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SPIRE News 2007
On 19 October 2007, the School of Politics, International Relations and Philosophy: SPIRE co-hosted, with the Widening Participation Unit, a Citizenship Day for 177 local high school pupils from Painsley High in Cheadle. The Year 10 pupils took part in two lively workshops facilitated by SPIRE staff on the ideological debates between British political parties and on how to involve more young people in politics. Pupils also enjoyed a tour of the campus and a question and answer session with student mentors.
from left to right)
Every Autumn, SPIRE holds an Open Weekend for prospective students who want to find out what studying Politics, International Relations and Philosophy is like.
Showing off our excellent programmes is an important way to recruit new students to the School. This year we also got to show off our enthusiastic students, 22 of who gave up their weekend to help out at the Open Days held on 13 and 14 October 2007.
We owe them all a big vote of thanks for volunteering, and an especially big ‘Thank You’ to Clarrissa Hemmingsen (3rd Year IR student) who gave four PowerPoint presentations on her experience in the International Relations programme and her Study Abroad year at York University in Toronto, Canada.
Some of the 22 students who volunteered (from left to right): Teji Delano; Hannah Cole;Jane Brennan; Stephanie Coghlan; Kate Lawrence; Alex Towers and Clarissa Hemmingsen.
Interview on issues confronting Iraq and the Kurdish region
Dr Naveed Sheikh, Research Institute for Law, Politics and Justice/ School of Politics, International Relations and Philosophy (SPIRE), has been interviewed by the Daily Nwe, a newspaper in Iraqi Kurdistan. The interview dealt with the current situation in the Persian Gulf region and was part of a series in which leading observers, such as Noam Chomsky, Thomas Friedman, Michael Rubin, Christoph Bluth, Gareth Stansfield, Michael Trimble, and others, shared their opinions on central issues confronting Iraq and the Kurdish region.
Dr Sheikh said: "I was of course flattered to be included among these heavyweights, and the interview spilled over into two consecutive sessions. I was told by the editor it was well-received by readers. More importantly for SPIRE, the translator wrote the following to me: "Despite having two PhD offers from Leeds and Melbourne, I am now thinking of Keele to be a student under your supervision." Of course, we jumped on this, and I've already received and commented on the proposal."
Harvard World Model United Nations
Fiona Hutton, lead a team of eleven delegates from Keele University to the Harvard World Model United Nations hosted by Geneva. The conference took place from 26 March to 3 April 2007. It is the most authentic model United Nations experience possible, thanks to its 1,000 delegates from over 50 different countries and its itinerant location. Hosted in a different international location each spring, 17 simulated committees of the United Nations and other international organisations gather to discuss the issues facing this generation. See report
SPIRE are pleased to announce the appearance of our first promotional video featured on YouTube for the MA in Environmental Politics. You can view it here.
Expert Commentary at European Symposium
Dr Robert Ladrech (SPIRE and iLPJ) was invited by the Chairman of the European Parliament's Committee on Constitutional Affairs to provide expert commentary in a symposium on 'European political foundations: Cornerstones for developing a European parliamentary democracy'. The symposium was held in Brussels, and brought together representatives from the Parliament's Constitutional Affairs and Budget committees, as well as representatives from the European Commission and Council, and European-level parties including the Christian democrats and Conservatives, Socialists, the Left party, Greens, Liberals and regionalists. The occasion of the symposium was the Commission's forthcoming proposal to modify the regulation concerning European political parties by adding financial support for the establishment of European political foundations affiliated to such parties.
SPIRE hosted a pilot recycle scheme to assess the willingness of staff and students to cooperate and to demonstrate support for this simple environmental initiative. SPIRE staff and students used appropriate recycling bins to deposit their recyclable office material (paper, cardboard, plastics and cans). Each week volunteers took the contents to the recycling centre located behind the Students' Union.
Professor Andy Dobson and Dr Sherilyn MacGregor reviewed the pilot scheme and reported that during these 15 weeks, a total of 5,840 litres of recyclables were collected and recycled within SPIRE.
