Politics, History and International Relations

News and events

Robert Knight gave a paper at the Institute of Historical Research London

Institute of Historical Research London

On 13 December Robert Knight gave a paper at the Institute of Historical Research London on ‘Demarcating or blurring the lines after National Socialism’.

The paper introduced aspects of Robert's new research project, which he will be pursuing at the Institute of Advanced Studies, University College London from 2018 to 2021.

Phil Parvin appointed Senior Research Associate at Balliol College

Phil Parvin appointed Senior Research Associate at Balliol College, and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Social Justice, Oxford.

Publication: Knights Across The Atlantic By Steven Parfitt

 Knights Across The Atlantic

The book explains the unusual career of an American labour movement, the Knights of Labor, in Britain and Ireland at the end of the nineteenth century. It details the ways in which the Knights contributed to the birth of the British Labour Party and the growth of trade unionism in Britain in the poorest and most deprived parts of the country.

Lazaros Karavasilis publishes PhD research

‘Perceptions of “Populism” and “Anti-populism” in Greek Public Discourse during the Crisis: the case of the website “Anti-news”’, Politik Special Issue on Populism: Critical Reflections of a Global Phenomenon. (2017, vol. 20, Issue 4, pp.58-70)

Catherine Armstrong appointed editor of Publishing History

Catherine Armstrong has been appointed editor of Publishing History. She will be taking  over from Prof. Simon Eliot, on his retirement.

Dr. Jessica Werneke has been awarded a Newton International Research Fellowship

Newton International Research Fellowship

Dr. Jessica Werneke has been awarded a Newton International Research Fellowship to work with Prof. Susan Reid on a project entited 'The Golden Age of Amateurism: Amateur Photography and Photography Clubs in the Soviet Union'. The project explores the intersections between political, social and cultural history through amateur photography and photography clubs in the Russian Federation and the Soviet Republics. 

Jessica was awarded her PhD in 2015 (University of Texas at Austin) and was Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the prestigious NRU Higher School of Economics in Moscow. Her dissertation research explored the re-investigation of 1920s and 1930s modernist aesthetics in photojournalism in the USSR. 

Newton International Research Fellowships are awarded to the very best early stage post-doctoral researchers from across the world and offer 2 years support at UK institutions. The scheme is run by the Royal Society, The British Academy and the Academy of Medical Sciences. Jessica will take up the fellowship from 31 March 2018. 

Marina Maximova interviewed Juliet Bingham

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Marina Maximova interviewed Juliet Bingham curator of Tate Modern’s first UK major retrospective show of works by artists Ilya and Emilia Kabakov. Curated in close dialogue with the duo, and organised in collaboration with the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg and the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, the exhibition offers the opportunity to see some rarely seen works for the first time in the UK. Marina’s interview for Russian Art and Culture discusses the pioneering couple’s practice and their place within the international context  of conceptual art. You can read it at http://www.russianartandculture.com/tate-modern-curator-juliet-bingham-recently-opened-ilya-emilia-kabakov-exhibition/

Catalonia’s independence: When nationalism and democracy clash

14:00 James France room D002


Speakers: Eunice Romero Rivera (Open University of Catalonia)

Paolo Cossarini (Loughborough University)


Convenors: Marco Antonsich (LUNN) and Chris Zebrowski (CSIG)

Tuesday 17 October 2017, 2-3pm, James France room D002

On 1st October 2017, an overwhelming majority of Catalans voted in favour of the independence of Catalonia. Being declared illegal by the Constitutional Court of Spain and being violently suppressed by the National Police Corps and the Guardia Civil, the vote clearly marks a historical breakpoint in the longstanding struggle between Madrid and Barcelona. In order to discuss the causes and consequences of the Catalonian decision, Eunice Romero, in video-conference from Barcelona, and Paolo Cossarini will present their insights into the Catalonian independentist movement and the agenda of the Spanish government.

