Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Assessing “The Responsibility to Protect” Ten Years On

The Security and International Relations Programme at the University of Westminster is hosting a roundtable on the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) to mark the ten-year anniversary of the publication of the seminal report by the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS). The ICISS report has become a key document on humanitarian intervention and the international protection of human rights, and R2P has since achieved a remarkable ubiquity in international political discourse. NATO’s intervention in Libya in March 2011 – widely heralded as “R2P in practice” and the dawn of a new era” – reinvigorated this debate, while ongoing events in the Middle East and Africa have ensured the currency of the topic. This roundtable brings together prominent academic specialists in this field to assess the evolution of R2P and its likely future efficacy.


·         Professor Meryvn Frost, Kings College London

·         Professor Jennifer Welsh, Somerville College, University of Oxford

·         Dr James Pattison, University of Manchester

·         Dr Aidan Hehir, University of Westminster 

This roundtable will be held on the 8th December 2011, at 18:00 in the Boardroom, 309 Regent Street, University of Westminster, W1B2UW. Places are limited; those not affiliated with the University of Westminster should contact Aidan Hehir (a.hehir@wmin.ac.uk) to reserve a seat.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011


The Security and International Relations Programme at the University of Westminster is delighted to announce the forthcoming premiere of a new documentary “3 Kosovos: Imagining the Future of Kosovo” on the 17th November 2011. The event will be introduced by Dr Aidan Hehir and a question and answer session with the director will follow the screening.

Friday, 4 November 2011

24 Hours for Darfur: “Darfurian Voices”.

Below is information about the NGO “24 Hours for Darfur” and its recent publication, “Darfurian Voices”. One of DPIR’s student’s - Abdelrahim Kadok – was involved in writing this fascinating report.

24 Hours for Darfur is a non-profit organization dedicated to research and advocacy about the conflict in Darfur, Sudan. In 2010, 24 Hours for Darfur released “Darfurian Voices,” a report detailing the results of the first ever representative survey of Darfurian refugees’ opinions on peace, justice, and reconciliation. The organization spent four months in the 12 Darfurian refugee camps in eastern Chad, interviewing 1872 randomly-sampled civilians and 280 civil society and rebel leaders. The data gathered from the civilian sample is representative of the adult refugee population in Chad, and sheds light on important questions about participants’ specific beliefs about the root causes of the conflict, past peace negotiations and agreements for Darfur and southern Sudan, the nature and importance of justice in bringing about a sustainable peace, the possibility of reconciliation, land-related issues, democracy, power-sharing, and the national elections, and which actors, if any, best represent their views. The project is structured to serve as a mechanism through which these views can be accurately transmitted to policymakers, mediators, negotiating parties, and other key stakeholders. The report can be found here:

24 Hours for Darfur also produced a documentary film about refugee views on the conflict in Darfur and the prospects for peace. The film can be found here:

Our Team consist of 34 students and researchers from universities of USA-Canada-France-Denmark and Sudanese Student and activist at the diasporas

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Upcoming Intervention and Statebuilding Seminar

Details below about our next seminar - all are welcome.

20th October, 18:00, Westminster Forum (5th Floor 32-38 Wells Street)
“Getting it wrong on Kosovo: A bad case of coercive consociationalism?
Arben Qirezi, National University of Ireland Galway

Friday, 7 October 2011

Assessing the Impact of 9/11 Ten Years On: Presentations Available to View

Hi all,

This was a very sucessful event and we were delighted with the enourmous turnout.  Thanks to all those who came along. Please check the blog for details of our next event.
Below are video recordings of the speakers presentations; just click the title for each video.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

9/11 and the Revival of Geopolitics

Dr Thomas Moore, Department of Politics and International Relations

9/11 revived geopolitics. Whilst many scholars of International Relations have tinkered with the normative landscape of liberal international order or endlessly deliberated on anarchy as an imagined or constructed entity, the ‘real’ political ontology is geopolitics.  The new geopolitical discourse that has emerged from the post-9/11 landscape has thrown into question the capacity of international orders to function in terms of homogeneity. Difference is our international political condition and the security politics initiated in the aftermath of September 11 are essentially built around these differences.

The Impact of 9/11 on European Immigration Policy

Dr Patricia Hogwood, Reader in European Politics, Department of Politics and International relations

9/11 sparked a fear of immigrants as a security threat
In Europe, fear of foreigners is nothing new.  Back in the 1980s, Europe’s media portrayed immigrants as an economic threat, taking jobs from locals and overloading welfare state provision of social housing, health and education services.  Public sympathy for the plight of asylum seekers evaporated under a growing suspicion that ‘false’ asylum seekers were coming here not because they faced any real danger in their home countries,

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

The Strategic Irrelevance of 9/11

Professor Roland Dannreuther, Head of Department of Politics and International Relations

The French scholar, Raymond Aron, observed that ‘an act of violence is labelled “terrorist” when its psychological effects are out of proportion to its purely physical results’. This understanding of the internal meaning of terrorism reveals both the strategic significance of the terrorist acts of 9/11 and their ultimate strategic irrelevance.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

9/11 and the Reconstitution of Order and Meaning

David Chandler, Security and IR Programme

Jean Baudrillard – The Spirit of Terrorism

At a pinch, we can say that they did it, but we wished for it. If this is not taken into account, the event loses any symbolic dimension. It becomes a pure accident, a purely arbitrary act, the murderous phantasmagoria of a few fanatics, and all that would then remain would be to eliminate them…

Friday, 30 September 2011

9/11 was not 9/11: Facilitating ‘Democracy Limited Inc’ in the West

Dr Dibyesh Anand, Security and IR Programme.

