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Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)

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Past Events

Brexit and Trump in the Light of History and Network Theory with Professor Niall Ferguson

When May 23, 2017
from 06:30 PM to 07:30 PM
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The Forum on Geopolitics, together with the Project for Democratic Union, is pleased to host Prof. Niall Ferguson. Prof. Ferguson is a senior fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford, and the Center for European Studies at Harvard. 

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Rethinking the European Order in the Age of Trump and Brexit

When May 22, 2017
from 06:30 PM to 08:00 PM
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On May 22, the Forum on Geopolitics and the PDU will host an event featuring esteemed politician and former Foreign Minister and Vice Chancellor of Germany, Joschka Fischer. Mr. Fischer will speak on the topic “Rethinking the European Order in the Age of Trump and Brexit”, followed by a discussion with Prof. Brendan Simms. 

Book tickets through the PDU website: http://www.democraticunion.eu/events/joschka-fischer-joins-pdu-cambridge/ 

 

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The British-European economic relationship after Brexit

When May 15, 2017
from 05:30 PM to 07:00 PM
Where McCrum Lecture Theatre, Corpus Christi College
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In January 2017 Prime Minister Theresa May unveiled her strategy for Britain's exit from the European Union, which includes leaving the single market. How will Britain and the European Union remain "best friends and neighbours" after a profoundly changed political and economic relationship? This talk will explore what possibilities and consequences Britain's departure from the single market may hold for Britain's relationship with the European Union. YouGov's Marcus Roberts, Director of International Projects, will additionally present polling data on Brexit, and Britain and Europe's future relationship.

 

About the Speakers:

Professor Clemens Fuest is a German economist and President of the Ifo Insititute for Economic Research. Professor Fuest previously served as a professor of business taxation at the University of Oxford, where he also served as Research Director for the University of Oxford Centre for Business Taxation. Professor Fuest has additionally served as a member of the Independent Expert Group to the Commission on Scottish Devolution and as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors at the German Ministry of Finance.

 

Sir Andrew Cook read law at the University College London, and now owns and serves as Chairman of William Cook Holdings, Ltd. Sir Andrew was awarded a CBE in the 1996 New Year's Honours List for services to the steel industry, the E J Fox medal by the Institute of Cast Metals Engineers in 2008, and knighted in 2016.

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June 1940: A British lead for a federal Europe

When Mar 22, 2017
from 05:30 PM to 07:00 PM
Where Room 138, Alison Richard Building
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June 2016 had been a turning point in British history. The decision to leave the European Union at the most critical period since its existence could bring unpredictable and far reaching consequences both for the United Kingdom and the Union itself. 

June 1940 had been a turning point in British history too. On the afternoon of 16 June, a few hours before the French Government opted for the capitulation, Churchill made an offer of “indissoluble union.” While the British Cabinet adopted the text of the declaration, the proposal never reached the table of the French Government. The spirit of capitulation, embodied in Weygand and Pétain prevailed, and France submitted herself to the German will, for the second time in seventy years. 

Photo Credit Rock Cohen
This talk, based on Dr. Andrea Bosco's newest book, June 1940: Great Britain and the First Attempt to Build a European Union, principally examines the first eighteen months of Federal Union, during which the movement, from its modest beginnings, was able to raise itself in the attention of the general public, and the political class, as the heir of the League of Nations Union, the organisation which during the First World War shaped the idea of “collective security”. Although the main object of this study is Federal Union—its birth and development, the activities of the branches, the internal debate and conflicts—it also deals with the federalist debate in the British and French press, and its impact on political and religious elites.

 

About the Speaker: Andrea Bosco is Jean Monnet “ad personam” Chairholder on the History and Theory of European Integration at the School of Political Science of the University of Florence, ‘expert’ at the Jean Monnet European Centre of Excellence at the same University, and Director of the Lothian Foundation. He has been co-Director of the European Institute at South Bank University. He has published extensively on the history and theory of the federal idea.

What’s really wrong with the international order?

When Mar 06, 2017
from 01:00 PM to 02:00 PM
Where Henry Cavendish Room, Peterhouse College
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There is a growing consensus that the post-war, liberal international order is under significant stress and may even be in jeopardy of collapse. The RAND Corporation has conducted an 18-month study to examine the character, status, value, and future of the order. In this talk, the project director Dr. Michael Mazarr will discuss the study’s findings on the most significant factors threatening the order—and what to do about them.

 

About the speaker: Michael J. Mazarr is an associate director of RAND Arroyo Center's Strategy, Doctrine, and Resources Program, and a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation. He comes to RAND from the U.S. National War College where he was professor and associate dean of academics. He has also worked in research institutes, on Capitol Hill, and as a special assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. His primary interests are U.S. defense policy and force structure, East Asian security, nuclear weapons and deterrence, and judgment and decision making under uncertainty. Mazarr holds a Ph.D. in public policy from the University of Maryland.

About the moderator: Timothy Less is an affiliate of the Forum on Geopolitics Timothy and director of the Nova Europa consultancy, which provides political risk analysis of Eastern Europe to private sector clients. Mr. Less is also a member of Darwin College, where he is conducting research on the geopolitics of Southeastern Europe.

 

Because space is limited those that wish to attend must register their interest with kb558@cam.ac.uk  

 

Book Launch of "Donald Trump: Making of a World View"

When Feb 21, 2017
from 05:30 PM to 07:00 PM
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On November 8, 2016, Donald Trump won the American presidential election, to the joy of some and the shock of many across the globe.

Now that Trump is Commander-in-Chief of the most powerful country on Earth, Americans and non-Americans alike have been left wondering what that means for the world.

Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2011 in Washington, D.C.Photo credit Gage Skidmore

It has been widely claimed that Trump's foreign policy views are impulsive, inconsistent and were improvised on the campaign trail. In their recently published book, the historians Charlie Laderman (King's College, London) and Brendan Simms (University of Cambridge) shows that this assumption is dangerously false. Trump has had a consistent position on international trade and America’s alliances since he first flirted with the idea of running for president in the 1980s. Over the past three decades, he has been laying out in interviews, articles, books and tweets what amounts to a foreign policy philosophy. This event will explore how Trump's worldview was formed, what might result if it is applied in policy terms and the potential consequences for the rest of the world.

 

About the Speakers: 

Dr Charlie Laderman is a lecturer at King's College, London. His research focuses on 19th and 20th century America and its relations with the wider world, with an emphasis on the intersection between U.S. and International History, the interconnection between U.S. foreign policy and domestic politics.

Professor Brendan Simms is an expert on European geopolitics, past and present. His principal interests are the German Question, Britain and Europe, Humanitarian Intervention and state construction. He teaches at both undergraduate and graduate level in the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) and the Faculty of History. 

 

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Talk with Dr Michael Axworthy

The Forum on Geopolitics is pleased to invite you to a talk by Dr Michael Axworthy on the Forum of Geopolitic's most recent conference. Dr Axworthy, who directs the Westphalia for the Middle East Project at the Forum on Geopolitics is just back from Amman, Jordan where the Project and the Koerber Stiftung held a conference with regional actors. He will talk about his experiences there and bring us up to date with the progress of the project.
When Feb 16, 2017
from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM
Where Room 138, Alison Richard Building
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The Forum on Geopolitics is pleased to invite you to a talk by Dr Michael Axworthy on the Forum of Geopolitic's most recent conference. 

Dr Axworthy, who directs the Westphalia for the Middle East Project at the Forum on Geopolitics is just back from Amman, Jordan where the Project and the Koerber Stiftung held a conference with regional actors. He will talk about his experiences there and bring us up to date with the progress of the project.

