News & Events 2007-11

Proposals for an Economic Transition to Socialism in the EU

Seminar presented by Paul Cockshott (Computing Sciences) for the Centre for the Study of Socialist Theory & Movements
24 May 2011, 5-6.30pm

New book edited by Jane Duckett

Jane Duckett, together with Beatriz Carrillo, has published a new edited book on China's welfare policy. The book, entitled China's Changing Welfare Mix: Local Perspectives, draws attention to two neglected areas in the growing body of research on welfare in China: subnational variation and the changing mix of state and non-state provision. The contributors to this volume demonstrate the diversity of local welfare provision that lies behind broad national policies and programmes. Their focus on local diversity is particularly relevant to understanding the welfare system in China because national state programmes are so often organized by local governments in line with the specifics of their economic and social development. At the same time that social and economic development is itself independently creating an array of different conditions that shape non-state (family, business and third sector) welfare roles . Through chapters that draw on original research in eight provinces, the book adopts a ‘local’ perspective to illustrate and explain some of the transformations that are under way and discuss not only local government initiatives and programmes, but also the services and support provided by families, informal social networks and community or third sector organizations, as well as those delivered by private businesses on a commercial, for-profit basis. This book will be of interest to students and scholars of Chinese society, social policy, and Chinese studies more widely.


New book by Chris Thornhill

 Chris Thornhill’s new book, A Sociology of Constitutions: Constitutions and State Legitimacy in Historical-Sociological Perspective, has been published this week by Cambridge University Press. This is the first book in any language on the sociology of constitutions. It sets out a broad historical-functionalist reconstruction of the social foundations of constitutional law in different societies, and it offers an innovative political-sociological analysis of the reasons why societies tend to articulate the grammar of legitimacy in constitutional terms.

The book is planned as the first in a series of volumes on the sociology of constitutions, and it is to be followed by a book on The Formation of a Transnational Legal Structure.

Public Seminar: Voices from Colombia’s Internal Armed Conflict

Monday 6th of June 2011
18:00 – 20:00
University of Glasgow, Sir Charles Wilson Building, Room 101

With speakers:

  • Monseñor Héctor Fabio Henao (Caritas Colombia)
  • Mrs Mélida Esther Guevara (COCOMOPOCA)
  • Mr Jesús Alberto Castilla (CISCA)

The Colombian internal armed conflict has gone on for more than 4 decades. Despite the lack of media coverage, the ongoing struggle between guerrilla groups, paramilitaries and national armed forces has made Colombia the world leader in internally displaced people, with over 5.2 million forced to flee their homes since 1985. The conflict has resulted in land grabbing, assassinations, extrajudicial killings, threats, kidnappings and the loss of livelihoods.

Come along to this public seminar to hear from those who are fighting for their right to truth, justice, reparation and non-repetition of abuses. 


  • Mgr Henao is a key negotiator between all parties to the conflict.
  • Mrs Guevara is an Afro-Colombian community leader from the Chocó Department, working to help communities reclaim their lands.
  • Mr Castilla is a peasant leader fighting for the restitution of land stolen by illegal armed groups in Catatumbo.

This event is free and open to all. Please pass on to anyone who may be interested.  For more information, and to reserve your place, please contact:

GCID/GHRN Lecture - "South Sudan: Creating a New Country Out of Conflict"

Tuesday 10 May 2011, 17.30, Seminar Room 3 (Gannochy), Wolfson Medical School Building


  • Dr Kurt Mills, Senior Lecturer in International Human Rights & Convenor, Glasgow Human Rights Network, University of Glasgow
  • Sara Cowan, Campaigns and Activist Coordinator, Oxfam Scotland

In January, residents of southern Sudan went to the polls to decide whether or not to secede from Sudan. This was the culmination of decades of violence and a few years of relative peace. The vote was overwhelmingly in favour of secession, and South Sudan will become the newest country in the world in July. This discussion will look at the prospects for the new state from regional and geopolitical perspectives as well as the perspectives of people on the ground.

Dr Kurt Mills will provide a brief overview of how we got to this point and comment on the geopolitical import of this development and Sara Cowan of Oxfam Scotland will report on her recent trip to South Sudan and reflect on how people on the ground feel about the tumultuous events currently taking place.  The seminar will be followed by a reception in the Wolfson Atrium.  This event is free and open to the public, but please email if you plan to attend.

GHRN Seminar - Big Fat Gypsy Discrimination: What Protection Has The Human Rights Legislation Provided To Scottish Gypsy Travellers?

Wednesday May 11, 2011, 5:30pm, Room 506, Boyd Orr Building, University of Glasgow

What protection has human rights legislation provided to Scottish Gypsy Travellers, Scotland's most marginalised and discriminated against community this past decade

This presentation will provide the audience with views of a member of the 'settled community' and a member of the Scottish Gypsy Traveller community, both who have experienced first hand what it is to be a Scottish Gypsy Traveller (or to be associated with this community) in the 21st century. It will draw on qualitative and quantitative research from the past decade as well as personal experiences.

Presented by:

Iain Shamus McPhee: Shamus is a Scottish Gypsy Traveller, and is a member of the Scottish Gypsy Traveller Law Reform Coalition (SGLRC). He is a former Secretary of Scottish Gypsy Traveller Law Reform Coalition (2006/2007) and a founder member, as well as a Community member of Scottish Gypsy Travellers and a Translator. Shamus has extensive knowledge of history, language and origins.

Ken MacLennan:  Ken has had numerous posts in social work, housing, chief executive service and community development. He has been actively involved in equalities and human rights issues for ten years. Ken has been actively involved for many years with issues relating to Gypsies/Travellers.

This event is free and open to the public.

German Law & Society Prize for Chris Thornhill

Chris Thornhill has received the Wolfgang Kaupen Prize for 2010 from the German Sociological Association. The prize is an annual prize in recognition of the best publication promoting research on Law and Society in Germany, and it was awarded for Chris’s article ‘Re-conceiving Rights Revolutions: The Persistence of a Sociological Deficit in Theories of Rights’, published in Zeitschrift für Rechtssoziologie / German Journal of Law and Society in December 2010. The letter of award states that this article ‘fulfils highly ambitious objectives in providing a sociological reconstruction of the theory of rights’, that it ‘extends the theoretical apparatus of research in law and society as a whole’, and that it ‘provides new stimulus’ for its field of research. 

The prize commemorates the life and work of Wolfgang Kaupen, a pioneer in the study of political and judicial institutions and an eminent figure in German legal and political sociology in the second half of the twentieth century.

Dr Mills Convenes Glasgow Human Rights Network

Dr Kurt Mills, Senior Lecturer in International Human Rights, has created the Glasgow Human Rights Network (GHRN). The Glasgow Human Rights Network aims to bring together researchers, practitioners, members of civil society organisations and policymakers who address human rights issues.

