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UNIVERSITY OF KENT INSIDE IN THIS ISSUE

SUMMER TERM NEWSLETTER

S C HO O L O F PO L IT I C S I NT E RNAT I O NA L R E L AT IO NS MAY 2012

KENT STUDENTS AT MODEL EUROPEAN UNION 2012 oughly enjoyed my role as an MEP and Faction Secretary, as it gave a fascinating insight into the different levels of representation of an MEP: at a party level, at a Parliament level relative to other factions, and finally relative to the other co-legislator, being the Council of Ministers.

- Message from Head of School (p.2) - Spotlight on New Academic Staff (p.2) - Graduate profile (p.3) - What’s it like doing Politics in the Classroom? (p.3) - MA Graduate news (p.4) - Professor Richard Whitman’s report on EEAS (p.4) - Postgraduate Student Conference 2012 (p.4) - Students who defended their PhD's (p.5) - Teacher’s and Sixth Form Conference (p.5) - PO590 Student Conference (p.5) - Research Group and Centre news (p.6-7) - Message from the Student Support Officer (p.7)

Image of Leo Wilkinson, a BA in Politics and International Relations with German student at Model EU 2012

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Leo Wilkinson (one of our Politics and International Relations with German students) , tells us about his recent experience at Model EU 2012 which was held in Strasbourg, “Model European Union (MEU) is a one week long conference held in Strasbourg's European Parliament, and is a simulation of European Union politics and the policy-making process. Every year, it brings together 200 young Europeans, who take on the roles of either Members of the European Parliament, Council Ministers, Journalists, Lobbyists, or Interpreters. Although the official language of the conference is English, MEPs are able to speak and listen to the debates in 11 languages. Every year two real EU Proposals are debated, usually under the Ordinary Legislative Procedure. However this year for the first time the Consultation Procedure was also applied to one of the Proposals, in order to give participants a firsthand experience of two different legislative procedures. The conference attracts participants from around 30 European Countries, and students from different academic backgrounds. Due to its uniqueness, it is one of the most selective conferences in Europe with just under one thousand applications for less than 200 places each year. University of Kent students have been particularly successful recently, and over the past two years more than 6 Kent students have been selected to participate. In MEU 2011, I was chosen to be an MEP from Romania in the European People's Party. I thor-

After the 2011 conference, I decided to apply to become part of the Organising Team for MEU 2012, and I was a member of the Content Team. The role of the Content Team is to make the conference as realistic as possible, due to MEU being a unique educational project. Choosing the proposals that were going to be debated during the conference, explaining the legislative procedures and how to write a position paper, as well as writing introductory guides helping participants understand and engage with both proposals were all tasks which my team were responsible for. During the conference itself, I was playing the role of the Commissioner for Home Affairs, as one of the two topics for MEU 2012 was the proposal for a Council regulation establishing the Frontex agency. I therefore had to present the proposal to both the Council and the Parliament, and was then involved during the negotiations and trilogue meetings. As a second year Politics & International Relations with German student taking the PO640 EU Politics & Policy module, my involvement in the MEU project has been a fantastic opportunity for me to apply what I have been learning as part of my degree. Similarly, the topics and information about the EU which I have been researching and helping participants with over the past year were all directly relevant to my interests and what I am currently studying. Other than the great learning opportunity which is to participate and prepare for the conference, being an organiser has taught me how to successfully work, and build lasting friendships, with other students spread out all over Europe.” For more information: Official website: www.meu-strasbourg.org EuroparlTV video about MEU 2012: “Close to you: Role-playing in Strasbourg”


