skip to primary navigationskip to content
 

News & Events

Site News

Revolution by Russell Brand review by Professor David Runciman

"Soft-soap therapy when we need a harder edge."

Read the rest of Professor David Runciman's review of Russell Brand's new book, Revolution, due for release on the 23rd of October here

Dr Alex Anievas interviewed for First World War documentary

Dr Alexander Anievas, Early Career Leverhulme Fellow at POLIS, was recently interviewed for the documentary "The Great War: A War to End Wars?"which aired on the Islam Channel. 

You can view episode one below, which features Dr Anievas' first interview. Episode seven also has more from Dr Anievas, and can be viewed together with the other episodes on YouTube. 

Conference in honour of Professor Andrew Gamble

On 24 September 2014 the Department held a conference on The Future of British Politics to mark the retirement of Professor Andrew Gamble and honour his work over four decades on British politics. Around eighty people came to Queens’ college to discuss his work over three panels on the politics of decline, Thatcherism, and ideas in British politics and to listen to him in conversation with Professor Mick Moran.

 

Gamble conference 1

First Clara Marina O'Donnell Fellow starts at the Centre for European Reform

The first Clara Marina O'Donnell Fellow, Yehuda Ben-Hur Levy, has today started at the Centre for European Reform.

His work will focus on mis-perceptions in the Israeli-EU bilateral relationship; how populist parties in Europe may influence the foreign policies of mainstream parties; and ‘hybrid warfare’ (e.g. lessons for Europe from Russian involvement in Ukraine, IS in Iraq and Syria, and Israel/Hamas).

As the Clara Marina O'Donnell Fellow, Yehuda will also spend a week in Washington D.C. at the Brookings Institution, and will take part in seminars at King's College London, and the University of Cambridge. 

 


 

The Clara Marina O’Donnell Fellowship was established in memory of Clara, who died of cancer at the age of 30 in January 2014. Clara took the MPhil in International Relations at POLIS in 2005/2006 having graduated in European Studies from King’s College London. She then worked as a researcher at the Centre for European Reform, mainly covering foreign and defence policy, for seven years. For some of that period she was based at the Brookings Institution, in Washington DC. 

The fellowship programme is therefore jointly managed by the Brookings Institution, the University of Cambridge (the Department of Politics and International Studies) and King's College London (the Department of European & International Studies), together with the CER.

               

Prof Marc Weller wins major award for "truly stellar" academic contribution to law.

Professor Marc Weller, the Director of the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law in the University of Cambridge, last night won the prestigious Halsbury Legal Award for his distinguished academic contribution to law. In their citation for the award, which is considered the ‘Oscar’ of the legal world, the panel of senior independent judges noted that the winner’s contribution to his field was ‘unrivalled—truly stellar’.

Marc Weller is Professor of International Law and International Constitutional Studies in the Department of Politics and International Studies of the University. He joined the faculty of law in 1990 and has served as Director of the Lauterpacht Centre since 2010. He is the author, editor or co-editor of some 25 books on international law, most recently the Oxford University Press Handbook on the Use of Force in International Law. He is an Associate at Doughty Street Chambers in London, a fully qualified Mediator and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. In his practice, he has acted as senior legal advisor in a long list of international peace negotiations, including Kosovo, Darfur, South Sudan, Yemen and Syria. He served as Senior United Nations Mediation Expert and as Director of the European Centre for Minority Issues. At present, he advises on the drafting of the new constitution for Yemen. He is frequently consulted by governments and other entities, and regularly comments on issues of international law in the media.

 Weller Award

POLIS Alumna writes on Ukraine for Gates Cambridge

Professor Svitlana Kobzar, who completed her PhD in International Studies in 2011, has written an article for the latest edition of the Scholar magazine, published by Gates Cambridge Scholars and Alumni.

Titled, "Crisis in Ukraine: A Scholar's inside view on current events", the article is available to read and download through the Gates Cambridge website.

Since leaving POLIS, Professor Kobzar has worked with think-tanks in Italy, Germany and the Czech Republic, before joining RAND as a Research Fellow, and the Institute for European Studies of Vrije Universiteit Brussel as a senior research associate. Professor Kobzar is currently the Head of the Department of International Affairs at Vesalius College.


You can read more about the Polis Alumni network here.

Goodbye to two POLIS members

POLIS says goodbye this September to two colleagues: Dr. Elisabetta Brighi, who leaves us after two years to take up a position as Lecturer in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Westminster, and Professor Andrew Gamble, FBA, who is retiring after a long and distinguished career first at the University of Sheffield, and since 2007 here at Cambridge, where he has been Professor of Politics, as well as Head of Department from 2009-2012. 

We thank them warmly for all that they have done for the Department, and look forward to staying in touch in various ways. 

           220px Andrew Gamble at Policy Network event       EB 1

Dr Julie Smith to join the House of Lords as a Working Peer

Dr Julie Smith to join the House of Lords as a Working Peer

Dr Julie Smith

Congratulations to Dr Julie Smith who will be joining the House of Lords as a Working Peer. For a full list of the newly announced working peers please follow this link.

Article by POLIS PhD student, Lucy Thirkell, featured on University homepage

Originally published on CRIAViews, the blog of the Cambridge Review of International Affairs,  former editor Lucy Thirkell's article - ‘Next time we will win!’: Gaza’s cycles of violence - has been featured on the University homepage. You can read the article here

Cambridge-Africa Alborada Research Fund Awards

Cambridge-Africa

POLIS is delighted that three of our faculty members have received awards from the Cambridge-Africa Alborada Research Fund

Dr Devon Curtis, jointly with Dr Paul Omach from Makerere University, will look at “Local communities, institutions and peacebuilding in Northern Uganda” and Dr Kun-Chin Lin, with Dr Juma Anthony Okuku also of Makerere University, will research “Politics, the State and Limits of Oil Led Development in Uganda and Ghana”.

Dr Ha-Joon Chang, from the Department’s Centre of Development Studies was also awarded travel funding for his project with Professor Julius Kiiza (Makerere University), “The prevalence of enteric viral infections in Ugandan children”.

You can find the full list of funded projects here

Crisis without end? A conversation with Professor Andrew Gamble

Published in June 2014, Crisis Without End? The Unravelling of Western Prosperity is Professor Andrew Gamble's new book in which he argues that contrary to popular belief, the world economy cannot simply go back to business as usual following the 2008 financial crisis. Professor Gamble argues that the problems facing western economies go much deeper and details the flaws that make crisis more likely and leave society more vulnerable to its effects. And he shows how acceptance of the status quo hinders us in addressing the challenges of governance, sustainability, and legitimacy in a changing global order. 

Following the release of his book, Professor Gamble spoke to Jonathan Derbyshire of Prospect about his views on the current crisis; you can read the full interview here.





Dr Kelly on Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century

Click here for Dr Duncan Kelly on Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century in the Times Literary Supplement.

Green Impact Award 2014

Green Impact is the University's environmental accreditation scheme, encouraging teams across the collegiate University to reduce their environmental impacts.

Supported by the Environment and Energy Section, teams of staff and students use an online workbook to progress through simple, clear and easy criteria towards recognised targets and awards. Working together, team members take action to make their departments and colleges more sustainable.

Led by our Facilities Manager, Jamie Brittain, this year the Alison Richard Building achieved the Silver Award.

More information about Green Impact and this year's award ceremony is available here.