This equates to 29,200 cups of coffee during 15 weeks in SPIRE.
By scaling up the results compared to the whole campus, this means that the University throws away virtually an competition-size swimming pool of recyclables each year.
Enterprising Keele Students Win Business Ideas Awards
Winners, Neil Smith, Adrian Lim, Paul Jones, with judges Mike Cole and Sheila Henshall.
BIZCOM is a regional competition, which is run within the West Midlands and is led by Warwick & Wolverhampton Universities. The winners from Warwick, Wolverhampton, Keele, Worcester & Coventry Universities then go through to a regional final, which this year is being held at the Wolverhampton Science Park on Thursday 10th May.
For the Keele competition, held on 1 May 2007, the panel of judges, which included Mike Cole (Michelin Tyre plc), Sheila Henshall (WIRE & ex HSBC) and Tony Altham, a local entrepreneur, together with staff from Keele, assessed the entries, judging them on the innovativeness of the idea, the viability & sustainability, as well as the level of commitment and passion demonstrated.
Neil Smith, who is studying for an MA in Environmental Politics, won the first prize of £1000 for his business idea, which is called Green Triangle and which concerns an innovative method of green transport. Neil will also be given the opportunity to occupy a hot desk in the Stepping Stone incubation unit on the Keele Science Park and receive business mentoring from a number of sources to support the development of his idea. Neil will have the chance to win a further cash prize if he’s successful – £2500 if he comes first or £1500 if he is the regional runner up.
Second prize went to Adrian Lim, who received a cheque for £500 and third prize went to Paul Jones, who received £250. The prizes were presented by Mike Cole, Business Development Manger for Michelin Tyre plc.
Association of Legal & Social Philosophy Conference, 2007
The annual conference of the Association of Legal & Social Philosophy, organised and hosted by Professor Glen Newey and Dr Monica Mookherjee (Institute for Law, Politics & Justice), took place from 19th – 21st April 2007 at Keele.
This year’s conference was on the theme of “Aliens and Nations: citizenship, sovereignty and global politics” and attracted some 120 participants from as far afield as India, North America, the Russian federation and Australia.
Topics ranged from asylum-seekers, human trafficking and bio-terrorism to global resource allocation, civil disobedience and the border-defying status of sperm-donorship! Delegates also heard plenary addresses from Prof. Stephen Macedo on immigration and social justice, from Prof. Lord Parekh on multiculturalism and belonging, Prof. Judith Squires on equality and citizenship, Prof. Elisabetta Galeotti on female circumcision, and from Keele’s own Prof. Andy Dobson on environmental citizenship.
IPSAportal is the portal of the International Political Science Association and an official online IPSA publication. Hundreds of useful, rich and qualitatively outstanding websites for political science are selected, reviewed and evaluated by IPSA in order to provide scholars and students of the discipline worldwide an useful tool for online research. SPIRE's website has been selected for inclusion in the IPSAPortal, featuring the best 300 websites for online research in Political Science.
University Students Project
The School of Politics, International Relations and Philosophy: SPIRE, was selected to take part in a youth project initiated by the British Council, Pakistan.
The main objective of this project was to create a network of young university students from across Pakistan and UK and to provide a platform for open discussion through debate, panel discussions and workshops on the theme of Peace, Conflict Management and Resolution. In this way students of Pakistan and UK shared their knowledge, learning and experience on global issues and international relations, including conflict management. Four universities each from four cities (Peshawar, Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi) of Pakistan were involved in this project together with four UK partner universities, Keele University, Birmingham University, Glasgow University, and Edinburgh University.
This project included the opportunity for selected students from each of the UK partner universities to visit the International Resource Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution in Islamabad, to facilitate more understanding and cultural awareness between the student community of Pakistan and the UK. The UK students also visited various historical places and locations of relevance to the theme.
Final year undergraduate students, Claire Cooper and Gareth Evans, were selected from SPIRE to take part and they reported back on their experiences.