The University of Glasgow has a wide range of expertise on a variety of human rights issues, and conducts both research and teaching in this area, as do other universities in Scotland. The City of Glasgow, and Scotland more widely, also has many nongovernmental organisations involved in human rights issues. And Scotland constitutes a unique setting within the UK for addressing human rights issues within the context of devolution.

The aims of the network are to:

 • To be an internationally recognised network for human rights
 • To facilitate interdisciplinary research collaboration
 • To support interdisciplinary teaching in human rights, particularly at the postgraduate level
 • To support knowledge exchange between pracitioners and researchers
 • To provide a public forum for lectures, debates, and other activities

The network has five research clusters which are an attempt to identify common groupings of interest to facilitate interaction among network members, including development and coordination of funding bids, activities around particular themes, development of partnerships, workshops, teaching development, etc.:

 • Equality and Diversity
 • Postgraduate Cluster
 • Promoting Awareness and Respect for Human Rights
 • Security, Conflict, and Protection
 • Theoretical and Philosophical Approaches to Human Rights

Membership in the network is open to academics and postgraduate students from Glasgow and other universities in Scotland, civil society organisations, government bodies and other practitioners who deal with human rights issues. For more information visit the GHRN website or send an e-mail to

Mackenzie Lecture 2011

Monday 18th April 2011:  Room 916, Adam Smith Building, 4.00 p.m.

Professor Douglas Moggach, University of Ottawa
“Another Modernity: Aesthetics and Politics of German Republicanism”

 Douglas Moggach (MA and PhD Princeton) is Professor of Political Thought at the University of Ottawa and life member of Clare Hall, Cambridge. He is Honorary Professor of Philosophy at the University of Sydney, and has held visiting appointments at Sidney Sussex College and King's College, Cambridge, The Centre for History and Economics, Cambridge, and the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa.

All staff and students are welcome to attend the lecture.

New ESRC-funded PhD training in Politics and International Relations

As part of the ESRC-funded Scottish Doctoral Training Centre, which will begin in September 2011, Politics at Glasgow is collaborating with the Universities of Edinburgh and St Andrews, as well as the public policy strand of Urban Studies at Glasgow, to provide rigorous, advanced doctoral training in Politics and International Relations (PIR).  Additional contributions will be made by Universities of Aberdeen and Strathclyde.

The PIR pathway will support at least 2 PhD studentships per year (1+3 and +3).  Students should follow the normal application procedure (no additional application is required), but candidates should indicate on the application form that they wish to be considered for this award..  Please pay particularly close attention to the guidance provided on our webstite about the research proposal.  Complete applications must be received by the College Office by 4 p.m. on 3 May to be considered.  Early application is STRONGLY recommended.

This new initiative involves both ESRC-recognised research training masters and ESRC-recognised PhD training.

Our research training masters are:

The ESRC-recognised PhD training involves advanced research and professional training at Glasgow, which is provided through courses in qualitative methods and social science statistics, MRes in Political Communication, periodic workshops and regular seminars, as well as through supervision.  In addition, the consortium’s members will collaborate to deliver advanced training modules for PhD students. Although training provision will be matched to the training needs of participating students, we envisage organising workshops on subjects such as: 

  • Conducting Fieldwork
  • Advanced training in international political theory 
  • Advanced training in international political economy 
  • Quantitative applications in IR and comparative politics 
  • Discourse analysis 
  • Analysing domestic-international interactions
  • Advanced Methods in Comparative Politics 
  • Advanced quantitative methods for electoral research

The partners’ programmes of events will be publicised via a dedicated website, enabling PhD students to attend events at other universities.  In addition, students will be able to audit courses at participating institutions throughout their programme of study, in order to address gaps in their substantive knowledge.

This training is open to all Glasgow Politics PhD students, irrespective of their source of funding.

Latin American Politics Lectures 2011

This session's series of Latin American Politics Lectures 2011 will be on the theme of Transnational and Regional Challenges in Latin America
Latin America’s political map has undergone significant change in the last decade giving rise to new ideas as well as significant challenges. Coupled with this energy of hope for a brighter political future, are fundamental issues with the potential to smother progress. In order to highlight the political change and challenges taking place in Latin America in an academically engaging and high-impact fashion, the Department of Politics presents four seminars reaching across disciplines and institutions to open discussions to new perspectives and inquiry. As in previous years, this series of public lectures will bring students, commentators, and academics to Glasgow to discuss the wide ranging set of issues facing Latin America in the 21st Century.
Thursdays 5-7pm
Adam Smith Building, University of Glasgow

(If you are a teacher bringing a party of students from your school please let us know in advance so that we can make sure that we reserve seats for you.)
To view the full programme for the Latin American Seminar Series 2011 please download pdf.

New book by Jane Duckett

Professor Jane Duckett this month published a research monograph, The Chinese State’s Retreat from Health: Policy and the Politics of Retrenchment (Routledge). In it, she explains how and why since 1978 the Chinese state has radically cut back its role in funding health services and insuring its citizens against the costs of ill health. Using an analytical framework drawn from studies of state retrenchment in industrialized democracies and in post-communist Eastern Europe, Duckett argues that the state’s retreat from health in China was not a simple consequence of economic policies and market reform. Just as important were the influences of health policies, reform era political institutions, communist party ideology, and bureaucratic stakeholders. Through her analysis, she maintains that studying retrenchment in China, the world’s most populous nation and now a major global economic power, contributes to understanding international transformations in the role of the state and the politics that shape that role.

Document International Human Rights Film Festival 8

Document International Human Rights Film Festival 8: Student Forum,
Wednesday 27th October
Politics have been working in collaboration with Document International Human Rights Film Festival 8 (taking place at the CCA, Sauchiehall Street, 26-31 October) organising a student forum, which takes place on Wednesday 27th October. The Forum is a day long event comprising screenings, talks and workshops with activists, filmmakers, practitioners, academics and students from universities across Glasgow and Scotland working on human rights on the theme of 'Witnessing Human Rights'. This particular event is free to students, but is ticketed as places are limited. If you would like further information or to reserve a ticket, please contact Dr. Vikki Turbine at by Friday 22nd October. Further details on the range of events taking place as part of the fesitval as a whole along with entry fees can be found at

Two Seminars on Violence

Mo Hume, together with colleagues from Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research (, is organising two one-day events focusing on 'violence, gangs and global exchange' in the Mitchell Library, Glasgow, on 2nd and 3rd December 2010.

Day One, Confronting the Glasgow Gang Complex, takes the issue of gangs in the so-called 'violent city' - Glasgow - as a starting point; seeking to interrogate representations, realities, and responses to gangs in both a local and global context.

Day Two, Unlearning'? Violence, Gangs and Global Exchange in Cross Regional Dialogue, seeks to initiate a critical dialogue between research on violence in Northern and Southern contexts - bringing together researchers in the fields of violence and crime from different disciplines and a range of geographical locations, notably Latin America. Day 2 is funded by the British Academy Joint Inititiave on Latin America and the Caribbean.