 

Former Italian Prime Minister, Dr Enrico Letta visits the Department of Politics and International Studies

Dr Enrico LettaOn Friday 6 June, the University welcomed the former Italian Prime Minister, Dr Enrico Letta, on a visit to the Department of Politics and International Studies, and the Cambridge Graphene Centre.

Dr Letta had been invited to give the Alcuin Lecture 2014, an annual event funded by Lord Brittan to encourage discussion of the relationship between Britain and Europe. Before a large audience of students, academics and members of the public, Dr Letta argued that the possibility of a 'Brexit' (the UK leaving the EU) needed now to be taken very seriously both here and on the continent. His catalogue of reasons why such an outcome would be disastrous for both the UK and the EU as a whole provoked a lively discussion, which continued during the reception following the lecture. The evening concluded with a dinner hosted by Lord and Lady Eatwell at Queen's College, where guests included staff and students from POLIS, History, the Department of Italian and the Faculty of Law.

Dr Enrico LettaOn Saturday 7 June, Dr Letta was given a tour of the Cambridge Graphene Centre by its Director, Professor Andrea Ferrari of Pembroke College. Here he discussed exciting new developments in science and technology with Professor Ferrari's team; comprised of colleagues from Materials Science, Physics, Engineering, and partner companies such as Nokia and Toshiba. During his tour, Dr Letta was met by a number of Italian students, post docs and staff members.

Conference: The Italian Left and Foreign Policy, 9th June

The Italian Left and Foreign Policy

University of Cambridge

Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)

Alison Richard Building (ARB), 7 West Road, CB3 9DT Cambridge (UK)

9th June 2014

 

 

 

With the European Semester Presidency on the horizon and the recent appointment of the Partito Democratico’ leader Matteo Renzi as Head of Government, there could hardly be a better time to discuss how the Italian Left and its foreign policy are changing. Established academics and young scholars from different fields of inquiry – from History to International Relations, from Cultural Studies to Economics – will come together in Cambridge to discuss the theme in its historical perspective, contemporary challenges as well as cultural aspects.

 

Among the topics to be discussed:

 

§  Between Americanism and Anti-americanism: historical and contemporary perspectives

§  Internationalism or a national way: the Italian Left faces the world

§  European priorities of the Italian Left: change or continuity?

§  Exit geopolitics? Strategic priorities in and beyond the three circles

§  The Italian Left, foreign policy and the use of force

§  Foreign policy and the politics of the Italian Left: (bridge over) troubled waters?

§  The Italian Left, civil society and foreign policy

§  Proposals for a ‘progressive’ reform of the foreign policy machinery

§  The Italian Left and foreign policy in a comparative perspective: insights from European cases

 

A full programme can be accessed here.

 

The conference is regarded as one of the major events of the upcoming Easter Term at the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS).

 

Attendance is free and open to all but registration is required. Please let us know you would like to attend by sending an email to Davide Martino (dm641@cam.ac.uk) by 2nd June 2014 latest.

 

We look forward to seeing you there.

New African Studentships from the David and Elaine Potter Foundation

The Centre of Governance and Human Rights is pleased to announce that through a generous donation from the David and Elaine Potter Foundation, matched by the Cambridge Trust funding will now be available for three students from Africa who wish to pursue doctoral and masters-level study in the Department of Politics and International Studies at Cambridge. The funds will support one doctoral student focused on governance and human rights beginning a three-year course in 2015/16, one student taking the MPhil in International Relations and Politics in 2015/16, and one taking the same course in 2016/17. The studentships will be advertised widely to encourage the brightest candidates to apply for them.
 
The David and Elaine Potter Foundation has been involved with POLIS since a £2 million benefaction to the University in 2008 led to the establishment of the David and Elaine Potter Lectureship in Governance and Human Rights. The Foundation and the University agreed that the Lecturer should focus particularly on Africa and serve as the Director of the new interdisciplinary Centre.

Important information for MPhil and PhD Applicants regarding the TOEFL examinations

The Home Office has suspended accepting ETS tests as evidence of English language ability. This includes the Princeton TOEFL test (Test of English as a Foreign Language), and as a result the University of Cambridge will no longer be accepting TOEFL test scores as sufficient to meet the language entry requirements for Graduate study.

Applicants wishing to meet their language condition should take a test with an alternative provider. Please see our language webpages for more information:

http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/students/gradadmissions/prospec/studying/entryreq/#english

Applicants who have already provided a TOEFL test will be contacted by email with further information relating to admission and visa applications.

If you have already booked a TOELF test, ETS has advised that students seeking more information on test cancellation and refund policies should contact TOEFL Services by emailing toefl@ets.org.

https://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/students/gradadmissions/prospec/studying/qualifdir/courses/language/langa.html

Duncan Kelly reviews Jacob Soll's new book 'The Reckoning'

Duncan Kelly reviews Jacob Soll's new book The Reckoning for the Financial Times.

The 2014 Alcuin Lecture

We are excited to announce that this years Alcuin Lecture will be delivered by Mr Enrico Letta (former Italian Prime Minister) on the following topic;

"The UK in or out of the EU: an Italian/European point of view"

The lecture will take place on Friday 6th June from 5-6.30pm, the location is The Alison Richard Building, Room SG1.

All welcome, but registration would be helpful.

Please contact Miss Helen Williams to register by 12 noon on the 30 May.

To register please email:

 

 

Prof Loughlin elected Fellow

Professor John Loughlin, a Fellow of St Edmund's College and Director of the Von Hugel Institute, has been elected a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales. Professor Loughlin held the Chair of European Politics at Cardiff University for fifteen years and was elected an Honorary Fellow there in

2010 when he moved to Cambridge. The University of Cambridge Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Leszeck Borysiewicz, the Master of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, Professor Martin Daunton and St Edmund's Honorary Fellow, Professor Sir Martin Evans, are all Fellows of the Learned Society of Wales.

 

The Centre of Governance & Human Rights is excited to launch its new website.

The Centre of Governance & Human Rights launched its new website on Tuesday 8th April. Please click here to access the new site.

The site includes information on the work carried out by the Centre, based around its core research themes: Politics, Digital Technologies and the Media; Conflict and Peacebuilding; and The Right to Life.

The site also includes updates on the progress of the Centre’s current projects, including news, related events, outputs and snapshots of research findings, as well as information on the events calendar for the coming term.

 

The Cambridge Review of International Affairs is pleased to introduce its new management and new projects for 2014.

Stepping in as Editor-in-Chief is Maha Rafi Atal. As a PhD candidate in POLIS, Maha studies the role of multinational corporations as governing authorities in developing countries. Her work aims to situate contemporary developments in the context of postcolonial history. Prior to commencing her PhD, Maha worked as a journalist, contributing to Forbes, The Guardian, and The New Statesman, among others, on topics at the intersection of economics and foreign policy. She is the founder and Executive Director of Public Business, a nonprofit supporting research and reporting about the wider impact of corporate actions. Maha holds a B.A. from Brown University in History and Comparative Literature, and an M.A. in Business and Economics Journalism from Columbia University. Find her on Twitter at @maharafiatal.

 

Managing Editor Olivier Grouille is a PhD student in POLIS, researching jihadi terrorism, French, British and American counter-terrorist policy and practice, and the changing character of contemporary conflict involving non-state actors.  He holds a BA(Hons) in Modern and Medieval Languages and an MPhil in International Relations, both from the University of Cambridge.  He is the founder and CEO of CamSAI (The Cambridge Security Analysis Institute) a new defence and security research organization. Prior to commencing his PhD, Olivier spent three years as a Research Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), consulted for UK Ministry of Defence and the British Army, and taught Strategy at the Omani National Defence College. He speaks four languages fluently and is learning his fifth.

