Politics, Philosophy, International Relations & Environment
Explore this Section
- / Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences /
- Politics, Philosophy, International Relations and Environment /
- News /
LEVERHULME TRUST AWARD
Dr Luis Lobo-Guerrero, Research Institute for Law, Politics and Justice, has been awarded £72,000 from The Leverhulme Trust for an 18 month research project entitled 'Capitalising security through life insurance in the UK'.
Building on previous work, Dr Lobo-Guerrero will further explore his capitalisation of life hypothesis that argues that life insurance translates an insured person's future economic vitality into present investment capital. The development of the hypothesis will help understand the development of life insurance as a condition for capitalist development, both historically and in present times. In so doing the project seeks to shed light as to how contemporary forms of life insurance developed and marketed in the UK promote and protect the livelihood of insured populations. The project will help resource the thematic priority of 'Insurance and the Security of Liberal Governance' within the Keele-based Biopolitics of Security Research Unit.
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON CLIMATE CHANGE
Professor Tim Doyle, Dr Luis Lobo-Guerrero and Dr Sherilyn MacGregor, School of Politics, International Relations and Philosophy, gave invited research papers at an international conference in Hyderabad, India.
The conference, on 'Climate Change in the Indian Ocean Region: Geopolitics, Energy and Security', was organised by the Indian Ocean Region Group (IORG) and The Centre for Indian Ocean Studies at Osmania University.
It brought together academics, students, policy advisors and activists from around the region to discuss a range of challenges faced by Indian Ocean states and communities as a result of climate change.
The three papers presented by the Keele delegation were very well received and will be published in 2010.
REGENERATION SEMINAR AT KEELE
The first of five ESRC-funded seminars was held at Keele last week to consider the regeneration of medium-sized cities such as Stoke-on-Trent and Hull. The event, organised and chaired by Dr Philip Catney, SPIRE, and Professor Chris Phillipson, Sociology and Criminology, attracted academics and policy-makers from across the country to discuss the economic and social challenges confronting such cities in the context of recession. Presentations examined different aspects of these 'medium-sized' cities, such as how they can be categorised (Paul Hildreth, Salford University), governance failure (Professor Alan Harding, Manchester University, and Brendan Nevin, (Nevin Leather Associates), property investment decision-making (Professor John Henneberry, Sheffield University) and social marginalisation (Dr Mark Featherstone, Keele). Future seminars in the series will examine the strategies developed by different cities to overcome barriers to effective social and economic regeneration.
Keele Researcher Awarded High Academic Honour
Dr Richard Luther, Convenor of the Keele European Parties Research Unit (KEPRU), has been awarded the Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art. One of the Austrian state’s highest honours, it was created to recognise "persons from Austria and abroad who have distinguished themselves by virtue of their contribution to the sciences or arts".
The medal was presented last Friday (20.11.09) on behalf of the Austrian Federal President by the Austrian Ambassador, Dr Gabrielle Matzner, at a decoration ceremony and reception hosted at her London Residence. The international guest list included Keele’s Deputy Vice Chancellor and four of Dr Luther’s SPIRE colleagues. In her speech, the Ambassador described Dr Luther as “an outstanding expert on contemporary Austrian politics … highly appreciated in academic and in political circles in Austria”.
The laudatory address was given by Professor Wolfgang Müller of Vienna University, who referred to Dr. Luther as “a fine scholar who has done a significant amount of excellent research [on] Austrian politics”. Having reviewed in particular Dr Luther’s work on Austrian federalism, consociationalism and political parties, he said he wished “to make clear … Dr Luther is not ‘just’ a specialist on Austrian politics, but has made significant contributions to the discipline of Political Science more generally, … providing … many and … important collective goods to the discipline”. A “first rate academic”, he was “a significant political scientist in a much broader sense”.
The photo shows from left to right: Prof. Müller, Dr Matzner, the Austrian Ambassador, and Dr Luther (20.11.09).