The event is jointly organised by the Centre for the Study of International Governance (CSIG) and the Loughborough University Nationalism Network (LUNN)


Speakers’ bios:

Eunice Romero studies Nationalism, diversity and immigration from a sociological perspective. She is currently PhD candidate in the Information and Knowledge Society program and visiting researcher at Open University of Catalonia. She has been active in NGOs, government and grassroots organizations advocating for diversity in Catalonia. Her dissertation gives an intersectional ethnographic account of processes of migrant-ness and nationhood and how the two are imbricated in the construction of a sense of national belonging in Catalonia.

Paolo Cossarini holds a PhD in Political Science from the Autónoma University of Madrid (Spain). He is currently University Teacher at the Department of Politics, History, and International Relations of Loughborough University (UK). He has held visiting positions at the Institut d’Études Politiques, the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris (France), and the Queen Mary University of London (UK). He was also member of the research project “The political consequences of the economic crisis” founded by the Spanish Ministry of Education. His current research focuses on protest movements, democratic theory and populism, the role of emotions in politics, as well as border and migration studies. He has published in Global Discourse, European Political Science, and Revista de Estudios Políticos, among other journals, and is co-editor of “Populism and passions: democratic legitimacy after austerity” (forthcoming by Routledge).

Invitation from Munich Institute for Contemporary History

Munich Institute for Contemporary History

Robert Knight has been invited to research at the Munich Institute for Contemporary History, the foremost German contemporary history research institute. He wil be working on a comparison between the way Austria and West Germany ‘came to terms’ with National Socialism after the war.

Research Fellowship in Vienna

Simon Wiesenthal lecture

Franziska Karpinski has been given a fellowship at the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies from February to July 2018. Franziska was awarded this extremely competitive fellowship to support her PhD research into the concept of honour in Nazi Germany.

CSIG News Update October 2017

  • Ali Bilgic attended the 11th Pan-European Conference of European International Studies Association in Barcelona (13-16 September) as a co-chair of section called ‘Exploring and Studying Emotions in Global Politics’. He presented two papers entitled ‘Emotional Performances of Sovereignty: Constructing Neo-colonial Masculinity’ and ‘Memory, Trauma and Foreign Policy: EU’s Agency in the Middle East Conflict’.
  • Taku Tamaki attended the European Association for Japanese Studies (EAJS) Conference in Lisbon (August 30th and September 2nd) and delivered a paper titled: ‘Globalization and Nationalism: Abe Shinzo's Beautiful Country Narrative’.
  • Christina Oelgemoller’s book, The Evolution of Migration Management (Routledge) published earlier this year has been nominated for the ISA-ENMISA book award Details of her book can be found here.
  • Ali Bilgic’s co-authored article ‘European Union and Refugees: A Struggle for the Fate of Europe’ was given to the Swedish press: https://www.etc.se/utrikes/forskaren-sa-avgors-eus-ode-av-flyktingfragan and the Minister of Migration of Sweden, Heléne Fritzon, replied to the points we raised in the article: https://www.etc.se/utrikes/sa-sviker-sverige-migranterna-pa-medelhavet  (both in links in Swedish)
  • Taku Tamaki’s new piece in The Conversation, ‘Caught between Trump and Kim, Japan is nervous and alone’ has been published. This is being translated into Japanese by Newsphere <http://newsphere.jp/>
  • Phil Parvin presented research at the APSA conference in San Francisco.
  • Ali Bilgic has been appointed to the Prince Claus Chair as of the 1st of September 2017. The chair was established in January 2003 to support the research of ‘an outstanding young academic’. Ali will be working on ‘Migration and Human Security’ at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University, Rotterdam, though he will continue his work at Loughborough during the 2 year appointment. His inaugural is scheduled for April 12, 2018, in the presence of Queen Maxime in Noordeinde Palace, the Hague, and will celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Chair. More information about the chair at http://princeclauschair.nl/

RHS Fellowship for Matt Adams

Matthew Adams

Matt Adams has been made a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. Founded in 1868 the RHS is the foremost society in the UK working with professional historians and advancing the scholarly study of the past. The fellowships are awarded on the basis of peer review in recognition of an ‘original contribution to historical scholarship’ normally through the authorship of a monograph, a body of scholarly work similar in scale and impact.