Location
Room 138
Alison Richard Building 
7 West Road 

When
Thursday, 16 Feb., 12-1pm

About the Speaker:
Dr Michael Axworthy is Director of the Centre for Persian and Iranian Studies at the University of Exeter. He is the author of Revolutionary Iran (Penguin 2013) and Iran: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford University Press 2017) among other publications, and is a Visiting Fellow at Peterhouse for this Lent Term.

The rise of European illiberalism: the case of Hungary

On 2 February Dr Nora Berend of the University of Cambridge Faculty of History will give a talk addressing the state of democracy in Hungary.
When Feb 02, 2017
from 01:00 PM to 02:00 PM
Where Room 138, Alison Richard Building
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The 'illiberal' state that destroys media freedom, real democracy and human rights, and unites populism with authoritarianism is an increasing threat to us all. Its construction is more advanced in Hungary than elsewhere, which holds important lessons for those who wish to retain democracy. The talk will reflect on how democracy has been undermined, especially on the dismantling of free media, attacking civil society, and the impact on society and the economy.

 

About the speaker: 

Dr. Nora Berend is a medieval historian based at St. Catherine's College who has also written on contemporary Hungarian politics in the London Review of Books and elsewhere.

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Cambridge reading group on decline

'From Thucydides to Drumpf. Decline in history.'
When Feb 01, 2017
from 05:00 PM to 06:00 PM
Where Peterhouse C1
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The theme of decline is suddenly apropos thanks to the ongoing surge of populism and geopolitical fragmentation. For observers, this creates a stimulating as well as an intellectually murky situation. Many pundits have drawn loosely on the great names on our syllabus or other historical events to clarify and diagnose present crises. Are demagogues pushing us into a post-fact era? Ancient Greece had those in the sophists who 'made the weaker argument the stronger'. Have Western publics lost their strategic focus since the end of the Cold War? Rome too ​overcame Carthage only to lose its republic ​to the Caesars a century later. While affirming the instinct to turn to theory and history, we want to do so carefully and creatively. We intend to gain relevant heuristics through which to examine our present and future. 

 

globe

 The first discussion will take place Wednesday, February 1 at 5:00 PM in Peterhouse C1. Please RSVP for this first session by replying, cc Kaitlin Ball (kb558@cam.ac.uk), by this ​Friday (27 Jan), so we can estimate numbers.

Subsequent meetings will take place on alternate Wednesdays at 5 PM in the Alison Richard Building.

 

'2017: War with Russia' - a lecture by General Sir Richard Shirreff

When Nov 22, 2016
from 05:00 PM to 06:30 PM
Where Upper Hall, Peterhouse, Cambridge
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On 22 November 2016, General Sir Richard Shirreff will deliver a public lecture on the subject of his recent book, 2017: War with Russia, in which he argues that Russia is now our most dangerous adversary and outlines why, by failing to heed the warning signals from Russia, we are on course for war.

Richard Shirreff 2017.jpg

  • Where: Upper Hall, Peterhouse, Cambridge CB2 1RD
  • When: 22 November 2016, 5-6.30pm
  • Register here for a free ticket
  • Copies of the book will be available for purchase, and the lecture will be followed by a Q&A and drinks reception.

Putin’s invasion of Crimea and Ukraine in 2014, his build up of Russian military capability and willingness to use it for political ends, together with his self-proclaimed right to protect the interests of Russian speakers everywhere has shattered the post-Cold War security paradigm in Europe. At the same time, the West and NATO have struggled to find the will to establish effective deterrence and to generate the means necessary. In his talk, former Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe Sir Richard Shirreff will highlight the threat Europe faces and give his views on what needs to be done to preserve peace.

About the book

Closely modelled on his NATO experience of war gaming future conflicts, the book outlines a terrifying scenario. This is a fact-based prediction, a narrative of how Sir Richard believes events might unfold, starting next year, unless the necessary steps are taken, based on his military experience at the highest level. Sir Richard believes that Russia is determined  to prevent NATO ‘encirclement’ by seizing Eastern Ukraine, opening up a land corridor to  Crimea and invading  the Baltic states. Meanwhile Britain has emasculated its conventional military capability on the assumption that the international scene would remain benign. NATO increasingly lacks the knowledge, capability and military hardware necessary to match Russia’s ever-improving conventional capability. Maintaining an effective conventional military deterrent is essential. Without strong and effective conventional forces the use of nuclear weapons as a last, desperate western line of defence becomes ever more likely. As Sir Richard emphasises in the book, “ Be under no illusions, whatsoever – Russian use of nuclear weapons is hardwired into Moscow’s military strategy.” 

 

About Sir Richard Shirreff

Richard Shirreff.jpg

Born in Kenya in 1955 where he spent his early years, Richard Shirreff was commissioned into the British Army as a cavalry officer after reading history at Oxford. In his 37 years of service he commanded soldiers on operations from the most junior to the most senior levels. He saw combat as a tank commander in the First Gulf War, experienced many of complexities of Northern Ireland during his three tours there and learned first-hand the challenges of bringing peace to the Balkans in both Kosovo and Bosnia. He returned to Iraq as a multinational commander in 2006-7. When not in command he spent time either being educated in the art and science of war on a succession of different staff courses or in a range of staff posts as a formulator or executor of policy in the Ministry of Defence and Army Headquarters. His last seven years in uniform were spent in two senior NATO command posts: Commander of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps and Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe; the Alliance’s deputy strategic commander and the most senior British general in the Alliance.

Praise for 2017: War with Russia

‘It is very rare that such a senior and experienced general is prepared to put his reputation on the line, but Richard Shirreff is that man. He correctly called the consequences of the Russians’ invasion of Crimea and the annexation of parts of Ukraine back in 2014.  I fear that he has again correctly called the Russians’ next moves in this book.’
Admiral James Stavridis, USN (Ret) Supreme Allied Commander NATO 2009-2013

'The best piece of super power military fiction since Tom Clancy’s The Hunt for Red October. Enjoy this riot of a book. And be very afraid - it really could happen like this.'

'The great strength of this tale is that it is told by an insider who really knows. The moral of this story is clear. The relentless hollowing out of the military and defence postures of the west have placed us all in danger. This is a parable with a real message about our general ineptitude in the new realities of hard power...'
Robert Fox, Evening Standard

'We sit on our hands while busy fingers in the East boot up for cyber-war.'
The Sunday Times

'The evil gloating trope is much in evidence in General Sir Richard Shirreff's 2017: War with Russia...a pacy techno-thriller and a clarion call to the West.'
Financial Times

'This piece of "faction" is billed as an urgent warning - it's also an act of near mutiny.'
The Times

'NATO must bolster its military presence in the Baltic States or risk nuclear war, a former general has warned.'
Moscow Times

'The authenticity of the high-level crisis talks within NATO which Shirreff attended in his past life, is so palpable that it lands this book like a 22lb bass. This and the foreword are reasons enough to buy a copy.'
The Express


 

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Annual Forum of the YouGov Centre at Cambridge: ‘The Trump-Brexit Challenge to Globalisation'

When Nov 17, 2016 05:00 PM to
Nov 18, 2016 03:30 PM
Where Various locations, Cambridge
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On behalf of the YouGov-Cambridge team:

Please join us for the annual Forum of the YouGov Centre at Cambridge, looking this year at ‘The Trump-Brexit Challenge to Globalisation’.

The event happens over two days: on the afternoon of Thursday 17th November at Corpus Christi College and all day Friday 18th November at the Cambridge Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS).

Buffet breakfast and lunch will be provided on Friday 18th November, with registration from 09.30, opening remarks at 10.30, lunch at 12.15 and closing drinks at 15.30. Attendance at the Forum is by registration only.