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MESSAGE FROM HEAD OF SCHOOL, PROFESSOR RICHARD SAKWA Welcome back to your studies and learning for the Summer Term of 2012! This is a year in which ‘choice’ has risen to the top of the political agenda. Indeed ‘student choice’ has now become one of the founding myths of the British Higher Education system. Choice is obviously a good thing in certain circumstances, but it needs to be guided by genuine knowledge of what is appropriate, and that is what we as a School seek to do. Some of you may have been following the various critiques of the new approach to Higher Education put forward by Stefan Collini at Cambridge, and our very own Frank Furedi at the University of Kent. In that spirit, Roger Brown, professor of higher education policy, makes the following powerful points: 1) ‘The stress on higher education as product and students as consumers reinforces the commodification of education, with courses and awards being valued not for their intrinsic value over time to the student, but for their immediate use value to the graduate in the labour market’; 2) ‘[T]he emphasis on the student and the market as the key decision-makers on quality threatens the role of the real and only proper judges of quality: academic institutions and their professional staff’; 3) [T]he emphasis on student choice is actually immoral. It loads upon immature participants all the responsibility and risks of making the wrong choice, a choice that is hard to unravel once made’ (The Guardian, 20 March 2012, p. 39). So, choice may be a good thing in the abstract, but it raises all sorts of practical, and indeed moral, dilemmas. However, there are sometimes more pleasant choices to be made. The School was fortunate in winning Strategic Investment resources from the University, and this has allowed us to hire two new professors and two lecturers. The Lecturers will be appointed in May, but the professors have already been appointed: Dr Elena Korostoleva is currently Jean Monnet Chair in European Politics and Director of the Centre for European Studies at Aberystwyth University; and Dr Feargal Cochrane is currently Director of the Richardson Institute at Lancaster University. Both will join us in the Autumn. All these appointments will greatly strengthen our teaching team in the School, and will allow a wider range of the sort of choices that develops students as scholars.

SPOTLIGHT ON NEW ACADEMIC STAFF Can institutional innovation mitigate conflicts in societies divided by deep ethnic, racial, and religious divisions? Dr Neophytos Loizides who joined our School in September 2011 engages with innovative approaches to mediation emphasizing the study of conflict-mitigating institutions in deeply divided societies. His research and teaching resembles a journey across the world’s most unfortunate conflict-ridden societies in search for innovative people, ideas and institutions, which have enabled conflict transformation under most difficult conditions. Dr Loizides has examined among other issues the return home of the internally displaced in Bosnia, successful peace referendums such as in South Africa, a breakthrough in exhuming the missing in his native Cyprus, and Northern Ireland’s power-sharing arrangements. Having lived himself in Belfast for five years between 2006 and 2011, he reached the conclusion that properly designed peace processes could address even the most difficult divisions. His module on Deeply Divided Societies at the undergraduate level and postgraduate module on Theories of Conflict and Violence encourage students to develop essential mediation and negotiation skills while engaging themselves in the study of effective and transferable institutional designs. Innovation, argues Dr Loizides, costs international diplomacy almost nothing but, often unnoticed, has helped resolve seemingly intractable disputes. Most importantly, innovative institutional design has fostered durable and better quality peace settlements, which have also been more compatible with local expectations and universal human rights standards.


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GRADUATE PROFILE: JONATHAN MILLINS, BA IN POLITICS AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS Jonathan Millins graduated from the BA in Politics and International Relations in 2007 and now works as a European Policy Officer for the East of England Brussels Office. Jonathan tells us about how his studies at Kent helped him move forward in his career. “When I visited the university in my last year of school, I knew the moment I got out of the car that I wanted to come to the Kent – a beautiful campus in an historic city with everything on one site. I took all the modules I could on European politics and the quality of teaching was excellent. I was lucky to be taught by some real experts in their field and the knowledge they gave me was vital in getting my job. One of the things I liked most about Kent was the international dimension of the student body. Seminars were certainly made more interesting by the presence of students from around the world. Being able to bounce ideas off students from France, Germany, America, Russia, China, Brunei and many more, meant you got an alternative perspective. If you’re going to study international Image of Jonathan Millins, BA in Politics and International Relations relations, coming to Kent is an excellent way of putting yourself at the Graduate heart of an international community! In Brussels, a Kent degree is well respected and regarded as a label of quality. Employers in Brussels have heard of Kent and know the quality of teaching is very high. My degree gave me the academic knowledge I needed to understand how the EU operates and how organisations such as mine can influence the policy-making process. I’m lucky to have a job where every day is different and where I am in a position to influence and change legislation affecting the whole of Europe! One day I can be sitting in the European Parliament drafting transport legislation, the next day I can be meeting with a European Commissioner to discuss broadband policy and on another day I might be writing a Commission project application worth €5 million. It’s this variety that I love. Having lived in Brussels for four years, I have recently started writing a satirical book about what living and working in the ‘EU bubble’ is really like in Brussels. I hope to stay in Brussels a few more years and then I’ll see – maybe Russia next?! My advice to future students would be whilst studying at Kent, remember to take advantage of every opportunity available to you – attend the open lectures, join a society, study something new and different – it is these additional things on your CV that will help you stand out when applying for a job. Also, make sure you try and get tickets for the Christmas carol concert at Canterbury Cathedral – an amazing experience!”

