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Archive 2012

New publication by PISP staff
The new special issue of Perspectives on European Politics and Societies (2012, 4) on " The Implementation Trap? Trajectories of Minority Rights Issues in Europe" guest-edited by Timofey Agarin (QUB) and Malte Brosig (U of the Witwatersrand) is out now http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rpep20/13/4 The special issue also includes "Which is the Only Game in Town? Minority Rights Issues in Estonia and Slovakia During and After EU Accession" by Timofey Agarin and Ada-Ch Regelmann (both QUB) http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15705854.2012.731934


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Professor Lord Paul Bew honoured for outstanding contribution to scholarship and public life


Professor Lord Paul Bew, Professor of Politics in the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy, received the Special Recognition Award at the Political Studies Association annual awards ceremony held yesterday in London at Church House, Westminster. Professor Bew received the award from Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow and Dame Ann Leslie

Professor Bew was recognised for his immense contribution to political history scholarship and public life. As well as being an accomplished academic, Professor Bew made a significant contribution to the Northern Ireland peace process. His role was acknowledged with an appointment to the House of Lords in 2007.

Professor Bew has been a member of Queen’s faculty since 1979, where he has taught hundreds of students of Irish history and politics at the University’s School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy. He is a fellow of the Royal Irish Academy and his latest book, Enigma: A new Life of Charles Stewart Parnell, was named biography of the year by the Sunday Times. 

He said: “I am delighted to receive this award. As well as a personal honour, I regard it as a tribute to the engagement with political theory and practice that is at the heart of Politics at Queen’s, and has been since the days of Professor John Whyte who was the University’s first Professor of Irish Politics. Professor Whyte will be remembered at Queen’s later this week at a memorial lecture in his honour, which will focus on partition and the question of Irish unity.

“Queen’s students are the leaders of tomorrow, and at the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy they benefit from world-class teaching and research, which well equips them for a career in political or public life.”

The Annual John Whyte Memorial Lecture at Queen’s, entitled ‘Living with partition: institutions, public opinion and the question of Irish unity’ will be delivered by Professor John Coakley of University College Dublin, at 5pm on Thursday 6 December (Peter Froggatt Centre, Room 02.017).

The Political Studies Association Awards Jury said: “Professor Bew’s major role in the Northern Ireland peace process, his contribution as historical adviser to the Saville Inquiry into Bloody Sunday, and his recent efforts as Chair of the Education Secretary’s external review of Key Stage school tests ensure that he is a deserving recipient of this award.”


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China Scholarship Council (CSC)/Queen’s University Scholarships

The School of School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy is able to offer in 2013-14  one of the University’s China Scholarship Council(CSC)/Queen’s University Scholarships in the area of Bioethics. The deadline for applications has been set for 15 February 2013. For further details see here


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Polysoc lecture, Dr Stefan Andreasson, 12 December

12th December, 4pm

"Analysing the 2012 US Elections: Governing in an Era of Hyper-Partisanship"

Dr Stefan Andreasson (QUB)

Peter Froggatt Centre, 02/26

All are welcome to attend - RSVP us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/138589219623998/ 

Contact polysoc@qub.ac.uk


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EU Referendum Research

Dr John  Garry’s research on voter behaviour in EU referendums has just been published in the European Journal of Political Research.

The paper focuses on the case of the Lisbon Treaty in Ireland and analyses the extent to which referendums faciliate deliberation or merely protest voting.

An abstract is available here.

Volume 52, Issue 1 Pages 1 - 141, January 2013


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Elodie Fabre (QUB) and Wilfried Swenden (University of Edinburgh) publish ‘Territorial politics and the statewide party’ in Regional Studies

Elodie Fabre (PISP, Queen’s) and Wilfried Swenden (University of Edinburgh) publish ‘Territorial politics and the statewide party’ in Regional Studies. This article addresses the nationalist methodological bias that has long affected the literature on political parties and reviews the contribution of the new field of territorial politics, which studies parties as organisations that are subject to pressures a multilevel environment and as actors influencing multilevel political systems. The authors also present a number of areas where further research can contribute to our understanding of parties as representative agents, electoral competitors and policy makers in multilevel systems.


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Andrew Baker presenting at the "Emergent Ideas in the International Political Economy" workshop, Copenhagen 6 December

Andrew Baker is presenting a paper on Thursday 6th December 2012, "Esteem Allocation and Idea Circulation in the International Political Economy," as a guest of the AGORA network - a collaboration between the Universities of Brown, Texas Austin, Griffith Brisbane, Norwegian Institute for International Affairs, and Copenhagen Business School at a workshop on "Emergent Ideas in the International Political Economy." The workshop is hosted by the Department of Business and Politics, Copenhagen Business School.