BRIGHTON BOMBER SPEAKS AT KEELE
Keele First Year Politics and IR students studying the compulsory 'Why Politics Matters' module had the unique experience of meeting an IRA activist and the daughter of one of his victims during a lecture at the University.
Patrick Magee came to be known as the 'Brighton bomber' for his attack on the Grand Hotel in Brighton during the Tory Party conference in 1984. Five people were killed that night, and one of them was Sir Anthony Berry, a minor minister in Margaret Thatcher's government. Jo Berry, his daughter, decided to meet Magee to try to understand why he had resorted to violence to pursue his political ends.
Berry and Magee have now met over 60 times, carrying their message of peace and reconciliation around the world. The 'Why Politics Matters' module began with students watching a documentary of Magee and Berry's first meetings, followed by lectures and seminars on themes of disobedience, violence, democracy and power.
The appearance of Magee and Berry gave students the opportunity to ask them informed and searching questions on issues raised by the module.
Magee and Berry also spoke at a packed specially arranged World Affairs lecture, run by Owen Powell, MBE.
ESRC SEMINAR SERIES
Fifteen established and early career academics gathered in Keele last week for the first of five ESRC-funded seminars on 'The Socio-Politics of Biosecurity: science, policy and practice'. Co-organised by Professor Andrew Dobson (SPIRE), Dr Sarah Taylor (Life Sciences) and Dr Kezia Barker (Geography, Birkbeck College, London), the seminar focused on the contemporary case of the 2009 Swine 'Flu Outbreak by commissioning an exciting range of interdisciplinary contributions from leading academics, commentators and policy-makers at the forefront of biosecurity.
Four themed sessions, 'Practising Preparedness', 'Knowing Responses', 'Producing Inequalities' and '(Dis)Connecting Bodies', drew together allied aspects of biosecurity analysis from different disciplinary perspectives and the debate that ensued was lively and stimulating. The seminar series has been designed to minimise carbon emissions where possible, and one participant, Professor Andrew Lakoff, gave his paper via videoconference from San Diego, California, saving four tonnes of CO2 - three times the per capita annual sustainable allowance.
The second seminar will take place at Keele in June 2010, on the topic of 'The Science of Biosecurity and Biosecuring Science'.
MICHAEL MANSFIELD QC TALKS ABOUT CAREER
One of Keele's most famous alumni, Michael Mansfield, QC, returned to the University this week to speak about his high profile legal career.
The barrister, who studied History and Philosophy at Keele in the early 1960s, has represented clients in some of the most controversial legal cases the country has seen, including the family of Jean Charles de Menezes, shot by the Metropolitan Police in 2005.
He spoke of his early days at Keele and his career to a capacity audience in Keele Hall's ballroom. Earlier in the day he held a Q&A session with staff and students in the School of Law and enjoyed a nostalgic tour of campus.
LAW STUDENTS VISIT INDIA
A group of seven Law Masters students are spending a month in India studying at the TATA Institute of Social Science in northern Mumbai and at the rural campus in Tuljapur.
As they are either studying for the MA in Gender, Sexuality and Human Rights or Human Rights, Globalisation and Justice, their programme involves a range of topics which include Impact of policies of International bodies like WTO, World Bank, IMF, TRIPS on Indian Economy; Women's movement in India and labour rights in rural context and Indigenous people's rights (Schedule V land issues, Displacement and Resettlement). They will also visit a variety of NGOs to learn about these issues. The course tutors, Jane Krishnadas, Nicola Baker, Shraddha Chigateri and Monica Mookherjee (Lecturer in SPIRE), are pictured above with the students.
UK students taking part have been part-funded by the Prime Minister Initiative 2 (PMI2), which is a government programme managed by the British Council. Keele has also received funding for another PMI2 Programme for students in Life Sciences, specialising in parasitology, to spend three months in Malaysia next summer.