For further information on Day One, email: and Day Two email:

BBC Trust Report co-authored by one of our PhD Students

Gordon Ramsay helped produce the BBC Trust's follow-up to the King Report (2008), which analysed the impartiality of the BBC's coverage of devolution in its news and current affairs output. The current study, co-authored with Prof. Justin Lewis and Dr. Stephen Cushion of Cardiff University, is entitled Four Nations Impartiality Review Follow-up: An analysis of reporting devolution (pdf can be downloaded here).

The study analysed an extensive sample of television, radio and online news across BBC and other major UK broadcast news outlets, and found significant improvements in the BBC's coverage of devolved issues in line with changes to editorial guidelines in the wake of the 2008 report. As a result of the findings of the current study, further changes have been made to the news production and editorial processes of BBC News and Current Affairs with regard to coverage of devolution. For more information, follow this link:

Prof White elected Fellow of the British Academy

Stephen White, James Bryce Professor of Politics, was elected a Fellow of the British Academy at its annual general meeting on 22 July. Election to the Academy, founded in 1902, is usually regarded as the highest distinction that is available in the UK in the humanities and social sciences.  Prof White is delighted about this great honour which, in his own words, is 'the ultimate aspiration of every serious scholar in the arts and social sciences'.

Maurizio Carbone to hold the Jean Monnet Chair

Dr. Maurizio Carbone has been selected by the European Commission to hold the Jean Monnet Chair for his project on “European Integration and the EU’s Relations with the Developing World”. The principal aim of this project (€ 43.859 over three years) is to expand knowledge on the relations between the European Union and the developing world. In doing this,   it will contribute firstly to debates on European integration and the role that the EU seeks to play in the international arena and secondly to analyses on how to make foreign aid work better and to promote better policy coherence for development. To complement teaching activities, a workshop, an international conference and a lecture series will be organised. The intention is to bring together the academic and practitioner communities, by involving leading researchers   and senior officials in development agencies and non-state actors in several EU Member States and European institutions. Moreover, it aims to bridge the academic divide between political scientists, lawyers and economists. This project, it is hoped, will result in a research book with a world leading publisher, two edited volumes, and a number of papers for academic journals and development magazines. A website will also be created to support teaching worldwide and stimulate further debate. 

Workshop – Just War Tradition: A State of the Art

Cian O'Driscoll, together with Anthony F. Lang (St Andrews), and John Williams (Durham), will convene an international workshop on: Just War Tradition: A State of the Art. The workshop will take place on August 26-7, 2010, in Washington DC and is funded by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). The roster comprises a host of prominent figures from the disciplines of International Relations, Political Theory, Military Ethics, Religious Ethics, and Theology. Among the participants are: Nigel Biggar, Joseph Boyle, Chris Brown, Martin L. Cook, Neta C. Crawford, Michael Gross, John Kelsay, Tarik Kochi, Albert C. Pierce, Greg Reichberg, Nick Rengger, Henry Shue, Laura Sjoberg, Brent Steele, James Turner Johnson, Nahed Zehr and the organisers, Anthony F. Lang and Cian O’Driscoll. Follow this link to see the workshop's programme.

New ESRC grant: The Internet and Everyday Rights

Sarah Oates and Vikki Turbine were awarded an ESRC grant for a project entitled 'The Internet and everyday rights'. This two-year project analyses whether the internet can champion the causes of citizens in non-democratic states. While there is much speculation that the internet can provide critical social capital when there is a democratic deficit, there is relatively little empirical work on the interplay between online and off-line social protest and action. This project will study the role of the internet in political life in Russia through an analysis of how people seek to fulfil their 'everyday' human rights in gaining access to social services such as pensions and health care.

The study uses five central elements to study the role of the internet in these efforts: content, community, catalyst, control and co-optation. The project will analyse internet content against a background of key factors, including the nature and behaviour of online users (community), how the internet activity is sparked by real-world events such as protests or funding cuts (catalysts), how the government attempts to regulate the internet (control); and - more pessimistically - how political elites may attempt to hijack the influence of populist bloggers or websites once they have become influential (co-optation). The project looks at both national movements and local movements based in Ulyanovsk. The grant includes funds for coding of web content as well as fieldwork to interview activists about their online behaviour (Moscow and Ulyanovsk).

New appointments

The Department is delighted to welcome two new members of staff, Dr Naomi Head and Dr David Jason Karp ,who will join us in September..

David Jason Karp received his PhD in 2010 from the Department of Political Science at University College London. Before joining Glasgow, he was a Teaching Fellow in International Relations at the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy, SOAS, University of London. His current research interests include: business and human rights, responsibility and authority in international theory, non-state actors in global politics, global governance, and the ethics of international law.    

Naomi Head is currently completing an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of International Politics at Aberystwyth University. Prior to arriving at Aberystwyth, Naomi completed her PhD at the University of Leeds in 2007 and was subsequently appointed a temporary lecturer at Leeds in the School of Politics and International Studies. Her publications include 'Critical Theory and its Practices: Habermas, Kosovo and International Relations', Politics, 28 (3), 2008, ‘Bringing Reflective Judgement into International Relations: Exploring the Rwandan Genocide’, Journal of Global Ethics, 6(2), 2010 (forthcoming), and Ralph, J., Head, N. and Lightfoot, S. 'Pol-casting: The use of Podcasting in the teaching and learning of Politics and International Relations', European Political Science, 9(1), 2010. Her research interests include communicative ethics, humanitarian intervention, international relations theory, Habermas and critical theory.


Senia Febrica, PhD student, publishes journal article

, PhD student at the Department of Politics, has published an article entitled ‘Securitizing Terrorism in Southeast Asia’ in the Asian Survey Journal (50, 3, pp. 569-590). The article explains the variable success after the September 11, 2001, attacks of the securitization of terrorism in two ASEAN member states, Singapore and Indonesia. It argues that differences in the nature of the domestic audience explain the divergence of securitization policy responses.

Senia is only in the first year of her PhD, so this is a remarkable achievement. Her doctoral thesis focuses on Southeast Asian regionalism and maritime security and will compare the implication of antiterrorism initiatives on the maritime supply chain in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. To read the journal article, please click on this link.

Conference: Law and the Formation of Modern Europe

Jointly with Mikael Rask Madsen, Chris Thornhill is organizing a major international conference at the University of Copenhagen in December 2010. The title of the conference, funded by EURECO, is: Law and the Formation of Modern Europe


Luxury: A Dialectic of Desire?

Professor Chris Berry will deliver the keynote lecture "Luxury: A Dialectic of Desire?" at a multi-disciplinary Conference in the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in June 2010. The conference, entitled "In Pursuit of Luxury", presents an innovative approach to the debate around the concepts of luxury and provides a refreshing context to construe the familiar debates surrounding the subject. For more information follow the link to the conference’s website.

