-sands oil project

Professor Henry Shue has written a column for the Canadian International Council's opencanada.org website entitled 'Canada and Climate: From Leader to Threat'.

In the article Henry comments on the climate change implications of Canada's tar-sands oil project.

The full article can be read here.

Henry Shue is a Senior Research Fellow at Merton College and a Senior Research Associate at the Centre for International Studies, Department of Politics and International Relations.

(06/03/2013) Dr Sarmila Bose comments on the roots of recent unrest in Bangladesh

Sarmila Bose appeared on the BBC World Service Newshour program (3 March) to discuss the protests and violence which have engulfed Bangladesh over the last week.

The unrest stems from the convictions at a tribunal assessing war crimes during the country’s 1971 war of independence. Last week Delwar Hossain Sayeedi, a top leader in Jamaat-e-Islami, the country’s largest Islamist political party, was sentenced to death by the tribunal.

Criticizing the lack of independence of the trial, Sarmila noted, “I don’t think this is a battle between Islamists and secular people. This is a battle between those who believe there should be a rule of law and those who believe they can get away without a rule of law … The current government has brought about a situation where you don’t have rule of law, because you’re not according rule of law to the Jamaat.”

The interview can be streamed or downloaded here, as part of the episode titled “03 Mar 13 Karachi Explosions” (the interview begins around the 7.00 mark). Sarmila is the author of Dead Reckoning: Memories of the 1971 Bangladesh War, which is available for purchase from Amazon here.

Dr Sarmila Bose is Senior Research Associate, Centre for International Studies

(11/02/2013) Professor Jennifer Welsh outlines a Canadian agenda for Arctic leadership

Writing in The Globe and Mail (28 January), Jennifer Welsh argues that now is the moment for Canada to leave its mark on Arctic governance. This June, Canada will take over the rotating chairmanship of the Arctic Council, an intergovernmental body created in 1996 which includes a core set of Arctic states (Canada, the U.S., Russia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, and Denmark), as well as six indigenous organizations as permanent participants. At a moment in history when interest in the Arctic has arguably never been greater, Jennifer notes that, “[t]he Canadian government would be wise to seize the opportunity of chairmanship to think creatively about the council’s role and the future of Arctic governance more generally, particularly given the interest of so many countries (including the Chinese) in the region’s resources.”

The article can be read in full here.

Professor Jennifer Welsh is Professor in International Relations, co-director of the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict, Fellow of Somerville College

(28/01/2013) Dr Sarmila Bose analyses Britain’s post-imperial memory

In an article for Al Jazeera (24 January), Sarmila Bose, Senior Research Associate at Oxford’s Centre for International Studies, argues that the British continue to fail to confront the realities of their colonial past.

Noting similarities between the current Mau Mau rebellion court case and atrocities committed during the final years of British control in India, Sarmila writes that many Britons continue to believe that empire was a relatively benign phenomenon. “It would be far healthier for the British to confront the realities of their imperial past,” she states. “That would allow today's generations to have a better understanding of their history, acknowledge that their values have changed and move on to a different future.”

The post can be read in full here, and also appears on Politics in Spires, the Oxford-Cambridge politics and international relations blog.

Dr Sarmila Bose is Senior Research Associate, Centre for International Studies

(25/01/2013) Professor Anne Deighton comments on the viability of Britain replacing the EU with the Commonwealth

Anne Deighton was quoted in the Christian Science Monitor (17 January) in an article entitled 'Could Britain move away from EU and toward the Commonwealth?'.

In it she said, “The old empire-commonwealth dream is really just that,” adding, “It has long roots among British Conservatives, roots that go back to the 1950s, but it was not viable then, and is not now.”

She also referred to a point in the early 1960s when Britain first applied to join what was then the European Economic Community, causing Australia to “kick up a terrible fuss.”

“By the time of the late '60s, they [Australia] had done the sensible thing and reoriented their trade policies to their own region, and away from the UK. In security and defense, they turned away from the UK to the US, as the dominant power."

The full article can be read here.

Professor Anne Deighton is Professor of European International Politics, University Lecturer, Fellow, Wolfson College

(14/01/2013) Professor Richard Caplan presents research on state building to US State Department officials

As the United States prepares to wind down its activities in Afghanistan, Richard Caplan was invited to discuss the findings of his research on exit strategies and peace- and state-building at the US State Department on 4 December.

Richard spoke to officials working in the Office of the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (SRAP) as well as officials in the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO). He also presented his work to UN officials at a meeting organised by the International Peace Institute (IPI) in New York on 6 December.