Ali Bilgic appointed Prince Claus Chair in Development and Equity

Bilgic, Ali

Ali Bilgic has been appointed to the Prince Claus Chair in Development and Equity 2017-2019 as of the 1st of September 2017. The chair was established in January 2003 to support the research of ‘an outstanding young academic’. Ali will be working on ‘Migration and Human Security’ at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University, Rotterdam, though he will continue his work at Loughborough during the 2 year appointment. His inaugural is scheduled for April 12, 2018, in the presence of Queen Maxime in Noordeinde Palace, the Hague, and will celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Chair. More information about the chair at http://princeclauschair.nl/

CSIG News update August 2017

Giulia Piccolino and Philip Martin (MIT) delivered a presentation on rebel governance and post-conflict transition at the Institut pour la bonne Gouvernance, le Développement et la Perspective (IGDP), Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire), which was attended by Ivorian researchers from the Université Félix Houphouet Boigny (University of Abidjan) and by foreign researchers, as well as development practitioners.

Institut pour la bonne Gouvernance presentation.jpg

David Roberts has published an article in Politics concerning the pedagogical implications of the ‘pictorial turn’ with data generated from PHIR politics and IR students!  To access the article follow the link:  http://journals.sagepub.com/eprint/28zVZJmSHIgj5QaXK975/full

For a full list of CSIG news please visit:


PHIR Lecturer a ‘Victim of the Yugoslav Secret Police’?

In April Robert Knight spoke at the Institute for Ethnic Studies (Inštitut za Narodnostna Vprašanja) in Ljubljana about his new book Slavs in post-Nazi Austria (published by Bloomsbury). Soon afterwards the Ljubljana Magazine Reporter revealed that Dr Knight’s activities had been closely followed by the Yugoslav Secret Police (UDBA) during research visits to Ljubljana in the 1980s. The headline: ‘British Historian – victim of the UDBA.”

Victim Yugoslav secret police

Dr Knight responded that he ‘was surprised to read the details of the police surveillance. Naturally when I went to Slovenia to do research I assumed that my presence would be noted at some level by the authorities, but I still find it hard to see why these details (many of which were in any case already in the public domain) would have been of interest. I would have expected some of the people I accompanied  - like Bill (Sir William) Deakin or Peter Wilkinson (then a retired diplomat and former SOE operative) - to be of much greater interest. I found a great deal of interest in the archives of post-war Yugoslavia and certainly find it hard to see myself as a victim of the UDBA.'

Research News Summary - 3 July

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Giulia Piccolino has been attending the 7th European Conference of African Studies in Basel (http://www.nomadit.co.uk/ecas/ecas2017/panels.php5?PanelID=5202) and presented a co-authored paper with Jeremy Speight, a Canadian colleague, and a single-authored paper at two very busy panels.

Giulia has also become co-coordinator of the AEGIS Collaborative Research Group on Politics and International Relations (AEGIS is the association that organizes the ECAS conference: http://www.aegis-eu.org/thematic-groups/collaborative-research-group-african-politics-international-relations). She’ll be taking organising a formal reception and/or a roundtable with policy makers at the next ECAS conference in Edinburgh, 2019.

Sebastian Averill will be speaking in Vienna in late-September at the inaugural conference of The Journal of Extreme Anthropology (https://www.journals.uio.no/index.php/JEA0). He’s also been appointed to the editorial board. His paper is on 'Professional Wrestling and the Kierkegaardian Turn'.

Teresa Xavier Fernandes has submitted her thesis on the postanarchist ideal type.