For those searching for conspiracy theories about the spectacular attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York in September 2011, I’ll disappoint you. Please go and listen to the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad or search on google to satisfy your appetite. I have no interest in that.

Can We Trust Democracies?: September 11th, the War on Terror and “Humanitarian Intervention”

Dr Aidan Hehir, Security and International Relations Programme

‘It used to be said that facts speak for themselves. This is of course untrue.
The facts speak only when the historian calls on them; it is he who decides to which facts to give the floor, and in what order or context’. [1]
E.H. Carr

‘Americans may have no identity, but they do have wonderful teeth’.[2]
Jean Baudrillard

“September 11th 2001” or “9/11”?

The magnitude of current events are rarely as obvious as was the case on September 11th 2001. Millions around the world watching as the World Trade Center collapsed immediately sensed that this was the terrible dawn of a new era. September 11th 2001, like all seminal dates in history, has come to denote far more than the terrorist attacks. The date itself has become popularly represented as “9/11”; this may seem like an innocuous abbreviation but while “September 11th 2001” is a date, “9/11” is arguably a symbol, and symbols are by definition designed to convey a message. As Richard Jackson

Public Debate: "Assessing the Impact of 9/11 Ten Years On".

The Security and International Relations Programme is launching is seminar series this year with a roundtable discussion on the impact of September 11th 2001. The roundtable will involve a number of members from the Department of Politics and International Relations and all are welcome to come along and take part in the questions and answers. Details below.
Hope to see you there,

6th October, 18:00, Fyvie Hall, Regent Street

"Assessing the Impact of 9/11 Ten Years On".

Roundtable Participants:

·         Dr Dibyesh Anand

·         Dr Ricardo Blaug

·         Professor David Chandler

·         Professor Roland Dannreuther

·         Dr Aidan Hehir

·         Dr Patricia Hogwood

·         Dr Thomas Moore

Monday, 18 April 2011

Kosovo - The Hazards of Intervention and Statebuilding

Click this link to view a seminar on the record of the international community's engagement with Kosovo since NATO's intervention in 1999.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

'Where is the Human in Human-Centred approaches to Development?: A Foucauldian Critique of Amartya Sen’s ‘Development as Freedom’

Draft paper for 'Reading Michel Foucault in the Postcolonial Present: A Symposium', University of Bologna, Italy, March 3-4, 2011,

Professor David Chandler

This paper engages with Foucault’s critical exploration of shifts and transformations in liberal frameworks of governmental rationality to consider how our understanding of the human subject has been transformed within development discourses.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Upcoming Debate on Libya

"Intervention in Libya: Right or Wrong?"

Aidan Hehir, Senior Lecturer in International Relations and author of Humanitarian Intervention After Kosovo

Richard Seymour, Author of the Liberal Defence of Murder

6:30pm, Thursday 31st March, Portland Hall, Lower Titchfield Street

No booking necessary but event starts promptly. Hosted by the University of Westminster Political Debating Society, Socilaist Worker Student Society, and the International Development Society

Friday, 11 March 2011

Studentships for prospective PhD students

The Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Westminster is pleased to offer two Studentships for prospective PhD students.

Applications are invited for the following awards which are tenable for up to three years for full-time study:

2 fee waivers (home/EU*) and £3,000 per year for 3 years

*Please note that only Home/EU students are eligible to apply

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Libya and the Essential Irrelevance of the Responsibility to Protect

Humanitarian intervention” briefly topped the international political agenda following the interventions in Kosovo and East Timor in 1999. It was soon eclipsed, however, by the War on Terror. Later, the lamentable international response to the slaughter in Darfur appeared to prove that “liberal interventionism” had lost all momentum. Current events in Libya, however, have reignited this debate as evidenced by a number of recent articles in The Guardian (Seumas Milne, March 2nd, Timothy Garton-Ash, March 3rd).

Monday, 7 March 2011



The Next Intervention and Statebuilding Seminar takes place this Thursday; details below.
10th March 2011           
Dr Robert Barnidge,
School of Law,
University of Reading
Please note, the seminar starts at 18:30 rather than 18:00 (Westminster Forum, 5th Floor, 32-38 Wells St)
All are welcome to attend; drinks and nibbles will be provided.
Tell all!
All the best,

Thursday, 3 March 2011

'The Ontology of Danger: Recasting the Human Subject in Discourses of Vulnerability and Resilience',

Professor Chandler's paper 'The Ontology of Danger: Recasting the Human Subject in Discourses of Vulnerability and Resilience',  at the 'Problematising Danger' workshop, King's College London, 21-22 February 2011, is available as a podcast via this link.