WHAT’S IT LIKE DOING THE POLITICS IN THE CLASSROOM MODULE? Yvonne Manzi, a current PolIR student studying on the Politics in the Classroom module describes her experience of the module, “I can safely say, it has been the best experience I have had at University. I encourage all students of Politics and International Relations to participate in this module which has been so successfully created. I can only speak for myself, but it gave me the opportunity to have a practical experience both in life and politics. I assisted in teaching the course which I love, and I had the chance to try and inspire 34 kids to pursue their education and their interests. The kids in my group were 11 years old and they were incredibly enthusiastic about all the activities we had planned for them. They started from a very basic degree of knowledge in politics, and they learned so quickly and in such clever ways that it was amazing to observe. The opportunity to participate in the delivery of education, and to provide a new ‘younger’ perspective that might improve the experience of these kids, is one not to be missed. At the end of the 7 weeks the kids were asked to fill out evaluation forms and 100% of the feedback was positive. They felt that they had a solid interest in politics, and that the contribution provided by Oliver (my partner) and myself was good and worth repeating. On a final note, the ‘academic’ part of the module is equally interesting. The portfolio is set up so that we have an opportunity to discuss and critique education in relation to politics, whilst incorporating our personal experience in the field. Ultimately the entire module has a good solid framework while allowing each individual student to pursue his/her own interests.” Image of Yvonne Manzi, BA in Politics and International Relations student


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MA GRADUATE SECURES PLACE ON PHD AT EUI Congratulations to Camille Brugier, who has recently been accepted to study a PhD in Political Science at the European University Institute of Florence. Camille’s PhD research at EUI will address the following question, "Is Chinese behaviour in the WTO of a soft-balancing nature?” Camille is a former student

of the MA in in European Governance International Double Award and feels that this programme really helped her progression onto the PhD, “I am delighted to be offered an opportunity to study for a PhD at such a prestigious institution. My year in Kent really gave me the means to be accepted in that institution and for that I

am really thankful. The Designing Democracy module taught by Professor Richard Sakwa and Dr Ben Seyd as well as International Political Economy taught by Frank Grundig, which I attended last year, were sort of the trigger that led me to the subject I will now be investigating.”

PROFESSOR RICHARD WHITMAN’S REPORT ON THE WORK OF THE EU’S EXTERNAL ACTION SERVICE Professor Richard Whitman, who is also an Associate Fellow of Chatham House (the Royal Institute of International Affairs) was the coauthor of a report making a set of recommendations for the development of the European Union’s recently created diplomatic service – the European External Action Service (EEAS). The creation of the EEAS was one of the principal foreign policy innovations of the Treaty of Lisbon, intended to bring greater coherence and impact to the EU’s international relations. As with many other steps in the evolution of the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), it will take time for the Lisbon reforms to work out. The report A Diplomatic Entrepreneur: Making the most of the European External Action Service gathered