Weekly Research News Summary - 13 June


Thomas Swann has published a paper on Occupy, anarchism, cybernetics and social media published, co-authored with Emil Husted of Copenhagen Business School, in Information Society. The paper ‘Undermining Anarchy: Facebook’s Influence on Anarchist Principles of Organization in Occupy Wall Street’  is available here: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01972243.2017.1318195

Thomas Swann and Ruth Kinna presented preliminary findings on constitutionalising in Occupy London, Oakland and Wall Street with Alex Prichard last Tuesday at an Oxford Political Theory seminar. 

New Paperback: Libertarian Socialism: Politics in Black and Red, is about to come out in paperback with PM Press - https://secure.pmpress.org/index.php?l=product_detail&p=858 - this is co-edited by ARG members (Ruth Kinna, Dave Berry and ex-PhD students Alex Prichard and Saku Pinta). 

New article: Stijn van Kessel on protest, discontent and populism, EJPR http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1475-6765.12216/abstract

Weekly Research News Summary - 05 June

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Robert Knight delivered a series of talks linked to the publication of his book, Slavs in Post-Nazi Austria at the Institute for Ethnic Questions in Ljubljana, Klagenfurt University, and Vienna University. The Vienna newspaper Der Standard reviewed the ‘excellent study’ which profoundly re-examines some current historical interpretations of Austria’s Slovene minority. He has had a panel proposal, sponsored by the Central European History Association, accepted for next year’s American Historical Association annual conference in Washington, Link: https://www.historians.org/annual-meeting/future-meetings

Paul Maddrell gave a lecture at the Memorial Centre Leistikowstrasse in Potsdam, Germany, (Soviet KGB's investigative prison in East Germany) in which he presented his research on Cold War espionage. The link is https://www.potsdam.de/event/vortrag-und-diskussion-der-gedenk-und-begegnungsstaette-leistikowstrasse 

Melodee Beals has been invited as visiting fellow at Victoria University Wellington (NZ). She’ll be working on her research and helping to develop Victoria’s new digital humanities centre (they are the holders of the New Zealand Digital Newspaper Archives).

Susan Reid has been awarded funding by LU’s Institute for Advanced Learning to pursue research collaboration – linked to Susan’s on-going research with Sabine Mihelj - with Dr Oksana Sarkisov, Research Fellow at Blinken OSA Archivum at Central European University (Budapest). Dr. Sarkisova will be coming to Loughborough

Media & Time Symposium

Brockington Building

Media and communication technologies are inextricably bound up with the passage of time. Different forms and genres of mediated communication shape our sense of time in different ways, structure our daily routines, invite us to join in festive occasions, and help us manage the unexpected. This two-day symposium seeks to bring together scholars from diverse disciplinary backgrounds to discuss selected aspects of the relationship between media and time. The event will be organised around three key themes:

Theme 1: The challenges of temporal comparison
Theme 2: Times of memory, times of media
Theme 3: The temporalities of media history

Click here for more information >>

Early Career Fellowship for Thomas Swann

Thomas, Swann

Dr. Thomas Swann has been awarded a 3-year Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship. These highly prestigious awards are intended to provide career development opportunities for researchers at early stages of their academic careers who have a proven record of research. 

Since completing  his PhD thesis ('Anarchist Cybernetics. Control and Communication in Radical left Social Movements' Leicester University, 2015), Thomas has been working on the ESRC-funded Anarchy Rules! project http://anarchyrules.info/. His Leverhulme project, 'Participatory constitutions: intercultural communication and political consensus' falls within philosophy, ethics and politics and applies innovative methods in participatory political philosophy which Thomas has been developing at Loughborough. 

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Susan Reid wins Outstanding Paper Award

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing

Susan Reid's paper 'Cold War Binaries and the Culture of Consumption in the Late Soviet Home' published in the Journal of Historical Research in Marketing has been selected by the journal’s editorial team as the Outstanding Paper in the 2017 Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence.

You can read the paper online at http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/full/10.1108/JHRM-09-2015-0038

Jon Bigger op-ed in Freedom

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Jon Bigger's latest article in Freedom is 'Why I'm not voting - I represent myself'.

