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Forum on Geopolitics

Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)

Studying at Cambridge


Forum Affiliates

Richard Bassett
  • Richard Bassett is an expert on Central Europe. After graduating from Christ’s College and the Courtauld Institute of Art, he worked for ten years as The Times correspondent in Eastern Europe during the closing decade of the Cold War before returning to London to take up various posts in the City. He is the author of several books, most notably “For God and Kaiser”, (Yale 2015), the first history of the Habsburg army to be published in English. He has taught at the Soros University of Budapest, the Universities of London, Ljubljana, Trieste and Zagreb.
Dr John Bew
  • Dr John Bew works with the Forum on Geopolitics to support the Westphalia for the Middle East research project. He is a reader in History and Foreign Policy at the War Studies Department at King's College London and Director of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence. Dr Bew is also contributing writer at the New Statesman and a regular contributor to the Times Literary Supplement, American Interest, National Interest, New Republic and Irish Times. From 2007-10, he was Lecturer in Modern British History, Harris Fellow and Director of Studies at Peterhouse, Cambridge.
Hilary Briffa
  • Hillary Briffa is an affiliate of ‘A Westphalia for the Middle East’ laboratory for world construction. She is currently reading for a doctorate in War Studies at King’s College London (KCL), focusing on small states and Grand Strategy. At KCL she teaches on the undergraduate Grand Strategy module, and serves as Programme Administrator for the Anglo-American Maymester programme between KCL and the Clements Centre for History, Strategy and Statecraft at the University of Texas. Previously, she attained a First Class Honours degree in International Relations from the University of Malta and an MA in Conflict, Security and Development from KCL. She serves as Youth Ambassador to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe for Malta, conducts research for FromOverHere strategic consultancy, and has recently completed an internship at the Malta High Commission to the UK.
Andrew Ehrhardt
  • Andrew works with the Forum on Geopolitics to support the Westphalia for the Middle East research project. He is currently a doctoral candidate in the War Studies Department at King’s College London and serves as the secretary of the Grand Strategy Centre. His research focuses on the intellectual origins of Anglo-American grand strategy in the early twentieth century. In September 2015, Andrew completed his MA in terrorism and counterterrorism in the War Studies Department, where he focused on Irish Fenian political violence and its effect on Anglo-American relations in the aftermath of the American Civil War.
Professor Montserrat Guibernau
  • Montserrat Guibernau works with the Forum on Geopolitics on activities relating to state unity and secessionism, with particular reference to Catalonia and Europe.
  • Prof. Guibernau holds a PhD in Social and Political Theory, King’s College, Cambridge and a BA in Philosophy, University of Barcelona. She is currently Professor of Politics at Queen Mary University of London.
  • Her current research focuses upon wider multidisciplinary intellectual agenda in Politics and Sociology, it concerns key academic and policy debates about migration, nationalism and ethnic diversity in the EU and the US as well as the study of challenges posed by secessionism and ethnic violence.
  • At present she holds a Visiting Fellowship at the Department of Politics and International Relations of the University of Cambridge (POLIS). She is also a Member of the Management Council at the Canada Blanch Centre, London School of Economics. In 2012-2014 she held a Leverhulme Research Fellowship on: ‘Identity, Emotions and Political Mobilization’.
  • She has taught, researched and supervised graduate students at Queen Mary, having previously held an ESRC senior research fellowship at the University of Warwick and lectureships and a readership at the University of Barcelona and the Open University. Montserrat has held visiting positions at the University of Quebec in Montreal, Canada, the University of Tampere, Finland, the Austrian Academy of Social Sciences, Austria, the London School of Economics and the University of Cambridge.
  • She has delivered lectures at many universities in North America, including New York University, Columbia University, Princeton and, most recently, Harvard University as well as lecturing at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel, and being invited as speaker at the Beijing Forum, 2007.
  • E-mail:
Timothy Less
  • As an affiliate of the Forum on Geopolitics, Timothy Less is supporting the development of the Forum’s work on risk analysis and scenario mapping.
  • Timothy is director of the Nova Europa consultancy, which provides political risk analysis of Eastern Europe to private sector clients, and a member of Darwin College, where he is conducting research on the geopolitics of Southeastern Europe.
  • Previously, Timothy Less spent a decade working as an analyst, diplomat and policymaker at the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office where, among other things, he ran the British Embassy Office in Banja Luka (Bosnia) and the EU Institutions Department, and led the Prime Minister’s initiative on Countries at Risk of Instability. He is also a former lecturer in Eastern European Politics at the University of Kent and a former risk analyst for the ratings agency, Dun & Bradstreet, where he covered the Balkans and the former Soviet Union.