 

Managing Editor Gabrielle Peterson is a PhD candidate in POLIS researching power relations in the EU since the debt crisis, with a focus on the rise of German influence. She recently co-authored a paper on legitimacy in cyber warfare with the Harvard Institute of Politics and the Wilberforce Society Think Tank. Previously, she earned an MSc with Distinction in International and European Politics from the University of Edinburgh.  Her dissertation addressed why materially weak actors win wars and explored the concepts of victory and legitimacy in warfare.  She was also awarded a BA summa cum laude in International Studies and Theatre from the University of South Carolina, where she worked in the research office and was involved in the promotion of a five-year multi-million dollar campaign extending learning beyond the classroom.

 

While committed to maintaining CRIA’s high standards of peer-reviewed scholarship in print, the 2014 team is eager to establish CRIA as a leader in the burgeoning area of online academic journalism. At the center of this effort is a newly re-launched website and blog, CRIAViews. CRIAViews publishes short research articles, interviews with scholars and policymakers about their work, and academically informed commentaries on current affairs. The new site also publishes coverage of politics-related events taking place in Cambridge, and CRIA will be organizing its own series of talks and panels in the coming months.

 

Students, faculty and practitioners interested in writing for the new site, event organizers interested in CRIA coverage, and speakers interested in participating in CRIA panels should all contact the editor directly at mra42@cam.ac.uk.

 

 

Seminar in POLIS by the German Finance Minister, Dr Wolfgang Schäuble

 

On the 27th of  March the German Finance Minister, Dr Wolfgang Schäuble, visited Cambridge to take part in an hour-long discussion with a range of students and staff from across the University interested in the evolving political economy of the European Union. The meeting was sponsored by POLIS, and chaired by Professor Christopher Hill. Dr.  Schäuble’s opening remarks were responded to by Lord Eatwell, the President of Queen’s College and a past front-bench economic spokesman for Labour in the House of Lords.

The discussion which followed, including a number of questions from the floor, dealt with, inter alia, the role of the Euro, relations between the Eurozone and the rest of the EU, the human rights implications of current austerity policies, and the role of the German Constitutional Court.   

Dr Robert Weatherley has recently published a book entitled "Making China Strong: The Role of Nationalism in Chinese Thinking on Democracy and Human Rights"

Dr Robert Weatherley has recently published a book entitled "Making China Strong: The Role of Nationalism in Chinese Thinking on Democracy and Human Rights" (Palgrave). Robert has also won the prize for best article to be published in China Information during 2013. The article is entitled "The Rise of Republican Fever in the PRC and the Implications for CCP Legitimacy" and was co-authored with Zhang Qiang.

 

Duncan Kelly reviews Shlomo Avineri's new biography of Theodor Herzl

Duncan Kelly reviews Shlomo Avineri's new biography of Theodor Herzl in the March 14 (2014) edition of the TLS, and Jonathan Israel's new intellectual history of the French Revolution in the Financial Times.

The Art Of Attraction – Report for the British Academy by Professor Christopher Hill

The concept of soft power – the ability to influence the behaviour of others and obtain desired outcomes through attraction and co-option – was coined by British Academy Fellow Joseph Nye. Over the past decade, it has been the subject of considerable debate, as governments at home and overseas have sought to exploit their soft power assets in the face of power shifts in order to further their foreign policy objectives.

This report, written with Sarah Beadle, discusses the nature and relevance of soft power in the context of how and why it matters for the UK. It analyses the UK’s soft power resources and its ability to mobilise them, examines the main dilemmas, and includes a series of recommendations for policy-makers and wider society.

You can download the report from the British Academy website

https://www.britac.ac.uk/intl/softpower.cfm?frmAlias=/softpower/

R.A. Butler Politics Prize

Trinity College Cambridge, and the University’s Department of Politics and International Studies announce the R.A. Butler Prize for essays in Politics and International Studies, for Year 12 or Lower 6th students.  The Prize was established in memory of the former Master of Trinity College, Lord Butler, who most famously served as Home Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer, and who was responsible for the introduction of free secondary education for all students in the UK.

The objectives of the R.A. Butler Prize are twofold. Firstly, it aims to encourage students with an interest in modern politics and world affairs to think about undertaking university studies in Politics, International Studies or a related discipline; it is not limited to those already studying these subjects or indeed other social sciences. Secondly, its intention is to recognise the achievements both of high-calibre students and of those who teach them.

Candidates are invited to submit an essay of between 2,000 and 4,000 words on a topic to be chosen from a list of general questions. Candidates are encouraged – but not required – to use contemporary, historical or literary examples in their essays. The list of questions is available here and on the website of the Department of Politics and International Studies, via

https://www.polis.cam.ac.uk/about-us/prizes/r-a-butler-prize

Essays should be submitted by email to butlerprize@trin.cam.ac.uk by 10 June 2014. Those intending to apply should also complete a cover sheet, which is to be included with the submission.

Winners will be announced by the end of June and will be invited to visit the College and meet some of the fellows on the Open Day in July.

The competition carries a First Prize of £600, to be split equally between the candidate and his or her school or college (the school or college’s portion of the prize to be issued in the form of book tokens), and a Second Prize of £400, which again is to be shared equally between the candidate and his or her school or college. All successful competitors will be invited to visit the College and the Department. Any queries from teachers with students who may be interested in submitting work for the prize should be directed to Dr Florence Brisset-Foucault by email to: feb37@cam.ac.uk.

Prof David Runciman reviews The Snowden Files by Luke Harding for The Guardian

We live in a new world, and a scary one: this is a riveting read that unravels the mysteries behind the Snowden revelations.

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/feb/13/snowden-files-luke-harding-review

 

'Matteo Renzi: the limits of doing' by Dr Chris Bickerton and Dr Carlo Accetti Invernizzi

Dr Chris Bickerton and Dr Carlo Accetti Invernizzi publish a short piece on Matteo Renzi. The full publication can be accessed below;

http://mondediplo.com/blogs/matteo-renzi-the-limits-of-doing

 

Alumni of the M.Phil in International Relations from 2005-6, and others working in the area of European foreign and security policy, will be shocked and saddened to hear of the death of Clara Marina O’Donnell.

Alumni of the M.Phil in International Relations from 2005-6, and others working in the area of European foreign and security policy, will be shocked and saddened to hear of the death of Clara Marina O’Donnell. Clara died on 16 January this year at the age of 30, after a short illness. We remember Clara with affection and respect, as a consummate professional and a charming, warm, personality.

The links below take you to an appreciation by Clara’s colleagues at the Centre for European Reform, and at the Brookings Institution.

http://www.cer.org.uk/personnel/clara-marina-odonnell

http://www.brookings.edu/experts/odonnellc

Bringing the gold standard into the classroom: teaching replication and reproducibility at Cambridge

Quality standards in the sciences have recently been heavily criticised in the academic community and the mass media. Scandals involving fraud, errors or misconduct have stirred a debate on reproducibility that calls for fundamental changes in the way research is done. As a new teaching course at Cambridge shows, the best way to bring about change is to start in the classroom, explains course instructor Nicole Janz.