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Workshop: God, Time, and Eternity 11th and 12th December

Speakers:

  • Professor Dean Zimmerman (Rutgers University),
  • Professor Eleonore Stump (St. Louis University),
  • Professor Timothy O’Connor (Indiana University),
  • Professor Trenton Merricks (University of Virginia),
  • Professor Brian Leftow (University of Oxford),
  • Professor Robin LePoidevin (University of Leeds),
  • Professor Hud Hudson (Western Washington University),
  • Dr. Patrick Todd (University of Innsbruck and Munich School of Philosophy),
  • Dr. Joseph Diekemper (Queen’s University Belfast)


Venue: Old Staff Common Room in the Lanyon Building

Contact Joseph Diekemper (j.diekemper@qub.ac.uk


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Royal Institute of Philosophy Public Lecture, 6 December

Dr. Christopher Cowley

Lecturer in Philosophy, University College Dublin

Title: ‘Taking Responsibility’

Place: Meredith Room, 23 University Square

Time: 4pm


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Dr Nimni on a lecture tour in Turkey

Dr Nimni has been invited to read the paper: The Autonomy of the Non Christian religious Courts in the UK The case of the Beth Din and the Shariah Courts, for the workshop Identity, Religion and Ethnicity in Istanbul Turkey, organised by the Gulen Chair for Intercultural Studies of the University of Leuven, in Belgium and the Suleyman Sah University of Istanbul. On Monday 3 December Dr Nimni will deliver the lecture to the School Seminar of the Department of International Relations of the University of Ankara with the title Autonomy, Sovereignty and Self Determination: The Forms of a Paradigm Shift.


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The Annual John Whyte Memorial Lecture 2012, 6 December

"Living with partition: institutions, public opinion and the question of Irish unity"

Speaker: John Coakley
Professor of Politics, University College Dublin
Visiting Professor, Queen's University Belfast

John Coakley specialises in the study of nationalism, ethnic conflict and Irish and comparative politics,and is author of Nationalism, ethnicity and the state: making and breaking nations (Sage, 2012)

5-7 pm, 6 December 2012

Room 02.017, Peter Froggatt Centre

All welcome

Newsletter available here


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‘Voluntarily Risking Our Health', Seminar 29th November

Dr. Tom Walker (Senior Lecturer in Ethics, Queen’s University Belfast)

Philosophy Seminar in the Meredith Room (23.105), 23 University Square at 4pm on 29th November 2012

For futher information contact Dr. Benjamin Jarvis (b.jarvis@qub.ac.uk)


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Professor Dave Archard on BBC Radio Ulster’s ‘Sunday Sequence’,18th November

Professor Dave Archard will be on BBC Radio Ulster’s ‘Sunday Sequence’  on Sunday, 18th November, as part of a panel to discuss the ethical dilemmas raised by the recent tragic death of Savita Halappanavar who was denied a life-saving abortion at an Irish hospital.


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'Philosophical Reflections on The Politics of Global Warming’

Prof. Graham Parkes, University College Cork

Wednesday 21st November, 1pm

Meredith Room, 23.109, 23 University Square

All welcome 

Abstract

As the developed and developing nations insist on continuing with ‘business as usual’ in the burning of fossil fuels to meet their ever increasing needs for energy, millions of people in the least developed nations are already beginning to experience adverse consequences in the form of rising sea-levels, salinisation of water supplies, flooding and other extreme weather conditions.

As the evidence from the climate sciences accumulates, suggesting that the situation of the developed nations, too, will become catastrophic unless they change their ways very soon, the reluctance or refusal to take appropriate action looks more and more like a case of collective insanity—not to mention culpable negligence. It’s a pity that the Big Names in professional philosophy aren’t applying their formidable intellects to this urgent issue (Peter Singer and Michel Serres are sterling exceptions), since philosophy is well positioned to provide some helpful perspective on the complex of issues involved in global climate change.

This paper examines the state of the climate science and the phenomenon of climate scepticism or denial; considers the psychological, social, economic, political and religious factors at work here; and ends by invoking some considerations concerning human flourishing in the context of a flourishing biosphere that might help us out of the current impasse.

For further information please contact Dr. John Barry, j.barry@qub.ac.uk


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9-10 November The Challenge of Non-Territorial Autonomy
The Right Honourable, Charles Clarke
The Right Honourable, Charles Clarke
Professor Franke Wilmer
Professor Franke Wilmer

Minorities, Nations and Cultural Diversity
The Challenge of Non-Territorial Autonomy
 9-10 November 2012, Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland
http://www.conferencepro.eu/nta/

The European Centre for Minority Issues (Flensburg, Germany), jointly with The School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy at Queen’s University Belfast, and the Department of Central & Eastern European Studies, University of Glasgow are organising at Queen’s University on 9-10 November a conference on the challenges of Non Territorial Autonomy (NTA) in a world of nation-states.

The theme of the conference is that cultural diversity is the norm in a world of nation-states and that a recurrent problem is how to organise what are in fact, multi-ethnic and multi-nation states,  so that majorities and minorities are able to coexist and effectively participate in the life of the state, bolstering allegiance without suffering cultural alienation and without resorting to territorial secession. Multicultural liberal democracies sincerely champion equality and individual human rights, but often have difficulties in accommodating culturally diverse minority communities. Territorial representation is only possible when minority communities inhabit a compact territorial space, yet in the majority of cases, minority communities do not reside compactly, making any territorial representation impossible. This situation often causes intractable problems for the functioning of democratic polities, and requiring modalities of non-territorial autonomy (NTA) as a solution.

The aim of this conference is to examine in theory, empirically and through the work of legal practitioners, the challenges, and possible solutions offered by different models of NTA for the effective participation of minorities in public life. Non-Territorial autonomy takes variety of different forms, such as Consociationalism and National Cultural Autonomy, but also forms of representation that de-territorializes self-determination, as in the case of indigenous communities, the juridical autonomy as with religious communities, or in the practice of some models of multiculturalism. Scholars from countries as diverse as the US, Russia, Switzerland, Canada, India, China and Turkey among others, are coming to Belfast to discuss the pros and cons of non territorial autonomy.