a great deal of attention across Europe and resulted in requests for briefings by the authors on its contents to the Foreign and Commonwealth (FCO) and the Swedish and Finnish diplomatic services. It was also confirmed as one of the key think pieces ahead of the informal brainstorming meeting of EU Foreign Ministers in March 2012 that focused on how to improve the EEAS. The report argues that the EEAS lacks a vision and a clear strategy to make the most of its role and capabilities. Its overseas network does not yet match its role, nor does its personnel profile fully reflect its needs. It can do more to take advantage of the diversity of diplomatic strengths among the member states and of the Lisbon Treaty’s provisions to bring together the EU’s for-

eign policy instruments so that they can operate more effectively. There is also greater room for a dialogue with the main stakeholders of the EEAS – the EU’s 27 member states and the relevant EU institutions – about where European interests need to be advanced and defended, and a need to link that dialogue to considerations about priorities and resources. The single biggest challenge for next phase of the EEAS’s development is to set a clear and compelling direction for the medium and long term, and ensure that the main stakeholders are prepared to back it up politically, diplomatically and with the necessary resources. The report can be found at http:// www.chathamhouse.org/ sites/default/files/public/ Research/Europe/ r1211_eeas.pdf

ANNUAL POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH STUDENT CONFERENCE 2012

The Annual Postgraduate Research Student Conference took place on Friday 18th May and was titled, 'The New Normal? Shifting Paradigms in an Era of 'Perpetual' Crisis'. The conference is very important in the School’s Annual Calendar, and gives our research students the opportunity to profile the excellent research they are doing. This year’s organising committee did excellent work to attract some high profile speakers. The Keynote speaker was Dr Natasha Ezrow (Essex), and the Plenary Speaker was Bruce Clark (the Economist).

Image of Camille Brugier, MA in European Governance Graduate


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STUDENTS WHO HAVE SUCCESSFULLY DEFENDED THEIR PHD’S Congratulations to our students that have successfully defended their PhD’s this academic year: Joe Hogler: Compliance without Participation: The Nonproliferation Regime (PhD International Relations) Elizabeta Jevtic: Achieving Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Children Associated with Armed Groups (PhD in International Conflict Analysis) Maria Lyons: A Reflection on the Crisis in Education and the Truncated Existence of Man (PhD Politics) Lara Silver: Canada's Role in International Relations: Through a Triangular Lens (PhD International Conflict Analysis) Tomas Machin: The Spanish policy in the UN Security Council (PhD in International Relations) Conceicao Paulo: Truth-Telling in a Pseudo-Public Sphere: A Study of Public Life and Democracy in Angola (PhD in Politics and Government) Maurizio Tinnirello: The thesis is entitled: Polyarchic Peace? Explaining the Failure of Colombian Peace Processes Between 1998 and 2006 (PhD in International Relations) Graham O’Dwyer: Nationalism as Existentialism: Charles de Gaulle's worldview reconsidered (PhD in International Relations)

TEACHERS AND SIXTH FORM CONFERENCE 2012 After the success of the Teachers’ Conference last year, the School will be holding a Teachers and Sixth form conference on Wednesday 27th June 2012. The conference will be titled, ‘Are Are capitalism and democracy incompatible?’ The conference is being organised in collaboration with The European Atlantic Movement (TEAM), an edu-

cational charity actively working with Universities to deliver sixth form conferences in order to raise the awareness of European/International affairs among Schools. The conference will comprise of a series of lectures and discussions. Speakers include: - Dr Adrian Pabst: Can capitalism be democratised?

- Dr Andrew Wroe: Class vs Culture in American Presidential elections Joe Stead (Economic Justice Adviser, Christian Aid) Jamie Whyte (former Lecturer of Philosophy at Cambridge University and is a member of the Cobden Centre) For further information: http://www.kent.ac.uk/ politics/schools/index.html

PO590 STUDENT CONFERENCE 2012 On Friday 17th February 2012, the School held its annual Student Conference. The Student Conference is based on students’ Specialist Dissertations: during the conference all students had to present the results of their work to an open audience. The purpose of the conference was to generate the kinds of discussions that normally take place at a professional political science conference. Each paper was part of a panel of four papers with related topics. The panel topics included: Japanese Politics and Society, Global China, Society and Politics in South America, Problems of Statehood, US Politics and Soci-

ety, Problems of Democracy, International Ethics, Terrorism and CounterTerrorism, Global Europe, British Politics and Society, US Foreign Policy and its Impact, International Conflict Analysis, Feminist Perspectives, Politics and the Media, The Politics of Aid and Development and Politics Theory and Practices of Resistance. The presentations lasted for 15 to 20 minutes, after which the students had a chance to respond to questions from the audience. Students very much enjoyed the day and valued the opportunity to present their work in front of staff and receive feedback.

