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School to Welcome Former U.S. Senator

Former US Senator to visit Queen's University, April 2015 

The School is greatly honoured to welcome one of America's most outstanding statesmen and international negotiators, former U.S. Senator George J. Mitchell to the University in April. Former Senator Mitchell has served the cause of peace for decades and won admiration from across the political divide in Northern Ireland for his work to boost the peace process here. 

Senator Mitchell will deliver a talk in the annual Harri Holkeri Lecture Series, with a presentation entitled:

'Reflections on Brokering Peace in Divided Societies’

Wednesday 22 April 2015, 5pm, Great Hall, Queen’s University Belfast

This event has been made possible by The School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy, The Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice and the Embassy of Finland, London. 

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Social Media for Women in Politics

Congratulations to PISP first year student, Collette McAllister and her friends for featuring on a great short film on Social Media for Women in Politics. Watch it on

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AHRC network grant awarded to Dr Tom Walker

Dr Tom Walker (PISP) and Dr Hon-Lam Li (Chinese University of Hong Kong) have recently been awarded an Arts and Humanities Research Council Network grant. The grant is to establish a network of researchers working on two normative questions that are becoming increasingly pressing as the numbers of people living into older age (in particular the numbers living beyond eighty) increase: 1. When people in this age group require care, where should the requirement to provide that care fall (on the individual, on their family, or on the State), and 2. How should the requirement to provide this care be balanced against existing obligations to care? In addressing these questions the project aims to bring philosophers working on normative theory into conversation with those dealing with the realities of care for older people (including historians, gerontologists and older people themselves). Because these questions are ones that are faced by countries around the world it also aims to bring together researchers whose work is rooted in different intellectual traditions – in particular, bringing together researchers from the UK and Western Europe with researchers from the Far East.

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Canadian Visit-Professor Graham Walker

Professor Graham Walker will visit Ottawa the week beginning 9 March. He will deliver an address on the subject of ‘Territorial Identities in the United Kingdom and their impact on the political evolution of Great Britain’ to the Privy Council Office (Federal-Provincial-Territorial Relations Branch) of the Canadian Government on 11 March. He will also give a lecture at the University of Ottawa, and will seek to promote stronger links between PISP and the Politics Department of the University around mutual research interests and postgraduate student exchanges.

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Dr Muiris MacCarthaigh invited to meet OECD Mission

Dr Muiris MacCarthaigh from the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy has been invited to give evidence to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) team undertaking the Northern Ireland Public Governance Review on Tuesday 24th February. Having received Executive approval, the Review was launched in November 2014 and seeks to present recommendations to maximise the impact of current reforms across the Northern Ireland public sector, as well as identifying further areas for reform.

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International Student Festival Participants


A Trip to the International Student Festival, February 2015

by Ethan McLaughlin, BA International Politics and Conflict Studies

The international student festival in Troundheim, is an event which brings 450 students from over 100 countries to Troundheim for 10 days to share and exchange their ideas on a chosen issue for that year’s festival. This year, the theme was the issue of corruption and how that effects society.

The festival has been running for 25 years and started as the cold war was just about to end. Since then, the festival has truly become a global event. It is an event for students, run by students who (just like myself) have given up their time for the last 6 months to prepare.

By day, we were split up into 19 different workshop groups from 9 till 4 in which we sat, talked and shared our ideas and experiences from our home countries. I was in the development focused group. During the evenings every night we had a range of events such as a fascinating talks given by high level speakers like the founder as well as the current head of Transparency international. It also gave a voice to local activists in places where corruptions are a great issue like in Uganda.

Considering this is one of the only events of this type I have ever done, having the opportunity to listen to people from Vietnam, Cambodia, Taiwan, Japan, Philippians, Argentina, Peru, Mexico, Romania, Denmark, Norway, Bosnia, Tunisia, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Costa Rica, Zimbabwe, and Australia was inspiring and something I may never have the opportunity to do again!

There were a number of highlights for me from hearing the Dalai Lama talk about the need for religious tolerance and polarity in society, to being able to represent my group at the panel discussion on the parliament day in front of 450 people where we- the participants- decided what motions we wanted the UN to implement to fight corruption. But the thing I am going to take from this events is the stories from people I knew as great friends before finding out what great and life changing things they were doing for their community. It was truly inspiring, and gives me the drive to do more.