Jon Bigger reflects on his experiences, as a voter, non-voter and even Class War candidate, with general elections

Two years ago today (May 7th) I turned up at a polling station in Croydon and put a cross next to my name. This time round I’m not even on the electoral register. I’ve had an odd relationship with the ballot box and at a time where I see anarchists discussing voting (some for the first time) because of the horrors of a Theresa May government being returned stronger and more stable than ever, I’ve been reflecting on my experiences.

You can read it at https://freedomnews.org.uk/why-im-not-voting-i-represent-myself/

Helen Drake Blog: Macron and the future of the EU

On Sunday 14 May 2017, French president-elect Emmanuel Macron became the eighth president of the Fifth French Republic. In line with Article 5 of the 1958 Constitution and in his function as Head of State, President Macron will be invested with the role of ‘guarantor of national independence, territorial integrity and due respect for Treaties’. Macron’s predecessors have without exception interpreted this clause as an invitation to conduct France’s relations with the EU from the Elysée (presidential) Palace.

Read more here >>

See also http://ukandeu.ac.uk/
The authoritative source for independent research on UK-EU relations

Publication: Anarchism 1914-1918: Internationalism, anti-militarism and war

Anarchism 1914-1918: Internationalism, anti-militarism and war

Anarchism 1914-18 provides the first systematic analysis of anarchist responses to the First World War, featuring contributions from leading international scholars in the fields of politics, history, and art history. Examining the interventionist debate between Peter Kropotkin and Errico Malatesta, it includes essays exploring anarchist movements and activists in Italy, Germany, France, Britain, the United States, India, and the Netherlands, and focuses on a range of themes including militarism, imperialism, revolution, and aesthetics. 

As well as an essay by Matthew Adams, the collection also includes a co-authored essay by Dave Berry.

Edited by: Ruth Kinna and Matthew S. Addams

Publisher: Manchester University Press

New article in the Conversation co-authored by Helen Drake and Anna-Louise Milne of the University of London Institute in Paris

euro flag 200x200

‌Helen Drake has written for the Conversation (French version) with Anna-Louise Milne of ULIP (the University of London Institute in Paris) about the shadow cast by Brexit over the French presidential elections.  ULIP is a partner on Helen's ESRC-funded project, '28+ Perspectives on Brexit: a guide to the multi-stakeholder negotiations'.  

Read more here (French) >>

The Conversation

Innovation award for Professor Helen Drake

Helen Drake has been invited to Athens to receive and innovation in academia award. The awards celebrate world-leading, inspirational and innovative academics who have a connection to Europe, and in their career have made a significant and lasting impact in the field of higher education in Europe. Helen is being recognised for her Leadership of UACES, the UK’s premier professional association for European Studies, and leading UACES to provide objective, neutral research-based expertise to assist in public understanding of the EU during the Referendum campaign; her interdisciplinary approach to teaching and research and collaboration with colleagues on questions about France and the international context of France.

Talk: Syria – A personal assessment from Beirut

13:00 Room U.020 Brockington
B Fakih

Date: 24 May
Location: Room U.020 Brockington
Loughborough University

Bissan Fakih (Loughborough 2007-10) works in Beirut as Deputy Campaign Director for The Syria Campaign. In this talk she shares her experience as a solidarity activist from the excitement and hope at the beginning of Syria's peaceful uprising to the devastation of war and the senseless brutality it has brought with it.

She will talk about some of the "ordinary heroes" she has been lucky to work with - the people trapped between the Syrian regime and extremists and recount their tales of everyday resistance. The questions she raises should be of interest to all of us: What have been our successes and failures? After six years, can we still find the hope that brought us together in the heady days of 2011?

 Syria – A personal assessment

The talk will be followed by questions and discussion and at 14.00 a screening of the Oscar-Winning Film The White Helmets (ca 40 mins)

15.00 discussion on Syria’s Future

For more information please contact R.G.Knight@lboro.ac.uk.