VISITING SPEAKER SERIES During the Spring term we welcomed Sir Stephen Wall , former British Diplomat and Chairman of Cumberland Lodge, an educational charity, his lecture was titled, "European Union: The End of the Beginning or the Beginning of the End?" We also welcomed Sir Robert Worcester who gave a lecture on "The Current Political Scene: the UK and the US." The videos of the lectures are available on our website: http://www.kent.ac.uk/ politics/events/videoarchive/ index.html


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RESEARCH GROUP NEWS Political and Social Thought Research Group

On Wednesday 9th May, continuing the collaboration with Theatre Studies and The School of Arts, the first event of the Summer term was a symposium on Creative Practices/ Resistant Acts: Cultural Production

and Emerging Democracies in Revolutionary Nations. A year from the start of the popular uprisings in the Arab world and beyond, the symposium examined the role of ‘creative practices’ in sustaining narratives of democracy, and generating new understandings of citizenship. The symposium included contributions from Reem Kelani (with accompaniment by Bruno Heinen), Laila Soliman (including performance), Nesreen Hussein, George Sotiropolous, Iain MacKenzie, Ziad Adwan, Ayman El-Desouky, Helen Varopoulou and Hans-Thies Lehmann.

Room 5. Adrian Pabst, Iain MacKenzie, Stefan Rossbach and Todd Mei (Philosophy) will give short presentations, and there will be an hour-long discussion. This will be followed by the launch of Adrian's book Metaphysics: The Creation of Hierarchy (WB Eerdmans, 2012). The roundtable is open to all students and staff. We hope to see you there!

The symposium was quickly followed by the final seminar in our 2012 series. We will close the term and the year’s activities with a roundtable on “Politics after (the End of) Metaphysics” on 30 May 2012, 4-6pm, Cornwallis Seminar Comparative Politics Research Group Recent publications include, Dr Paolo Dardanelli, “Europeanization and the Unravelling of Belgium: a Comparative Analysis of Party Strategies”, Dr Pak Lee “China in Darfur: Humanitarian Rule-Maker or RuleTaker?” (co-written) and Dr Matt Loveless, “Social Inequality: Its Character, How it is Perceived, and the Implications of its Perception for Social and Political Stability” (cowritten). There have been several conference contributions, including Professor Burgess’ Keynote talk at the Swiss Political Association meeting in Lucerne, Switzerland on 2-3 February. Sean Mueller co-organised two panels on Swiss Politics at the 62nd PSA Annual Conference. Belfast, UK, 3-5 April. Paolo Dardanelli acted as chair and discussant, respectively, for the two panels. In addition to this Paolo Dardanelli organised a Pro-Vice Chancellor Research Seminar on Europeanisation’, on 9 May 2012 at the University of Kent and Matthew Loveless organised an ESRC Doctoral Training Centre Research Design Workshop and Seminar on ‘The Question of Causality in Social Science Research’, on 29 February 2012 at the University of Kent. In addition, Dr Seyd’s

paper on Nature, Relevance and Measurement of Political Trust: What Progress, What Gaps? will be presented at 22nd World Congress of the International Political Science Association in Madrid, Spain, 8-12 July. Other highlights include recent media appearances. Paolo Dardanelli was interviewed by BBC Radio 4 for a session on direct democracy for the programme ‘Beyond Westminster’, broadcast on Saturday 7 April 2012. Ben Seyd addressed politicians, civil servants and journalists at a policy seminar in Parliament in April on public reactions to the coalition government's constitutional reforms, including directly elected mayors, elected police commissioners and the use of referendums. The event was part of a wider research project – with the National Centre for Social Research – involving the collection of opinion data through the British Social Attitudes survey. A briefing paper will be available on Ben's website shortly. Paolo Dardanelli has been appointed to the Executive Board of the Comparative Federalism and Federation research committee (RC28) of the International Political Science Association.


