Feb 10 2015

Hezbollah, Islamist Politics, and International Society: NEW BOOK by IR Dept PhD alumnus Filippo Dionigi

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Dionigi_HezbollahIslamism constitutes a new variant of the communitarian challenge to a liberal international order. But is it a viable political project in a world where human rights and international humanitarian principles have become so pervasive?  What are the consequences of the global diffusion of the norms of international society for Islamist groups that (pro)claim a self-referential Muslim identity; attempt to shield their communities from allegedly alien moral conceptions; and assert the exclusive validity of supposedly immutable Islamic principles?

In this book Filippo Dionigi claims that the influence of international norms on Islamist politics goes beyond an instrumental norm-conformist behavior by Islamist actors. International norms instill in the discourse and agency of Islamism conceptions of person and community which facilitate a sense of membership to international society, instead of being its outcasts. By using the case of Lebanon’s Hezbollah, the author illustrates how this Islamist movement has become more cognizant of the cogency of the norms of international society. The result is a precarious but innovative equilibrium in which a political actor redefines its Islamist identity by rethinking the idea of an allegedly “authentic” Islamic morality and the legitimacy of international norms. Continue reading

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Feb 3 2015

US Foreign Policy Conference 2014 – video available

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US Foreign Policy Conference 17-19 September 2014

The International Relations Department, together with IDEAS, co-hosted the US Foreign Policy Conference at LSE on September 17-19 2014. Please click here for the detailed programme.

Across 3 days, the conference brought together scholars of US foreign policy from the UK, Europe, the United States and Canada, along with policymakers and postgraduate students – over 100 participants in all.

The theme of the conference was ‘Global Perspectives’. It reflects the fact that the impact of US foreign policy is felt everywhere and at every level. Deep histories animate American engagements almost everywhere. The United States dominates the settlements of the global economy and defines the terms of international development. It is the state looked to in times of international crisis, and to lead in addressing global challenges. Yet the power and purpose behind US decision-making is the subject of perpetual debate. Critical approaches contrast American values with US actions. And America’s polarised domestic politics betray a profound ambivalence to its international role.

In this short video, speakers from the Conference share their perspective on the changing shape of power in the international system, and the implications for US foreign policy:

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Dec 2 2014

Cumberland Lodge Conference 2014

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Cumberland Lodge

Cumberland Lodge

When it comes to Cumberland Lodge — a former royal residence, a picture just emerges where political elites were secretly whispering about how to formulate a grand strategy. This was what this year’s IR community were going to do at Cumberland Lodge. After fighting their way out of London’s Friday evening traffic, the attendees from the International Relations Department arrived at Cumberland Lodge, embarking for an exciting academic weekend on grand strategy. Continue reading

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Oct 28 2014

New Book by IR Department PhD graduate Dr Kai Monheim

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Monheim_Kai_1The new book on international negotiations by Dr Kai Monheim, a recent PhD graduate from the Department of International Relations, is due out on 5 November and available for pre-order now:

How Effective Negotiation Management Promotes Multilateral Co-operation: The power of process in climate, trade and biosafety negotiations, will be published by Routledge in November 2014.

The book examines the determinants of success or failure at such summits in an effort to formulate the regimes and management processes which drive multilateral negotiations. It uses in-depth empirical analysis gathered at major global summits from South Africa to Mexico and from Doha to Geneva. Continue reading

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Oct 22 2014

Tough trade-offs on the road to Paris: What hopes for a 2015 climate agreement?

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falknerRobert Falkner, Associate Professor of International Relations, has written a blog post for the LSE British Politics and Policy blog:

A close reading of international climate politics points to subtle but important changes in the diplomatic process and the positions of major actors.  However, it looks like differentiation and flexibility in national commitments will be the price to pay for a climate agreement that includes all major emitters.

Read it here.

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Oct 15 2014

NEW BOOK: Cutting the Gordian Knot of Economic Reform

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LBgordianknotA new book Cutting the Gordian Knot of Economic Reform by Leonardo Baccini (of LSE International Relations Department) and Johannes Urpelainen (of Columbia University) is due to be published by Oxford University Press on 23 October 2014. Continue reading

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Sep 30 2014

Workshop: ‘Modernity and International Relations: Can’t Live With It, Can’t Live Without It’

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Workshop supported by the IR Department at LSE and the BISA Working Group on Historical Sociology and IR

Dr George Lawson

Dr George Lawson

George Lawson (g.lawson@lse.ac.uk)
September 2014

This one-day workshop examined the value of the ongoing hold of modernity on the international imagination. In many ways, IR has a peculiar relationship with modernity in that it is in the only social science to see modernity as originating in the 17th century (through the Peace of Westphalia that is regarded as the point of origin for the modern sovereignty regime). For its part, historical sociology as a field of enquiry tends to see modernity as emerging during the 19th century ‘global transformation’. Continue reading

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Aug 27 2014

The Dominique Jacquin-Berdal Travel Grant awarded for 2014

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Dr Dominique Jacquin-Berdal 1966-2006

Dr Dominique Jacquin-Berdal 1966-2006

The Dominique Jacquin-Berdal Travel Grant was established by the International Relations Department at the LSE in memory of Dr Dominique Jacquin-Berdal who was a lecturer in the Department from 1999 until her death in 2006. She taught on nationalism and Africa as well as in the field of international relations theory. Her most well-known publication is Nationalism and Ethnicity in the Horn of Africa published in 2002. Her colleague James Mayall wrote an obituary in The Guardian, plus a longer piece in the IR Department journal Millennium.

The annual grant of £2,500 is intended to support travel and living costs for IR Department students’ research in the fields of Africa, ethnicity and nationalism. The 2014 grant holder is Maddalena Procopio and she gives her reactions, plus details of her project, below. Continue reading

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Aug 7 2014

Global South Doctoral Fieldwork Research Award 2014-15

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The Global South Doctoral Fieldwork Research Award has been established this year in the Department of International Relations at the LSE and is funded by an alumnus of the IR Department as part of a donation funding research on the Global South.

The annual grant of £2,500 is open to 2nd, 3rd and 4th year MPhil/PhD students in the Department of International Relations.  It is intended to support the costs of doing field research in the Global South linked to the student’s doctoral dissertation; and to encourage the student to develop a publishable product based on the fieldwork.

The first recipient of the Global South Doctoral Fieldwork Research Award is Tina Blohm.  She gives her reactions, plus details of her project, below.

Tina Blohm

Tina Blohm

Tina Blohm

I am extremely grateful to receive the Global South Doctoral Fieldwork Research Award 2014-15. Traveling to Afghanistan, I hope to gain a deeper understanding of how various actors on the ground understand their mission and how they define the notion of ‘national ownership’. This award is an immense encouragement to undertake that research.’

Thesis Title: Light Interventionism and National Ownership – The Role of UN Political Missions in Active Conflict

Tina’s research project analyses the role of UN special political missions in active conflict by examining their practices to promote national ownership. Political missions operate through civilian staff. In on-going conflicts such as in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia or Libya, they need to carefully define their role, most importantly vis-a-vis the host government and other international actors.  The research questions whether an emphasis on national ownership is key to negotiating and shaping their position, and how national ownership is interpreted, enacted and perceived.

In 2011, Tina served as a Special Assistant at the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). From 2008 to 2010, she headed the office of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), a German political foundation, in Kabul.

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Jun 24 2014

Pippa Malmgren (MSc International Relations 1986, PhD 1991)

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Pippa MalmgrenThis month, Pippa Malmgren has spoken to Chris Kendrick at LSE for a piece in the alumni magazine LSE Connect.  Pippa received an MSc International Relations 1986 and a PhD in 1991 from the IR Department.  She has an illustrious career as a political economist.  She served as financial market advisor to the President in the White House and on the National Economic Council from 2001-2002. She was a member of the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets and the Working Group on Corporate Governance. She dealt with Enron, Sarbanes Oxley as well the  Anti-Money Laundering provisions of the Patriot Act and had responsibility for terrorism risks to the economy on the NEC after 9/11.

Read the interview here.

Pippa’s website

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