The presentations drew on research that appears in his recent book Exit Strategies and State Building (Oxford University Press, 2012). The book is available for purchase from Amazon here.

Professor Richard Caplan is Professor of International Relations and Official Fellow, Linacre College

(11/01/2013) Professor Walter Mattli awarded the ISA 2012 Best Book Award

Walter Mattli, along with co-author Tim Büthe, has been awarded the 2012 Best Book Award of the International Studies Association (ISA) for ‘The New Global Rulers: The Privatization of Regulation in the World Economy’ (Princeton University Press, 2011).

In an earlier review of the book, John Doces of Comparative Political Studies wrote that it is "an example of first-rate research that offers thick descriptions, compelling theory, and convincing empirical results." He added, "The authors have done a masterful job in expanding our knowledge and understanding of globalization, and the book deserves to be widely read." You can find out more about The New Global Rulers by clicking here.

The International Studies Association (ISA) was founded in 1959 to promote research and education in international affairs. With well over five thousand members around the world, ISA is the most well respected and widely known scholarly association in this field. It cooperates with 57 international studies organisations in over 30 countries, is a member of the International Social Science Council, and enjoys nongovernmental consultative status with the United Nations. You can read more about it by clicking here.

Professor Walter Mattli is Professor of International Political Economy, CUF University Lecturer, Official Fellow of St John's College

(15/10/2012) Charles Wallace Trust Visiting Fellowships for Pakistan and Burma

Charles Wallace Trust Visiting Fellowship for Burma 2012-2013

The Charles Wallace Burma Trust Visiting Fellowship is now accepting applications for the 2012-2013 round. The deadline for application submission is 16 November 2012.

The Charles Wallace Burma Trust will sponsor one scholar or practitioner from Burma as a visitor to the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford, during the Trinity Term of the 2012-2013 academic year.

The purpose of the fellowship is to advance the understanding of contemporary problems and issues facing Burma across a broad range of themes. The Fellowship will provide return economy airfare from Burma and a monthly stipend to cover costs at Oxford. Please note that no specific provision is made for course or bench fees.  

The Visiting Fellow may be a scholar or a practitioner. Selection follows the Department policy and procedure for Academic Visitors and is subject to the approval of the Charles Wallace Burma Trust and the British Council in Burma.

The Deadline for the 2012-2013 round is Friday, 16 November 2012.

 

Charles Wallace Trust Visiting Fellowship for Pakistan 2013-2014

The Charles Wallace Pakistan Trust Visiting Fellowship is now accepting applications for the 2013-2014 round. The deadline for application submission is 16 November 2012.

The Charles Wallace Pakistan Trust will sponsor one scholar or practitioner from Pakistan as visitor to the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford, for one Oxford term in the 2013-2014 academic year.

The purpose of the fellowship is to advance the understanding of contemporary problems and issues facing Pakistan across a broad range of themes. The Fellowship will provide return economy airfare from Pakistan and a monthly stipend to cover costs at Oxford. Please note that no specific provision is made for course or bench fees. 

The Visiting Fellow may be a scholar or a practitioner. Selection follows the Department policy and procedure for Academic Visitors and is subject to the approval of the Charles Wallace Pakistan Trust and the British Council in Pakistan.

The Deadline for the 2013-2014 round is Friday, 16 November 2012.

More details about the Charles Wallace Trust Visiting Fellowships for Burma or Pakistan can be found here.

(27/04/2012) Professor Ngaire Woods discusses continuing challenges facing the Eurozone

Ngaire Woods was interviewed in the Business Daily programme of BBC World Service (23 April, 2012) on the continuing challenges facing the Eurozone.

Ngaire said, “Europe still does not have a collective growth plan, and without one the countries in Europe are going to be under increasing strain.”


The interview focuses on the recent challenges in the Netherlands, but also the challenge for European leaders’ austerity programmes across Europe, and new IMF plans to deal with the crisis. For Ngaire, the challenge remains that “the Eurozone ministers have to get ahead of the markets; they have to come up with a plan that stops the market from simply hanging out on the sidelines simply waiting for the next piece of bad news.”

The full programme can be heard here [0.03.00 on the iPlayer clock].

 

Professor Ngaire Woods is Professor of International Political Economy, Director of the Global Economic Governance Programme, University College

(30/03/2012) Dr Karma Nabulsi and the 'Teaching Contemporary Palestinian Political History' programme

Times Higher Education published an article (22 March) entitled 'Education allows our people to make a living anywhere', which mentions the Teaching Contemporary Palestinian Political History programme, led by Karma Nabulsi.