Read more...

Calling 3rd year undergraduates! The Student Survey

The Department of POLIS encourages all of its 3rd year Undergraduate Students to take part in the National Student Survey.  The NSS gives you the opportunity to express what you liked about your time at the University of Cambridge as well as what you feel can be improved.

As a prize for those taking part in the survey The University is offering two double May Ball tickets !! (one for St John’s College and one for Trinity College) Two prize winners will be drawn from all the University of Cambridge students who take part in the survey. Winners will be drawn after the survey closes on  Wednesday 30th April 2014.

 

http://www.thestudentsurvey.com/

Lisa Smirl Prize for Best PhD 2012-13



Lisa Smirl Prize for

Best PhD 2012-13

Lindsay Scorgie-Porter

 

The Department of Politics and International Studies is delighted to announce the very first winner of the Lisa Smirl prize for the best PhD completed in POLIS during the year 2012-2013.

The prize is awarded to Lindsay Scorgie, for her thesis 'Ruwenzori Rebels: The Allied Democratic Forces Conflict in the Uganda-Congo Borderland'. The dissertation asked why an under-studied rebel movement in the Rwenzori borderlands in Uganda and Congo, the ADF, been so resilient. Unlike arguments that focus on regional power politics or Islamist networks, the dissertation shows how the ADF was able to maintain a deeply embedded position in the borderland through strategic operationalization of the area’s political, social, and economic networks, and manipulation of the space’s anti-state and liminal character. Her perspective enabled her to understand the ADF’s localised setting, while linking it to issues affecting borderlands on a global basis.

This work, accordingly to her examiners, "is an important and original study of a previously very poorly understood subject, conducted under research conditions of great difficulty, and demonstrating admirable balance and sound judgment".

We congratulate Lindsay, who is starting a post-doc at the University of Western Ontario in Canada, and also wish to remember the person in whose memory this award is offered. The Prize is named in memory of Lisa Smirl, who gained her PhD in the Department in 2010, but who died of cancer in February 2013.

Research Seminar: ‘Why the German Empire and the European Union fell or are fallling, and why Anglo-America rose’ by Professor Brendan Simms

The Center for Rising Powers (POLIS)

Research Seminar:

‘Why the German Empire and the European Union fell or are fallling, and why Anglo-America rose’

by Professor Brendan Simms, Professor of History of International Relations, Director, Centre for International Studies,University of Cambridge.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014, 12 – 1pm

Seminar Room 138, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DT

New Research Associate: Dr Kundai Sithole

Kundai joined us on 6th January and tells us a little about herself:

“My research focus is on political legitimacy and the Strasbourg human rights regime. I recently completed a book manuscript which examines how the European Convention on Human Rights contributes to the Council of Europe’s political authority and legitimacy. At Cambridge, I will investigate popular attitudes to constitutional authority and legitimacy in the United Kingdom.

Prior to joining POLIS, I was Anglo-German Research Fellow in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford. I am also involved in an international collaborative research project led by the University of Turin’s Centre for Studies on Federalism. This examines democratic participation, representation and accountability in regional and international organisations. I am responsible for research on ‘The Council of Europe’.

I received my PhD in Politics from the University of Reading, where I also taught papers in International Relations, and Modern Government. I was the ECPR Graduate Network’s ‘2008-2010’ Academic Convenor for its biennial Graduate Conference.”

You can see Kundai’s full profile here.

Dr Justin Pearce reflects on recent protest, repression and the rule of law in Angola.

Dr Justin Pearce reflects on recent protest, repression and the rule of law in Angola, in an article published by African Arguments on 9 December.

http://africanarguments.org/2013/12/09/angola-crocodiles-and-the-rule-of-law-by-justin-pearce/

NEW: 2 PhD Funding Awards available in POLIS

 

Suitably qualified candidates who apply to read for a PhD in POLIS can expect to be considered for GATES, ESRC, AHRC and various other Cambridge-related scholarships. In this year's application round POLIS is offering 2 additional maintenance grants of £7,300 p.a. for 3 years, as well as the payment of 3 years’ worth of college fees, to 2 suitably qualified applicants.

Successful candidates will be expected to apply to the Department in the normal way (http://www.polis.cam.ac.uk/Graduates/ProsPhD/how-to-apply), and meet our requirements. To be awarded this POLIS specific funding, candidates will also have to be awarded a fee-waiver from the University of Cambridge (and appropriate candidates will automatically be considered for by ticking the relevant funding boxes on their applications forms).

 

The deadline for applications is 10th January 2014.

Candidates should expect to be informed of the result in April 2014.

 

Please also note, that given the high numbers of PhD applications we receive, POLIS will not enter into any correspondence about funding decisions.

Guardian Politics Weekly podcast: Dr David Runciman on democracy in crisis

Politics Weekly podcast: David Runciman on democracy in crisis

Economic crisis has exposed the limits of western democracy in several countries since 2008. Cambridge political scientist David Runciman says the survival of liberal democracy is far from inevitable. He joins Anne Perkins to discuss the ideas in his new book The Confidence Trap.

Western democracy has not been in good health since the economic crash of 2008. In the eurozone, elected politicians have struggled to force through austerity budgets demanded by the officials offering bailouts. Incumbents from across the political spectrum have been booted out of office, while others rise to power only to confront the same short-term problems of attempting to a balance the books without ruining their own hopes for re-election.

Meanwhile, in states such as China that continue to eschew democracy, there is continuing economic growth and growing global power.

It all adds up to a cause for great concern, according to the political scientist David Runciman. His new book is The Confidence Trap: A History of Democracy in Crisis from World War I to the Present - a critique of the complacency of many in the west and the assumption that democracy is inevitable.

And it's not just economic factors that threaten democracy. For Runciman, The Guardian's revelations of massive state surveillanceshow another drawback of complacency by electorates - allowing security apparatus to grow without sufficient oversight.

Leave your thoughts below - or follow Politics Weekly on Soundcloud.

Source: Guardian

 

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/audio/2013/nov/21/politics-weekly-podcast-cambridge-david-runciman-democracy

Conference: The crisis of Democracy? - Evidence from the Post-communist world

The Crisis of Democracy?  Evidence from the Post-Communist World

December 6th, 2013

McGrath Centre, St Catharine’s College, University of Cambridge

Panel I: Dimensions of the Crisis of Democracy

12.45-2.15pm

 

Democracy in Eastern Europe: Myth, Ideology and Reality

Harald Wydra, Fellow of St Catharine’s College, University of Cambridge

 

Economy, Corruption or Promiscuous Voters? Explaining the Success of Anti-Establishment Reform Parties in Eastern Europe

Sean Healey, Senior Lecturer in East European Politics, University College London

(co-author Allan Sikk, Senior Lecturer in Comparative Politics, University College London)

 

Legitimacy of Russia’s Regime and Trust in Persons vs Institutions

Nikolay Petrov, Higer School of Economics, Moscow, Russia

 

2.15-2.45pm Refreshments

Panel II: Comparisons of the Crises of Democracy

2.45-4.15pm

The Silent Waters are the Deepest? What Does the Lack of Popular Protest Mean for Public Support for Putin

Richard Sakwa, Professor of Russian and European Politics, University of Kent

 

The Price of Transition: Reassessing the Bulgarian Experience of Post-Communism

Ognyan Minchev, Professor оf Politics, Sofia University, Bulgaria

 

How Lack of Popular Support Influences Legitimacy to Lead: the Case of the Romanian President

Emanuel Coman, Fellow in Politics, Nuffield College, Oxford University

 

4.15-4.45pm Refreshments

Panel III: Lessons of the Crisis of Democracy 

4.45-6.15pm  

Democracy: Duality, Crisis or Reincarnation?