Space will be limited and seats will be available on a first-come-first-served basis.
To register attendance, please complete the mini registration form by clicking here and selecting which sessions you wish to attend

EVENT PROGRAMME

Date: 17/11/2016
Location Part 1: McCrum Lecture Theatre, Bene't Street, CB2 3QN (behind the Eagle Pub)

Location Parts 2 & 3: POLIS Department, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Rd, CB3 9DT 

Thurs 17 Nov/Part 1: The Trump-Brexit Challenge to Globalisation (@ McCrum Theatre)

17:00 Welcome remarks
Stephan Shakespeare (Chief Executive & Founder of YouGov)
Professor David Runciman (Head of the POLIS Department) 

17:10 Keynotes
Chuka Umunna (Labour MP for Streatham)
Diane James (MEP for South East England/UKIP)

18.15 Panel: The implications for UK-China trade
Chair: Andrew Rawnsley (Chief Political Commentator, Observer)
Tina Fordham (Managing Director and Chief Global Political Analyst, Citi)
Dr Kun-Chin Lin (Director of the Centre for Rising Powers and Lecturer, POLIS)
Dr Linda Yueh (Fellow in Economics at St Edmund Hall, Oxford University)
Bruno Bensaid (Co-founder, Shanghaivest Ltd)

Fri 18 Nov/Part 2: Populism versus Parties in British and US Politics (@ POLIS)

09.30 Registration

10.30 Welcome remarks
Professor David Runciman (Head of the POLIS Department)
Stephan Shakespeare (Chief Executive & Founder of YouGov)

10.35 YouGov briefing
Professor Doug Rivers (Chief Scientist at YouGov and Professor of Political Science at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University)
Joe Twyman (Head of Political and Social Research for Europe, Middle East and Africa at YouGov)

10.50 Panel
Chair: Professor David Runciman (Head of the POLIS Department)
Paul Mason (writer/broadcaster)
Matthew Elliot (Former Chief Executive, Vote Leave)
Lord Stewart Wood (Baron Wood of Anfield)
Laura Sandys (CEO, Challenging Ideas/former Conservative MP for South Thanet)

12.30 Lunch

Fri 18 Nov/Part 3: The Geopolitics of Trump-Brexit (@ POLIS)

14.00 YouGov briefing
Joe Twyman (Head of Political and Social Research for Europe, Middle East and Africa at YouGov)

14.15 Panel: Geopolitics and geo-identity: Britain and the rest of Europe after 2016
(in partnership with the Cambridge Forum on Geopolitics)

Chair: Professor Brendan Simms (Professor in the History of International Relations, POLIS)
General Sir Peter Wall (Director, Amicus/former Chief of the British Army)
Bronwen Maddox (Director, Institute for Government)
Sonia Delesalle-Stolper (UK correspondent for Libération)
John Jungclaussen (London Correspondent, Die Zeit)

15.45 Drinks Reception


 

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Europe after Britain: the impact of Brexit on the rest of the EU

When Nov 03, 2016
from 05:00 PM to 06:30 PM
Where Harley Mason Room, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge
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"Europe after Britain: the impact of Brexit on the rest of the EU"

Join us on 3 November for a lecture by Giles Merritt (Friends of Europe), chaired by Gina Miller (SCM).

A veteran observer of and participant in the Brussels scene, Giles Merritt  has long argued that Europe needs to unite, but has been on the wrong track for some time. Recent events, such as the crisis of the Euro and Brexit, have vindicated his  warnings. The continent is in a state of unprecedented flux as it grapples with a set of currency, migration and foreign policy challenges, and now with the question of the future relationship between Britain and the rest of Europe. In this lecture, Giles Merritt will set out his vision for the European Union after the departure of the UK.

  • Where: Harley Mason Room, Corpus Christi College
  • When: 3 November 2016, 5:00-6:30pm
  • Register here for a free ticket

21102015_Gilles Merritt.jpg

Giles Merritt is the Founder and Chairman of the highly influential Brussels-based think tank 'Friends of Europe'. A former Financial Times correspondent, Merritt is also Editor-in-Chief of the policy journal Europe’s World and contributes commentary articles to Project Syndicate, the global syndicator of high-level op-eds. He’s the author of the newly-published book "Slippery Slope: Europe's Troubled Future" (Oxford University Press), published in 2016 to widespread acclaim.

Gina Miller  co-founded SCM Private and has worked in the UK retail financial services sector since 1992. She is lead claimant in a legal dispute over whether Parliament as a whole or Ministers have the authority to formally declare to the European Parliament that Britain is withdrawing from the EU under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. Prior to this, in 2012 Gina launched True and Fair Campaign calling for more transparency within the City of London’s fund management industry.

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The Nightmare Series: 'President Trump: the First 100 Days'

When Oct 19, 2016
from 05:00 PM to 06:30 PM
Where Bateman Auditorium, Gonville & Caius
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Trump.jpg

On Wednesday 19 October at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, Thomas Wright (Brookings Institution) presented a 'Nightmare Series' lecture. From the perspective of 2019, he "looked back" at the eventful first - and ultimately, only - 100 days of Donald Trump's presidency.

  • Prof. Andrew Preston (Cambridge) acted as respondent.

  • Joe Twyman, YouGov Head of Political and Social Research, presented polling data commissioned for this event.

  • This lecture was part of an ongoing series, with thanks to our sponsor, Absolute Strategy Research

The lecture was followed by a Q&A.

About the Nightmare Series

The Nightmare Series is a series of events in which the Forum on Geopolitics invites leading geopolitical thinkers and practitioners to reflect upon their own personal 'nightmare' scenarios: the greatest potential geopolitical disasters they could plausibly see on the horizon of the next five to ten years. Each speaker outlines the precipitating event, or series of coincident circumstances that they dread, because of the cascade of political, military, economic and social consequences that would follow. They then reflect on ideal strategies and mindsets that could prepare governments and other key stakeholders to prevent, mitigate or cope with the anticipated consequences. The overall objective of the series is to demonstrate the need for building capabilities in innovative, strategic thinking at the highest levels of policy-making and decision-making, and to showcase to practitioners, the private sector and public opinion the value of using cutting-edge academic thinking to prepare for the 'real world' geopolitical events that may well be just around the corner. This series has been made possible by the support of Absolute Strategy Research

About Dr Thomas Wright

Thomas Wright is Director of the Project on International Order and Strategy, and fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution. He holds a doctorate from Georgetown University, a Master of Philosophy from Cambridge University, and a bachelor's and master's from University College Dublin. He has also held a pre-doctoral fellowship at Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and a post doctoral fellowship at Princeton University. Wright's writings have appeared in the American Political Science Review, Orbis, Survival, The Washington Quarterly, Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, and The Washington Post, as well as a number of international newspapers and media outlets.

His current projects include the future of U.S. alliances and strategic partnerships, the geopolitical consequences of the euro crisis, U.S. relations with rising powers, and multilateral diplomacy.

Affiliations:

  • Fulbright Commission, Ireland, vice chair and board member
  • International Politics Reviews, Palgrave Macmillan, editorial board

About Prof. Andrew Preston

Prof. Preston specialises in the history of American foreign relations. More specifically, in the intersections between the national and the international, the foreign and the domestic, including the influence that domestic politics and culture—particularly religion—have had on the conduct of U.S. foreign policy. He is currently working on two major projects: a book on the idea of “national security” in American history, which will be published by Harvard University Press; and, with series editor Lien-Hang Nguyen, Vol. 2 of the forthcoming 3-volume Cambridge History of the Vietnam War.

About Joe Twyman

Joe Twyman is Head of Political and Social Research for Europe, Middle East and Africa at YouGov and was a founding director of the company back in 2000. His first responsibility was to build the company's online research operations, having previously developed internet research for Research Services Limited (now Ipsos-MORI).