The article deals with some of the challenges faced by universities operating in the Palestinian territories, and refers to the links that these universities often form with other academic institutions overseas.  It also focuses on Birzeit University, which is part of a consortium: "... with An-Najah National University in Nablus, the universities in Gaza, the Lebanese University and the University of Oxford's department of politics - involved in a British Academy-sponsored programme titled Teaching Contemporary Palestinian Political History, which is designed to provide both online course materials and documentary resources for the study and teaching of the period between the Palestine Liberation Organization's founding in 1964 and the Oslo peace agreements in 1993."

The full article can be read here.

More informaiton on the Teaching Contemporary Palestinian Political History can be found on the Centre for International Studies website, here.

 

Dr Karma Nabulsi is University Lecturer in International Relations, Fellow in Politics, St Edmund Hall

(23/03/2012) Professor Ngaire Woods comments on Greece’s sovereign debt restructuring deal

Ngaire Woods commented on Greece’s sovereign debt restructuring in the World Business Report programme at BBC World Service (9 March).

Ngaire said, “Until now, what people call the bailout has not been actually a bailout of Greece; it has been a bailout of the private creditors. It has been money given to Greece so that Greece can keep up its interest payments to its private creditors.”

Ngaire explained that under the new debt restructuring deal, the private creditors for the first time have agreed to take some of the hit by swapping their debt bonds for bonds with longer maturity and lower interest rate.

Listen to the discussion here.

 

 

Professor Ngaire Woods is Professor of International Political Economy, Director of the Global Economic Governance Programme, University College

(19/03/2012) Dr David Rodin on the moral argument against nuclear weapons

David Rodin was one of the panellists in The Moral Maze programme of BBC Radio 4 (7 March) discussing whether it can be morally justified to keep our own nuclear arsenal while at the same time preaching non-proliferation to the Iranians as they advance their nuclear programme.

David took the position that our possession of nuclear weapons and the decision to renew the Trident deterrent system absolutely undermines our moral argument towards Iran.  He said “the moral case against nuclear weapons is extremely simple: any use of a nuclear weapon would involve a mass killing of innocent persons; in other words, mass murder and the position of these weapons as a deterrent involves the intention to kill other people, to murder other people as a means of gaining a political advantage, and neither of those two states are acceptable.”

To listen to this combative, provocative and engaging debate, click here (at approximately 26 mins 47 secs on the iPlayer clock).

David Rodin is Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict (ELAC).

(05/03/2012) Kirsty Hughes comments on the EU summit

Kirsty Hughes has written a piece for the Politics in Spires collaborative blog with POLIS, University of Cambridge, titled "Low Key EU Summit: Tired Europe mired in crisis and recession or rebounding?"

Kirsty writes: "Europe’s leaders will need a lot more energy and some much bigger and better ideas on growth – and on the EU’s role in the world – if future summits are to convince anyone that Europe is rebounding rather than staggering on."

The piece can be found here.

Comments on Kirsty’s and other blogs at Politics in Spires are most welcome.

Kirsty Hughes is Senior Associate Fellow, Centre for International Studies, University of Oxford

(05/03/2012) Professor Kalypso Nicolaïdis on the future of the Eurozone

In a letter to the Financial Times (24 February 2012), Kalypso Nicolaïdis discusses the structural flaws of a German-centric eurozone.

Discussing the European Union’s relativity principle, Kalypso notes that the outcomes are not relative at all, for “when it comes to a theory of real gravity, or general relativity, larger masses will determine space-time curvature and the space-time curvature will determine what counts as free fall.”

The letter can be read here.

 

Professor Kalypso Nicolaidis is Professor of International Relations, Director of the European Studies Centre, Faculty Fellow, St Antony's College

(05/03/2012) Professor Ngaire Woods on the second bailout deal of the Greek debt crisis

Ngaire Woods commented on BBC Radio 5 On the Money show (5 February) on the demands made on Greece in return for the second bailout for its economy.

Ngaire said “what the Greek government has been asked to do is quite extreme.” She noted that the Greek government is expected to deliver on a 25% cut in the minimum wage among other things on top of what it has already cut.

Since Greece has already lost one government over the handling of the crisis, Ngaire said that “my concern is that these measures at this speed are going to break Greece both politically and economically.”

The full programme can be heard here (at c. 39 min on the iPlayer clock).

Ngaire also discussed the Greek crisis and the Eurozone in the Business Daily programme of BBC World Service (16 February, 2012). She compared the conditions for the second Greek bail out to other IMF conditionality arrangements.