The School of Politics International studies and Philosophy is honoured by the presence in this conference of The Right Honourable, Charles Clarke, former Home Secretary, In office 2004 2006, a most distinguished British politician, and Professor Franke Wilmer of the University of Montana, in the US, who is a Democratic Party member of the Montana House of Representatives, and chair the Montana Human Rights Commission.  Professor Wilmer is boarding a plane to Belfast directly from the campaign trail in the US elections.

The program for the conference can be found here

The abstracts of all papers can be found here  

A map of the University environs with all the venues is available here


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Charlotte Blease, The Essay, BBC Radio 3

Charlotte Blease's radio essay "The Medicine Game" which was recorded live at the BBC Radio 3 Freethinking Festival in the Sage, Gateshead, was broadcast on 5 November.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01nphn6/Free_Thinking_Festival_2012_Festival_Free_Thinking_Essay_Charlotte_Blease/


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William Crawley in conversation with Paul Bew: Tuesday 6 November

William Crawley will be in conversation with Professor Paul Bew on Tuesday 6 November at 1.15pm in the Great Hall (doors open 1.00pm).

Paul Bew has been Professor of Irish Politics at Queen’s since 1991. A historical advisor to the Bloody Sunday inquiry, he was appointed an independent cross-bench peer in 2007 and is a member of the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly. He is the author of numerous books on Irish politics and history; most recently he has edited A Yankee in de Valera’s Ireland, the 1940 memoir of David Gray, the then US ambassador to Ireland. On the occasion of the book’s launch, join William Crawley as he interviews Paul Bew about his life and work.

Admittance is free, but places are limited; book online by clicking here.


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‘Ireland and Scotland: from partition to peace process’

Professor Graham Walker is to deliver a keynote address to the Australasian Irish Studies Conference at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand on 7-10 November. The title of his talk is : ‘Ireland and Scotland: from partition to peace process’.


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Basil Chubb Best Thesis Prize 2012 awarded to Dr. Iosif Kovras

Many congraulations to Dr. Iosif Kovras who has recently been awarded the Political Studies Association of Ireland’s Basil Chubb Prize for best PhD thesis.  Dr. Iosif Kovras wrote his thesis – Unearthing the Truth”: the Politics of Exhumations in Cyprus and Spain – at the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy whilst studying under Prof. Adrian Guelke and Dr. Neophytos Loizides. Each year, the Political Studies Association of Ireland judges nominations from universities across the island to decide which merits the prestigious award for the best PhD completed in an Irish institution in the previous academic year.

Commenting on the award, one of the panel judges observed: “Though all of the submissions for this year’s Basil Chubb Prize were excellent, the judging panel was unanimous in choosing Dr. Kovras’s work as the best. Indeed, the strength of the piece is proven by the fact the author has already published numerous articles drawing on the thesis in peer-reviewed academic journals. Submissions to the Basil Chubb Prize need not focus on Irish politics, and indeed Dr. Kovras’s case studies were Cyprus and Spain. However, his exploration of the difficult subject of dealing with the victims of past conflict – a matter handled with authority but sensitivity by Dr. Kovras – does have relevance and perhaps useful lessons for our own situation on this island.” 

Since completing his PhD, Dr. Kovras has taken up a post as postdoctoral research fellow at the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies at Princeton University.


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'When push comes to shove: conceptualising minority mobilization in postcommunist Europe'
Dr Timofey Agarin (Politics, Queen's University) will be presenting his current research entitled 'When push comes to shove: conceptualising minority mobilization in postcommunist Europe' at the University of Brighton, SASS Social Science Forum, on Wednesday 24th October.

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Public lecture at Belfast City Hall by Professor Graham Walker
Professor Graham Walker is to give a public lecture at Belfast City Hall on 17 October at 7.15 pm on the topic of the Ulster Covenant. The lecture is part of the Belfast City Council's 'Decade of Centenaries' series.

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Students Highly Commended in The Undergraduate Awards 2012

Congratulations to Conor Heaney (PPE), Richard Jackson (Politics) and Adam McGoldrick (PPE) whose essays were ‘highly commended’ by the panel judging The Undergraduate Awards 2012.

Congratulations to Adam McGoldrick also for winning the 2012 Carl Menger Essay prize.


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Dr Timofey Agarin is invited to Uppsala University
Dr Timofey Agarin is invited to Uppsala University Timofey has received 23,000 SEK from the Uppsala Forum for a visiting research fellowship at the Uppsala University, September 5-21 2012. Uppsala Forum is an Uppsala University's organ of cooperation, coordination and mutual exchange with the world leading researcher in the fields of democracy, justice, postconflict reconciliation and sustainable peace. During the stay, Dr Agarin will be intensifying his research cooperation with Dr Matthew Kott on a research project on minority exclusion in the EU, contribute to the seminar with a talk on Romani recognition and participation, and will speak on "Communist legacies of minority protection in contemporary European minority rights regime" at the joint meeting held by the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala Centre for Russian and Eurasian studieshe and the Hugo Valentin Centre.

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“Territorial and Non Territorial Autonomies”
Dr. Ephraim Nimni was invited as a keynote speaker by the Institute of Advanced Studies of the University of Birmingham on 10 September for a workshop on “Territorial and Non Territorial Autonomies”.  The title of his paper is Non Territorial Autonomies: Challenges and Solutions.