Department of Politics, History and International Relations

Centre for the Study of International Governance


Alex Christoyannopoulos and Matt Adams have just published a new edited volume on anarchism and religion.

anarchism and religion

Anarchism and religion have historically had an uneasy relationship. Indeed, representatives of both sides have regularly insisted on the fundamental incompatibility of anarchist and religious ideas and practices. Yet, ever since the emergence of anarchism as an intellectual and political movement, a considerable number of religious anarchists have insisted that their religious tradition necessarily implies an anarchist political stance. Their stories are finally gaining increasing public and scholarly attention.

Read more about the publication here >>

New publication: The EU and regional integration in West Africa: what effects on conflict resolution and transformation?

Piccolino, Giulia and Minou, Stephanie (2017) The EU and regional integration in West Africa: what effects on conflict resolution and transformation?. In Thomas Diez and Nathalie Tocci (eds) The EU, Promoting Regional Integration, and Conflict Resolution, Palgrave Macmillan.

Information about the book is at http://www.springer.com/gb/book/9783319475295

New publication: The Evolution of Migration Management in the Global North

Christina Oelgemoller has published her monograph in the prestigious Routledge Interventions series. This series provides a form for innovative and interdisciplinary work that engages with alternative critical, post-structural and feminist approaches to international relations and global politics. The book is an exciting and significant contribution to PHIR's development of international political theory.

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Funding for digital history project


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Melodee Beals has been awarded funding from the Trans-Atlantic Platform for Social Sciences and Humanities (T-AP) to undertake a two-year project on the flow of news across national and linguistic boundaries in the nineteenth century. Her work with global digitised newspaper collections will contribute to the Digging into Data Challenge and the wider aims of T-AP to promote collaboration between South America, North America and Europe on research projects that use “big data” to address questions in the social sciences and humanities.

For more information, see http://www.diggingintodata.org

Dorina Baltag and Neculai-Cristian Surubaru – co-edited a Special Issue in East European Politics

The Special Issue: “Assessing the Performance of the European Union in Central and Eastern Europe and in its Neighbourhood” has been guest edited by Dimitris Papadimitriou (University of Manchester), Dorina Baltag and Neculai-Cristian Surubaru (Loughborough University)

The SI critically reflects on the performance and relationship between the EU and countries from Central and Eastern European and from the Neighborughood, scrutinizing several political and policy related developments. It brings together several senior and junior scholars with expertise on the area. The Special Issue can be accessed online for free until the 31st of March 2017.


Major ESRC funding for politics: 'Brexit Guide to Multi-stakeholder negotiations'


Helen Drake (PHIR) has been awarded an ESRC grant worth £300.000 entitled ‘28+ perspectives on Brexit: a guide to the multi-stakeholder negotiations’. Over the course of the next 18 months Helen and her team of co-investigators, drawn from across the University, will conduct new research designed to inform the UK’s Brexit negotiations in real time. With reference to the forthcoming national elections in key EU member states (including France and Germany), the team will analyse the significance of populist pressures on the setting of national ‘red lines’ towards Brexit, and will explore the processes by which ‘Brussels’ aggregates national positions. Thanks to a network of partners and consultants (including Loughborough alumni), the project will maintain a dynamic stakeholder map in order to benefit as many end users as possible. Stijn van Kessel, also from PHIR, is one of the four project co-investigators. Nicola Chelotti, Borja Garcia Garcia, and Elena Georgiadou complete the team.

The Disorder Of Things is hosting a symposium on Ali Bilgic‘s new book


The Disorder Of Things is hosting a symposium on Ali Bilgic‘s new book Turkey, Power and the West: Gendered International Relations and Foreign Policy, released in late 2016. The introductory post by Ali Bilgic is followed by the contributions of Aida Hozic (Florida), Terrell Carver (Bristol), Swati Parashar (Gothenburg), and Clemens Hoffmann (Stirling), as well as a response by the author, where he discusses the contributors' posts in the framework of 'hegemonic neoliberal hypermasculinity' in the age of global authoritarianism.