Conference: The International Crisis and the Post-Soviet States

The conference will seek to examine the implications of the financial crisis that began in late 2008 for the post-Soviet states, particularly Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova, and will also take account of the wider international context. It is expected that the papers, suitably revised and subject to evaluation, will appear in early 2011 as a special (double) issue of the Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics.

The conference takes place with the financial support of Lorton House, which sponsors the Journal, and of the Glasgow-led Centre for Russian, Central and East European Studies (CRCEES) as well as the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies (BASEES).

The conference will take place on  13-14 May 2010  in the Adam Smith Research Foundation, 66 Oakfield Avenue. Follow the link for the current version of the programme.


Cian O'Driscoll awarded funding by USIP for international workshop

Cian O'Driscoll together with Anthony F. Lang (St Andrews), and John Williams (Durham) received funding ($54,000) from the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) to host a workshop August 26-7 2010 in Washington DC.  The title of the workshop is 'Just War Tradition: A State of the Art'.  Confirmed participants include: James Turner Johnson, Henry Shue, John Kelsay, Nigel Biggar, Martin Cook, Laura Sjoberg, Gregory Reichberg, Chris Brown, and Neta Crawford, among others.

New book by Chris Thornhill

CT Book Legality and Legitimacy: Normative and Sociological ApproachesA new book on political theory and political sociology, jointly edited by Chris Thornhill and Samantha Ashenden (University of London), is shortly to be published by Nomos publishers. The title of the book is: Legality and Legitimacy: Normative and Sociological Approaches. The book brings together the work of a number of internationally prominent legal theorists, political theorists, sociologists, historians and philosophers, and it focuses on conceptual questions regarding the legitimacy of power in contemporary societies. The primary objective of the book is to propose and elaborate paradigms that traverse conventional disciplinary boundaries, and to combine sociological and normative/deductive patterns of analysis in order both to capture the legitimatory foundations of modern societies and accurately to account for the transformation of the classical foundations of political legitimacy in recent decades. Further information about the book can be found at the following link.

In addition, Chris Thornhill's last monograph: German Political Philosophy: The Metaphysics of Law (London: Routledge, 2007) has recently been translated into Chinese. The translation is published by People's Publishing House, Beijing. A Japanese translation of this book is also forthcoming.

Prof Oates wins British Academy grant to study Russian internet

Sarah Oates, Professor of Political Communication in the Politics Department, has been awarded a British Academy grant for a project entitled “International Potential, National Limits: Investigating the Role of the Russian Internet in Constraining the Social Agenda.” The 18-month project seeks to better understand the dynamics of the online sphere through an analysis of internet content relating to access to state health care in Russia. Through the lens of this specific issue, this project investigates why the internet has thus far significantly failed to challenge the norm of government control and self-censorship in Russia. In a broader way, the project attempts to understand more generally the limitations of the internet in fostering social interest and action on specific issues of concern to citizens. The grant for £6,750 covers travel costs for fieldwork to Russia to interview social activists as well as funds for coding of internet content. The project reflects a growing interest in analyzing the role of the internet in society at the University of Glasgow, with scholars across several disciplines researching issues in information, democracy and technology.


PSA Workshop: ‘Perspectives on the Changing Global Balance of Power’ - 29 March 2010

The journal POLITICS, with financial support from the Political Studies Association and Wiley-Blackwell, organised a one-day workshop on ‘Perspectives on the Changing Global Balance of Power.’

Two decades after the end of the Cold War the global balance of power is characterised in a variety of different ways: ‘unipolar,’ ‘multipolar’, ‘nonpolar.’ While the changing nature of the global balance of power is often noted, it is rarely analysed seriously and never from the perspectives of the key protagonists. This is the first workshop to do so by bringing together leading experts on the key world powers, both established and emerging, to reflect upon how their positions in the global balance of power have changed in the past two decades and how they are likely to develop in the next two. It is particularly appropriate to consider this issue now as the global economic crisis has arguably reinforced the global rebalancing of power.

Leading scholars presented papers on the perspectives of eight established or rising powers -- Brazil, China, the European Union, India, Japan, Russia, South Africa and the United States – and a ‘horizontal’ paper looking at the implications of the changing balance of power for the legitimacy of the institutions of global governance. The confirmed participants included: Shaun Breslin (University of Warwick); Hugo Dobson (University of Sheffield); John Dumbrell (Durham University); Eduard Jordaan (Singapore Management University); Paulo Sotero (Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars); Andrei Tsygankov (San Francisco State University) ; Christian Wagner (SWP – German Institute for International and Security Affairs) Richard Whitman (University of Bath); and Michael Zürn (WZB – Social Science Research Centre Berlin).

The proceedings of the workshop will be published as a special issue of the UK’s Political Studies Association journal POLITICS in December 2010. The workshop is part of the Political Studies Association’s 60th anniversary celebrations.

New book by Mo Hume

Mo book coverDr Mo Hume's new book, The Politics of Violence: Gender, Conflict and Community in El Salvador,  has been recently published by Wiley-Blackwell. The book develops an interdisciplinary feminist perspective grounded in original ethnographic research on everyday forms of violence in El Salvador. It challenges dominant theories of violence through foregrounding subaltern vocabularies that have been historically ignored in debates on violence.

  • Unites a critical analysis of theories of violence with original ethnographic research on its use and broader responses to its different manifestations.
  • Makes an important theoretical contribution to debates on violence, through developing in-depth accounts of the violence of everyday life from a feminist perspective.
  • Examines the vocabularies of violence of those who live with it on an everyday basis, locating these vocabularies in a critical analysis of the relations of domination that have shaped Salvadoran history.

Dr Tsakatika awarded a research grant by the Carnegie Trust

Myrto Tsakatika has been awarded a Carnegie Trust Research Grant (£1420) to conduct research on the European policies of the parties of the Portuguese radical left. This is part of the project ‘The Greek and Portuguese left on European Integration: organization, strategy, ideology’. The aim of the research is to explore how internal organizational factors, national party-political competition and transnational policy transfer impact on the way parties of the European radical left articulate their policy on European Integration, attempting to explain patterns of policy convergence and divergence. The project will start in April 2010.

Symposium on EU-Africa relations

On 11 December 2009, the University of Glasgow hosted an international symposium on ‘EU-Africa relations in the 21st Century’. The aim of the symposium, hosted by the Scottish Jean Monnet Centre of European Excellence and supported by the Office of the European Commission in Scotland, was to analyse the evolution of the relations between the European Union and Africa since the beginning of the 21st century. Papers covered three broad issues: political affairs, economic development, and social issues. Follow this link for draft of the programme

Dr Lundberg advising parliamentarians on electoral systems

Dr Tom Lundberg was invited last November to be an expert witness before the Joint Committee on the Constitution at the Houses of the Oireachtas (the Irish Parliament) in Dublin. He presented the paper ‘An Alternative to STV? MMP and the Constituency Role of Representatives’ and answered questions before the parliamentary committee charged with investigating aspects of Ireland’s electoral system, the single transferable vote (STV) and possible alternatives, including the mixed-member proportional (MMP) system, which is used to elect the Scottish Parliament. For more information, follow this link. Dr Lundberg was invited by members of the Scottish Parliament (who included the Presiding Officer, Alex Fergusson) in October to compare the Scottish and New Zealand versions of MMP. The Scottish parliamentarians were attending a Commonwealth Parliamentary Association meeting in New Zealand.