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Dr Charlotte Blease Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Bochum
Dr Charlotte Blease has been offered a two month Philosophy Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Center for Mind, Brain and Cognitive Evolution at the Ruhr University Bochum, Germany. Her research is on "Explaining Cultural Differences: Evoked culture and Depressive Disorders".

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Lee McGowan has secured an award from the European Commission
Lee McGowan has secured an award of £20,000 from the European Commission to hold a seminar series (in cooperation with the Northern Ireland Assembly Business Trust) on Debating Europe: Assessing the Challenges and Opportunities confronting Europe over the next decade. Six seminars will take place over the next academic year on the sovereign debt crisis; jobs and competitiveness; EU social policy; low carbon technologies; eurosceptiscim and reconnecting with the public. Further details of the programme and speakers (academics and practitioners) to follow.

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Dr Charlotte Blease to Speak at BBC Free Thinking Festival
Dr Charlotte Blease has been invited to speak at the BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival at the Sage Gateshead 2-4 November 2012. The BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Festival is a weekend of talks, debates, conversation and performance, with a number of eminent speakers including leading broadcasters, artists, scientists and writers. Dr Blease will speak on the theme "Them and Us: The relationship between doctors and their patients."
 

 

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Dr Undala Alam is invited to speak at the 2012 British Science Festival.
Scottish Water have invited Dr Undala Alam to be one of four international speakers debating whether, “The next war will be fought over water”, at the 2012 British Science Festival to be held in Aberdeen on 6 September. The debate will follow the style of BBC Radio 4’s Moral Maze and comprise four speakers who will be interrogated by a panel and by the public. For more information on the Festival, please see www.britishsciencefestival.org 

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Seed funding secured to prepare a large international grant on the Nile basin.
Dr Undala Alam is part of an international consortium led by Professor Paolo Burlando, ETH Zurich, that secured seed funding to prepare a large grant examining conflict in the Nile basin. The proposal will be submitted to the programme, “Research on Global Issues for Development”, funded jointly by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and will be for a maximum of CHF 3 million over six years.

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BBC Radio 3 and AHRC 2012

Ten of the country's most promising young academics have been chosen to appear regularly to share their ideas on BBC Radio 3. They have been chosen from a pool of hundreds of early-year academics teaching at universities around the country, who applied to the BBC for the opportunity to share their ideas on radio and television. They will make their debut appearance on BBC Radio 3’s arts and ideas programme Night Waves next Monday, 18 June. They include Charlotte Blease, on the subject: "The placebo effect and the ethics of deception in medical practice".

Further Information available here


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PISP Student Experience Survey 2012 - Results

The School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy recently conducted its annual survey to hear students’ views about our degree programmes and the quality of our teaching. We can report an excellent response rate (464 completed surveys), representing a fourfold increase compared to the 2011 survey. This higher number allows for both a more accurate report of the student experience within  PISP and a more definitive statement about their levels of satisfaction.

Overall results from this survey are presented in Table 2 below. They demonstrate that the student experience has improved when compared to 2011. There is a clear trend towards a more positive experience among students, a greater convergence of experiences across years of study and across the issues surveyed.

80% of students identified the lectures as high quality and some 77% expressed their agreement with the proposition that PISP has high quality teaching staff who keep their students up to date with module information and who are both helpful and interested. This survey identifies significant improvement in students’ experience when compared to last year in estimating the workload and an overall levelling of satisfaction rates across all undergraduate levels of study.

Satisfaction survey

Year

N, valid (incl. repeated response)

1st

147 (203)

2nd

78 (114)

3rd

95 (147)

Total

320 (464)

 


Table 2: Overall satisfaction
 

 

2012

2011

 

% Agree

Overall N

% Agree

N

Manageable workload

83.2

191

64

84

Lectures on courses are high quality

80.3

188

83

84

PISP has high quality teaching staff

76.6

167

83

84

Kept up to date with module information

75.7

185

77

84

PISP has helpful and interested staff

74.6

132

86

84

Easy to communicate with teaching staff

71.2

184

81

84

Tuition in small groups is helpful for exploring ideas

69.8

162

83

84

Good personal relationship with teaching staff

58.8

170

71

84


On receipt of the results, Professor Rick Wilford, the Head of School, commented: ‘First, I’d like to thank all those who participated in the survey – and those who analyzed the results!. Secondly, I am delighted with the response rate and with the high levels of satisfaction expressed by our students. The results confirm the considerable efforts made by staff to continually improve the level of the student experience in PISP. None of us are complacent, though, and the survey does suggest areas we need to address for the future. Students can be assured that we will maintain our already high standards of educational delivery and continue to develop our strategies to further enrich the student experience’.


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‘Philosophy for Children’ workshop for teachers
Dr Charlotte Blease and Dr Jeremy Watkins are joint recipients of £1510 from the Royal Institute of Philosophy to host a one-day philosophy of education and  in Queen’s University, Belfast.

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Dr Ephraim Nimni invited panellist CRONEM Conference 26-27 June

Dr Ephraim Nimni has been selected to participate in the plenary  panel ‘The 'Retreat' of Multiculturalism?’ chaired by Professor Lord Bhikhu Parekh, at the  8th Annual Conference jointly organised by  the Migration Research Unit (MRU) of the University College London and the Centre for Research on Nationalism, Ethnicity and Multiculturalism of the University of Surrey on 26-27June 2012.

