Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

International Relations, Politics and Sociology Programme hosts Tenth Annual Postgraduate Day

Thursday, 06 August 2015

The International Relations, Politics and Sociology Programme held its Tenth Annual Postgraduate Day on 16 June 2015. As in previous years this was another engaging and lively set of discussions. Staff, research students, the current MA International Studies cohort, and prospective MA students, were joined for the very first time by online viewers during a livestream of the morning session. Guest lecture: 'The normal and/or perverse homosexual in international relations: Conchita Wurst and the question of European integration’ by Professor Cynthia Weber. We were extremely privileged to welcome Professor Cynthia Weber (pictured above) from the University of Sussex. Her lecture explored representations of Conchita Wurst, the winner of the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest. Prof. Weber reminded the audience how Eurovision had been initially conceived in the 1950s as a way of promoting European unity. Whilst Wurst’s victory was celebrated by some as an example of respect for diversity, others condemned her performance. This led-in to a fascinating discussion of what Wurst means for both understandings of gender and European integration. The Programme is very grateful to Professor Cynthia Weber for her stimulating contribution to the day.

Postgraduate panels

After lunch our current MA students gave five-minute presentations on their dissertation projects. Two parallel panels allowed students to outline their topics and audience members to ask questions and offer constructive comments. The presentations included such varied topics as:
  • ‘The driving forces of a resurgent aggressive Russian Foreign policy and the implications for global security’
  • ‘Socio-ecological security: transcending dualities within the environmental security literature’
  • ‘Armenia's security dilemma: how growing partnership with NATO affects Armenian foreign policy’
  • ‘To what extent is the UN contributing to a gender-equitable International Development Policy?’
We concluded with presentations by three of our postgraduate research students. Kavi Thakore’s project seeks to explore the possibilities for a cosmopolitan response to the governance of global finance. Kavi plans to explore the current plans between eleven EU member states for a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT). Francesca Morra outlined her project which considers the impact of European asylum policy on the lives of migrant women. Francesca will be exploring this theme by focusing on Italy within the context of the links between asylum policy and the practice of citizenship. Prembahadur Ale then discussed his research, which aims to explore the impacts of China-India relations on the strategic environment of Nepal.