Gergana Dimova, Fellow in Politics, St Catharine’s College, University of Cambridge

 

Is Democracy in Crisis? Concluding Remarks 

John Dunn, Professor of Politics, University of Cambridge

 

POLIS cycles to work

Last Friday (8th November) colleagues in the Alison Richard Building took part in an awareness raising session to encourage cycling to work.

As a building the team managed to cycle an incredible 218.1km in a working day which (as the crow flies) is equivalent to cycling from the office West Road, Cambridge to Oxford, a few kilometres around that city and then cycling back again. Everyone who took part really earned their cycle seat covers.

POLIS Student, Babatunde Olaiya (MPhil in Public Policy), racked up 14.4km, the longest ride of the day, and won the meal for two, kindly provided by The ARC Café.

Visit from Professor Stephen Walt

Professor Stephen Walt of Harvard University visited POLIS this week. He spoke to a large group of PhD students and staff on the theme of relations between academic International Relations and the world of policy, before going on to St. John’s College to give the annual Hinsley Lecture, held in honour of Sir Harry Hinsley who both founded the Centre of International Studies (now part of POLIS) and was Master of St. John’s. The lecture is run jointly by POLIS and the College, and attracts interest from across the University.

This year’s title was ‘Follies and fiascos: why US foreign policy keeps failing’. Professor Walt  argued that while there have been periods of considerable wisdom and success in US foreign policy, notably 1947-50 and 1988-1992, the years since the end of the Cold War have been largely characterised by hubris, distortions from domestic politics, and a dysfunctional foreign policy-making machine. His eloquent delivery, and responses to a vigorous set of exchanges in the discussion session which followed, held a big audience’s attention throughout. It was a memorable occasion, as indicated by the long queue of students wishing to speak with Professor Walt afterwards.

Are conspiracy theories destroying democracy?

We all love a good conspiracy theory, but are they undermining trust in democratic institutions, asks a major new research project at Cambridge University. For the full BBC News article please click here.

Behind the curtain: the history of the Russian Secret Service

Behind the curtain: the history of the Russian Secret Service. Festival of Ideas talk by Professor Jonathan Haslam

The history of Russia’s Secret Services from the Revolution to the Fall of the Wall: the Military Intelligence, the codes and ciphers and the KGB. Professor Jonathan Haslam will talk about his forthcoming history of 20th century Soviet intelligence, the first to cover all intelligence organisations.

Monday, 28 October 2013 from 18:00 to 19:30

https://russiansecretservice.eventbrite.co.uk/

Article published in the Guardian online by Dr Finbarr Livesey

The article, 'Open government should mean much more than better service delivery' was published in the Guardian online, 4th October 2013.

To access the full article please click on the link below;

http://www.theguardian.com/public-leaders-network/2013/oct/04/open-government-better-service-delivery

The Alcuin Lecture 2013 (‘Is there a future for the European Union – and with Britain in it?’)

The Alcuin Lecture 2013 (‘Is there a future for the European Union – and with Britain in it?’) will be delivered by Professor Loukas Tsoukalis, Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration at the University of Athens and President of ELIAMEP.

Time: 5:00pm
Date: Thursday 17th October
Venue: Riley Auditorium, Clare College
A reception for all attendees follows the lecture
All welcome

Dr Christopher Bickerton awarded the Best Book Prize of 2013 by UACES

Dr Christopher Bickerton, a University Lecturer in politics at POLIS, was awarded the Best Book Prize of 2013 by the University Association of Contemporary European Studies (2013). The prize was awarded on the 3rd September in Leeds, UK, on the occasion of the UACES annual conference. The book is entitled European Integration: From Nation-States to Member States and is published by Oxford University Press. The book was commended by the judges for its ‘clear aims’ and ‘intriguing concept’. One judge commented that ‘it is a highly engaging text which makes an extensive contribution to European Studies through the use of an innovative theoretical lens with which to analyse integration.’

http://www.uaces.org/awards/book/

 

Al-Jazeera Awards £150K to Cambridge University for Research Project

Al-Jazeera Media Network has awarded the Centre for the Study of the International Relations of the Middle East and North Africa (CIRMENA) £150,000 for a research project on media and politics in Tunisia, entitled ‘Tunisia’s Political Transition and the Developing Role of the Media’. The principal investigator on the University of Cambridge-Al Jazeera Centre for Studies Media Research Project is Dr Roxane Farmanfarmaian, an affiliated lecturer at POLIS.

The one year project, which began on August 12, 2013, will examine the relationship between a liberated media and the new political environment in post-Ben Ali Tunisia. Investigation will focus on how conventional as well as social media disseminate critical issues to the public; the intent is to map the development of political narrative in the year following the revolution. Structure, function and agency will be analyzed as the new political and media environments interact.

A workshop in Doha, in conjunction with the AJCS, will review the initial findings of the project, with final conclusions presented in a Cambridge-based workshop in July 2014.

 

POLIS academic publishes analysis of UK nuclear review

David Blagden, the Adrian Research Fellow in International Politics at Darwin College and a research associate of the Centre for Rising Powers in POLIS, has just published an analysis of the forthcoming review of UK nuclear weapons with the Guardian. Dr Blagden argues that, regardless of whether or not one thinks that Britain possessing nuclear weapons is a good thing, since all three major political parties remain committed to at least some form of nuclear arsenal, the replacement system to follow on from the current Vanguard class of nuclear missile-carrying submarine must be chosen so as to incentivise caution rather than aggression in international crises. Given that the forthcoming review will probably result in the decision to opt for a like-for-like replacement to the Vanguard class, the implication is that the government must opt to build four boats in the new class, so that one can be kept continuously deployed at sea. If one is not deployed at sea, this would promote aggression, rather than stability, in international crises. Dr Blagden’s article can be read here.

Dr Sharath Srinivasan and Dr Alastair Fraser awarded Cambridge-Africa Alborada Research Fund

Two researchers from the Centre of Governance and Human Rights (CGHR) in POLIS, Dr Sharath Srinivasan and Dr Alastair Fraser, have been awarded £10,000 and £5,000 respectively by the Cambridge-Africa Alborada Research Fund for research collaborations with colleagues in Kenya and Zambia. This will allow Dr Srinivasan and Dr Fraser to expand their research under the ESRC-DFID funded 'Politics and Interactive Media in Africa'

Dr Amrita Narlikar awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship for 2013-2014

POLIS is pleased to announce that Dr Amrita Narlikar, Reader in International Political Economy and the Director of the Centre for Rising Powers, has been awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship for 2013-2014, to work on a new research project "The Power of the Poor: International Economic Negotiations in a Globalising World". The Leverhulme Research Fellowships are awarded on the basis of a competition that is open to experienced researchers across the full range of academic disciplines. The scheme is a highly competitive one: 588 applications were reviewed this year with a success rate of 16%. The grant will allow POLIS to appoint a replacement lecturer to cover Dr Narlikar's teaching while she is working on the project.