Further information is available here


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Professor Beverley Milton-Edwards appointed to Head Independent Evaluation and Policy Recommendations of the Palestinian Justice Sector
Netherlands’s Government Representative Office Head Ms. Birgitta M. Tazelaar, announced the appointment of Professor Beverley Milton-Edwards to undertake an Independent Evaluation and Policy Recommendations of the Palestinian Justice Sector for the Kingdom of Netherlands to the Palestinian Authority with effect 20 May 2012. This independent evaluation process will be headed by Professor Milton-Edwards as part of the Netherlands’s commitment to supporting Rule of Law and Development in the Palestinian Territories. Responding to news of her appointment, Professor Milton-Edwards said: “In heading this evaluation process it is hoped that policy recommendations will emerge to maximise Dutch visibility and commitments in terms of its Development Cooperation (DDC) and intervention strategy in support of Rule of Law and the wider Middle East Peace Process.” 

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Professor Yvonne Galligan is elected to the Academy of Social Science
Professor Yvonne Galligan is elected to the Academy of Social Science. Welcoming the announcement, Head of School Professor Rick Wilford said: “This honour recognises Yvonne as an outstanding social scientist. Her nomination by the Political Studies Association is a reflection of her significant contribution to political science.” Yvonne said: “I am delighted to join a small, but growing, group of scholars from Northern Ireland elected to the Academy. I look forward to making a contribution to advancing social science through the Academy in the coming years.”

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College of Europe Award Announced
Katrina Walsh, an MA student on the School’s Legislative Studies and Practice pathway has been awarded the island of Ireland’s  sole European Neighbourhood Policy Scholarship by the College of Europe. Acting Head of School, Professor Rick Wilford, commented: ‘This is a major achievement and one Katrina, and the School, can be justifiably proud of. I’m sure she will thrive in what will be for her an exciting and challenging environment’.

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What students think about our teaching in Politics and Philosophy

Details of 'What students think about our teaching in Politics and Philosophy' are available here


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The School of Politics in the World’s top 100 Departments
In July 2011 the influential journal Higher Education World published its highly trusted ranking of Politics Departments across the globe, announcing that our Politics and International Studies provision is among the best in the world. The Acting Head of School, Professor Rick Wilford, commented: ‘The outcome of the ranking exercise is further testimony to the quality of our teaching and research and of the employability of our graduates. To be in the top 100 is a significant achievement and one that contributes to the University’s goal of becoming one of the top 100 higher education institutions in the world’. Details of the rankings can be found at www.topuniversities.com

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Lee McGowan has secured an award of £20,000 from the European Commission
Lee McGowan has secured an award of £20,000 from the European Commission to hold a seminar series (in cooperation with the Northern Ireland Assembly Business Trust) on Debating Europe: Assessing the Challenges and Opportunities confronting Europe over the next decade. Six seminars will take place over the next academic year on the sovereign debt crisis; jobs and competitiveness; EU social policy; low carbon technologies; eurosceptiscim and reconnecting with the public. Further details of the programme and speakers (academics and practitioners) to follow.

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Professor Beverley Milton-Edwards appointed to Head Independent Evaluation and Policy Recommendations of the Palestinian Justice Sector
Netherlands’s Government Representative Office Head Ms. Birgitta M. Tazelaar, announced the appointment of Professor Beverley Milton-Edwards to undertake an Independent Evaluation and Policy Recommendations of the Palestinian Justice Sector for the Kingdom of Netherlands to the Palestinian Authority with effect 20 May 2012. This independent evaluation process will be headed by Professor Milton-Edwards as part of the Netherlands’s commitment to supporting Rule of Law and Development in the Palestinian Territories. Responding to news of her appointment, Professor Milton-Edwards said: “In heading this evaluation process it is hoped that policy recommendations will emerge to maximise Dutch visibility and commitments in terms of its Development Cooperation (DDC) and intervention strategy in support of Rule of Law and the wider Middle East Peace Process.” 

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Professor Yvonne Galligan is elected to the Academy of Social Science
Professor Yvonne Galligan is elected to the Academy of Social Science. Welcoming the announcement, Head of School Professor Rick Wilford said: “This honour recognises Yvonne as an outstanding social scientist. Her nomination by the Political Studies Association is a reflection of her significant contribution to political science.” Yvonne said: “I am delighted to join a small, but growing, group of scholars from Northern Ireland elected to the Academy. I look forward to making a contribution to advancing social science through the Academy in the coming years.”

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College of Europe Award Announced
Katrina Walsh, an MA student on the School’s Legislative Studies and Practice pathway has been awarded the island of Ireland’s  sole European Neighbourhood Policy Scholarship by the College of Europe. Acting Head of School, Professor Rick Wilford, commented: ‘This is a major achievement and one Katrina, and the School, can be justifiably proud of. I’m sure she will thrive in what will be for her an exciting and challenging environment’.

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What students think about our teaching in Politics and Philosophy

Details of 'What students think about our teaching in Politics and Philosophy' are available here


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The School of Politics in the World’s top 100 Departments
In July 2011 the influential journal Higher Education World published its highly trusted ranking of Politics Departments across the globe, announcing that our Politics and International Studies provision is among the best in the world. The Acting Head of School, Professor Rick Wilford, commented: ‘The outcome of the ranking exercise is further testimony to the quality of our teaching and research and of the employability of our graduates. To be in the top 100 is a significant achievement and one that contributes to the University’s goal of becoming one of the top 100 higher education institutions in the world’. Details of the rankings can be found at www.topuniversities.com

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Current Students: Semester 2 module results

The School Exam Board is to be held on Wednesday 20 June.  Following this, confirmed PISP Semester 2 module results shall be published via your QSIS account at approximately 3pm.