Link: https://thedisorderofthings.com/

Franziska Karpinski awarded a six month junior fellowship at the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies

Simon Wiesenthal lecture

Franziska Karpinski has been awarded a six month junior fellowship at the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies to work on her PhD project

‘In Defense of Honour and Masculinity – Social Pressure, Violence, and Punishment within the Nazi Elite, 1933 – 1945’.

Congratulations to Franziska on getting this very competitive award!


Stijn van Kessel: Analysis of the Dutch parliamentary election of March 2017

Stijn van Kessel will be giving a LUNN talk the day after the Dutch parliamentary election. The main focus will be on the nationalism and Euroscepticism of Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party.  

Date: Thursday 16 March, 13.00-14.00hrs,

Location: James France D002, Loughborough University

Robert Knight will be delivering the Simon Wiesenthal lecture in Vienna on 23 February

Simon Wiesenthal lecture

Robert Knight will be delivering the Simon Wiesenthal lecture in Vienna on 23 February on the subject of Heinrich and Alice Scheuer, two Holocaust victims. The lecture will take place at the Federal Chancellery Vienna, under the auspices of the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute. The Institute is one of the main European research centres into the Holocaust. Previous lecturers include Zygmunt Baumann, Mary Fulbrook and Wolfgang Benz.

Chris Szejnmann gave a lecture about the Holocaust

Chris Szejnmann gave a lecture about the Holocaust to 150 high achieving History pupils aged 14-16 from five different schools. The event was organised by the Leicester Literary and Philosophical Society and took place at South Wigston High School on Monday, 6 February.

Now in paperback: Populist Parties in Europe Agents of Discontent?


Populism is a concept that is currently in vogue among political commentators and, more often than not, used pejoratively. The phenomenon of populism is typically seen as something adverse and, in the European context routinely related to xenophobic politics. What populism exactly is and who its main representatives are, however, often remains unclear. This text has two main aims: to identify populist parties in 21st century Europe and to explain their electoral performance. It argues that populist parties should not be dismissed as dangerous pariahs out of hand but rather that their rise tells us something about the state of representative democracy.

The study has a broad scope, including populist parties of various ideological kinds – thus moving beyond examples of the ‘right’ – and covering long-established Western European countries as well as post-communist countries in Central and Eastern Europe. It presents the results of an innovative mixed-methods research project, combining a fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA) of populist parties in 31 European countries with three in-depth case studies of the Netherlands, Poland and the United Kingdom.

Link to the publisher website >>

Crowdfunding Essays on Anarchism and Religion

Essays in Anarchism and Religion is a multi-volume collection of academic essays which aims to be available freely online, and cheaply in print (priced at the cost of printing). The first volume is ready for production with Stockholm University Press, and two more are in the pipeline.

To reach the aim of producing a scholarly text that is freely available online, and available as a cheap physical copy, the editors have launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to meet the production costs. A range of rewards are available, for contributions as low as £5. If the campaign manages to raise more than we need for volume 1, the extra funds will go towards the production costs of the next two volumes.


The series as a whole examines the intersections between anarchist politics and activism on the one hand, and religious ideas, thinkers and practices on the other. Conventionally treated as intransigently hostile systems of thought, the series explores the unexpected points of contact and contestation in a richly varied perspective that encompasses, amongst others, Christianity, Buddhism and mysticism, and the ideas of Kierkegaard, Proudhon and Voegelin. In charting these relationships, the series casts fresh light on the intellectual foundations of anarchism as a political movement, and on the neglected relevance of anarchist ideas to multiple  strands religious thinking. This series will therefore be of interest to those interested in political theory and religious studies, but also those interested in the history of ideas and philosophy.

For more information, to look at the contents of the first volume, and to make a pledge, please visit the campaign’s Kickstarter page: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/97077166/essays-in-anarchism-and-religion.