2013 Alcuin Lecture announced

Professor Loukas Tsoukalis will deliver the 2013 Alcuin Lecture on Wednesday 5 June. Professor Tsoukalis will talk on 'Is there a future for the European Union - and with Britain in it?'. Please could those who are interested in attending send in applications to cahg2@cam.ac.uk by 31st May. For more information please see the poster.

Professor John Loughlin, Affiliated Lecturer in POLIS and Director of the Von Hugel Institute and a Fellow of St Edmund's College, has been elected a Fellow of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts

The European Academy of Sciences and Arts was founded in 1990 by Prof. Felix Unger, Cardinal Franz König and Prof. Nikolaus Lobkowicz. The Academy focuses on interdisciplinary discussion across specialist areas, ideologies and scientific cultures as well as promoting transnational dialogue and visionary developments of new scientific knowledge and academic thinking. As an “independent knowledge pool”, the Academy aims “to debate and work on contemporary topics across disciplinary and national borders, for the good of those living and working in Europe”. The uniqueness of the Academy of Sciences and Arts lies in its ability to work across boundaries for the aesthetics of science. The European Academy of Sciences and Arts now brings together over 1200 scientists and researchers, philosophers and artists from Europe, Asia and the USA, including 25 Nobel Prize winners. This has resulted in a networked ‘think tank’ on ethical and scientific values in a society that is increasingly fragmented. The European Academy of Sciences and Arts, based in Salzburg, focuses on three core areas, namely developing knowledge, disseminating scientific information and implementing major multi-national projects.

News Archive

 

Dr Sharath Srinivasan and Dr Alastair Fraser awarded Cambridge-Africa Alborada Research Fund

Two researchers from the Centre of Governance and Human Rights (CGHR) in POLIS, Dr Sharath Srinivasan and Dr Alastair Fraser, have been awarded £10,000 and £5,000 respectively by the Cambridge-Africa Alborada Research Fund for research collaborations with colleagues in Kenya and Zambia. This will allow Dr Srinivasan and Dr Fraser to expand their research under the ESRC-DFID funded 'Politics and Interactive Media in Africa'

Dr Amrita Narlikar awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship for 2013-2014

POLIS is pleased to announce that Dr Amrita Narlikar, Reader in International Political Economy and the Director of the Centre for Rising Powers, has been awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship for 2013-2014, to work on a new research project "The Power of the Poor: International Economic Negotiations in a Globalising World". The Leverhulme Research Fellowships are awarded on the basis of a competition that is open to experienced researchers across the full range of academic disciplines. The scheme is a highly competitive one: 588 applications were reviewed this year with a success rate of 16%. The grant will allow POLIS to appoint a replacement lecturer to cover Dr Narlikar's teaching while she is working on the project.

2013 Alcuin Lecture announced

Professor Loukas Tsoukalis will deliver the 2013 Alcuin Lecture on Wednesday 5 June. Professor Tsoukalis will talk on 'Is there a future for the European Union - and with Britain in it?'. Please could those who are interested in attending send in applications to cahg2@cam.ac.uk by 31st May. For more information please see the poster.

POLIS affiliated Junior Fellow awarded Dan David Prize

POLIS is pleased to announce that Dr Katrina Forrester has been awarded a Dan David Prize Scholarship for her research project ‘Philosophy and Real Politics in Liberal Political Thought: On the Relation of Theory and Practice from the End of Ideology to the End of History 1950-2000’. A small number of these international prizes are awarded annually to post-doctoral researchers from across the humanities and sciences.

Professor John Loughlin appointed to the Chaire Ganshof van der Meersch at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)

Professor John Loughlin, Affiliated Lecturer in POLIS, Director of the Von Hügel Institute and a Fellow of St Edmund's College, has been appointed to the Chaire Ganshof van der Meersch at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) for the academic year 2013-14. The Chaire is endowed by the Fondation Wiener-Anspach as part of the Fondation’s support for academic exchanges between the ULB and the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. Professor Loughlin will pursue research on European federalism and the current financial crisis and also on the place of religion in public and political life.

CSAP Co-Hosts External Champion to the Global Uncertainties Programme

Tristram Riley-Smith, has been appointed as a Director of Research to support his role as the External Champion to the Research Councils' Global Uncertainties (GU) Programme at CSaP.

The GU Programme focuses on six core areas associated with the causes and consequences of insecurity in the world:

  • Ideologies and beliefs
  • Terrorism
  • Transnational organised crime
  • Cybersecurity
  • Threats to infrastructures
  • Proliferation of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear (CBRN) weapons & technologies.

Tristram will work as a high-profile ambassador for the Programme, seeking to enhance opportunities for impact and knowledge exchange by connecting researchers across the UK (in receipt of £384m of funding) to national and international policy makers, public bodies, non-governmental organisations, the private sector and the wider public.

Tristram aired his early thoughts about the role with the GU Annual Conference in London on 26 March. In the first months he plans to consult stakeholders; review the portfolio of projects; and promote greater levels of engagement between end-users and researchers. He wants to run a triage process to identify a small number of projects which could achieve early impact with the support of stakeholders. He emphasised five core principles which underpin his work:

  • promote the importance of partnership;
  • respect the academic quest for knowledge, as a valued end in itself;
  • engage with ethical and security concerns of researchers and stakeholders;
  • recognise the significance of the GU Programme for stability and well-being;
  • focus on a drive to deliver beneficial, practical outcomes from the GU programme.

Tristram welcomes comments, ideas or insights that you would like to share about the programme (http://www.globaluncertainties.org.uk/), especially if you have benefited from GU funding. You can e-mail him at tr356@cam.ac.uk.

POLIS is currently recruiting two University Lecturers

The Department of POLIS is currently advertising two University Lectureships. One is to be in the field of Latin America or South Asia and the other will be in Comparative Politics with a specialist interest in Europe (including the UK) and/or the United States. For further information please see the Job pages of this website.

2013 Hinsley Lecture to be given by Prof. Stephen Walt

POLIS is pleased to announce that the Hinsley Lecture in 2013 will take place on November 13 and will be given by Professor Stephen Walt. Stephen M. Walt is the Robert and Renée Belfer professor of international affairs at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.

New Chair in Politics announced

The Department is very please to announce that David Runciman has been recruited to the position of Chair in Politics.

Dr Bell awarded Cambridge Humanities Research Grant

Dr Duncan Bell has secured a Cambridge Humanities Research Grant to aid his project "Dreamworlds of Empire: Utopia, Race and the Project for a New Anglo Century".

The Masters in Public Policy officially launched

The Masters in Public Policy was officially launched at an event on the 29th November at the Institute of Governance in London. The programme will take its first students from October 2013. For further information, please see the University Web pages

Dr Duncan Bell awarded Philip Leverhulme Prize

The Department is pleased to announce that Dr Duncan Bell has been awarded a prestigious Philip Leverhulme Prize in recognition of his scholarly work in the history of political thought. For further information please see the Leverhulme website.

Professor David Allen, 1949-2012

Many people in POLIS, especially those working in the area of European Studies will be sad at the news of the death of Professor David Allen, a good friend of the Department who acted as external examiner in the past, and informal adviser to many young researchers. Please follow the link for the THE obituary.

The US election seen from East Asia: what is at stake?

Dr K-C Lin will be on the panel for a debate being held as part of the Festival of Ideas, on Saturday 27 October, 3:00PM - 4:15PM . For further information, please see the listing on the Festival of Ideas website

Advanced Notice: Hinsley Lecture

POLIS is pleased to announce that the annual Hinsley lecture will be given by Fraser Cameron on 14 November at St John's College. Dr Cameron will speak on "Power and the Pursuit of Peace – An EU Dream or Illusion".