NATIONAL TEACHING FELLOWSHIP AWARDED
Dr Jonathan Parker, a Senior Lecturer in Politics at Keele, was among fifty of the best lecturers and learning support staff in higher education in England and Northern Ireland who were recognised for their excellence at an awards ceremony at Middle Temple Hall, London.
The 2009 National Teaching Fellowships, awarded by the Higher Education Academy, were presented by Dr John Selby, Director (Education and Participation) HEFCE, and Professor Shirley Pearce, Chair of the advisory panel for the awards.
The 50 award winners for 2009, chosen from 203 nominations submitted by higher education institutions, will each receive awards of £10,000 to support learning and teaching activities.
The new Fellows come from universities, HE colleges and conservatoires throughout England and Northern Ireland.
Michael Mansfield QC to speak at Keele
One of Keele University’s most famous alumni is to lift the lid on his high profile legal career at a free public lecture.
Michael Mansfield QC, who studied History and Philosophy at Keele in the early 1960s, has represented clients in some of the most controversial legal cases the country has seen, including: Barry George, accused of killing television presenter Jill Dando; the family of murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence; the family of Jean Charles de Menezes, shot by the Metropolitan Police in 2005; and Mohammed Al Fayed, in his pursuit of the truth surrounding the crash in which his son Dodi and Princess Diana died.
Michael was called to the Bar in 1967, established Tooks Chambers in 1984 and became Queen’s Counsel in 1989. He will speak at Keele University on Wednesday, November 25, at 6.30pm. The lecture will take place in the Ballroom at Keele Hall.
Michael has recently published his autobiography, Memoirs of a Radical Lawyer, which reveals his motivations, meticulous approach to forensic science, cross examination techniques, the political dimensions and his emotional reactions, interspersed with anarchic humour, personal anecdotes and recollections.
Michael’s early days at Keele play a significant role in the book and he praises the philosophy of Keele’s founders.
He said: “In the early 1960s Keele University was unique – the brainchild of AD Lindsay, who had an exciting vision of education. First and foremost was the kaleidoscope of academic subjects presented to all students during their Foundation Year – prior to any choice of major degree subjects. Alongside this was a dynamic Students’ Union and close knit social life on campus. This cauldron of challenge was a life-changing experience for me. Thanks, Keele!”
Admission is free but please reserve a seat by calling 01782 734169 or e-mail email@example.com
Hannah Hiles, Media & Communications Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org , 01782 733857
INSURANCE AND POWER: THE SECURITY OF EMERGENT LIFE
Dr Luis Lobo-Guerrero, School of Politics, International Relations and Philosophy/Research Institute for Law, Politics and Justice, this week gave a keynote address at the Norwegian School of Management in Oslo.
The presentation, Insurance and Power: A Genealogy of Securing Emerging Life, was based on his work on insurance as a liberal security technology and took place within the conference 'Societal risk in an insurance and re-insurance perspective', organised by the BI Centre for Risk and Insurance Research.
INTERNATIONAL ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION ON THE ECONOMIC CRISIS
Bulent Gokay, Professor of International Relations, School of Politics, International Relations and Philosophy, took part in an international economics roundtable discussion on "The Impact of the Crisis on the EU and the European Neighbourhood - Implications for the European Project " last week.
Professor Gokay, pictured left, is part of a Chatham House-City of London project on the impact of the current economic crisis and is a member of the working group in Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, which organised the event in collaboration with the City of London.
Following meetings held in Brussels in June, the roundtable looked to continue discussing the framework in which to analyse and better understand the key messages of the crisis for the European Project and the way forward. What are the lessons that can be drawn from the crisis experience given the diverse and often surprising performances seen across the Eurozone economies, the EU member states and the "European Neighbourhood"? Which countries did relatively well and which badly - and why? How is this viewed across Europe? What are the implications for the European project; will Europe emerge stronger, or more divided?