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RESEARCH CENTRE NEWS Conflict Analysis Research Centre The Conflict Analysis Research Centre, which is embedded within the Conflict, Security and Human Rights Research Group, Group is co-sponsoring a conference on social movements, provisionally titled: "Theory, Action and Impact of Social Protest: an Interdisciplinary Conference". The conference will be held at the Canterbury campus on 1314 October 2012 with a Keynote Address by Prof. Christopher Rootes of the University of Kent. Recently, social movements such as the Occupy movement, the Arab Spring and the Spanish Indignados have made headlines and grabbed the attention of power-holders and citizens. Historically, social movements have contributed to social, political and economic change. This conference seeks to explore these elements with an interdisciplinary approach. The aim is to explore the study of social movements with a variety of academic lenses and attempt to develop

collaboration between disciplines on the study. We seek contributions for a broad range of disciplines and a mixture of disciplines including sociology, law, psychology, politics, economics, cultural studies, history, geography, philosophy, literature, and film studies. We hope to use this conference as a forum to bridge some of the gaps between the different disciplines and their work in the field of social movements. Further information is available here: http:// taispconference.wordpress.com/ In addition to this the Conflict Analysis Research Centre & BISA Critical Studies on Terrorism are organising a Working Group Conference. The conference is titled, ‘Terrorism, Peace and Conflict Studies: Investigating the Crossroad” and is being held on 10-11 September 2012, at the University of Kent, Canterbury Campus. The conference aims to highlight and explore the empirical, methodological, ontological and epistemological points of interjection of the two fields by bring-

ing together scholars and researchers of both Terrorism and Peace and Conflict Studies; international and national policy actors; civil society actors that have experienced terrorist and counter-terrorist violence; and PhD students. The conference will offer keynote speeches by senior academics in Terrorism and/or Peace and Conflict Studies (Prof Paul Rogers, Prof Peter Neumann, Prof Richard Jackson; Prof Oliver Richmond (tbc) and two workshops geared at early career researchers and postgraduate students on:

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Peace Science and Terrorism: Drawing on peace research’s quantitative strengths Ethnography of violence and terrorism: Insurmountable obstacles?

The conference will also be host to the annual lecture of the Critical Studies on Terrorism journal. Further information is available here: http://www.kent.ac.uk/ politics/carc/carc-conference2012.html

MESSAGE FROM THE STUDENT SUPPORT OFFICER Welcome back to the Summer term – which for some of you, will be your last term at Kent. Just a couple of things to note…..End of Year/Exams Concessions: If for any reason you should be unable to attend one or more of your examinations, or if you feel your performance in an exam/s or over the year has been impaired for any reason (medical/other), please note that you should fill in a Concessions forms for the Board of Examiners. Available at: http://www.kent.ac.uk/socsci/studying/ undergrad/concessions.html. Please note you will also need to provide documentary evidence (e.g. doctors note, relevant documentation) to support your application. Student Learning Advisory Service: If you have any concerns regarding the upcoming examinations, or need some help with study/revision techniques, please remember the Student Learning Advisory Service is open throughout the summer term – just drop in. (Located between Grimond building and banks) Similarly, if you have any other concerns or queries, or just want to talk something over, I will be here throughout the summer term and over the summer vacation/resit period. Feel free to contact me by e-mail (S.L.Witchell@kent.ac.uk) or drop in to see me (Office hours: Monday to Friday, 9.30am-12.30pm & 2.30pm-4pm). Good luck with your exams, and for those of you who will be leaving Kent, best wishes for the future!

Summer Term Newsletter 2012  

The School of Politics and International Relations Newsletter