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World Leading Professors join PISP
We are delighted to announce that Professors John Coakley and  Brendan O’Leary have taken up their positions as World Leading Professors in PISP. Both are highly esteemed political scientists: Professor Coakley, UCD, and Professor O’Leary, University of Pennsylvania, will be based in the School for at least a month each year for the next three years and will contribute to the enhancement of its research and educational culture over that period. Welcoming their appointments, Professor Rick Wilford, the Acting Head of School, stated: ‘The appointment of both Brendan and John is a signal development in the evolution of the School. They are truly global scholars and will add much to the thriving research and educational environment within PISP. I look forward to working with them in ways that will further improve our reputation as one of the top 100 politics departments in the world’.

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'The Fight for Silence'
Congratulations to Roisin McCrink, final year undergraduate in Philosophy and English, who has just published her first novel. 'The Fight for Silence' is a thriller which will be launched at Bookfinders on University Road on 17 May at 6.30pm.

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International Conference on Democratic Autonomy, of the Democratic Society Congress of Kurdistan
Dr. Ephraim Nimni has been invited as a keynote speaker to International Conference on Democratic Autonomy, of the Democratic Society Congress of Kurdistan, that takes place in the city of Amed- Diyarbakir in Turkey, on 12-13 May 2012. His lecture will be on models for autonomy and non-territorial self-determination.

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British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship
John Garry has been awarded a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship. The research award is for £116,000 and will fund a year’s research leave to study the subject of ‘consociationalism and voting’. Research leave will commence on 1 September 2012.

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Vanderbilt Fellowship
Paddy McQueen, a doctoral candidate in political theory, has been awarded a one-year Fellowship at Vanderbilt University’s prestigious Robert Penn Warren Centre. Paddy is the first of our post-graduate students to win the Fellowship, the achievement of which is a signal of the quality of his work.

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Chinese PhD scholarships

Queen’s University Belfast invites applications from outstanding Chinese students from selected Universities to pursue PhD study at Queen’s University Belfast in collaboration with the China Scholarship Council (CSC). There are 20 fully funded three year research studentships, commencing October 2012. The studentships provide fees and living costs. 

The School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy has been awarded three of these scholarships in the following areas:

China, Rising Powers and Coalition Building in Global Economic Governance (Drs Andreasson and Baker)

Sustainability and the transition to a low carbon economy (Dr. John Barry)

Theories of modernisation and the ecological crisis (Dr. John Barry)

To check if you are eligible to apply, please check the following website  http://www.qub.ac.uk/directorates/ResearchEnterprise/ChinaScholarshipCouncilQueensUniversityScholarships/.  If you are interested in any of these three PhD sscholarships, please contact the potential PhD supervisors above. Details on how to apply can be found here - http://www.qub.ac.uk/directorates/ResearchEnterprise/ChinaScholarshipCouncilQueensUniversityScholarships/ApplicationProcess/


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PISP Student Experience Survey 2011 - Results

Politics, International Studies and Philosophy is a student-focused School and regularly monitors the student experience. The School’s 2011 Student Experience Survey, carried out at the end of the academic year, shows some excellent findings about students’ level of satisfaction of the teaching and learning experience in the School. The results are outlined in table 1. 86 per cent of students indicate that the School has helpful and interested staff. 83 per cent indicate that lectures are high quality; that the tuition they experience in small groups is useful for exploring ideas outlined in lectures; and that the School has high quality teaching staff. Students also report finding it easy to communicate with staff and being kept up to date with information about their modules and courses. Different year groups have similar levels of overall satisfaction, thereby underlining the quality of the PISP teaching experience throughout a student’s time studying in the School.

Table 1: Overall satisfaction

 

% Agree

N

PISP has helpful and interested staff

86

84

Lectures on courses are high quality

83

84

Tuition in small groups is helpful for exploring ideas

83

84

PISP has high quality teaching staff

83

84

Easy to communicate with teaching staff

81

84

Kept up to date with module information

77

84

 

Head of School Prof. Rick Wilford said on the release of these figures ‘These are excellent results for student satisfaction in the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy. They demonstrate how students appreciate the outstanding learning experience that is delivered in the School, how engaged the teaching staff are both with the subjects they teach but also with how they communicate with students. This underlines the feedback that we get from external examiners and observers about PISP’s excellent standard of teaching. At all levels, this shows that students in the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy can therefore expect a high level of quality in their teaching and learning experience in their time with us’.     


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Have your say ... www.thestudentsurvey.com

The National Student Survey goes live on 9 January.   All final year students in the university will be emailed by the organisers (Ipsos MORI) requesting them to fill in the survey.  The survey remains open until 30 April 2012.

The School of Politics, International Studies & Philosophy encourages all students to fill in the survey. More students participating means more reliable results.

The Survey is important because the results are used by the university to help identify areas where it is doing well or where there is room for improvement.  This means a better learning experience for future generations of students.

The results of the NSS are also used to compile university league tables such as that published by the Sunday Times.

