Department of Social Sciences

  • research-gpes-header_jpg
  • Internationally recognised expertise

    The advice of members of the Centre is sought by a range of national and international bodies. Recent examples include:

    • Professor Barrie Axford was a guest of the Middle Eastern Technical University in Ankara and the Turkish Parliament in May 2014. He spoke to audiences of academics, students and civil servants on the need for global studies and on current trends in global integration.
    • Professor Barrie Axford and Dr Lyudmila Nurse were invited speakers at the 3rd conference on Transatlantic Dialogue: Global Citizenship June 4-6 in Luxembourg. The conference attracted academics and researchers, NGO representatives, including cultural entrepreneurs, national ambassadors to Luxembourg and EU officials.
    • Dr Rico Isaacs gave the following invited papers:
      • Film, Nation-Building, and National Identity in Kazakhstan, Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Internationales, Sciences Po, Paris, France, 27 June 2014.
      • Mechanisms of Charismatic Routinzation: Regime instability, legislatures and political parties in Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, Cambridge Central Asia Forum, Cambridge University, 10 February 2014.
      • Beyond Neopatrimonialism: re-assessing the formal and informal in the study of Central Asian politics, Russian and East European Studies Centre, St. Anthony’s College, Oxford University, 25 November 2013.
    • Dr Michael Lister’s research (with Dr Lee Jarvis of Swansea University) was cited in a recent House of Lords debate. In a debate about the ramifications of the situation in Syria and Iraq on February 27th 2014, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon cited our research about the negative impacts of anti-terrorism policy on citizenship, suggesting that it should caution against further expansion of such measures and that our research should be taken seriously by government.
      The full Hansard extract reads:

      Professor Michael Lister and Professor Lee Jarvis from Oxford Brookes University and Swansea University wrote a paper based upon empirical data from a series of UK-based focus groups. It was on the impact of anti-terrorism measures on citizenship in the UK. They found that people felt that anti-terrorism measures eroded rights, freedoms and liberties and went against the whole point of living in a democracy. If you remove the freedom of individuals, it restricts the democracy we live in. The Government should take on board a wide range of expert opinions, not a few select or cherry-picked voices.

    • Professor Tina Miller was awarded a British Academy Mid-Career 12 month Fellowship to undertake research on Managing modern family lives: public understandings and everyday practises of caring and paid work. Read more about the Contemporary Family Lives project and the ONEFaR website.
    • Dr Mikael Nygard, of Abo Akademi University in Finland will take up a Visiting Fellowship in the Centre for Global Politics, Economics and Society (GPES), from 31 January for three months. He is a Lecturer in Political Science with research expertise in comparative social policies, and his interest in Nordic models of welfare capitalism are cognate with those of Dr Mikko Kuisma who is a member of GPES. More details on Mikael’s research and publications can be found at:
    • Professor Tina Miller has been invited to speak at an event taking place as part of the Labour Party’s Policy Review. The party is organising events focusing on key issues in Labour’s politics. Tina has been invited to talk at a seminar to be held in the Houses of parliament on the theme of Fatherhood and Family Life. The seminar will take place on Monday 11 February 4:30–6pm.
    • Dr Sarah Whitmore took part in a Foreign and Commonwealth Office briefing to the new ambassador to Ukraine, Simon Smith, on 19 June 2012. Sarah gave a presentation on the shifting political landscape in Ukraine, in particular the attempts at regime consolidation by President Yanukovych and the emerging context for the forthcoming parliamentary elections, opening a discussion on these themes. She also took part in debates on a range of domestic and international issues pertaining to Ukraine.
    • Professor Barrie Axford has been appointed as an international adviser to the Italian Ministry of Education’s National Research Assessment Exercise for 2012, in the fields of Political and Social Sciences. The exercise is being carried out by the National Agency for the Evaluation of Universities and Research Institutes (ANVUR) regulated by the Presidential Decree n. 76. ANVUR and its derivative Expert Panel (GEV 14) will evaluate approximately 4,500 published scientific outputs in the designated fields.
    • Dr Mikko Kuisma published an editorial in Helsingin Sanomat, the most widely read broadsheet newspaper in the Nordic region. The article appeared on June 6. In the article, based on his research on citizenship, Mikko looks at the challenges posed by emigration to traditional representative democracy. The EU guarantees increased human mobility to its citizens but in the process their political participation becomes problematic, as without national citizenship they do not have voting rights in the destination country but also increasingly limited access to the political system in their home countries. Italy introduced a law in 2001 and France adopted a similar one in this year's parliamentary elections for establishing constituencies for their citizens abroad in order to tackle this issue. In the opinion editorial Mikko makes the case for this principle being introduced to other European countries and especially Finland that struggles with very low political participation rates among its expatriate community. A comparatively high proportion of voting age Finnish citizens, around five percent, live outside of Finland.
      For the Finnish language version of the article, go to
    • Professor Tina Miller was appointed earlier this year to a panel convened by the Rt Hon David Lammy MP to advise the Labour party on its policy in relation to men, fatherhood and family lives. Following a number of meetings of the panel, Tina is now contributing to the groups report, specifically outlining the social and political changes which make this an opportune moment in which to (re) assess policy in this area. The final report is to be submitted to Ed Miliband ahead of the Labour party conference (Autumn 2012).
    • Professor Tina Miller has recently been appointed as a Trustee to the Fatherhood Institute, a think tank and lobbying group which uses evidence-based research to support and promote father involvement in family life. Tina's research expertise in the area and her ability to advise the Institute on research and evidence led to her invitation to join the board of Trustees who meet six times a year in London.
    • Dr Lucy Ford has been appointed as Research fellow at the Schumacher Institute. The research objective for the Institute is to discover what it means to make our complex systems sustainable in the long term and in harmony with the natural world. It examines, assesses and experiments with ways to change human activity towards this difficult and all-encompassing concept with the simple aim of “building enduring and appropriate scale systems where people matter#x201D;.
    • Dr Lucy Ford has been appointed a member of Green House Think Tank. Green House was launched in 2011 to act as a think tank for challenging conventional discourse, policies and politics from a sustainability perspective. Some of its work include the Guardians of the Future report, which argues for a specialist jury of Guardians to protect the interests of future generations. Most recently it has launched the Post-Growth Project, which uses green economic arguments to challenge the mainstream assumptions that economic growth is both necessary and viable.
    • Dr Lucy Ford has been appointed to the Advisory Board on the CONVERGE Project. CONVERGE is an interdisciplinary research project funded by the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme. It recognises that resources are not equally distributed, and that the annual draw-down of many resources exceeds the capacity of the planet to supply them. Converge explores the concept of equity in the light of biological planetary limits – with regards to the various sustainability challenges and positive sustainability initiatives the world is witnessing.