Ngaire said “why it is nevertheless surprising is that the IMF then went through a period of real learning and decided after the East Asian crisis that it would stop doing such intrusive conditionality in part because it simply does not work and in part because they returned to their core mission which was macroeconomic stability.”

She discusses the reasons for ths reversal of course by the IMF, the factor of time in reform implementation, and the political costs of the reform package. She continued “The tricky balance is this: is that you want to be offering support to those in Greece who really want to reform and want to be doing the right thing. You want to be strengthening their hand domestically but not make it look like they are simply your puppets. And it is that fine balance that I think the European ministers have got wrong.”

 The full programme can be heard here (0.06.29 on iPlayer clock).

As the Eurozone ministers finally agreed on a bailout package, Ngaire discussed the terms of the deal on the Today programme at BBC Radio 4 (21 February). She said that Greece is "unlikely to meet its targets" in what she termed a "political game".

The full programme can be heard here.

 

Professor Ngaire Woods is Professor of International Political Economy, Director of the Global Economic Governance Programme, University College

(26/01/2012) Professor Ngaire Woods on the Hungarian economic crisis

Ngaire Woods was interviewed on BBC Radio 4 (11 January) on the Hungarian economic crisis and the possibility of bankruptcy without a bail out from the IMF or the EU.


Ngaire suggested that the Hungarian government's response to its current economic crisis has been a nationalist one, but while its rhetoric may have been popular, the government is finding that it cannot deliver on its promises.  She then discussed some of the options facing Hungary in the days ahead, and the likely path of negotiations between the IMF and the Hungarian government.

The full programme can be heard here.

 

Professor Ngaire Woods is Professor of International Political Economy, Director of the Global Economic Governance Programme, University College.

(16/01/2012) Dr Kirsty Hughes on the EU crisis: political rather than financial?

In a letter to The Financial Times (6 January) Kirsty Hughes responded to an article on Hungary ('Democracy under threat in Budapest', 3 January) by arguing that the EU has the power to act if a member state violates fundamental democratic principles after joining the Union.

Kirsty notes that “under article 7 of the Lisbon treaty, the European Council can indeed suspend the voting rights of a member state that violates the key values of the EU including values of freedom, democracy and respect for human rights. And it can do this under a qualified majority vote – so there is no veto by the erring member state."

She concludes that the challenge facing the EU is political and therefore it is entirely up to the EU to decide what to do.  The letter can be read here.

Kirsty also published a piece in openDemocracy.net entitled 'EU democracy in crisis: mired in a perfect storm or rebounding?' (16 January).

In this article, Kirsty argues that the economics and politics of the euro crisis could be managed differently and that "EU leaders and other politicians should be focused on citizens, on society, on the practice of politics at least as much as on placating the markets."

She concludes that "EU leaders are divided, focused on their short-term national political careers, with none of them showing serious strategic or forward-looking European political imagination, or real conviction about the intertwining of national and European interests, let alone a real concern for the perilous economic and political state of much of the EU."

The full article can be read here.

Kirsty Hughes is Senior Associate Fellow, Centre for International Studies, University of Oxford.

(16/01/2012) Professor Jennifer Welsh on the Syrian crisis and the relationship between regional and global organizations

Jennifer Welsh has written an opinion piece in The Mark News (Canada, 5 January) on the evolving nature of the relationship between regional and global organizations in resolving armed conflict.

She uses the monitoring mission of the Arab League in Syria, which she suggests is facing a legitimacy crisis, as an example.

 

She goes on to say that although there are a number of reasons why the UN Security Council has not yet authorized coercive measures to prevent further atrocities; a growing political reason is the perception that regional organizations ought to take the lead in any global action as intended in Chapter VIII of the original UN Charter.

However, Jennifer sees a “capacity problem.”  She writes that “it may be fine for the UN Security Council to call upon players in the region to act first, as it did when it asked the African Union to take the lead in the crisis in Darfur in 2004-5.  But what happens when such organizations do not have the resources (financial or human) to do so?  In this instance, deferring to regional organizations risks looking like avoiding responsibility rather than delegating it.”

The full article can be read here.

 

Professor Jennifer Welsh is Professor in International Relations, co-director of the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict, Fellow of Somerville College

(11/01/2012) Dr Kirsty Hughes comments on David Cameron’s veto on EU Treaty

Kirsty Hughes published a piece in openDemocracy.net on David Cameron’s use of the veto on the EU treaty that aimed to solve the euro crisis.