For more information see www.thestudentsurvey.com where you can also access the youtube presentation entitled National Student Survey (NSS) 2011 Video.


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International Women’s Day commemoration at U.S. Consulate General in Belfast

On March 8, Dr. Marisa McGlinchey and Professor Yvonne Galligan attended the U.S. Consulate General in Belfast to commemorate International Women’s Day.   They joined leaders from the academic, financial, government, law, and NGO sectors along with Victoria College students for a themed discussion on “Courage in Action: The Vital Role of Women in the Northern Ireland Peace Process,” moderated by Acting Deputy Consul General Penny Wilkinson.  Following the discussion, the group “traveled” to Washington via live web streaming to watch U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and First Lady Michelle Obama host the 6th annual International Women of Courage Awards, honoring 10 remarkable women from around the world.

In the photograph, Dr McGlinchey is standing between ADCG Penny Wilkinson (black and white) and Professor Monica Mc Williams (in red). Professor Galligan is two rows further back.


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Dr John Barry awarded the first Sligo Sustainable Futures Literature Award

Dr. John Barry was awarded the first Sligo Sustainable Futures Literature Award last week (March 6th 2012), at the inaugural Sligo Sustainable Futures conference.  Conference organiser, Dr. Liam Leonard from Sligo Institute of Technology cited Dr Barry’s 20 year contribution to the academic study of green politics, and the ethical, policy and economic dimensions of current unsustainable forms of development and the transition towards sustainability as making him a worthy and obvious receipient of the award.”

Dr Barry being presented with his award by Sarah Baxter from Emerald Publishers, conference sponsors.


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Professor Milton-Edwards gives Royal College of Defence Studies Keynote Lecture
Hamas, Hizballah and the Arab Spring
 
Professor Beverley Milton-Edwards addressed the Royal College of Defence Studies, London on 21 February 2012 in front of an audience of over 90 senior military and defence figures from across the globe, including China, Japan, Afghanistan, India, UK, Europe and the USA on the topic of Hamas, Hizballah and the Arab Spring.
 
This was Professor Milton-Edwards second invitation to RCDS.

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Dr John Barry has been awarded a Queens Annual Fund award

Dr. John Barry has recently been awarded a Queens Annual Fund award.  This project, aims to enhance the Queens student learning experience by taking a group of undergraduate and postgraduate students for a week long immersive learning experience in the ecovillage in Cloughjoran, Co. Tipperary.  This week long experience will be shaped around the theme of ‘Sustainable living and learning in the 21st century’.

Dr, Barry stated that, “The aim of this project is to undergraduate and postgraduate (both taught and research) students from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds, but all of who are studying sustainability issues (modules, pathways or Masters and PhD research topics), the opportunity for a funded educational trip to this unique sustainable community on the island of Ireland.

The students will be explicitly drawn from different disciplinary backgrounds, across all three faculties and also from undergraduate to PhD level, all sharing a common sustainability learning pathway and interest.  This unique mix of disciplines and levels has been explicitly proposed to enhance the learning experience of all student participants.

There should also be indirect student benefits from this visit in terms of future Queens students benefitting from - a) bringing together teaching staff involved in sustainability teaching, learning and research in the build up and planning of the visit; b) the learning resources (podcasts and other recording) which will be created as a legacy of this visit; c) establishing links between Queens, and The Village sustainable community”.  

This project’s objectives are:

  • To give Queens students who are studying sustainability topics the experience of The Village as a living model of a sustainable community;
  • To expose these students to ‘hands-on’ and practical experience of resilience and sustainability solutions in housing, food production, resource management, governance and decision-making;
  • To enable students to learn from some of the most innovative and cutting edge practioners,  including social and business innovators in sustainability and resilience thinking and practice;
  • To enable students to integrate their learning and understanding of sustainability in a ‘real world’ context of the ‘living laboratory’ of The Village ecological community;
  • To enable students from their different disciplinary backgrounds and approaches to sustainability to learn from one another;
  • To enable students to learn about resilience and building community resilience in particular and how it relates to sustainable living;
  • To give students the opportunity to learn about sustainability in a different educational context than a university-setting;
  • To record, via podcasting principally the week’s learning, which will to be put up on the University’s website and to be used as a future teaching and learning resource.

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Professor Yvonne Galligan appointed to the Commission on the consequences of devolution for the House of Commons

Minister for Political and Constitutional Reform, Mark Harper MP, announced the appointment of Professor Yvonne Galligan to the Commission on the consequences of devolution for the House of Commons, with effect from 1 February 2012. This independent, non-partisan Commission has been asked to examine how the House of Commons deals with legislation that affects only part of the UK following devolution. Responding to the news of her appointment, Professor Galligan said: “I am delighted to accept this appointment and very much look forward to working with Commission chairperson Sir William McKay and the other Commission members in addressing this matter.”


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Brian Walker’s new book launched at the Royal Irish Academy

Professor Walker’s  new book  A Political History of the Two Irelands: from Partition to Peace was launched at the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin, on 22 February 2012. The book was launched by the well known broadcaster and historian Dr John Bowman. The photograph shows, from left to right, Rev Brian Kennaway, President of the Irish Association, Professor Brian Walker and Dr John Bowman. A week earlier the book had been launched in Belfast (in QUB)  by Lord Bew.