Prior to leading the Political and Social Research Team, Joe held a variety of senior positions within the company. This included spending two and a half years in Baghdad as a director of YouGov's Iraq operation from 2007 to 2010, working closely with organisations such as the United Nations Development Programme and the Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission.

Joe has conducted research for a host of different clients on a wide range of subjects, spoken at conferences across the world and has been a project director for the 2001, 2005, 2010 and 2015 British Election Studies. He has co-ordinated election studies in countries beginning with the letters A, B, C, E, F, U and I (hoping to complete the alphabet by the time he retires).

Joe is an affiliated lecturer at the University of Cambridge, a visiting professor at the University of Sheffield, a visiting Research Fellow at the University of Manchester and a lecturer in research methods at the University of Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Analysis and Collection. In addition he is the author of a number of academic journal articles including Getting it Right: YouGov and Online Survey Research, published in a special edition of the Journal of Elections, Public Opinion, and Parties. He is also co-author (with David Sanders, Harold Clarke, Marianne Stewart and Paul Whiteley) of The 2001 British Election Study Internet Poll: a Methodological Experiment, published in the Journal of Political Marketing and (with Harold Clarke, Allan Kornberg and Thomas Scotto) Flawless Campaign, Fragile Victory: Voting in Canada's 2006 Federal Election, published in PS: Political Science and Politics.

He frequently provides expert analysis for both the national and international media including BBC television and radio, Sky News, ITN, Reuters, Bloomberg, GMTV and CNBC. On the night of the 2015 General Election he was the on-screen polling analyst for the Sky News live broadcast and was also named a 'World Opinion Leader for the 21st Century' by El Comercio newspaper in Ecuador.

Joe holds a BA in Politics from the University of Sheffield and, in his spare time, enjoys swimming, films, cooking and then more swimming. He is a former national backstroke champion (albeit for his age group) and once held three British relay records.

You can find him on twitter @joetwyman

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'Thinking about genocide' - a lecture by Philippe Sands QC

When Sep 23, 2016
from 05:00 PM to 06:00 PM
Where McCrum Theatre, Corpus Christi College
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'Thinking about Genocide'

On Friday 23 September 2016, Philippe Sands QC, (Corpus 1979), asks whether it was useful to invent the crime of ‘genocide’, which addresses the destruction of groups, as opposed to the protection of individuals implied by the parallel concept of ‘crimes against humanity’. The issue arises in the context of his new book, East west street: on the origins of genocide and crimes against humanity, which explores the lives and personal stories of three men involved in the Nuremberg Trial.
Register here for a free ticket.

'Thinking about genocide' - a lecture by Philippe Sands QC 

Location

McCrum Lecture Theatre
Eagle Yard
Bene’t’ Street
Cambridge
CB2 1RH
United Kingdom

About the speaker

Philippe Sands QC was a student at Corpus Christi College Cambridge and is Professor of Law at University College London, and a practising barrister at Matrix Chambers. He is the author of Lawless World (2005) and Torture Team (2008), has written several academic books on international law, and is an occasional contributor to the New York Review of Books, Vanity Fair, the Financial Times and The Guardian. His new book East West Street: On the Origins of Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide is published in May 2016 (Weidenfeld & Nicolson), along with a prizewinning film - My Nazi Legacy: What Our Fathers Did – which was released in November 2015.  He is a vice president of the Hay Festival.

Register here for a free ticket.

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2016's Race to Change the World: How the U.S. Presidential Campaign Can Reshape Global Politics and Foreign Policy

When Jul 11, 2016 09:00 AM to
Jul 12, 2016 01:00 PM
Contact Name
Contact Phone +44 (0)1223 760483
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On 11 and 12 July, CRASSH, POLIS and the Forum on Geopolitics hosted a major international conference focusing on the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the implications that this will have for future U.S. foreign policy.

The conference took place shortly before the Democratic and Republican Party nominating conventions, and right at the height of a protracted period of post-Brexit uncertainty in British politics. Sessions focused on the global challenges facing the next president, the role that a president can personally play in an international context, and the state of the 2016 campaign itself.

The Forum on Geopolitics chaired a panel on 'Europe and the United States: priorities for cooperative action'.

The discussion was greatly enriched by the central participation of Secretary Madeleine Albright and Congressman Vin Weber in each of the panels across the two days, along with that of a number of key U.S. allies and trading partners.

Speakers included:

  • Madeleine Albright (former U.S. Secretary of State)
  • Vin Weber (Republican Party strategist and former Congressman)
  • Ambassador Peter Ammon (German Ambassador to the United Kingdom)
  • Sir Richard Dearlove (former head of MI6)
  • Sir Malcolm Rifkind (former Defence and Foreign Secretary)
  • Baroness Julie Smith (House of Lords)
  • Prof. Stef Halper (Cambridge)
  • Dr. Nigel Bowles (Oxford)
  • Peter Hill (FCO Director for Strategy)
  • Prof. John Bew (King's College London)
  • Prof. Simon Goldhill (Cambridge)
  • Prof. David Runciman (Cambridge)
  • James Rublin (Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State)

2016's Race to Change the World: How the U.S. Presidential Campaign Can Reshape Global Politics and Foreign Policy

Convener: Steven P. Schrage (Cambridge)

 

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Dalibor Rohac presents 'A Conservative Case for the EU'

When May 25, 2016
from 01:00 PM to 02:00 PM
Where Room 138, Alison Richard Building
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Dalibor Rohac presents 'A Conservative Case for the EU'

Where: Room 138, Alison Richard Building
When: 1-2pm, 25 May 2016
Register now: email

The Forum on Geopolitics at POLIS is delighted to host Dalibor Rohac, discussing the key arguments of his new book, 'Towards an Imperfect Union: A Conservative Case for the EU'.

About this event

In today's Europe, deep cracks are showing in the system of political cooperation that was designed to prevent a recurrence of the geopolitical catastrophes that ravaged the continent in the first half of the twentieth century. Europeans are haunted, once again, by the specters of nationalism, fascism, and economic protectionism. Instead of sounding the alarm, many conservatives have become cheerleaders for the demise of the European Union.

Dalibor Rohac will offer a systematic justification of the European project from a free-market, conservative viewpoint. Although many of the conservatives' criticisms are justified, Dalibor Rohac contends that Eurosceptics are playing a dangerous game. Their rejection of European integration places them in the unsavory company of nationalists, left-wing radicals, and Putin apologists. Their defense of the nation-state against Brussels, furthermore, is ahistorical. The flourishing of democracy and free markets in Europe has gone hand in hand with the integration project. Europe's pre-EU past, in contrast, is marked by a series of geopolitical calamities. Instead of advocating for the end of the EU, conservatives must come to the rescue of the integration project by helping to reduce the EU's democratic deficit and turning it into an engine of economic dynamism and prosperity.