Six Five Year Postdoctoral Research Fellowships

Applications are invited for 6 postdoctoral research associates to work on Conspiracy and Democracy: History, Political Theory and Internet Research, the Leverhulme-funded interdisciplinary, collaborative project led by Professor Sir Richard Evans (History), Dr David Runciman (Politics and International Studies) and Professor John Naughton (CRASSH); and based at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), starting 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2017. For more information please see the CRASSH website.

Dr Glen Rangwala awarded Pilkington Prize

Dr Glen Rangwala has been awarded one of the twelve annual Pilkington Prizes recognising outstanding teaching. Dr Rangwala received his prize from the Vice Chancellor at an awards ceremony at Downing College. For more information please see the University News webpages

Butler Prize winners announced

For full details of the winners of this year's Butler Essay Prize for Sixth Form Students please see the R.A. Butler webpage.

David Runciman awarded the Bernard Crick Prize for the best article published in The Political Quarterly in 2011

POLIS Academic Dr David Runciman has won The Political Quarterly Crick Prize. David Runciman’s piece ‘Can Democracy Cope’, which appeared in issue 82 4 won praise from the Board’s judges for its insightfulness and deep understanding of the theme. He was awarded the prize at the Orwell Awards in Church House on 23 May.

Dr Josip Glaurdic and Dr Alex Anievas awarded Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships

The Department is pleased to announce that Dr Josip Glaurdic and Dr Alex Anievas have been awarded prestigious Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships and will be joining the Department in 2012-13

POLIS PhD student awarded Political Studies Association's Lord Bryce Prize

Dr Alex Anievas has been awarded the Political Studies Association's Lord Bryce Prize for Best Dissertation in International Relations/Comparative Studies for his Dissertation on ‘Capital, States, and Conflict: International Political Economy and Crisis, 1914-1945’

POLIS Department academics star turn at Hay-on-Wye festival

Hay-on-Wye festival

Cambridge Public Policy (CPP) set up to coordinate the development of new approaches to public policy

Cambridge Public Policy (CPP) is a University of Cambridge initiative set up to coordinate, support and encourage the development of new approaches to public policy, informed by the best available research, teaching and practice.

The CPP website has more details of the initiative.

Prof. Loughlin appointed an Officier in the Ordre des Palmes Académiques

Professor John Loughlin, Director of the VHI and Fellow of St Edmund's College, was appointed an Officier in the Ordre des Palmes Académiques by the French Government in 2010. He received the award at a ceremony at the French Embassy's Cultural Centre in March 2012. The Ordre des Palmes Académiques is the second oldest order of chivalry and was established by Napoleon I in 1808. It is award to French citizens for services to higher education in France and to non-French citizens who make a significant contribution to French culture and learning. Professor Loughlin received the award in recognition of his" contribution to the French culture and language in the United Kingdom and for his extensive research into European politics".

POLIS academic assists UN and Egyptian Government

Professor John Loughlin, Director of the VHI and Fellow of St Edmund's College, has been assisting the United Nations-Habitat and the Egyptian government to develop a new system of regional governance and planning for Egypt. After many years of dictatorship and a highly centralized administrative system, Egypt, like many other countries in the world, has been moving towards a more decentralized system. Professor Loughlin chaired a UN-Habitat committee of experts which produced a set of 'Guidelines on Effective Decentralization' which were adopted unanimously by the UN-Habitat General Council, consisting of 60 countries, at their meeting in Nairobi in 2007. Professor Loughlin has researched and written extensively on regionalization and decentralization in European countries. His most recent publication in this area is the Oxford Handbook of Local and Regional Democracy in Europe, jointly edited with Frank Hendriks and Anders Lidstrom and published by Oxford University Press in 2010 which covers all 27 EU member states as well as Norway and Switzerland. In 2007 he published Subnational Government: the French Experience. He is currently editing the Routledge Handbook of Regionalism and Federalism which is due to be published in 2012.

R.A. Butler Prize for essays in Politics and International Studies (02/03/2012)

The essay questions for the 2012 round of the R.A. Butler Prize have now been released. The competition for Year 12 (lower 6th) students for essays in Politics and International Studies is run by POLIS in association with Trinity College. The prize aims to encourage students with an interest in modern politics and world affairs to consider undertaking university studies in Politics, International Studies or a related discipline, and to recognise the achievements of high-calibre students and those who teach them. For more information please see the R.A. Butler webpage.

Cambridge PhD students win Politics in Spires best blog competition

Politics in Spires is pleased to announce that the prize for the best blog published from November 2011-January 2012 will be awarded to the joint authors of ‘How are election preparations unfolding in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)? Hope or failure? Two perspectives’—Hubertus Juergenliemk, PhD student at POLIS, University of Cambridge and a Visiting Doctoral student at the University of Oxford during the academic year 2011-12, and Lindsay Scorgie, PhD student at POLIS, University of Cambridge. Please read their blog here.

Scot Peterson, of the Oxford Politics in Spires Oversight Committee says, ‘The blog was really interesting, original and thought-provoking It was well argued and incorporated material from students’ field work for their degrees. This is exactly what we are looking for – congratulations!’

The next round of the blog prize will run from February – April 2012: please send blogs to Oxbridge.blog@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing from you! For more information, click here.

David Miliband in discussion with Prof. Gamble

David Miliband, Labour MP and former Foreign Secretary, will be speaking at the Cambridge Union on Wednesday 1st February at 12 noon. Mr Miliband will be discussing the issues of the day with Prof. Gamble, Head of the Department of Politics and International Studies, before the floor is opened for questions. We expect this to be a very popular event and University ID will be required for entrance.

POLIS MSt. Student awarded MBE

A student on the Master of Studies in International Relations course, Damian Platt, has been awarded the MBE for his work in the favelas, or shantytowns, of Rio de Janeiro. Damian was given the award by HRH the Prince of Wales at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in December. For more information please see http://news.admin.cam.ac.uk/news/2012/01/09/international-relations-student-awarded-mbe/

PLEASE NOTE: On 3rd January 2012 the Department of POLIS moved to the Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DT.

Over the Christmas Vacation the Department moved to a new home, the Alison Richard Building on 7 West Road. POLIS is now housed in a dedicated state-of-the-art building alongside the area centres and the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities, and it is based on the University's Sidgwick site which is home to many other Humanities and Social Science Departments.

Politics in Spires: A thoroughfare for all thoughts on politics and international relations

Politics in Spires is a collaborative effort between the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford and the Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge. The website aims to promote and disseminate research and to engage in scholarly debate on current affairs, addressing topical issues in a timely fashion.

Politics in Spires: http://politicsinspires.org/

Cambridge's POLIS is ranked 3rd in the world

Cambridge University's Politics and International Studies courses are ranked 3rd in the world in the first comprehensive set of international rankings at subject level. For more information please see the New QS World University Rankings by Subject 2011 - Social Sciences website.

Winners of the R.A. Butler Prize for essays in Politics and International Studies (06/07/2011)

The winners have been announced for the R.A. Butler Prize for essays in Politics and International Studies 2011. The first prize is £600, to be shared between the candidate and his or her school or college. The second prize is £400. For more information please see the R.A. Butler webpage.