2009 Student Prizes
Following the 2009 Summer Graduation at Keele University, SPIRE awarded a series of school and University undergraduate prizes. Mr J Miller and Mr W Davies shared the ‘Politics Best Student Prize’, and Mr W Davies was also nominated to receive the ‘Martin Harrison Politics Dissertation Prize’ for the best politics dissertation. Mr M Tebbutt received the ‘Owen Powell Student Prize’ for outstanding achievement in International Relations whilst Mr M McCarthy was awarded the Professor G.A.J Rogers Student Prize’ for outstanding achievement in Philosophy. Mr E Hough has been nominated to receive the ‘Clare Coleman Prize’ to honour achievement in his philosophy studies, and Mr T Loughlin nominated to receive the ‘Sheila Carson Memorial Prize’ to honour achievement at the end of his second year in philosophy studies.
ANALYSIS OF POLITICAL TEXT
A workshop by the European Network for the Analysis of Political Text (ENAPT) took place at the Claus Moser Research Centre last week.
Participants included 18 PhD students and early career researchers, representing 10 universities in the UK and Europe, who were joined by three members of the Keele European Parties Research Unit (KEPRU), Dr Elisabeth Carter, Dr Robert Ladrech and Dr Kurt Richard Luther.
The workshop consisted of several paper presentations and a roundtable session, in which the participants had the opportunity to discuss various methodological and empirical considerations on estimating parties' policy positions with the use of party manifestos.
The workshop, which was funded by KEPRU and the Keele University Graduate School Networking Fund, was organised by Research Institute for Law, Politics and Justice PhD student, Kostas Gemenis, who is also coordinating the activities of ENAPT.
For more information on KEPRU visit the links.
PRESTIGIOUS NATIONAL TEACHING FELLOWSHIP FOR KEELE LECTURER
A Keele lecturer has been awarded a prestigious National Teaching Fellowship by the Higher Education Academy.
Dr Jonathan Parker is one of just fifty lecturers and learning support staff to be chosen from 203 nominations submitted by further and higher education institutions across England and Northern Ireland. He will receive an award of £10,000, which may be used for professional development in teaching and learning or aspects of pedagogy.
Dr Parker is a Senior Lecturer in Politics at Keele, where he has taught since 1996.
He specialises in teaching introductory subjects and research methods to students in modules on American politics, mass media, public policy and student volunteering. His research speciality is in public policy and higher education. He received the Keele University Award for Excellence in Learning and Teaching in 2005.
Dr Parker has also been prominent in academic leadership at Keele. He co-authored Keele's new learning and teaching strategy, assessment strategy and the new degree structure. He has pursued his interest in curriculum design and research methods beyond Keele. He is active in C-SAP, the politics subject centre of the Higher Education Academy, where he participates in the politics reference group and specialist groups on both e-learning and assessment.
He is currently leading a project on the shape of the politics curriculum and its approach to assessment for C-SAP and the Political Studies Association. He also led an ESRC study on international benchmarking of social science research methods in undergraduate degrees, which highlighted the importance of integrating methods training with actually doing research at undergraduate level rather than concentrating upon isolated theoretical training. He has published articles and presented at conferences and workshops in the UK and internationally on the design and teaching of research methods in undergraduate degrees.
The National Teaching Fellowship Scheme is part of an overall Academy programme to raise the status of learning and teaching in higher education. The individual strand of the scheme aims to raise the profile of learning and teaching, recognise and celebrate individuals who make an outstanding impact on the student learning experience and provide a national focus for institutional teaching and learning excellence schemes.
MAKING RESILIENT POPULATIONS: THE BIOPOLITICS OF RESILIENCE
"The Biopolitics of Resilience", the second of a series of four research workshops on Contemporary Biopolitical Securities, was convened by the Biopolitics of Security Research Unit at Keele, led by Dr Luis Lobo-Guerrero (School of Politics, International Relations and Philosophy / Research Institute for Law, Politics and Justice (RI-LPJ). The workshop was co-organised by Dr Lobo-Guerrero and Dr Peter Adey (School of Physical and Geographical Sciences / RI-LPJ) with the collaboration of doctoral student Christopher Zebrowski.