About Dalibor Rohac

Dalibor Rohac is a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he studies European political and economic trends. He is the author of 'Towards an Imperfect Union: A Conservative Case for the EU' (Rowman & Littlefield, May 2016)

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Early praise for 'Towards an imperfect union'

"If you think that 'Euroscepticism' is a conservative project, then think again: Dalibor Rohac makes the Hayekian case for the European Union – and it will surprise you."
-Anne Applebaum, Pulitzer Prize-winning author

"Dalibor Rohac has written a very important book: He convincingly undermines the arguments of the fundamentalist opponents of the European Union while equally skillfully unmasking its weaknesses and excesses and pointing out what are the necessary reforms in the EU."
-Leszek Balcerowicz, Professor of Economics, Warsaw School of Economics, Chairman of the Board, FOR Foundation, and former Minister of Finance, Poland

"Timely, powerfully argued and well researched — Rohac nails the factual errors and logical flaws in the conservative Eurosceptic case."
-Edward Lucas, Senior Editor, The Economist

"Dalibor Rohac's 'Towards an Imperfect Union' is perfectly timed before the British referendum on staying or leaving the European Union. Nor could his 'Conservative Case for the EU' be more precisely targeted. The author has the perfect credentials too: a Central European Thatcherite working at the Republican-leaning American Enterprise Institute. Conservatives — that is people whom Edmund Burke and Adam Smith would recognize as such — should urgently consider what is nostalgia for the world of Westphalian nation-states and what is the least bad really existing arrangement for the European half of the Western world. Mr. Rohac provides persuasive arguments for improving rather than dismantling the EU. A welcome voice of reason in a dangerously unhinged world."
-Radosław Sikorski, Senior Fellow, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Poland

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Register now: email

'A Westphalia for the Middle East': Session 4 - Maintaining the peace — the impact of Westphalia during the subsequent 150 years

When May 11, 2016
from 02:00 PM to 07:00 PM
Where Dept. of War Studies, King's College London
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REGISTER NOW FOR THE FINAL SEMINAR IN PHASE ONE OF 'A WESTPHALIA FOR THE MIDDLE EAST'

What if everything you think you know about Westphalia is wrong, and these misconceptions – shared by policymakers the world over – contribute daily to the seemingly intractable tangle of conflicts consuming the modern Middle East?

The 'Westphalia for the Middle East' seminar series has been convened by Dr Patrick Milton (Berlin), Prof. Brendan Simms (Cambridge) and Dr Michael Axworthy (Exeter), who also acts as chairperson.

This seminar will take place at King's College London (Strand Campus) from 2pm on Wednesday 11 May 2016.

Keynote speaker: Jonathan Powell

Organised by the Forum on Geopolitics (Dept. of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge), in co-operation with the Department of War Studies, King’s College London.

Supported by:

  • The DAAD Cambridge Research Hub with funds from the Federal Foreign Office (FFO)
  • Institution Quraysh for Law & Policy

A Westphalia for the Middle East: Session 1 flyer

Programme and speakers for Seminar Four: Maintaining the peace — the impact of Westphalia during the subsequent 150 years

14:00 Welcome and introduction

14:10 – 14:50 Session 1: The external guarantee of the Peace of Westphalia

  • Chair: TBC
  • Speaker: Patrick Milton (FU Berlin)
  • Commentator: Laura James

14:50 – 15:20 Keynote address: Jonathan Powell

15:20 – 16:00 Break

16:00 – 17:40 Session 2: Managing the confessional peace and the role of the Imperial judiciary

  • Chair: TBC
  • Speakers:
    • Andrew Thompson (Cambridge) Maintaining the confessional peace after 1648
    • Volker Arnke (Osnabrück) The prince-bishopric of Osnabrück: a case-study
    • Frank Kleinehagenbrock (Würzburg) The role of the Imperial judiciary
  • Commentator: Ali Ansari

 

17:40 – 18:10 Plenary discussion and concluding remarks

  • Commentators: Andreas Whittam Smith and Ali Ansari

18:10 Buffet reception

 

People Power: Polish Solidarity and the Ukrainian Revolution

When May 05, 2016
from 03:00 PM to 08:00 PM
Where William Mong Hall, Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge
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As part of an ongoing commitment to the exploration of Polish-Ukrainian issues, Cambridge Polish Studies, Cambridge Ukrainian Studies and the Forum on Geopolitics present a public symposium on the connections between two popular revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe: the Polish "Solidarity" revolution of the 1980s and the "Maidan" movement (or movements) of post-1991 independent Ukraine.

Solidarity.jpg

Speakers will include:

Krzysztof Bobiński (former co-chair of Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum) 

Zbigniew Bujak (legendary leader of the Solidarity movement)

Paweł Kowal (former delegate to the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Cooperation Committee)

Andrii Portnov (historian at Humboldt University) 

Marci Shore (intellectual historian at Yale University)

Oksana Zabuzhko (Ukraine's most celebrated contemporary novelist)

 

In two sessions of presentations and discussion, we will examine the legacy of Poland's Solidarity movement and the possible connections with Ukraine's "Maidan" revolutions, especially the Euromaidan Revolution of 2014. In particular, we will ask whether there are lessons to be learned from Poland's successful post-1989 transition, and whether Ukrainian activists can draw on the experience of Poland's anti-communist civil society movement as they attempt to force lasting change to the institutions of a new democracy.

What are the major contextual similarities and differences between the two movements? How did Solidarity manage the transition from civic movement to political force shaping democratic institutions? What is the current significance of Polish support for Ukraine? How have Solidarity veterans - including Zbigniew Bujak - shared their experience with Ukrainian civil society groups? What is the present state of the Ukrainian Revolution and how can it continue to move forward?

 

Programme

Session 1, 3:00 - 5:00pm:  Marci Shore, Krzysztof Bobiński, Andrii Portnov.

Coffee break, 5:00 - 5:30pm.

Session 2, 5:30 - 7:30pm:  Zbigniew Bujak, Oksana Zabuzhko, Paweł Kowal.

 

All are welcome. Please click here to reserve a free ticket via Eventbrite.

 

 

More information about this event…

What's Going On In Catalonia?

When May 03, 2016
from 05:00 PM to 07:00 PM
Where 4th floor lecture theatre, INTO City University London - 102 Middlesex Street, London E1 7EZ, United Kingdom
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Panel discussion exploring the current situation in Catalonia and the possibilities for the future.

Register now for a free ticket.

Speakers include:

  • Montserrat Guibernau, Doctor of Philosophy, M. Phil in Social and Political Theory, University of Cambridge, and Visiting scholar at the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)
  • Antoni Castells, Professor of Public Finance at the University of Barcelona; Minister of Economy and Finance of the Catalan Government (2003-2010)
  • Miquel Puig, economist and author; economist and author; CEO of the Catalan Universites Shared Services Consortium

Co-chaired by:

  • Isabel-Helena Martí, president of Sobirania i Justícia (civic Catalan body)
  • Brendan Simms, Professor of the History of European International Relations and Director of the Forum on Geopolitics (POLIS, University of Cambridge) and the Project for Democratic Union

This event will be followed by a Catalan wine tasting, open to all attendees.

 What's Going On In Catalonia?

 

 

More information about this event…

‘After Brexit’ Panel 2 – constitutional implications for England, Scotland and the Union

When Apr 27, 2016
from 05:00 PM to 07:00 PM
Where McCrum Theatre, Corpus Christi College
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‘Brexit: ‘The Day After The Day After’ – constitutional implications for England, Scotland and the Union

  • 27 April 2016, Cambridge (Corpus Christi College) - 5-7pm ()

The debate surrounding Britain's future relationship with Europe has so far been characterised by a lack of clear thinking about the geopolitical consequences of a vote to leave the EU. This suggests that the British public may soon embark on a crucial decision-making process with no real comprehension of what is at stake.

Our aim is to provide just such understanding through two scenario panel events, balanced between those of both sides of the referendum debate, and focused on exploring the precise consequences of a 'Brexit'.

It is important to note that this will not be a conventional 'in'/'out' debate.

Rather, our starting point is a scenario in which the electorate has voted to leave. Our speakers will consider what might come next for Britain and Europe. Will Brexit isolate Britain, fracture the United Kingdom, cause further instability on mainland Europe and shatter Europe's best hope for the future, or will it liberate the British and other Europeans to realise their potential free of the shackles of Brussels? The objective is to move the public conversation towards thinking carefully about what leaving or remaining would mean both for Britain and for the rest of Europe (and consequently for Britain).

