Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Seventh annual International Studies postgraduate day

Monday, 11 June 2012


Members of staff were joined by some of our research students and the cohort from the MA programme in International Studies and the MA in International Law and International Relations. Prospective MA students were also present and they had the chance to meet and discuss the courses with staff and current students.

Guest lecture

China and the South: Implications for the Global Order by Professor Shaun Breslin We were delighted to welcome Professor Shaun Breslin from the University of Warwick. His lecture covered the rise in China’s external relations with the Global South. He sought to highlight the increasingly pluralistic relations that China has with developing countries. In particular he focused on explaining the disjuncture between notions of a Grand Strategy and the role played by independent Chinese actors on the ground. His lecture prompted a thoroughly engaging question and answer session. This included a number of questions on the role of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and how this relates to Chinese foreign relations. The Programme is very grateful to Professor Breslin for his contribution to the day.

Postgraduate panels

After lunch various postgraduate panels took place beginning with presentations by two of our doctoral students: Shane Szarkowski presented a paper based on his doctoral project on state failure entitled Historical Legacies, Identity Constructions, and Security Policy Regarding State Failure: the Afghanistan Case. Samentha Goethals (pictured) gave a paper reflecting on her experiences as a researcher for local NGO (Rights and Accountability in Development) and how the research for her doctoral project poses both similar and specific challenges. This was followed by a number of panels at which MA students gave short presentations on their summer dissertation projects. These covered a range of issues including:
  • From Kyoto to the UN decade on biodiversity: the challenges of environmental law and politics
  • Countering Piracy off Somalia: solutions for a failed state
  • Collective security, selective responsibility: Right to Protect as a legal norm?
  • Ethical consumerism and sustainable development to aid conservation: A case of palm production and devastation