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Gender Democracy Report now out

In time for International Women’s Day, we welcome the publication of a new report on gender and democratic decisionmaking, available online: http://reconproject.eu/projectweb/portalproject/Report17_GenderDemocracy.html

Deliberative Processes and Gender Democracy: case studies from Europe is a publication of the long-running RECON project funded under the FP7 programme. Edited by Professor Yvonne Galligan, the report shows the inbuilt weaknesses in democratic decision-making from a gender equality point of view. Investigations of decision-making are carried out for the European Union (Clavero and Galligan), Austria (Gresch and Sauer), Greece (Papageorgiou), Hungary (Vajda), Lithuania (Matonyte and Bucaite-Vilke), Poland (Zielinska) and Spain (Clavero). These chapters are accompanied by an overview discussing the comparative conceptual and methodological analysis (Galligan) and a chapter on the theoretical lessons to be drawn from the studies (Holst). The collection reveals that the achievement of gender equality in the EU is contingent on the institutional framework, the disposition of key participants, and the genuine inclusion of women in law-making.


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Digging Up the Cold War: An Interview with Angus Boulton

Debbie Lisle interviewed photographer Angus Boulton, on his photographs of decaying military installations in Eastern Germany.  Details available here.


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Strategic Priority Studentship 2012-2013

CONFLICT, IDENTITIES & HUMAN RIGHTS PRIORITY

Queens University, Belfast has a long tradition of carrying out surveys of political attitudes relating to the Northern Ireland conflict and, through ARK (www.ark.ac.uk), providing high quality time-series data on changing attitudes This ranges from the Moxon-Browne survey of 1978, through the Northern Ireland Social Attitudes Surveys of the 1980s and early 1990s, to the current Northern Ireland Life & Times Surveys. 

The holder of the studentship will fill a crucial gap in the time series on Northern Ireland political attitudes and analyse links between: (1) the actual experience of violence and (2) political attitudes and membership in political and paramilitary organisations that will be unique and ground-breaking. The joint supervision will bring together ARK’s and the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work’s expertise in attitudes analysis with the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy’s expertise in Northern Irish politics.

The ‘Irish Mobility Study’ was a benchmark social mobility survey funded by the British SSRC (now the ESRC) carried out in Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic with fieldwork taking place during the winter of 1973/74, the period of most intense political violence in Northern Ireland. The survey yielded achieved probability samples of 2,419 respondents in Northern Ireland and 2,352 in the Irish Republic. The data are now held by the UK Data Archive. As well as its core data required for social mobility analyses, the survey collected very extensive information on attitudes in relation to the Northern Ireland conflict, organisational membership and the extent to which respondents had experienced or been affected by the political violence. These latter data have never been analysed.
The successful applicant for the studentship will analyse the political data from the Irish Mobility Study in the following areas:

  • Northern Ireland has excellent time-series data on changing political attitudes. However, there is a gap between the 1968 Rose data and the 1978 Moxon-Browne data. The studentship will fill the gap, with crucial information from 1973/74, collected at the height of the political violence;
  • The core social mobility data means that the attitudes responses can be closely analysed by class, religion and other variables at a greater level of rigour than usual and that Northern Ireland can be compared with the Irish Republic;
  • The links between political attitudes and organisational membership, as well as political party affiliation and, for some respondents, involvement in paramilitary organisations can be assessed;
  • The concrete and detailed information on the extent to which respondents, their families and their friends had been affected by the violence can be correlated with their political attitudes, including whether or not respondents supported violence as a means of achieving political goals. Such data do not exist elsewhere. This part of the studentship will be genuinely ground-breaking.

Start Date: 01 October 2012

End Date: 30 September 2015

First Supervisor: Professor Robert Miller
School of Sociology, Social Policy & Social Work
Research Cluster: Identities, Life Style & Culture

Second Supervisor: Dr. John Barry
School of Politics, International Studies & Philosophy
Research Cluster: Political Theory

The deadline for applications is 4.00pm on Monday 12th March 2012. Application is via Queens University’s online application system  available from this link. All applications will be appraised according to the University's selection criteria for admission to postgraduate research. Selection will include an interview.


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Alternatives to Political Violence

Congratulations to Sean Brennan who has been selected, on the basis of this ongoing PhD research, to participate in Boston College's Institute of Irish Studies' ten-day 'Alternatives to Political Violence' (programme starting on 28 February 2012. Sean will join a select group of community leaders, academics, and relevant government and security officials from Ireland and from Northern Ireland who will engage with their US counterparts to examine the ways in which societies can address the growth of violent extremism. The programme will explore the role of non-governmental organizations, educational institutions, community leaders, and government agencies in encouraging people to express political, social, and cultural identity through constructive and non-violent channelsbe one of ten researchers from across the island of Ireland participating in the programme.


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PISP A Level Conferences – 19 and 20 April 2012

The annual conferences which the School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy holds for 6th form pupils studying for the A2 and AS Level Government and Politics examinations from around Northern Ireland, will be held on 19 and 20 April 2012. The programmes and lecture topics for both events are available here, A2 programme and AS programme.

Invitations will be circulated to relevant schools.

In the meantime, if you’ve any queries, please do not hesitate to contact the School. 


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PISP UCAS Open Day – 24 February 2012

The School Open Day for all UCAS applicants (and their parents/guardians) holding offers for our undergraduate degrees will be held on Friday 24 February 2012, from circa 9.30 am until 3.00 pm, in the University’s Whitla Hall.

Itinerary for the event

Campus map


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