This event series is being run by the Forum on Geopolitics at POLIS, Cambridge (www.coggs.polis.cam.ac.uk)

'Brexit: 'The Day After The Day After' – constitutional implications for England, Scotland and the Union

Date: Wednesday 27 April 2016
Venue: Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.
Chair: Simon Heffer
Confirmed speakers:

  • Paul Bew
  • Denis MacShane
  • David Runciman
  • Robert Tombs
  • Joe Twyman (Head of Political and Social Research for Europe, Middle East and Africa for YouGov, presenting data commissioned for this event).

TICKETS ARE FREE, BUT REGISTRATION IS ESSENTIAL

A Westphalia for the Middle East: Session 3 - The Peace of Westphalia -- Setting up the Solution

When Apr 23, 2016
from 02:00 PM to 07:00 PM
Where Alison Richard Building
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What if everything you think you know about Westphalia is wrong, and these misconceptions – shared by policymakers the world over – contribute daily to the seemingly intractable tangle of conflicts consuming the modern Middle East?

The 'Westphalia for the Middle East' seminar series has been convened by Dr Patrick Milton (Berlin), Prof. Brendan Simms (Cambridge) and Dr Michael Axworthy (Exeter), who also acts as chairperson.

Seminar Three of the 'Westphalia for the Middle East' series will take place on Saturday 19 March 2016 from 2-7pm at the Alison Richard Building, Cambridge.

The topic of this seminar will be 'The Peace of Westphalia -- Setting up the Solution'.

Register now by emailing .

A report from Seminar One (held 2 March 2016) can be found here.

 

A Westphalia for the Middle East: Session 1 flyer

 

Programme:

14:10 – 15:30  Session 1: Seeking peace through negotiations, mediation and settlement, 1619-50

  • Chair: Christoph Kampmann (Marburg)
  • Speakers: Peter Wilson (Oxford), Maria-Elisabeth Brunert (Bonn)
  • Commentator: Laura James (Cambridge)

16:00 – 17:20 Session 2: The confessional and political compromise settlement at Westphalia

  • Chair: Ronald G. Asch (Freiburg)
  • Speakers:
    • Ralf-Peter Fuchs (Duisburg-Essen): the confessional settlement
    • Guido Braun (Bonn): the political settlement
  • Commentator: Hazem Kandil (Cambridge)

17:50 – 18:30 Session 3: The international context of the conclusion of peace

  • Chair: David Trim (Seventh-Day Adventists)
  • Speaker: Anuschka Tischer (Würzburg)
  • Commentator: Solava Ibrahim (Manchester/Cambridge)

18:30 – 19:00 Plenary discussion and concluding remarks – Andreas Whittam Smith

This series has been supported by the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) with funds from the Federal Foreign Office (FFO) and by Institution Quraysh for Law & Policy. It is being run in conjunction with King's College London and the University of Exeter.

‘After Brexit’ Panel 1 - ‘Brexit: The Day After’ – the European picture

When Apr 20, 2016
from 05:00 PM to 07:00 PM
Where Committee Room 10, Palace of Westminster
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'After Brexit: the picture in Europe and Britain'

This two-event series will take place in London and Cambridge:

  • 20 April 2016, London (Westminster) - 5-7pm ()
  • 27 April 2016, Cambridge (Corpus Christi College) - 5-7pm ()

The debate surrounding Britain's future relationship with Europe has so far been characterised by a lack of clear thinking about the geopolitical consequences of a vote to leave the EU. This suggests that the British public may soon embark on a crucial decision-making process with no real comprehension of what is at stake.

Our aim is to provide just such understanding through two scenario panel events, balanced between those of both sides of the referendum debate, and focused on exploring the precise consequences of a 'Brexit'.

It is important to note that this will not be a conventional 'in'/'out' debate.

Rather, our starting point is a scenario in which the electorate has voted to leave. Our speakers will consider what might come next for Britain and Europe. Will Brexit isolate Britain, fracture the United Kingdom, cause further instability on mainland Europe and shatter Europe's best hope for the future, or will it liberate the British and other Europeans to realise their potential free of the shackles of Brussels? The objective is to move the public conversation towards thinking carefully about what leaving or remaining would mean both for Britain and for the rest of Europe (and consequently for Britain).

This event series is being run by the Forum on Geopolitics at POLIS, Cambridge (www.coggs.polis.cam.ac.uk)

Details are as follows:

'Brexit: The Day After' – the European picture

Date: Wednesday 20 April 2016
Venue: Committee Room 10, House of Commons, Westminster.
Chair: Simon Heffer
Confirmed speakers:

  • Kate Hoey
  • Peter Hitchens
  • Tristram Hunt
  • Nicholas Soames
  • Bronwen Maddox
  • Stephan Shakespeare (CEO of YouGov, presenting polling data commissioned for this event)

TICKETS ARE FREE, BUT REGISTRATION IS ESSENTIAL

'Brexit: 'The Day After The Day After' – constitutional implications for England, Scotland and the Union

Date: Wednesday 27 April 2016
Venue: Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.
Chair: Simon Heffer
Confirmed speakers:

  • David Trimble
  • Denis MacShane
  • David Runciman
  • Joe Twyman (YouGov Political Chief, presenting polling data commissioned for this event).

TICKETS ARE FREE, BUT REGISTRATION IS ESSENTIAL

A Westphalia for the Middle East: Session 2

When Mar 19, 2016
from 02:00 PM to 07:00 PM
Where Alison Richard Building
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What if everything you think you know about Westphalia is wrong, and these misconceptions – shared by policymakers the world over – contribute daily to the seemingly intractable tangle of conflicts consuming the modern Middle East?

The 'Westphalia for the Middle East' seminar series has been convened by Dr Patrick Milton (Berlin), Prof. Brendan Simms (Cambridge) and Dr Michael Axworthy (Exeter), who also acts as chairperson.

Seminar Two of the 'Westphalia for the Middle East' series will take place on Saturday 19 March 2016 from 2-7pm at the Alison Richard Building, Cambridge. Register now by emailing .

The topic of this seminar will be "The Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century crisis in Central Europe — Setting up the problem".

A Westphalia for the Middle East: Session 1 flyer

Programme and speakers for Seminar Two:

14:00 Welcome and Introduction: Brendan Simms (Cambridge)

14:10 – 15:00 Session 1: Confessionalisation in the age of the Peace of Augsburg, and the collapse of functioning confessional co-existence from the later Sixteenth Century
Chair and commentator: Ali Ansari (St. Andrew's)
Speaker: Michael Kaiser (Cologne/Max Weber Stiftung)

15:00 – 15:20 Break

15:20 – 16:10 Session 2: The Thirty Years War in Germany
Chair and commentator: Andreas Whittam Smith
Speaker: Peter Wilson (Oxford)

16:10 – 17:00 Session 3: The international context of the Thirty Years War
Chair and commentator: Hazem Kandil (Cambridge)
Speaker: Christoph Kampmann (Marburg)

17:00 – 17:30 Plenary discussion and concluding remarks

Commentators: Andreas Whittam-Smith, Philip Bobbitt.

17:30 Buffet reception

 

A report from Seminar One (held 2 March 2016) can be found here.

This series has been supported by the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) with funds from the Federal Foreign Office (FFO) and by Institution Quraysh for Law & Policy. It is being run in conjunction with King's College London and the University of Exeter.

The Revolutions of 1989: A Handbook

When Mar 15, 2016
from 05:30 PM to 07:00 PM
Where The Plumb Auditorium: Christ’s College
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On 15 March 2016, Christ's College and the Forum on Geopolitics are delighted to welcome to Cambridge three distinguished professors from the University of Vienna and the Austrian Academy of Sciences: Wolfgang Müller, Michael Gehler and Arnold Suppan, who will present their new book on the 1989 revolutions which ended the Cold War.

