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Forum on Geopolitics

Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)

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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
Contact Name
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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.


  • 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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