Assembly of States Parties of the International Criminal Court

Dr. Kurt Mills was an accredited non-governmental delegate to the Assembly of States Parties of the International Criminal Court in The Hague during November 2009. The Assembly is comprised of all state members of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and meets every year to discuss policy and the functioning of the ICC. As a delegate, Dr. Mills attended a variety of meetings involving states and nongovernmental/civil society organisations from around the world and attended the opening of the second trial conducted by the ICC. This visit was part of a broader research project Dr. Mills is engaged in entitled 'The Responsibility to Protect, To Prosecute and to Feed', which looks at how the international community responds to mass atrocities and associated humanitarian crises in Africa. The project, which is funded by the British Academy, also entails visits to the United Nations in New York and and the African Union in Addis Ababa.

The Greatest Scot

Prof. Chris Berry appeared in the TV programme 'The Greatest Scot' in which he championed the case for Adam Smith to be the recipient of that accolade. The programme was shown on Friday 13 November in Scottish Television (STV) and can be watched again by following this link

Prof. Chris Berry invited to China

Prof. Chris Berry was a keynote speaker at a conference being held in Shanghai to mark the Chinese translation of Adam Smith's "Theory of Moral Sentiments". Professor Chris Berry delivered his lecture on the theme of Adam Smith's ‘Moral Economy’ and answered questions ember in the Institute for Advanced Study in Social Science at Fudan University. Earlier, Professor Berry lectured on "Theory of Moral Sentiments" at Fudan University at the launch of the first ever Chinese translation of one of Adam Smith’s key works. Both lectures will be translated and published. As an accompaniment to the lectures, the University of Glasgow has produced a short webclip on the life and work of Adam Smith. Professor Berry describes the making of the man, the global significance of his writing and explains why Smith's work still resonates with us today. ‘Adam Smith in 10 minutes’ can be accessed here: You can also follow this link for more information about the lectures.


"The religious preferences of Members of the European Parliament" (RPMEP)

Martin Steven has been asked to join a European research project: "The religious preferences of Members of the European Parliament" (RPMEP).  The project will focus on whether or not European elites are more secularised than the average citizens, the effects of religion in the political socialisation of MEPs (trans-party structures, religious lobbies), as well as the influence of the European Parliament on religion.  The lead researcher is François Foret (Université libre de Bruxelles) and Martin will be in charge of the British data set.  An international conference is planned to take place in Brussels in 2011, along with a collaborative publication.  The research team involves members of RECON (Reconstituting Democracy in Europe), a European network funded by the important European Commission Sixth Framework Programme which supports the activities of the European Research Area (ERA):

Koen Bartels wins Sage 'Public Policy and Administration' Prize

Koen Bartels, PhD student at the Department, won the prestigious Sage 'Public Policy and Administration' Prize for the best conference paper by an early career researcher. The title of the paper, which was presented at the 40th Annual Conference of the Joint University Council Public Administration Committee, is entitled 'The Practices of Modern Public Encounters. An Analytical Framework for Studying Interactions between Public Professionals and Citizens in Community Participation'. Follow the link to download the paper.

Prof. Girvin has been awarded an AHRC research leave grant

Professor Brian Girvin has been awarded £33, 758.00 by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)  under its research leave scheme. This provides for a period leave to complete a substantial piece of work. Brian’s intention is to complete a book length manuscript entitled De Valera’s Legacy and the Birth of the Celtic Tiger: Ireland 1945-1989. The aim of the work is to provide a new and revisionist study of Ireland since 1945 which challenges a number of current interpretations in the discipline. Brian’s approach will be to integrate historical and social science methodologies to investigate a series of questions including the nature of change in traditional societies, the impact of European Integration on Ireland and the role of religion in political culture.

The period of leave begins on 1st September 2009 and continues for eight months. Brian will also be an International Visiting Fellow in Dublin City University during September and October. While in Dublin he will complete research work on the project, carry out interviews and write draft chapters for the book.


Prof Berry meets with the Scottish Secretary, Rt. Hon. Jim Murphy MP

Chris Berry, Professor of Political Theory, met with the Scottish Secretary, Rt. Hon. Jim Murphy MP. He was invited to discuss how the ideas and attitudes of the Enlightenment were carried to Europe and beyond by the Scottish Diaspora and how this presents itself in the world today.

Dr Lundberg awarded a research grant by the Carnegie Trust

Tom Lundberg has been awarded a research grant of £1710 from the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland for his project entitled New Zealand, New Politics, and Mixed-Member Proportional Representation: Lessons for Scotland?. The project examines how New Zealand (NZ) politicians have adapted to the new politics facilitated by the Mixed-Member Proportional (MMP) electoral system after about a decade of its use in both NZ and in post-devolution Scotland. Politicians and others involved in the transition to MMP will be interviewed to assess adaptation, in the context of a longstanding Westminster political culture, to the challenges of sharing power, as well as representative roles resulting from a system electing representatives on both a constituency and party list basis. Research will also compare NZ results to those of a Scottish case study.

New ESRC grant awarded to Prof. White

The Putin Succession, ESRC, about £140,000, from 2009 to 2012

Prof. Stephen White writes: ‘This is an award that will allow me to continue the work on the Russian political elite that I have been conducting with my long-term collaborator, Olga Kryshtanovskaya of the Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Among other things, we will be concerned with the degree of change in the composition of the elite since Dmitri Medvedev’s accession to the presidency, and (for instance) whether the powerful ‘silovik’ defence-security contingent has retained its influence. The grant will fund Olga herself on a part-time basis, and two Moscow-based research assistants, and will also cover an extensive programme of elite interviewing. We hope to present some of our early conclusions in a paper that has been commissioned by the US journal Post-Soviet Affairs, and a panel that has been included in the 8th International Congress of Central and East European Studies in Stockholm next summer.’


Dr Lundberg and the EU Profiler

Not sure which party to vote for in the upcoming European Parliament elections? Then visit the EU Profiler:

Lecturer Dr Thomas Lundberg was part of the UK team doing party position coding for the EU Profiler, the first Europe-wide voting advice application. It went live recently, in advance of the European Parliament elections that will take place in June, and has already been visited more than a million times. The EU Profiler is an online election aid that enables voters to discover which party most closely reflects their political preferences. It works by asking voters to evaluate a number of political statements that cover a range of issues. On the basis of their answers, voters are positioned in a ‘political space’ and are able to explore which party in their own country is closest to them in that space. Voters can also compare their position to that of parties throughout Europe.

The EU Profiler covers 34 countries and regions across Europe. The UK team was led by Dr Elisabeth Carter (Keele University) and included Dr Lundberg and Dr Gemma Loomes (University of Birmingham). The EU Profiler is directed by colleagues at the European University Institute.