The Revolutions of 1989: A Handbook

The book which the three professors have edited contains a series of in-depth studies by leading scholars on many aspects of the tumultuous events of 1989, based on hitherto unavailable documents in the Soviet diplomatic archives. The book analyses in detail the diplomatic reactions of the super-powers and the aftermath of the revolutions especially with regard to 'archival transformation' and 'societal evolution'.

The book also contains penetrating essays on 'Mrs Thatcher and the German Unification debate' and 'U.S. Strategic Planning'.

Moderator: Richard Bassett (Christ's) Former Central and Eastern Europe Correspondent of The Times 1982-91.
Venue: The Plumb Auditorium: Christ's College
Time: 5:30pm--7:00pm
Date: March 15th 2016

To register your attendance, please contact .

The 'Big Freeze': 14 March 2016 public lecture exploring the consequences of a Russian 'zero gas' supply disruption

When Mar 14, 2016
from 05:00 PM to 06:30 PM
Where McCrum Theatre, Corpus Christi College
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The Ukraine Crisis and the escalation of confrontation between Russia and its neighbours over the past decade are reminders that power and geopolitics are more relevant today than ever. But military confrontation is just the most extreme form of this conflict. Economic warfare, cyber attacks, and above all, energy are the new battlefields.

On Monday 14 March at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, Prof Nick Butler (KCL) will deliver a 'Nightmare Series' lecture, in which he will discuss the consequences for Europe of a geopolitically motivated Russian zero-supply gas disruption.

Jānis Kažociņš, National Security Adviser to the President, Republic of Latvia, will act as respondent.

This event has been very kindly supported by Absolute Strategy Research.

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The 'Big Freeze': Nightmare Series Lecture II - 14 Mar 2016

About Prof. Butler

Nick Butler

Nick Butler was Group Vice President for Strategy and Policy Development at BP from 2002 to 2006 and previously BP's Group Policy Adviser. From 2009 to 2010 he worked for the Prime Minister as Senior Policy Adviser at 10 Downing Street. He is also energy policy adviser at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, and a Senior Adviser to Coller Capital, Linton Capital and Corporate Value Associates. From 2007 to 2009 he was Chairman of the Cambridge Centre for Energy Studies. He is a non executive Director of Cambridge Econometrics, a Trustee of Asia House, and a Vice-President of the Hay-on-Wye literary festival. He is a regular contributor to the Financial Times.

About Jānis Kažociņš

Jānis Kažociņš

Jānis Kažociņš was born in UK of Latvian parents. He grew up and was educated in England. After a career of 30 years in the British Army he retired early in August 2002 with the rank of brigadier (NATO 1 star) in order to live permanently in Latvia. In May 2003 and again in May 2008 he was appointed Director of the Constitution Protection Bureau (Latvia’s external intelligence service) by the Latvian Parliament for a period of 5 years. During 2011, he was Chairman of NATO’s Civilian Intelligence Committee. From 2013 to 2015 he was an adviser on international and cyber security issues to the Minister of Defence and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Since January 2016 he has been the President’s National Security Adviser and Secretary of the National Security Council.

About the Nightmare Series

The Nightmare Series is a series of events in which the Forum on Geopolitics invites leading geopolitical thinkers and practitioners to reflect upon their own personal 'nightmare' scenarios: the greatest potential geopolitical disasters they could plausibly see on the horizon of the next five to ten years. Each speaker outlines the precipitating event, or series of coincident circumstances that they dread, because of the cascade of political, military, economic and social consequences that would follow. They then reflect on ideal strategies and mindsets that could prepare governments and other key stakeholders to prevent, mitigate or cope with the anticipated consequences. The overall objective of the series is to demonstrate the need for building capabilities in innovative, strategic thinking at the highest levels of policy-making and decision-making, and to showcase to practitioners, the private sector and public opinion the value of using cutting-edge academic thinking to prepare for the 'real world' geopolitical events that may well be just around the corner.

This series has been made possible by the support of Absolute Strategy Research: http://www.absolute-strategy.com/

The 'Big Freeze': Nightmare Series Lecture II - 14 Mar 2016

German Geopolitics Today Series: Migration Panel, 11 March 2016

When Mar 11, 2016
from 05:00 PM to 07:00 PM
Where Lubbock Room, Peterhouse
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This, the first event in the 'German Geopolitics Today' Series, has been convened urgently in response to the question of migration and the EU. The panel will explore what is perhaps the single most dangerous issue facing the EU today - one that must be confronted in 2016 if the European project is to survive. It will assess the real nature of the risk, analyse the root causes of the problem and of Europe's failure to address it to date, and will explore and interrogate possible paths to resolution.

Where: Lubbock Room, Peterhouse
When: 11 March 2016, 5pm
Tickets: free, but registration essential, as space is very limited. Register at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/german-geopolitics-today-series-migration-panel-tickets-22123110820

Speakers

  • Heinz Schulte Historian and editor; advisor to Frank Weise, head of the Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge
  • Patrick Bahners Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
  • Walburga von Lerchenfeld Vice-Chairman CSU Foreign and Security Policy working group, Vice President EUW German section
  • Wolfgang Nowak Former Director of the Alfred Herrhausen Foundation (Deutsche Bank)
  • Jason Cowley Editor, New Statesman

About the 'German Geopolitics Today' series

The end of the Cold War and the enlargement of NATO and the EU created the context for a new phase and immensely profitable phase in modern German history. It is now widely recognised that Germany has an important, event essential role to play in Europe and the world today.

Recently, however, destabilising influences - such as the crisis of the Euro, the migration question, the rise of ISIS, Russia's annexation of Crimea, and interventions in Ukraine and Syria - have placed placed new stresses on the EU and on German federalism. In an atmosphere of rising pressure and building tension, the powers and populations of Europe have begun to question once again the desirability and wisdom of a Europe built around a German economic powerhouse at the heart of the continent, and yet the idea of a German turn inward is unimaginable.

In short, the 'German Question' has been re-opened.

In response, Rainer Neske (former board member Deutsche Bank and senior research affiliate of Peterhouse) and the Forum on Geopolitics have convened a new seminar called 'German Geopolitics Today', in which we bring together German experts from the fields of politics, banking, security and government to consider the major issues facing Germany and Europe today. Each panel will be responded to by a senior British commentator.

 

A Westphalia for the Middle East: Session 1

When Mar 02, 2016
from 02:00 PM to 07:00 PM
Where King's College London, Strand Campus
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What if everything you think you know about Westphalia is wrong, and these misconceptions – shared by policymakers the world over – contribute daily to the seemingly intractable tangle of conflicts consuming the modern Middle East?

The 'Westphalia for the Middle East' seminar series has been convened by Dr Patrick Milton (Berlin), Prof. Brendan Simms (Cambridge) and Dr Michael Axworthy (Exeter), who also acts as chairperson.

It will commence on Wednesday 2 March 2016 with a seminar on 'The development of the Middle Eastern Problem since 1914 and the failure of sovereignty'.

This seminar will take place at King's College London (Strand Campus) from 2pm on Wednesday 2 March 2016. Registration essential.

Programme and speakers for Seminar One: the development of the Middle Eastern Problem since 1914 and the failure of sovereignty

14:00 Welcome and Introduction
John Bew (King's College London), Brendan Simms (Cambridge), Michael Axworthy (Exeter), Malik Dahlan (Quraysh), Patrick Milton (FU Berlin)

14:20 – 15:00 Session 1: The Sectarian Dimension
Chair: Laura James (Cambridge)
Speaker: Toby Matthiesen (Oxford)
Commentator: Anuschka Tischer (Würzburg)

15:00 – 15:15 Break

15:15 – 15:55 Session 2: The Political Dimension
Chair: Michael Axworthy
Speaker: Ali Ansari (St. Andrew's)

Commentator: Michael Rowe (King's College London)

15:55 – 16:35 Session 3: The Geopolitical dimension
Chair: Martin Jacques (Cambridge)
Speaker: Payam Ghalehdar (Cambridge)
Commentator: Brendan Simms (Cambridge)

16:35 – 16:55 Break

16:55 – 18:15 Session 4: Case studies
Chair: Charlie Laderman (Cambridge)
Speaker: Gareth Stansfield (Exeter): Iraq
Speaker: Raphaël Lefèvre (Cambridge/Carnegie Middle East Center): Syria

Commentator: Mohammad Shabani (SOAS)

18:15 – 18:45 Plenary discussion and concluding remarks

18:45 Buffet reception

 

This series has been supported by:

Pre-registration is required. Please contact to book your attendance. Please indicate any institutional, departmental or organisational affiliation.