The event was attended by 35 researchers of different career stages, who discussed different genealogies of resilience and the current implementations resilience technologies in the UK and other parts of the world. End users of the UK security sector were also present. Professor Pat O'Malley (University of Sydney) delivered the keynote address entitled "The Advanced Military Warrior: A Genealogy of Military Resilience".
JOINING POSTDOCTORAL ASSESSOR COLLEGE
Professor Andrew Dobson, School of Politics, International Relations and Philosophy (SPIRE) and the Research Institute for Law, Politics and Justice (iLPJ), has been asked to join the Economic and Social Research Council's Postdoctoral Assessor College.
He has also been invited onto Natural England's Science Advisory Committee.
The Committee meets four times per year, and advises Natural England on technical issues related to Natural England's policy brief, which is to protect the natural environment.
Professor Dobson is one of a small number of social scientists on the committee.
NOTHING BARE ABOUT DATA
Dr Luis Lobo-Guerrero (iLPJ and SPIRE) gave a keynote address last week at the 'European Datawars: Fighting Terrorism through Data' conference, funded by the ESRC and the Dutch Research Council, at the University of Amsterdam.
Speaking about Risk and the Biopolitics of Security, Dr Lobo-Guerrero argued that "there is nothing bare about data" since all forms of data already arise out of complex biopolitical processes and negotiations.
Security strategies developed in the context of the war on terror should therefore be analysed critically in relation to the ethical dimensions that all kinds of data collection, data mining and data analytics raise.
VISITING PROFESSOR OF POLITICS
Dr Richard Luther, Convenor of the Keele European Parties Research Unit and a specialist on various aspects of Austrian politics, has been appointed Visiting Professor of Politics at the University of Vienna.
Politics staff at the universities of Keele and Vienna have an established record of co-operation. Dr Luther has in recent years given a number of guest lectures in Vienna and collaborated with colleagues there on various research and publication projects.
In March 2009, Vienna's Professor Sylvia Kritzinger visited Keele as part of an ERASMUS-funded teaching exchange programme.
Dr Luther is currently on an extended visit to Vienna, where he is researching into Austrian political party organisation.
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, MP, visited Keele this week for a question and answer session with students.
The Conservative MP for Tatton in Cheshire was invited to Keele by students in the School of Politics, International Relations and Philosophy and the Newcastle and Keele Conservative Future and discussed young people in politics, the economy and the jobs market.
During the visit he also took the opportunity to take a look at the Science Park where he was greeted by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Janet Finch, and met with tenants.
LONDON CENTRE FOR SOCIAL STUDIES SEMINAR
Professor Bulent Gokay, of SPIRE, gave a London Centre for Social Studies seminar entitled "Tectonic Shifts and Systemic Faultlines: Assessing the 2008-2009 World Economic Crisis". Comparing the shifts in the global system to the movements of tectonic plates, he argued that the crisis is the outcome of changes that have been taking place beneath the surface of economic life over years, if not decades. He said: "The crisis will not be overcome until the vulnerabilities and contradictions that caused it are resolved effectively."
EU PROFILER GOES LIVE
Dr Elisabeth Carter, Research Institute for Law, Politics and Justice, has been working on the EU Profiler, the first Europe-wide voting advice application, that will help people who are not sure which party to vote for in the forthcoming European Parliament elections.
The EU Profiler went live yesterday in advance of the European Parliament elections that will take place in June. The EU Profiler is an online election aid that enables voters to discover which party most closely reflects their political preferences. It works by asking voters to evaluate a number of political statements that cover a range of issues. On the basis of their answers, voters are positioned in a 'political space' and are able to explore which party in their own country is closest to them in that space. Voters can also compare their position to that of parties throughout Europe. See the EU Profiler at: www.euprofiler.eu
The EU Profiler covers 34 countries and regions across Europe. The UK team was led by Dr Carter and also included Dr Thomas Lundberg (University of Glasgow and formerly at Keele) and Dr Gemma Loomes (University of Birmingham, also formerly at Keele). The EU Profiler is directed by colleagues at the European University Institute in collaboration with two technological partners – the Dutch company, "Kieskompas", and the Swiss, "NCCR/Politools". These three institutions funded the project.