 

Kirsty notes that the Prime Minister found himself isolated by the decisions of the other 26 EU members to forge ahead with an intergovernmental treaty. Given the circumstances, the use of the veto “is unlikely to be forgotten, and bad feelings will linger.” Moreover, although there should be plenty of “wiggle room” for Britain to get what it wants within the treaty, Cameron’s insistence on not contributing to the IMF fund to aid the eurozone suggests that Britain may be unwilling to mend fences any time soon.

While the debate so far has been around the modalities of a two speed Europe, the British veto suggests that a “three speed Europe” with the UK “in the third outer circle close to the exit door” may be in the making.

The full article can be read here.

Kirsty Hughes is Senior Associate Fellow, Centre for International Studies, University of Oxford.

(05/01/2012) 'China, the United States, and Global Order' awarded 'Favorite Read of 2011'

Congratulations to Professor Rosemary Foot, whose book - "China, the United States, and Global Order", co-authored by Dr Andrew Walter (LSE) - was awarded 'Favorite Read of 2011' by US magazine Foreign Policy.

 

A reviewer writes: "One does not have to dig very deep into foreign-policy punditry to find the belief that the question of the next decade is how world order will adapt to a waxing China and a waning United States. Will China embrace, reject, or simply ignore the set of pre-existing global norms? Will the United States continue to assert its privilege in setting global norms, or will it retreat into unilateralism? Beyond the punditry, very few scholars have bothered to look systematically at how both of these countries interact with global governance norms and structures. Rosemary Foot and Andrew Walter tackle the general question of Sino-American interactions with global rules and norms in a rigorous and informative manner, discussing issues as diverse as nonproliferation and financial regulation with a degree of empirical sophistication that borders on the astonishing. Foot and Walter have produced a must-read for anyone interested in the future of global governance."

The 'Favorite Reads of 2011' article can be found here.

 

Professor Rosemary Foot is John Swire Fellow in the International Relations of East Asia, St Antony's College

(03/01/2012) Dr Sarmila Bose comments on her research on the 1971 Bangladesh War

As Bangladesh marks 40 years of independence, Sarmila Bose has frequently been asked to comment on the research in her controversial book 'Dead Reckoning: Memories of the 1971 Bangladesh War', which questions many widespread views on the 1971 war of independence, particularly the number of casualties incurred during the war.

On 16 December she was interviewed live for BBC Worldservice Television on the subject, and she also commented in a special report for the BBC Asian Network (12 December), in which she was asked specifically about the likely numbers of people killed during the war.


“What I can say for sure," she said, "is that the official figure put out by Pakistan of around 26,000 is clearly absurdly low, while the figure of several million put out by the Bangladeshi nationalist side is equally absurdly high, and neither of them can be supported by evidence to date...”

The full radio programme can be heard here.  (Sarmila appears c.26.54 on the iPlayer clock.)

Dr Sarmila Bose is Senior Research Associate, Centre for International Studies

(29/11/2011) Kirsty Hughes comments on the eurozone crisis

Kirsty comments that 'Franco-German dominance and bad-tempered lecturing reveals a fractious, politically sluggish EU' that could have potentially disasterous implications if the EU falls apart. 'With no EU,' Kirsty argues, 'there is no European voice in the world'.


Please see the full piece 'Europe in the Soup' here.

Kirsty Hughes is Senior Associate Fellow, Centre for International Studies, University of Oxford

(22/11/2011) Department academics comment on the European Crisis

Professor Ngaire Woods, Director of the University of Oxford’s Global Economic Governance Programme and member of the IMF’s European Regional Advisory Group, discussed the Greek bail-out crisis on 4 November on BBC Radio 5.  The full programme can be heard here (c.2.10.35 on the iPlayer clock).


On the same day she also appeared on the BBC News Channel and BBC Radio Three Counties (which can be heard here, c.0.07.39 on the iPlayer clock)

She also appeared on BBC Radio Oxford, where she said: “It’s very easy for the European finance ministers to look longingly at the reserves which have been built up in China and Brazil, but in China and Brazil they’re saying well, hold on, the European Central bank is sitting on huge reserves of its own.  Why do you want to protect those reserves and come and ask us to use ours?”  Again, the full programme can be heard here (c.0.59.02 on the iPlayer clock).

Ngaire also appeared on the BBC News Channel on 10 November, discussing economic instability in Europe.

Dr Othon Anastasakis, Director of South East European Studies at Oxford and senior research fellow at the Department, has also commented extensively on the Greek crisis.  He appeared on BBC World News on 6 November, as well as ‘Newsdrive’ on BBC Radio Scotland, and ‘Newshour’ on the BBC World Service (which can be heard here, at c.0.03.45 on the iPlayer clock).