Prize Essay Award for Simon Stevens

ISRF Banner

Simon Stevens has been awarded the 2016 Independent Social Research Foundation Essay Prize. Simon's paper ‘Life and Letting Die: A story of the homeless, autonomy, and anti-social behaviour’, won the prize of CHF 7,000 and acceptance for publication in the Organization Studies, one of the world’s leading organisation studies journals. 

Essays were judged on their originality and independence of thought, their scholarly quality and their potential to challenge received ideas, both conceptually and within the confines of 'an essay' structure.  

Judged by a panel of experts to be intellectually experimental, orthogonal to existing debates, addressing social, economic and political experience and problems, and providing critique across the field of organisation studies, Simon's winning essay will be published online in the Organization Studies OnlineFirst listing in January 2017. 



Towards a decent living standard in South Africa: Matt Padley presenting on Minimum Income Standard pilot project in Cape Town

The seminar comes at a critical moment for South Africa as it makes moves towards implementing a national minimum wage. While this is a positive step, there is concern about the level at which the minimum wage will be set and whether it will be enough to cover the costs of living. Matt will present on what the Minimum Income Standard approach is and how it has been used within the UK context to inform the voluntary living wage and also to shape debate about the adequacy of wages and state support. There will be a number of other presentations from partners in the pilot project in South Africa. The seminar will identify the critical next steps necessary in costing out a decent standard of living, and the opportunities this could offer for informing debates about thresholds of adequacy.

More information is available here.

Stijn van Kessel has just published two commentaries on the Dutch election.

Fragmented field keeps voters guessing as Dutch election approaches

The Conversation: https://theconversation.com/fragmented-field-keeps-voters-guessing-as-dutch-election-approaches-73725

The parliamentary election in the Netherlands on March 15 is approaching rapidly. And with an incredibly fragmented field, it looks as though attempts to form a coalition government after the vote will prove a challenging task, to say the least. Despite all the hype, it’s far from certain that the populist radical right Freedom Party (PVV) of Geert Wilders will top the polls – and even more questionable whether it will end up in government.

Not always that keen on ‘Nexit’: the evolving Euroscepticism of the Dutch Freedom Party of Geert Wilders

LSE EUROPP Blog: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2017/03/02/nexit-evolving-euroscepticism-geert-wilders/#Author

Previously published at The European Parties Elections and Referendums Network (EPERN)

The intensity of the the Dutch Freedom Party’s Euroscepticism has variated over the years, writes Stijn van Kessel. Unlike what happened in occasion of the 2012 vote, when opposition to the EU took centre stage in the party’s electoral programme, Geert Wilders is currently giving less prominence to the issue in the run up to the 15 March election. As van Kessel explains, Dutch citizens’ support for a ‘Nexit’ is clearly limited and campaigning on a multifaceted nativist programme may be a better way for Wilders to expand his support base.

Dr Giulia Piccolino will speak at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Africa Study Day

Royal Military Academy Sandhurst

Dr Giulia Piccolino, lecturer in Politics & International Relations, will speak at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Africa Study Day about illiberal peacebuilding and the ‘victor’s peace’ in Côte d’Ivoire. The event is held on the 22nd March 2017 at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and organized by the International Development Department (IDD) of the University of Birmingham.

Social Sciences makes top 100 in global THE ranking

Social Sciences at Loughborough University has been ranked 98th in the world in the 2018 Times Higher Education (THE) subject rankings.

The rankings analyse specific data in 10 different subject areas to create global league tables for each.

For Social Sciences, the THE looked at teaching, research, citations, international outlook and industry income to rank the 400 best schools for social sciences across the world – with Loughborough coming 98th.

The School of Social, Political and Geographical Sciences brings together a mix of disciplines that cover humanities, social and environmental sciences, which closely match the THE subject groupings.

Professor Nick Clifford, Dean of the School, said: “It is great to see the school’s subject areas recognised by the THE as being world leading. This reflects the great staff and student efforts across our disciplines, which contribute to the excellence of the University as a whole.”