A Westphalia for the Middle East: Session 1 flyer

About the project

The seminars are the centrepiece of a new, collaborative, 18-month project entitled "A Westphalia for the Middle East", to be held under the auspices of the Forum on Geopolitics at POLIS and the Dept. of War Studies, King's College London.

The purpose of the series is to determine how seventeenth-century Central-European conflict-resolution models relating to the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation – chiefly the treaties of Westphalia (1648) – could be applied to the geopolitical challenges of the contemporary Middle East. A particular concern of the proposed analysis is to avoid the widespread and tenacious myth that Westphalia inaugurated a system of state sovereignty and non-intervention in domestic affairs. Instead of this 'mythical' Westphalia, we are proposing an application of the principles and mechanisms underpinning the actual terms of the treaties of Osnabrück and Münster to the Middle East.

The project will take the form of an eight-part seminar series, aimed at senior academics and practitioners, which will produce a series of substantive reports to be presented for publication either as a special issue of a leading peer-reviewed journal or with a first-rank University Press.

The series is intended to be the first step in a longer-term (minimum five-year) research project and events series, and to create the intellectual momentum and web-based infrastructure for a global network of academics and practitioners.

Part One

  1. The development of the Middle Eastern Problem since 1914 and the failure of sovereignty (venue: KCL)
  2. 2. The Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century crisis in Central Europe – Setting up the problem (venue: Cambridge)
  3. The Peace of Westphalia – Setting up the Solution (venue: Cambridge)
  4. Maintaining the Peace – the impact of Westphalia during the subsequent 150 years (venue: KCL)

Part Two

  1. The Westphalian Myth and its consequences, 1945 to the present day (venue: Cambridge)
  2. A new internal settlement for the Middle East (venue: Cambridge)
  3. A new international settlement for the Middle East (venue: Cambridge)
  4. Workshop: Drafting a Westphalia for the Middle East (venue: KCL)

 

 

Leszek Balcerowicz: The Future of the Eurozone

When Jan 27, 2016
from 06:00 PM to 08:00 PM
Where Old Divinity School, St John's College, Cambridge
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This event is free to attend, however tickets must be reserved in advance here.

Professor Leszek Balcerowicz - Former Polish Finance Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and President of the National Bank of Poland - shares his perspectives on the future of the Eurozone and on Poland's potential entry to the monetary union.

Leszek Balcerowicz

Leszek Balcerowicz is a key architect of Poland's post-1989 economic success. As Finance Minister in the first elected government of the new democratic era, Balcerowicz authored and introduced a bold set of reforms to facilitate the country's rapid transition from centrally planned to free market economy. The "Balcerowicz Plan" - or "Shock Therapy" - has been praised by economists across the world as a farsighted strategy and a crucial step on the path towards Poland's current growing prosperity.

Professor Balcerowicz is currently a Distinguished Associate of the International Atlantic Economic Society. He is the founder and director of the Civic Development Forum (FOR), an independent think tank based in Poland. In 2014, he won the Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty.

Professor Balcerowicz's lecture on the challenges facing the Eurozone and on Poland's economic future will be followed by questions and discussion hosted by Dr Stanley Bill, Lecturer in Polish Studies at Cambridge.

This event is organized by Cambridge Polish Studies in partnership with the Forum on Geopolitics at the Department of Politics and International Studies.

More information about this event…

“Warning Lights”: A workshop with Tim Sebastian

When Jan 22, 2016
from 02:00 PM to 05:00 PM
Where Corpus Christi College
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On 22 January 2016, Fellow Commoner at Corpus Christi College, Forum on Geopolitics Affiliate and renowned BBC foreign correspondent Tim Sebastian led a student workshop in critical, journalistic approaches to the most pressing foreign policy issues.

“Warning Lights”: A workshop with Tim Sebastian

 

In this 3-hour session, Tim worked with students to:

  • Identify an international crisis with the potential for serious escalation
  • Break the crisis up into its component parts
  • Plan a process of reporting/research
  • Set a deadline and embark on a piece of original, high-quality journalism

After the session, each student has the opportunity to work either individually or in groups of 4-5 to prepare to produce a powerful, fact-based narrative which showcases the new findings and presents them in clear and compelling stories. Tim will review and comment on each piece, and he will explore national press publication opportunities for the best pieces.

About 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 books.

 

The Geopolitics of Modern Ukraine

When Jan 20, 2016
from 05:30 PM to 06:30 PM
Where Room S3, Alison Richard Building
Contact Name
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On Wednesday 20 January, 5.30pm, former Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine official and former Head of the Political Section of the Embassy of Ukraine in the UK Yulia Osmolovska will deliver a lecture to the Forum on Geopolitics on the subject of Geopolitics and the Ukraine today.

This event will take place in Room S3, Alison Richard Building, from 5.30-6.30pm. All are welcome to attend. Please register your interest by emailing

In this lecture, Ms Osmolovska will explore key questions relating to Ukrainian foreign policy and sovereignty – particularly in its relations with Russia – and the role Ukraine continues to play as a bridging power between Russia and the EU. 

Yulia Osmalovska

About this lecture

For a complex series of historical reasons which Ms Osmolovska will explore, Ukrainian foreign policy thinking to date has not tended towards the strategic or the overtly geopolitical. Upon gaining its independence in 1991, Ukraine pursued a multi-vector foreign policy which has in no small part influenced Russia’s recent retaliatory actions within the sovereign territory of Ukraine. Throughout, however, Russia and Ukraine have remained economically and socially interlinked at the most fundamental levels. It is imperative that the two countries enter into substantive bilateral negotiations on a wide range of essential issues of common concern, but much will depend on Ukraine adopting a more forward-thinking, assertive foreign policy strategy. Of particular interest are the questions of how Ukraine addresses her future relations with Russia, and to what extent other key big players as the EU and US will be involved in the dialogue.

About Ms Osmolovska

For most of her professional career (from 1999 to 2014), Ms Osmolovska worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. She was head of the team for Strategic Initiatives and Planning between Ukraine and the EU at the EU Department; was a member of the Secretariat of the Delegation of Ukraine for negotiations on the Association Agreement, as well as a coordinator of the working group on Chapter on Political Dialogue, Foreign and Security Policy of the Association Agreement.

She was posted twice to the Embassy of Ukraine in the UK and, from 2009-2011, Yulia was Head of the Political Section and the Acting Deputy Head of Mission. Since then, Ms Osmolovska has held a variety of senior positions under the government of Ukraine, including under the Economic Reforms Coordination Centre mandated by the President of Ukraine; under the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, and as executive director at the Ukrainian Investment and Trade Facilitation Center.    

In 2014 she became a partner at the Institute for Negotiation Skills, promoting Harvard negotiation model in Ukraine.  

A graduate from Kyiv National Economic University, Ms Osmolovska holds a Master of Philosophy in European Studies degree from the University of Cambridge and Master in Foreign Policy degree from the Diplomatic Academy of Ukraine. She also studied Psychology of Negotiations and Mediation at St. Petersburg State University.  

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