Professor Duckett presented at the University of Oxford at a colloquium organised with the World Bank

Professor Jane Duckett gave a presentation on 16 May at a University of Oxford colloquium on ‘Building and Harmonious Society in China: Reducing Poverty and Improving Public Services’. The colloquium was organised by the University of Oxford China Centre & Contemporary China Studies Programme in conjunction with the World Bank. It examined the current policy challenges that China faces in reducing poverty and inequality and improving rural public service provision and focussed on in-depth analytical work completed for two recent World Bank reports China: Public Services for the New Socialist Countryside (2008) and From Poor Areas to Poor People: China’s Evolving Poverty Reduction Agenda (2009). The colloquium brought together leading scholars internationally who work on poverty, inequality and public services in China, including Vivienne Shue, Christine Wong and Albert Park (all at Oxford), Wang Sanggui (Renmin), Sarah Cook (IDS), and David Dollar (World Bank). Jane’s presentation, on the 2008 report, was titled ‘New Public Services: Context and Motivation’.


Dr Martin Steven wins Prize

Dr Martin Steven has been awarded the POLITICS journal prize for the best article from the 2008 volume of the journal for his "Secessionist Politics and Religious Conservatism: The Scottish National Party and Faith-Based Interests" (POLITICS  28/3, pp. 188-196). The verdict of the judges was that the article “provided a clear, provocative and engaging account of the role of religion in Scotland's devolved politics that linked to wider debates on political opportunity structures and religion in politics”.

The article draws on Dr Steven’s research in the field of comparative political behaviour, and specifically his project analysing the role of religion in electoral and party politics.  He has recently been invited to present his findings at the international conference on ‘Religion and Democratisations’ at London Metropolitan University, 17th-18th April - the proceedings from which will be published in a special issue of the journal, Democratization, while his book, Christianity and Party Politics, will be published by Routledge in 2010.

Dr Steven received the prize at the 59th Political Studies Association Annual Conference held in Manchester (UK).

Smith in Glasgow '09

The conference Smith in Glasgow '09 marked the 250th anniversary of the publication of Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments. The conference, which took place over three days, saw experts examine and discuss the ideas and legacy of Smith, one of Scotland’s most famous sons and the man hailed as the ‘father of modern economics’, across four different themes:

  • Smith, Scotland and the Enlightenment
  • Smith and Culture, Literature and the Arts
  • Smith and Philosophy
  • Smith and the Social Sciences

Keynote speakers included Dr Nicholas Phillipson (University of Edinburgh), Professor James Chandler (University of Chicago), Professor Tom Campbell (CAPPE & Charles Sturt University) and nobel-prize winner, Professor Amartya Sen (Harvard University).

Follow the link for detailed information about Smith in Glasgow ‘09.

Professor Jane Duckett awarded a research grant by the Carnegie Trust

Professor Jane Duckett , together with Professor Ian Taylor and Dr Marc Lanteigne from the University of St Andrews, were awarded a Carnegie Trust Research Grant (£27,000, 2009-11) to work on ‘Chinese Special Economic Zones in Africa as Catalysts for Development’. The project will start in September 2009.

Cian O'Driscoll elected to Snell Visitorship at Balliol College, Oxford

We are delighted to announce that Cian O'Driscoll has been elected as the University's visitor to Balliol College, Oxford, in the Trinity Term of 2009-10. The University has close links with Balliol through the Snell awards (at both staff and student levels), and in terms of scholars of Politics in particular, there is a long and distinguished history of sending visitors and students to Balliol, including Adam Smith in the eighteenth century. Cian will conduct research on 'Just War Theory' whilst at Balliol and will be able to draw upon Balliol's (and Oxford's) great resources in this area.

Barry O'Toole elected Academician of the Social Sciences

The Academy of Social Sciences, the representative body of the Learned Societies for the Social Sciences in the United Kingdom, has elected Barry O'Toole to be an Academician of the Social Sciences. Most learned societies belong to the Academy, which itself is a learned society and which promotes the social sciences in a wide variety of ways, for example by publishing a major international journal, organising and funding conferences, representing the interests of the social sciences on national and international bodies, and making representations to government and other public bodies about the social sciences. It also recognises the achievements and contribution of distinguished scholars by conferring the title Academician upon them, and Barry is delighted by this great honour. Details of the Academy can be found at

New ESRC award to Prof. White: 'crafting electoral authoritarianism: the Russian case’

A new award of nearly £260k has been made by the ESRC to Professor Stephen White to enable him to work on ‘crafting electoral authoritarianism: the Russian case’. The focus will be on the changes in Russian electoral legislation that took place between 2005 and 2007, particularly the elimination of single-member districts; the raising of the minimum threshold from 5 to 7 per cent; the elimination of the ‘against all’ ballot option; and the elimination of the minimum turnout requirement. The project will draw heavily on a programme of interviews with deputies, party leaders, officials within the presidential administration and the Central Electoral Commission, and the expert community (particularly the several institutes that study the electoral process), conducted in association with the director of the department of elite studies at the Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Glasgow visiting professor, Olga Kryshtanovskaya. There will also be a quantitative (survey) dimension, in which the project will also draw on the expertise of Professor Ian McAllister of the Australian National University. The project falls within the wider remit of Professor White’s Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship on 'managed democracy', and is part of an ongoing programme of work on regime-society relations in postcommunist Europe, including Belarus and Ukraine as well as Russia. The new award is for three years from October 2008.

New book by Myrto Tsakatika

Myrtos book coverMyrto Tsakatika’s book entitled Political Responsibility and the European Union has just been published by Manchester University Press. The monograph addresses the question of political legitimacy in the European Union from the much neglected angle of political responsibility. It develops an original communitarian approach to legitimacy based on Alasdair MacIntyre’s ethics of virtues and practices, that can be contrasted with prevalent liberal-egalitarian and neo-republican approaches. Tsakatika argues that a ‘responsibility deficit’, quite distinct from the often discussed ‘democratic deficit’, can be diagnosed in the European Union. This is documented in chapters that provide in-depth analysis of accountability, transparency and the difficulties associated with identifying responsibility in European governance. Closing this gap requires going beyond institutional engineering. It calls for gradual convergence towards certain core social and political practices and for the flourishing of the virtues of political responsibility in Europe’s nascent political community. Throughout the book, normative political theory is brought to bear on concrete dilemmas of institutional choice faced by the EU during the recent constitutional debates. Follow this link for more information about Political Responsibility and the European Union

ESRC grant awarded to Dr Alasdair Young

ESRC grant awarded to Dr Alasdair Young

Dr Alasdair Young has been awarded an ESRC grant for three years, starting October 2008, to undertake a large-scale research project on ‘Causes of Compliance: The EU and the WTO’.