VISITING PROFESSOR IN ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICS
Professor Andrew Dobson, Research Institute for Law, Politics and Justice, has been appointed Visiting Professor in Environmental Politics at Chiba University, Japan.
He was also invited last week to a high-level Natural England (NE) Advisory Committee meeting on NE's scenario planning for 2060, designed to anticipate the conditions under which environmental protection will need to be carried out in fifty years time.
He has also been invited to address the annual conference of Fast Stream civil servants in London in July on the topic of policy responses to climate change and has been co-opted onto the Carnegie Trust's team working on an Inquiry into the Future of Civil Society in the UK and Ireland.
KEELE AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE IN LEARNING AND TEACHING
The winners of the University's awards for learning and teaching for 2008/09 are John Hegarty (Psychology), Sherilyn MacGregor (Politics, International Relations and Philosophy), Mark Trueman (Psychology) and Richard Waller (Physical and Geographical Sciences).
One hundred students nominated their teachers or supervisors, giving their reasons for doing so.
Dr Sherilyn MacGregor is committed to bringing her research interest in citizenship into her teaching by, among other things, embedding the skills of critical thinking, argumentation and effective communication into her modules and supervision work. She notes that ‘I feel very honoured that students have nominated me for this award and that my colleagues have been so willing to supply supporting statements. The positive feedback from students and peers is what motivates me to strive for excellence in my career. Knowing that I am able to contribute to creating a culture of excellence in teaching at Keele is immensely rewarding in itself.’
THE ECOLOGICAL INNOVATION ZONE
Researchers Professor Andrew Dobson and Dr Steve Quilley, Research Institute for Law, Politics and Justice, are the authors of an idea that has been selected by the Sustainable Development Commission (which reports direct to No 10), for its 'potential to inspire change; potential to have a significant impact on sustainability in the UK; and likelihood of creating some kind of shift in the next 3-5 years'.
It was one of 300 ideas submitted, and is now in a list of 40, which will be whittled down to 10-20 for further publicity and development. The idea is an 'Ecological Innovation Zone'. The submission states that, 'Breaking the links between economic growth and environmental degradation requires new, more sustainable products and services and new business models which reduce ecological footprints whilst enhancing competitiveness. This idea aims to link technological innovation to a large-scale process of social experimentation, enrolling communities, private sector companies and local government. The focus will be on how an economically disadvantaged city (such as Stoke-on-Trent) might attract large scale inward investment by opening itself up as a site for techno-social innovation; an 'Ecological Innovation Zone'.
KNIGHTHOODS FOR KEELE GRADUATE AND FORMER HEAD OF EDUCATON
Keele graduate, Nick Partridge, Chief Executive of The Terrence Higgins Trust, the HIV and AIDS charity, and Professor Tim Brighouse, former Head of Education at Keele, both received knighthoods in the New Year honours for their achievements. Both men also hold honorary degrees from Keele.
Professor Sir Tim Brighouse was awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters by the University in 2003 for his outstanding contribution to education in Britain. Sir Nick Partridge was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters by Keele in 2008, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the public understanding of HIV and AIDS. He graduated from Keele in 1978 with a degree in International Relations.
Sir Nick Partridge has worked for the Terrence Higgins Trust since 1985 and was appointed Chief Executive in 1991.
He has been a consistent voice in the media coverage of AIDS and sexual health in all its aspects from health promotion, social care and advocacy to research and treatment issues.
Professor Sir Tim Brighouse is one of Britain's most respected educationalists. Most recently he served as London Schools Commissioner, working to improve education in the Capital. Before that his career started in the classroom and has taken in the role of Professor of Education at Keele, as well as Chief Education Officer in both Oxfordshire and Birmingham local authorities.