If you enjoyed hearing about Ethan’s experience and would like to find out more about the International Student Festival, you can visit the website here:  

Large British Council Researcher Links Workshop Grant awarded to Dr Ephraim Nimni

The British Council has awarded Dr. Ephraim Nimni a large Researcher Links Workshop Grant to organise in partnership with Dr. Elçin Aktoprak of the School of Politics of the University of Ankara, a workshop for 30 young scholars, 15 from the UK and Ireland, and 15 from Turkey on the topic: Developing New Modalities of Autonomy for Minorities that do not entail Dismembering States: the Case of the Turkish Republic. The purpose of the workshop is to compare experiences from Northern Ireland and the Kurdish minority in the Turkish Republic, with the goal to develop new modalities of community representation and democratic autonomy without dismembering existing states.  An open call will soon be circulated inviting young researchers to apply for fully funded positions to travel to Ankara and participate in this workshop.


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Old Firm match is a blast from the past for a post-referendum Scotland Graham Walker

Article by Graham Walker has been published on The Conversation.

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Prof Beverley Milton-Edwards on The Challenge of Conflict Transition in Fragile States

Professor Beverley Milton-Edwards gave a lecture entitled The Challenge of Conflict Transition in Fragile States to the QUB ICTSJ Inaugural Winter School 2015 on the theme of Environments of safety and security in the aftermath of sustained violent conflict on January 26 2015.

The Winter School draws participants together from across the globe for 4 days of intensive insight on the ground at locations around Belfast as well as in the classroom.   


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Markievicz Commission report on women’s political participation published

The Markievicz Commission report on women’s political participation was published on 15 January and has attracted much media attention since then. Professor Yvonne Galligan was independent chairperson of the Commission, which was set up by Fianna Fail party leader Micheal Martin TD in March 2014. The Commission recommends that Fianna Fail must run between 20 and 27 female candidates if it is to comply with the 30% gender quota required by law. Speaking at the launch of the report, Professor Galligan said “the comprehensive recommendations in this report will hopefully see an end to all-male election tickets. Today young women and men expect to be represented by both genders. This report looks to the future as well as taking the upcoming election into account. It recommends that local government and Seanad elections are also subject to candidate gender quotas.”

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Muiris MacCarthaigh to address roundtable on ‘The Irish public sector in European perspective’

Dr Muiris MacCarthaigh from the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy at QUB will speak at a roundtable on public sector reform at the National University of Ireland offices in Dublin on Friday 23rd January.  Other speakers include Prof Edoardo Ongaro (University of Northumbria and President of the European Group for Public Administration), Prof Koen Verhoest (University of Antwerp), Prof Colin Scott (University College Dublin) and other academics and senior Irish government officials.

The roundtable is part of a programme on ‘Building State Capacity in Ireland’ organised by the UCD Geary Institute for Public Policy. It coincides with a meeting of the international Advisory Group for a Research Fellowship on Public Service Reform which Dr MacCarthaigh is currently undertaking.

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Contributions to the Press by Prof Graham Walker

Professor Graham Walker was consulted in the preparation of feature articles – in which he was liberally quoted - on Irish voting rights in Britain in ‘The Irish Post’ (15.1.15), and on Rangers FC in ‘The Financial Times’ (17.1.15).

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Professor Dave Archard, Honorary Vice President of the Society for Applied Philosophy

Professor Dave Archard has been made Honorary Vice President of the Society for Applied Philosophy, the leading organization devoted to the promotion of philosophical work with a direct bearing on areas of practical concern.

The President of the Society for Applied Philosophy is Baroness Onora O’Neill.

In 2016 Queen’s University will host the Annual Conference of the Society.

Congratulations to Dave.

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Hacktivism: An Interview with the Electronic Disturbance Theatre 2.0

PISP PhD student, Leonie Maria Tanczer, has recently been published in the Ada journal. Leonie,  who is also a fellow at the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG), interviewed two members of the Electronic Disturbance Theatre 2.0: Carmin Karasic and Micha Cardenas. Both consider themselves to be politically motivated hackers, also known as hacktivists.

The Electronic Disturbance Theatre group have the belief that the Internet should not be used purely as a means for communication and data exchange. Instead it is also a forum for direct action.

To read the interview and find out more about Leonie’s work please visit the website below:

Congratulations to Leonie on the publication!

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Professor John Barry Presents his Inaugural Professorial Lecture

Congratulations to PISP's very own Professor John Barry who delivered his Inaugural Professorial lecture before the Christmas holidays. Professor Barry spoke on 'Carbon, Capitalism and the Transition from Unsustainability' and encouraged us all to be a little more radical.

To watch Professor Barry's lecture, click on the link below:


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PISP Graduate Appointed as Presidential Advisor

PISP is pleased to announce that MA Violence, Terrorism and Security graduate Eric D Gardiner has been recently appointed as Advisor to the President of the USA, at the Council on Foreign Relations, New York. Eric will be working on their education platform, the Global Literacy Initiative. He will also be doing research directly for Richard Haass, CFR's President.