CGHR Research Associate Vacancy (06/07/2011)

The Centre of Governance and Human Rights (CGHR) is seeking to appoint a Post-Doctoral Research Associate to work for up to 15 months on the research project ‘New communication technologies and citizen-led governance in Africa’. Further details about the position available and full information on the application procedure can be found at http://www.polis.cam.ac.uk/dept/jobs.html.

Republicanism and Religion: A colloquium in memory of Émile Perreau-Saussine (17 Feb 2011)

Emile Perreau-Saussine

On 17 February 2011 in Fitzwilliam College a memorial colloquium was held in honour of our friend and colleague Emile Perreau-Saussine, who died tragically in 2010.

Details of the event are available from the colloquium's page.

University lecturer vacancy (7 Feb 2011)

Applications are invited for a University Lectureship in the Department of Politics and International Studies, from 1st October 2011. There is some flexibility in the field of the lectureship, and we particularly welcome applications from candidates specialising in the politics of China (including foreign policy and political economy). Other areas where the Department is seeking to strengthen its research and teaching include international security and foreign policy, the politics of the United States, and British politics and public policy. Further details about the position available and full information on the application procedure can be found at http://www.polis.cam.ac.uk/dept/jobs.html.

José Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Commission (2 Feb 2011)

José Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Commission, will be visiting the University on Friday 18 February to give the annual Alcuin lecture (sponsored by Lord Brittan). The lecture will take place in the Department of Chemistry, Lensfield Road, at 5pm. Admission will be by University card and photo-ID only.Applications to alcuinlecture@admin.cam.ac.uk by 12 noon on Wednesday 9 February.

Dr Barroso is an academic economist by background, and ex-Director of the Department of International Relations at Lusiada University, as well one time Prime Minister of Portugal. At this critical time for the European economy, and indeed for Europe's external relations, his remarks will be of particular interest to members of POLIS.

For more information see the poster for the event.

Catalan Election Event (28 Nov 2010)

On the occasion of the Elections to the Parliament of Catalonia on 28th November, the Catalan Government's Delegation to the United Kingdom, in collaboration with Catalans UK, has the pleasure to organise for the first time a reception in London to follow the election results. The event will count with the presence of Prof John Loughlin, University of Cambridge, and Mr Germà Capdevila, Managing Editor of Catalonia Today, who will comment and explain the results. The event will be presented by Ms Laura Pous, Correspondent of the Catalan News Agency.

For more information, please contact Prof John Loughlin, jl602@cam.ac.uk.

EVENT CANCELLATION: 'India as a Rising Power' - The Honourable Mamata Banerjee (25 Oct 2010)

Due to certain unforeseen political developments in the state of West Bengal, the Indian Minister for Railways, the Honourable Mamata Banerjee, has had to postpone her trip to Cambridge. The launch of the new Centre for Rising Powers, and its inaugural lecture, are postponed to Lent Term 2011. For any queries about the Centre, please contact Dr Amrita Narlikar, an283@cam.ac.uk.

Details of the event can be found at: http://www.in-coop.eu/ (note that this is a link to an external website)

Monique Canto-Sperber - postponed (25 May 2010)

Monique Canto-Sperber was due to speak at the POLIS seminar on 25th May 2010, but unfortunately has had to postpone this appearance.

Marie Curie Initial Training Network (19 Mar 2010)

POLIS will be home to a Marie Curie post-doctoral fellow and a PhD student in the Autumn as part of the new INCOOP network. The network will focus on institutional cooperation in the EU and Cambridge hopes to appoint in the fields of immigration and energy and climate change. Further details about the positions available and full information on the application procedure can be found at http://www.polis.cam.ac.uk/dept/jobs.html.

Details of the INCOOP network can be found at: http://www.in-coop.eu/ (note that this is a link to an external website)

Dr. Emile Perreau-Saussine 1972-2010 (26 Feb 2010)

Dr. Emile Perreau-Saussine 1972-2010

CIS publication listed in '100 Books for Global Thinkers' (18 Dec 2009)

Counter-insurgency expert David Kilcullen ('The accidental guerilla') has listed John Bew, Martyn Frampton and Inigo Gurruchaga's 'Talking to terrorists. Making peace in Northern Ireland and the Basque country' (2009) (published by the Centre series 'Crises in World Politics') as one of the '100 books for global thinkers' recommended by Foreign Policy magazine.

For more details: click here (note that this is a link to an external website)

POLIS to launch new Centre of Governance and Human Rights on 18 November 2009

POLIS celebrates the launch of the Centre of Governance and Human Rights on 18 November 2009 with an Inaugural Lecture by Francis M Deng, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide. Deng will speak on the subject of ‘Managing Diversity as a Strategy for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities’.

With special reference to Africa, the Centre will generate fresh thinking on governance challenges and ideas of human rights in the 21st century. Globalisation and greater integration require developing countries engage more than before with international institutions, rules and norms. Yet shifts in the fulcrum of world power raise new questions on the common values underpinning international order and determining human well-being, on how they are pursued, and on their impact upon developing states and societies. Innovations to address persistent underdevelopment, political instability and human vulnerability must understand and navigate this changing political landscape. Drawing upon Cambridge’s long and distinctive tradition in politics and international studies going back over a century, the Centre of Governance and Human Rights will develop new courses on the politics of governance and human rights for undergraduates and graduates, and it will serve as a hub for research collaboration throughout the University. It will also bring together practitioners, policymakers and academics from developed and developing countries to build dialogue about the role of rights and governance in tackling development and security priorities. The Centre is already forging links with research institutions and practitioners in Africa.

Thanks to a generous donation from The David and Elaine Potter Foundation, a new endowed lectureship has been established to provide a dedicated Director for our new Centre in its first phase. More information on the Centre, the launch and recordings of Francis Deng's lecture will appear on the POLIS website after the event.

POLIS Launch Lecture (5 May 2009)

The Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) was formally launched on 5 May with a lecture and reception in the Law Faculty Building on the Sidgwick site, next door to where POLIS will be relocated in a brand-new building in 2011. The lecture was given by Professor Christopher Hill, with the title 'Changing the World? The problem of action in international politics' to an audience of colleagues and invited guests of over 120 people. The occasion was chaired by Professor John Bell, the Chair of the School of Huumanities and Social Sciences, and was followed by a lively Question and Answer session, and then a reception. A PDF of the lecture's text is to be found below. POLIS has 22 University Lecturers, five College Lecturers, and four administrative staff. Professor Andrew Gamble is the Head of Department and Angela Polletine the Administrative Officer. Three major research centres are contained within the new department: the Centre of International Studies, and two new ones, the Centre of Governance and Human Rights and the Cambridge Centre for Political Thought, which is joint collaboration with History. POLIS is located within the Faculty of Politics, Psychology, Sociology and International Studies (PPSIS) and is represented on the Council of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. The lecture notes are available here.

RAE 2008 (28 Jan 2009)

The RAE results just released have Politics and International Studies at Cambridge in 11th equal place in the list of 59 units assessed. Our grade profile was as follows: 20% or work was graded at the 4* level (‘world-leading’), 30% at 3* (‘internationally-excellent’), 30% at 2* level (‘internationally-recognised’) and 20% at 1* level (‘nationally recognised’). This is very pleasing, as it represents a clear improvement from 2001 when we were ranked c 24th (The different grading system used then makes exact comparisions difficult). This represents a sound foundation for the start of the new Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) in January