International cooperation has become increasingly institutionalised. The significance of this development depends largely on whether governments conform to international rules when it is costly to do so. Although there are rival theoretical explanations for compliance, empirical evaluation of these accounts has been limited and has provided little insight into why a government would comply with a specific rule. This project will develop specific expectations for compliance based on the rival theoretical explanations: neo-realism (emphasising relative power); rational choice institutionalism (emphasising costs associated with others being encouraged to not comply or being unwilling to cooperate in the future) and constructivism (emphasising appropriate behaviour). It will test them with respect to the European Union’s compliance with World Trade Organisation rules. The project will combine a statistical analysis of the EU's compliance with WTO judgements; paired case studies of the politics of EU policy-making before and after EU rules were found incompatible with WTO disciplines; and a survey of EU-level associations to identify environmental or public-health proposals that were not adopted because of concerns about WTO compatibility. This project will thus analyse the political dynamics of compliance with international rules and explore the impact of international rules on EU policy-making.

The total value of the award £142,348.22


JSCM Annual Review, co-edited by Dr Young, has been published

JSCM Annual Review, co-edited by Dr Young, has been published

JCMS Annual Review of the European Union for 2007 coverThe Annual Review of the European Union 2007, edited by Alasdair Young (Glasgow) and Ulrich Sedelmeier (LSE) has just been published. The Review, produced in association with JCMS (The Journal of Common Market Studies), covers the key developments in the European Union, its member states, and acceding and/or applicant countries in 2007. It contains key analytical articles on political, economic and legal issues in the EU by leading experts, together with a keynote article on Russia-EU relations by Margot Light and a review article on comparative regionalism by Alberta Sbragia.

The Review is the most up-to-date and authoritative source of information for those engaged in teaching and research or who are simply interested in the European Union.

JCER special issue edited by one of our PhD students

JCER special issue edited by one of our PhD students

JCER cover special issue (Anker) Anke Schmidt-Felzmann has guest edited a special issue of the Journal of Contemporary European Research (JCER). Entitled Energy Supply in the 'New Europe': Critical Perspectives on the European Union's External Energy Policy, the issue is made up of a selection of four research articles (including one by Valentina Feklyunina, also PhD student in the Department) and a guest commentary, each of which address a key aspect of the dilemmas EU policy-makers are facing in the development of a common external energy policy. In addition, it also provides reviews of three recent contributions to the literature on energy security.

The special issue is the outcome of a workshop organised by two of our PhD students (Valentina Feklyunina and Anke Schmidt-Felzmann), entitled "Security of Energy Supply in the New Europe - A Challenge for the European Neighbourhood Policy?". The workshop was held at the University of Glasgow in September 2007 and was sponsored by the Department of Politics and the Faculty of Law, Business and Social Sciences as well as UACES, the Scottish Jean Monnet Centre, and the Centre for Russian, Central and East European Studies (CRCEES).

Follow this link to download the editorial. To access the articles readers will have to register with the JCER at its website. Registration is free.

Two new Berlin volumes edited by Prof. White

Two new Berlin volumes edited by Prof. White

Media, Cult & Society in Russia book coverA whole series of edited volumes have stemmed from the Berlin Congress of the International Council for Central and East European Studies that took place in 2005. Two new volumes have just appeared under the editorship of Stephen White, who is a previous General Editor of the entire proceedings.

The first, Media, Culture and Society in Putin's Russia (Palgrave, 2008), focuses on relations between government and the wider society with particular reference to civil society – if such a term is useful in the Russian context – and the mass media. But there are also contributions on the nature of Russian capitalism, on recent ‘blokbastery’, and the advance of drug abuse and HIV/AIDS. Follow the link for more information about Media, Culture and Society in Putin's Russia.

White ed book cover II The second volume, Politics and the Ruling Group in Putin's Russia (Palgrave, 2008), focuses more directly on the regime itself. How do we label it, for instance? How strong is its presidential system, in comparative perspective? How powerful are the ‘siloviki’ that have their roots in the armed services and state security? How powerful is business, and how is it perceived by ordinary people? Both volumes include other contributors from elsewhere in the University, but for the most part they draw on the research of an international group of scholars including several from the region itself. Entering an era that will evidently continue to be ‘Putinist’, the questions they ask are as topical as when they were originally conceived. Fllow the link for more information about Politics and the Ruling Group in Putin's Russia.

New book by Cian O'Driscoll

New book by Cian O'Driscoll

Cian's book pic Cian O'Driscoll's new book has just been published by Palgrave (USA). Entitled The Renegotiation of the Just War Tradition and the Right to War in the Twenty-First Century, it examines the manner by which the just war tradition has been invoked, engaged, and developed in the context of the war on terror. It pays particular attention to the questions of anticipatory war, humanitarian intervention, and punitive war, and looks to compare current thinking on these issues to classical ideas about when and how war might be justified.  In doing so, it draws our attention to the renegotiation of the right to war that is taking place in the post-9/11 world, while also illuminating the stories of change, continuity, and contestation that underpin the ongoing development of the just war tradition. Follow the link for more information.  

Prof. White has been awarded a new research grant

Prof. White has been awarded a new research grant

Prof. Stephen White, the recipient of a major to examine the Russian political sphere, has been awarded a joint Economic and Social Research Council/Australian Research Council Grant on ‘Crafting Authoritarian Politics’. Working with Prof. Ian McAllister at the Australian National University, Prof. White will oversee a three-year project that includes a large public opinion survey on governance in Russia, focus groups and interviews of political elites.

Prof. White and colleagues in the department have carried out extensive work on governance, public opinion, elections and campaigns in transitional societies (including Russia, China, Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus). This work has included several grant projects funded by the ESRC and the Leverhulme Trust. The department and university have a long tradition of research strength in this area, including post-graduate taught courses, PhD study, a world-class library collection and editorship of the prestigious journal, Europe-Asia Studies. The Leverhulme Trust fellowship in the Politics Department focuses on these questions, and includes Prof. Jane Duckett, Prof. Bill Miller and Dr Sarah Oates as well as the postgraduates who share their research interests.  

Prof. Barry O'Toole elected Fellow of the Royal Historical Society

Prof. Barry O'Toole elected Fellow of the Royal Historical Society

Barry O'Toole has been elected to a Fellowship of the Royal Historical Society. Founded in 1868, the Society is the foremost society in Great Britain promoting the study of the past. Fellowship is bestowed on those who have made an original contribution to historical scholarship in the form of significant published work. Barry has an established reputation in the study of administrative history, based on his books, Private Gain and Public Service (Routledge 1989) and The Ideal of Public Service (Routledge 2006), and on numerous articles in important international journals.

Prof. White has been awarded a Major Research Fellowship by the Leverhulme Foundation

Prof. White has been awarded a Major Research Fellowship by the Leverhulme Foundation

Stephen White has been awarded a Major Research Fellowship by the Leverhulme Foundation, for three years from October 2008, which has allowed the appointment of a replacement lecturer in order to free him to undertake a large-scale research project on ‘Managed Democracy’.

