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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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