Our congratulations to Eric on his new role.

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Dr Ephraim Nimni lectures in Oslo and Uppsala University in Sweden

Dr Ephraim Nimni has been invited by the prestigious Peace Research Institute of Oslo, Norway to give a lecture on 12th January with the title: “Shared sovereignty and territory in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”.  He has also been invited to present a paper at the conference Trans-ethnic Coalition-building within and across States organised by Uppsala Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies of Uppsala University in Sweden on 7-9 January 2015. The title of his paper is 'Hans Kohn's vision for national-cultural autonomy in Palestine'

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QUB-China Scholarship Council Joint Awards 2015

It has been confirmed that a maximum of ten studentship places for QUB-China Scholarship Council awards will be funded for 2015-16.

Related details are available here.



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PhD Studentships in Politics,International Studies & Philosophy

PhD Study Commencing 2015

The School of Politics, International Studies & Philosophy at Queen’s University Belfast is pleased to announce a number of funding opportunities for PhD students beginning September 2015. We welcome student proposals in a wide range of scholarly areas, with particular emphasis on the following:

  • Governance and Public Policy
  • International Relations
  • Comparative Ethnic Conflict
  • Contemporary Irish History
  • Political Theory
  • Philosophy

Details on School funding opportunities available here.

Further information on all these funding opportunities can be found on our webpages:

Likewise, you can contact Dr. Debbie Lisle for more information:

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Faculty of Arts Humanities & Social Sciences PhD Studentship Awards 2015 entry

Details for these studentship awards are available here.

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Middle East Expert to Cabinet Office Whitehall for Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan analysis

Professor Beverley Milton-Edwards, Professor of Politics, was invited to share her expertise at the Cabinet Office, Whitehall on UK policy directions for the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

At the workshop a range of UK Government officials from across Whitehall including the Cabinet Office, DFID, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, SIS, GCHQ and Defence Intelligence listened to inputs from Prof. Milton-Edwards as they pertained to Jordan’s domestic as well as regional challenges.    


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Interdisciplinary Research Group holds two events on Policing in Rio de Janeiro with Brazilian researchers
Dr Ignacio Cano answers questions about his research on policing in Rio de Janeiro
Dr Ignacio Cano answers questions about his research on policing in Rio de Janeiro
Dr Ignacio Cano and Dr Andrea Mayr lead a workshop on representations of policing in Brazilian media
Dr Ignacio Cano and Dr Andrea Mayr lead a workshop on representations of policing in Brazilian media

In October the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy and the Interdisciplinary Research Group on Policing Extremes held a public lecture and workshop focused on aspects of policing training, accountability, and new forms of community policing in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. One of the speakers was Dr. Ignacio Cano who is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Lead Researcher in the Laboratory for the Analysis of Violence in the Department of Social Sciences at Rio State University, Rio de Janeiro. He has published widely on public security and police human rights abuses in Brazil.

Over the course of the two events, Dr. Cano summarized the current state of violent crime and police responses, often resulting in police discharging their weapons and the deaths of suspects. However, he also highlighted a policing program instituted in parts of Rio de Janeiro beginning in 2008 called the Pacifying Police Units (UPPs). In certain areas of the city, UPPs have helped to stabilize violence crime and pioneer a new form of community-led policing. Dr. Cano and Dr. Andrea Mayr from the School of English at QUB also discussed the representation of violence and policing through various forms of media in Brazil. They explained how such imagery forms idealizes conceptions of policing as engaging in violence with suspected criminals, which has been to the detriment of more pacifying approaches such at the UPPs.

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Say goodbye to exam stress

First year exam study session with the Learning Development Centre and your Peer Mentors!

Location:  Sociology and Social Work/01/037

Date:  Wednesday 10 Dec. 2014

Time: 14:00 to 15:00


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Word count in PISP assignments


Word count in PISP assignments is inclusive of ALL in text references but NOT the Bibliography or any material included in appendix or appendices

On behalf of: Professor David Phinnemore, Head of School and Professor Milton-Edwards, Director of Education

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Professor John Barry Visiting Fellow at the Rachel Carson Center Munich May-July 2015

Professor John Barry has been accepted as a Visiting Fellow at the Rachel Carson Center in Munich from May-July 2015. The centre is one of the world’s leading research centres on social science research into environmental issues and sustainability.

Professor Barry will be  working on a publication and empirical research project entitled: ‘Beyond economic growth: green political economy, sustainability and human flourishing'.

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Access the following links for additional University news and events: