Apr 10 2024

In memory of Cheistha Kochhar (1990–2024)

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Cheistha Kochhar was a first year MRes/ PhD student in Organisational Behaviour in the Department of Management. It is with the deepest sadness that we share the news of her tragic passing on 19 March 2024. During her short time in the department and at LSE, Cheistha left a lasting impact on everyone she encountered.

She is remembered among the PhD community for her fierce intelligence, enduring kindness and bright, positive energy which she brought with her everywhere she went, lighting up every room that she entered. Her dedication to helping and supporting others reverberated not only among her colleagues, but also among the students for whom she was a Teaching Assistant.

With her passing, the department and LSE has lost a brilliant student and a promising scholar. She was known for being way ahead of the game; she was already in the process of consolidating her dissertation structure at such an early stage of her course. Cheistha’s academic prowess was highlighted by her numerous awards and accolades including being named the (2020) Clinton Global Fellow, (2019) Irving B. Harris Scholar, (2012) TATA Scholar and (2012) Dr. Roshan Lal Trust Scholar, amongst others. She was also named the (2013) Young India Fellow by Ashoka University.

Bringing more than a decade of experience as an expert in behavioural policy to LSE, Cheistha had most recently worked as a Senior Advisor to the National Behavioural Insights Unit (BIU) of India, where she built and scaled the first BIU in the Global South, highlighting her capacity for truly transformational work.

Cheistha will be deeply missed by all those at LSE who had the privilege to meet her. If you wish to share a memory of Cheistha from her time at LSE, you can visit her memorial page here.

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Apr 8 2024

In memory of Michael Banks (1936-2024)

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It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Michael Banks on 21 March 2024.

Michael, who was a Reader in International Relations when he retired in 1999, taught in the Department for 38 years. He will be remembered for his engaging, magisterial lectures on IR theory and for his generosity with his time in discussing new ideas with students of all levels. He was also a constant source of advice and support to the student editorial teams at Millennium: Journal of International Studies.

Michael first joined the Department as a student in 1955 on the BSc (Econ) International Relations. After completing his degree in1957, he spent the next four years studying in the States, completing a two year MA in Political Science at Lehigh University, before heading to Boston where he started a doctorate in African Studies on a joint programme run by Harvard, MIT and Brandeis. He returned to the School in 1961, taking up a lectureship in the International Relations Department. Over the course of his academic career Michael also taught at universities in Nairobi, Lusaka, Geneva, Stuttgart and Frankfurt and spent time at USC and Dartmouth College.

Michael was born in 1936 in Hythe, Hampshire, where his father worked as a professional skipper on racing yachts owned by wealthy English industrialists. As a small child, he was briefly evacuated to the Oxfordshire countryside during the Second World War, but returned to the family home in Hythe for the final years of the war. There he observed the build-up to D-Day and witnessed the firebombing of Southampton across the Solent – an event which left a deep impression on him and was the root of his longstanding pacifism. At age 13 he won a place at Brockenhurst Grammar School where he thrived academically, eventually securing a place at LSE.

At LSE, both during his BSc studies and the first years of his academic appointment, Banks was initially mentored by C.A.W Manning. At the time, the Department and its undergraduate degree programme were deeply imbued with an approach to the study of international relations that is now charactersied as the ‘English School’. He fell out with Manning (or Manning with him) in the late 1960s, when Michael started to engage with the so-called ‘behavioural revolution’ in North American IR. This was the start of a characteristic feature of Michael’s academic and educational career – an interest in the theoretically new and cutting edge. This manifested itself in two important inflection points in Michael’s work.

First was his engagement with Thomas Kuhn’s work on the sociology of knowledge, the structure of scientific revolutions and the role of paradigmatic shifts in knowledge structures and ways of knowing. Michael appropriated Kuhn’s core arguments to characterise the state of IR theory in the late 1970s and early 1980s as an incommensurable ‘inter-paradigm debate’ between realist, pluralist and structural accounts of global politics. Informing the core of his lectures for both the core second year course in ‘International Politics’ and in his MSc course in ‘Concepts and Methods of International Relations’, the ‘inter-paradigm debate’ offered a framing of the discipline that shaped a generation of scholars and scholarly debate.

Second was his engagement from the late 1970s onwards with John Burton’s ‘world society’ approach and, in particular, Burton’s then avant-garde arguments for a ‘facilitated analytical problem-solving’ approach to resolving violent conflicts. Along with colleagues such as John Groom, Chris Mitchell, Tony deReuk, Richard Little and Margot Light, Banks was a member of the Centre for the Analysis of Conflict which sought to develop both the theory and practice of what is now widely characterized as ‘second’ or ‘multi-track’ diplomacy in seeking to bring an end to violent conflicts. The exploration and development of these ideas underpinned his edited volume, Conflict in World Society (1984) and Handbook of Conflict Resolution: The Analytical Problem Solving Approach (1996 with Chris Mitchell).

For many, Michael will be remembered for his brilliant and inspiring teaching – both in his lectures (which were delivered with a certain panache and were always packed) and in the seminar room where he encouraged thought provoking open-ended conversation and dialogue. He was a dedicated teacher who cared deeply about not only what students were taught, but also more importantly, how students were taught. He had very strong views on what a university education should entail. He came to abhor what he saw as the neo-liberalisation of higher education in the form of the RAE/REF and the external oversight of teaching quality in the form of the then QAA – though, ironically, his underlying pedagogy would tick many of the contemporary boxes regarding what constitutes an outstanding teaching and learning experience for students.

In his leisure time, Michael had a deep love for sailing (which he got from his father) – regularly engaging in early Sunday morning competitive sailing at the Queen Mary reservoir west of London in all kinds of weather and doing so until his mid-60s. He also had a love for horticulture. In later years, not having a garden of his own, he would vicariously satisfy this interest through visits to stately gardens and gifting friends with small fruit trees, plants, shrubs, gardening tools and books.

During his time at LSE Michael supported and encouraged many young scholars and colleagues who have gone on to become senior figures in the discipline. Many of those individuals and others across the wider IR community will long remember his kindness and generosity in helping them on their professional journeys. He will be greatly missed.

A public memorial event will be arranged with the IR Department for later in the year.

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Jan 15 2024

In Memory of Steen Mangen (1950-2023)

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Photo Steen Mangen at Lake OhridIt is with the deepest sadness that the Department of Social Policy announces the death of Steen Mangen, who passed away suddenly in his home on 10 December 2023. Steen earned his PhD in the Department in 1977 and “re-joined” the Department as a “New Blood Lecturer in European Social Policy” in 1985 – the year European leaders agreed on the Single European Act paving the way for greater economic and political integration. Steen served the School as a member of faculty for 33 years, before retiring in 2018.

Steen was deeply committed to the study of European integration and had, growing up in Stoke-on-Trent as the son of a miner and a factory worker in the local potteries, a long-standing research interest in urban regeneration. At the School, he pioneered the teaching of European Social Policy and established a specialist MSc programme for those with an interest in the social integration of Europe. Steen ran the MSc in European Social Policy with exemplary dedication to his students – many of whom remained in touch with him long after they graduated from the programme.

Among colleagues and students, Steen was known for his extraordinary wit, which brought much laughter to the classroom and the Department’s tea kitchen. He loved the theatre and opera, and had a keen interest in architecture. Only the global pandemic could temporarily “pause” his passion for travel and learning about other countries. Steen was a polyglot who watched daily news programmes in Spanish, French and German. He never lost his active interest in Europe.

Steen’s unexpected death was a great shock, and he will be missed sadly.

Written by Timo Fleckenstein

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Oct 9 2023

In memory of Nick Crafts

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The Department of Economic History is deeply saddened by the death of Professor Nick Crafts, a former Convenor of the Department, and a great friend and colleague. He was generous with his time, and supportive of students and young scholars and, above all, very funny.

Nick was, quite literally, a giant of his field and an inspiration to many. His work with Knick Harley, reinterpreting the British Industrial Revolution remains influential and much discussed.

Nick joined the Department of Economic History at LSE in 1995 and stayed for 10 years before returning to Warwick where he was the founding Director of CAGE.

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Sep 13 2023

In memory of Doris Hermann-Ostrowski

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It is with deep sadness that we are sharing the news that our Language Centre colleague Doris Hermann-Ostrowski passed away unexpectedly on Friday 14 July this year from heart failure at the age of 71.

Doris joined the LSE Language Centre in 2007 and was a highly valued member of the German teaching team. She will be remembered as a very competent and meticulous professional with a passion for teaching who cared deeply about her students. She will be missed by staff and students alike.

Her funeral and cremation took place on 25 August, with family and friends in attendance.

There is a tribute page at https://rodica-dorishermann-ostrowski.muchloved.com/.

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Sep 7 2023

In memory of Christopher Coker

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It is with the greatest sadness and heavy hearts that we announce the death of LSE IDEAS Director, Professor Christopher Coker.

As a Professor of International Relations at LSE for over 40 years, Christopher taught and mentored countless students who remember his unique humour and individuality. Following his retirement in 2019, he continued to serve as the Co-Director of LSE IDEAS, supporting the foundation of the LSE IDEAS Ratiu Forum and establishing many other long-standing partnerships.

Professor Coker was a world-renowned academic who dedicated his life to writing extensively on all aspects of war. He was a twice-serving member of the Council of the Royal United Services Institute, a former NATO Fellow and a regular lecturer at Defence Colleges in the UK, the US, Rome, Singapore, and Tokyo. He was also a Visiting Fellow at the National Institute for Defence Studies in Tokyo, the Rajaratnam School for International Studies Singapore, the Political Science Department at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok and the Norwegian and Swedish Defence Colleges. His publications include Rebooting Clausewitz (Hurst, 2015), Future War (Polity, 2016), and The Rise of the Civilizational State (Polity, 2019). His most recent book was, Why War? (2020).

Co-Director, Professor Chris Alden, commented in memory of Professor Coker, “Christopher’s originality of thought and sparkling intellect shaped a generation of scholars, policymakers and students studying war in our times. All of us at LSE IDEAS were privileged to know and work with him over the years. His presence will be sorely missed.’’

Centre Manager, Dr Emilia Knight, said, “We will miss Professor Christopher Coker immensely. He was a superb colleague and leader at IDEAS, and the kindest person.’’

We would also encourage you to share memories and messages on our dedicated space hereAt this time, we do not have any further information regarding memorial celebrations but as and when these are organised they will be shared here. 

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Aug 3 2023

In memory of Marion Hancock

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An image of Marian HancockWe are very sad to report the recent death of Marion Hancock, who worked at LSE for many years over the last three decades, in various roles across Student Services including in Undergraduate Registry, in Financial Support and in the Student Services Advice and Reception team. She was a key part of the move from Connaught House to the brand new Student Services Centre in 2001, supporting staff and students to settle into the new premises and routines. Her support for LSE students at times of crisis or in difficulty was recognised by so many people across LSE and had many positive outcomes for our students. Her calm and considered advice for staff across the institution was highly valued. Her attention to detail was well known, but this never affected her ability to care.

Marion left LSE a few years ago and was finally able to indulge her life-long passion for gardening in her work in Kent at a local garden centre, after a post in a hospice charity shop. She successfully dealt with pancreatic cancer a couple of years ago and her death in March 2023 at 63 was unexpected.

She is sadly missed by her friends, her family in Wales and by her husband Chris. If anyone would like to pass their condolences to Marion’s family, please contact Patricia Lawrence (p.lawrence@lse.ac.uk).

We send our condolences to Chris and Marion’s family and friends.

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Jul 21 2023

In memory of Nina Keleher

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Smiling photo of LSE's Nina KeleherNina Keleher, Programme Manager for LSE, died at home in Canada surrounded by family on Tuesday 11 July 2023. Nina joined LSE in 2014 as a temporary administrator in the IT Training team in the IT Services Division (now DTS). She quickly became invaluable, not just to the team but the wider Division, and was appointed to a permanent role within the year. When the Digital Skills Lab was formed in 2018, Nina played a central role in ensuring the new unit was well organised and smoothly run, and she used her considerable networking talents to establish strong working relationships across the School. During her period of illness, her absence was keenly felt – not just for her outstanding work and initiative, but in her ability to bring everyone together, making old and new staff feel welcome and valued. Nevertheless, she stayed in touch with her colleagues, continuing to remind us all to enjoy life amidst the pressures and challenges of work. Even in the midst of her health challenges, she remained a supportive colleague and friend, demonstrating incredible bravery, compassion, honesty and openness from the moment of her cancer diagnosis through to the day she died.

Colleagues remember Nina as the heart of the team, a friendly face who was generous, warm and kind to all. Nina was also embedded in the life of the School, serving as a Fire Warden, Safe Contact,  member of several award-winning Green Impact teams, and active member of the IMT Games Club. As befits a member of LSE, Nina never stopped learning, studying alternative medicine, natural skin care, data analysis, Tunisian crochet and more in addition to her work commitments. Her curiosity and engagement with all aspects of the world and life, and especially with people, made her a wonderful friend as well as colleague and many of those who worked with her remember fondly their conversations and shared passions – from RuPaul’s Drag Race to the best restaurants in London, green spaces to vexillology. Nina’s ability to connect with others in a genuine and effortless way reflected both her wide range of interests as well as her skill in listening to and caring for those around her. Those who knew her describe her as honest and forthright, funny, engaging, confident, positive, compassionate, a big and wonderful personality, with a zest for life.

There will be a celebration of Nina’s life on the afternoon of Monday, 11 September – further details will be shared closer to the time. Her friends and colleagues outside of LSE are invited to contact digital.skills.lab@lse.ac.uk in order to be notified of the time and place once confirmed.

A collection for Nina’s nominated charities is available at: https://ninakeleher.muchloved.com/

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Jun 28 2023

In memory of Stéphanie Beltrando

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It is with deep sadness and a heavy heart that we inform you of the death of our colleague and friend, Stéphanie Beltrando. She had been bravely fighting cancer for 8 years.

Stéphanie joined LSE in 2000 and for the next 23 years taught across the range for French language courses at the LSE Language Centre. Before coming to LSE, she studied at the University of Montpellier, The Sorbonne Nouvelle University (Paris), and took a PGCE in French at Greenwich University.

Stéphanie was a valued member of the French team and was Highly Commended again in the 2023 LSE Class Teachers Awards. She was one of the kindest people and will be missed by all.

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Jun 22 2023

In memory of Oscar Delgado-Molero

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We are very sad to announce that Oscar Delgado-Molero passed away suddenly on 15 June 2023.

Oscar had worked at the School since 2015, as Housekeeper at Grosvenor House, High Holborn and Rosebery Hall and most recently as part of the team in the Marshall Building.

Oscar was a loving father to his son Francisco ‘Paco’, they loved playing football together.  He also enjoyed spending time with his family and friends.

He will be missed by one and all.

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