As is widely recognized, the end of communist rule has not simply seen a ‘transition to democracy’ but in much of the region to a different and distinctive type of regime that has been called ‘managed democracy’. Elections take place, but disproportionately advantage the incumbents; political parties and other countervailing institutions are weak; and power is disproportionately concentrated in a superpresidency. The Fellowship is intended to enable Professor White to undertake an extended analysis of this novel type of regime with particular reference to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, using qualitative as well as quantitative evidence and emphasizing issues of broader comparative significance such as falling turnout, political disengagement and the ‘quality of democracy’.

The total value of the award (FEC) is £682,919.

Smith in Glasgow 2009

Smith in Glasgow 2009

3-day international conference

Tuesday, 31 March - Thursday, 2 April 2009
keynote speakers Dr N Phillipson (University of Edinburgh), Professor J Chandler (University of Chicago), Professor T Campbell (Australian National University), Professor A Sen (Harvard University)
Adam Smith Research Foundation international conference
Lecture Theatre, Sir Charles Wilson Building
Smith in Glasgow 2009 conference - preliminary programme (pdf,35kB)

Call for papers

Dr Kevin Francis appointed as the first Stevenson Fellow

The Stevenson Trust for Citizenship has appointed Dr Kevin Francis as the first ever Stevenson Fellow, a position he will hold for the period from 2009 until 2014.  Kevin has done excellent work for the Trust (with Andrew Lockyer) over the past two or three years in organising the Stevenson Lecture Series and promoting the activities of the Trust, and this honour is a reflection of the high esteem in which he is held by the trustees.  It is a very exciting opportunity for him, and will allow him to continue to play the leading role in developing the Stevenson Lecture Series and promoting the Trust's activities.

New permanent lecturer

New permanent lecturer

Dr Vikki Turbine has been appointed as a permanent Lecturer in the Department from 1 September 2008, though in the first instance she is the replacement for Professor Stephen White, who has been appointed to a three year Leverhulme Senior Fellowship. Vikki, who will be joining the department from Glasgow Caledonian University, is currently working on a book based on her doctoral thesis that explored women’s perceptions of human rights and use of rights based approaches in everyday life, provisionally entitled ‘Accessing human rights and rights-based approaches in contemporary Russia: gender, transition and empowerment’. In addition, she is co-editing a special issue of Europe-Asia Studies exploring location and agency in contemporary Russia. She is also working on a cross-disciplinary research project exploring the development of legal consciousness(s) in contemporary Russia.

Student's paper selected for publication in the Journal of International Affairs

A paper by Arnold Lim, Senior Honour student at the Department, was selected for publication in a special issue of the University of British Colombia's peer reviewed Journal of International Affairs. This was part of an international competition in which the Journal invited undergraduate students to submit articles to the journal for a special issue on global challenges.

The journal’s editorial team selected the article and commented on its “impressive quality and depth of analysis”. The piece, which is entitled 'United States Foreign Policy Since 9/11:  A Neorealist Response to Global Challenges', will be published in April.

Seminar: Human Rights in Colombia


Thursday 8th October - 6.00 to 8.00 pm, University of Glasgow, Adam Smith Building , Room T218 

Public Seminar - Human Rights in Colombia Today: Views from Victims' Movements

The Department of Politics is hosting this public seminar on Colombia, in conjunction with SCIAF.

Date: Thursday, October 8 2009
Time: 18:00 - 20:00
Venue: Adam Smith Building, Room T218
Speakers: Hector Fabio Henao (Director of Caritas Colombia) Sophie Haspeslagh (ABColombia)

Colombia has one of the worst humanitarian and human rights records in the world.  Human rights defenders regularly risk threats, violence and death.  Hector Fabio Henao coordinates a network of offices across Colombia which work to promote peace and reconciliation, defend human rights and aid victims of conflict. They provide food, shelter, and advice to the displaced and give vulnerable communities the support they need to lead normal lives in this situation.

Sophie Haspeslagh works with ABColombia, a group of leading UK and Irish organisations, including SCIAF, with programmes in Colombia. The coalition campaigns against forced displacement and human rights abuses and works to protect human rights defenders.



Call for papers PSA 60th Anniversary Conference, Edinburgh 29 March - 1 April 2010

Title of the Panel: Another Europe is Possible? The Radical Left and the European Union

Convenors: Richard Dunphy (Dundee), Luke March (Edinburgh) and Myrto Tsakatika (Glasgow)

We envisage holding a day-long workshop (comprising up to four panels) on the above topic at the Political Studies Association’s annual conference in Edinburgh on 29 March 2010. Follow the link for further details about the call for papers.

Paper abstracts (circa 250 words) should be e-mailed by 1 October to: Richard Dunphy (, Luke March (, and Myrto Tsakatika (

Public Seminar: ‘Why Human Rights Matter’ - Prof. Allan Miller, 26 October 2009

Professor Alan Miller, Chair Scottish Human Rights Commission
Monday 26 October 2009 at 2pm in T315 ASB
Please contact Mo Hume or Vikki Turbine for more information

Biography of the Speaker
Prof Miller has a combination of experience and expertise in the field of human rights grounded in 25 years involvement with the legal, academic and voluntary communities within Scotland .

He was unanimously elected by the Scottish Parliament as the first Chair of the new Scottish Human Rights Commission which began its work on Dec 10, 2008. A Visiting Professor of Law, specialising in human rights, at the University of Strathclyde  he teaches on the LLM programme and is a member of the Centre for the Study of Human Rights law.. Previously he was Director of McGrigors Rights, an international human rights law consultancy. As part of that role he has assisted public authorities develop best practice in compliance with the Human Rights Act, including at the State Hospital at Carstairs.

A past President of the Glasgow Bar Association he also served between 1985 - 2000  in a voluntary capacity as Chair of the Scottish Council for Civil Liberties and its successor, the Scottish Human Rights Centre.

Prof Miller also brings an international perspective and insight gained from engagement with the UN and other bodies in capacity-building initiatives in around 20 countries around the world. This includes recently working with Iraqi, Sudanese and Palestinian lawyers, as well as being expert adviser to the global Business Leaders Initiative on Human Rights led by Mary Robinson, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. 


Research News 2007

Publishing in Politics: A Guide for New Researchers

This new publication is a very useful resource for postgraduate research students and early career academics. Edited by the Glasgow-based editors of POLITICS, this short guide is intended to provide both general advice and some specific recommendations about how to publish in Politics.  


Glasgow will host a student-organised, UACES-sponsored Workshop on 'The Security of Energy Supply in the New Europe: A Challenge for the EU’s Neighbourhood Policy' (19-20 Sept. 2007).

PSA Conference

The Department's Research students hosted the 2007 Northern PSA Graduate Conference.

The Conference was a great success. There were attendees from all over the UK and several other European countries and more than 30 presentations, all from postgraduate students, on all aspects of politics, political philosophy, and international relations.

Download the PSA conference programme  here.