Dr Patrick Milton
  • Patrick Milton is a postdoctoral fellow at the Free University of Berlin researching the history of intervention in Early Modern central Europe and the external guarantee of the Peace of Westphalia. He is an affiliate of the ‘A Westphalia for the Middle East’ laboratory for world construction. He holds a PhD in History from Cambridge, an MA in International Relations from Warwick, and has published articles in the journals German History, The English Historical Review, and Central European History.
Rainer Neske
  • Rainer Neske is working with the Forum on Geopolitics on a series entitled 'German Geopolitics Today'. Born in Münster, Germany, in 1964, Mr. Neske is Chairman of the board of Trustees of the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, a member of the Management Board of the non-profit Hertie Foundation and also a member of the Advisory Board of Deutsche Vermögensberatung AG. Furthermore, he is a member of the Supervisory Board of Save the Children Deutschland e.V.
  • Until June 2015, Mr. Neske was a member of the Management Board and the Group Executive Committee of Deutsche Bank AG. As the Global Head of the business division Private & Business Clients, he had global responsibility for the Private & Business Clients corporate division, operating under the brand names Deutsche Bank, Postbank and Berliner Bank.
  • Mr. Neske studied Computer Science and Business Administration at the University of Karlsruhe. He joined Deutsche Bank in 1990 and initially worked in a number of management positions, primarily in the Information Technology area. In 1999, Mr. Neske was appointed a senior executive of Deutsche Bank 24 AG. In 2001, he became Deputy Spokesman. In March 2003, he became Spokesman of the company's Management Board. At the same time, he was made a member of the Group Executive Committee (GEC) of Deutsche Bank AG. On April 1, 2009 Mr. Neske was appointed to the Management Board of Deutsche Bank AG.
Dr Aaron Rapport
  • Aaron Rapport is a lecturer in Cambridge's Department of Politics and International Studies and a fellow at Corpus Christi College. He was previously an assistant professor of political science at Georgia State University in Atlanta. Prior to receiving his PhD in Political Science from the University of Minnesota, he held pre-doctoral fellowships at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University and the Miller Center at the University of Virginia. His research interests include international security, political psychology, and U.S. foreign policy. His book, _Waging War, Planning Peace: U.S. Noncombat Operations and Major Wars_, was published in 2015 by Cornell University Press in its Security Affairs series. His work has also appeared in leading journals of international relations such as International Security, International Studies Quarterly, the Journal of Peace Research, and Security Studies. He has taught undergraduate and graduate level courses on international relations theory, foreign policy analysis, security studies, and qualitative research methodology.
Dr Maeve Ryan
  • Maeve Ryan is the Co-ordinator of Development for the Forum on Geopolitics, and a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow at the University of Leicester, working on a project entitled ‘The British Empire and the Geopolitics of Human Rights in the Nineteenth Century’. Her broad area of specialization is nineteenth-century British imperial history, with a specific interest in sub-Saharan Africa, the East and West African slave trades, and their legacies. She holds a PhD from Trinity College Dublin and an MPhil in International Relations from the University of Cambridge.
Tim Sebastian
  • Tim Sebastian is a journalist and broadcaster, currently the presenter of Conflict Zone on DW Television. He has been a BBC foreign correspondent, based in Warsaw, Moscow and Washington, and reported for BBC Television from more than 25 countries over a 30-year period.
  • He is perhaps best known for being the first host of the BBC’s flagship interview programme Hardtalk – for which he was twice named Interviewer of the Year by the Royal Television Society. Sebastian has also won the Society’s Television Journalist of the Year award, as well as BAFTA’s Richard Dimbleby Award for the most important personal contribution to factual television.
  • In the last 10 years he has worked extensively in the Middle East, founding and presenting the Doha Debates on BBC TV and the New Arab Debates on DW.
  • He is a board member of Democracy Reporting International, a Berlin-based NGO that promotes democracy, primarily in South Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe.
  • He graduated in modern languages from Oxford University and is the author of eight novels and two non-fiction titles.
Samuel Singler
  • Samuel is an affiliate of the Forum on Geopolitics, providing support around the 2016 event programme. He is a final year BA International Relations student at Queen Mary University of London, interested in the utilisation of critical theoretical frameworks in order to interrogate the politics of international security and liberal governance. His final year dissertation will examine the relationship between the liberal world order and the processes by which security and development have become intertwined in international politics. Samuel is Commissioning Editor of the student journal QM Political Review, and has recently completed an internship at RAND Europe, conducting research into international health and development.