World View Interview

Below is a link to a project run by Youtube, where one world leader is interviewed every month .
The questions are sent in by 'normal' people.
So far Barack Obama and David Cameron have been interviewed.
World View Interviews

Johanna Larsson  
Undergraduate Student,
Department of Politics and International Relations

Monday, 28 February 2011

"Liberal Militarism and the US National Security State: Revisiting the 'Liberal Moment'"

Dr Bryan Maybee, Queen Mary, University of London
Title: "Liberal Militarism and the US National Security State: Revisiting the 'Liberal Moment'"

Thursday 3rd March, 18:00-20:00, Westminster Forum, 5th Floor, 32-38 Wells Street.

All welcome; drinks and nibbles provided.

Abstract: That a ‘national security state’ was built in the post-World War II period is a commonplace characterisation of the postwar US state. While there are differing interpretations of exactly what this means, all demonstrate that the US national security state was distinctive in its particular version of militarism. The paper focuses on such claims in order to theorise specific varieties of militarism that emerged in postwar period, demonstrating that the US version was a species of militarism characterised as ‘liberal militarism’, that emerged due to a particular ideology of national security that triumphed in the postwar period. The importance of liberal militarism is not only in its external manifestations, but in how a broad ideology of national security implied a particularly liberal ordering of state and society, both internally and externally.

Bio: Dr Bryan Mabee is Senior Lecturer in International Politics at Queen Mary, University of London. He is the author of 'The Globalization of Security: State Power, Security Provision and Legitimacy', and co-editor of 'Mercenaries, Pirates, Bandits and Empires: Private Violence in Historical Context'.

Organiser contact: Dr Aidan Hehir, DPIR. A.Hehir@westminster.ac.uk

Sunday, 20 February 2011

What Makes Bahrain Different?

While the Bahraini national population remains resolute in continuing their protests, the success of their revolt looks a lot less assured than the successful revolutions which took place in Tunisia and Egypt, or that are currently taking place in Libya and Yemen.

The horrors that the Bahraini population have faced at the hands of the Al-Khalifa monarchy are comparable to those faced by Egyptians under Mubarak, or by Tunisians under Ben Ali.

Friday, 18 February 2011

"Sovereignty as Responsibility": Video of Professor Welsh's seminar

Last night's Intervention and Statebuilding seminar with Professor Welsh was a great sucess and once again very well attended; apologies to those who didn't get seats!
A video of her presentation is available here.
Thanks to Professor Welsh and all who attended and hope to see you at the next seminar in the series...
All the best,

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Born Posthumously: Rethinking the Shared Characteristics of the ICC and the R2P

Born Posthumously: Rethinking the Shared Characteristics of the ICC and the R2P[1]

David Chandler (University of Westminster) d.chandler@wmin.ac.uk


This paper argues that both the ICC and the R2P have had to overcome immense difficulties as they were born out of the retreat of a certain global perspective of international regulation that, in short, could be understood within a liberal governing rationality. [2] The post-interventionist world no longer counter positions external intervention to sovereignty as if this was a zero-sum game, or articulates intervention in the language of a clash of rights or as a problem which needs a legal solution, but rather sees the internationalisation of state forms as a process of empowerment, of capacity- and capability-building. Despite the increased regulatory engagement, the discourse is one of prevention and the building of sovereignty, not of intervention and the denial of sovereignty.[3] In their attempts to come to terms with this different – post-interventionist - framing of the international sphere both institutions have adapted, with the R2P leading the way and the ICC following more slowly as it has more formal institutional baggage. The forms of adaptation illustrate clearly how our understanding of the international sphere, and intervention within this, has shifted from the 1990s, when these institutions were initially conceived, to the 2010s were it appears that these institutions are finding their feet and regaining international credibility, articulating the modes of reasoning of a post-interventionist world.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

‘Sovereignty as Responsibility: Assertive Liberalism in International Society’

Hi all,
Below are details about this Thursday's Intervention and Statebuilding Series seminar.
Professor Welsh is a world renowned academic and this promises to be a very interesting seminar.
All the best,
‘Sovereignty as Responsibility: Assertive Liberalism in International Society’
Professor Jennifer M. Welsh
Somerville College, University of Oxford
17th February 2011    
18:00 - 20:00 in the Westminster Forum, 5th Floor, 32-38 Wells Street

Friday, 11 February 2011

Forthcoming Event: The Winds of Change in the Middle East: Alternative Perspectives

The Winds of Change in the Middle East: Alternative Perspectives
Tuesday 15th of February, 18:00 - 20:30
Room: 152 (Cayley Room) Regent St Campus

With the sudden eruption of Arab uprisings across the Middle East, the revolutions of Egypt and Tunisia and

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Protests in Egypt


As the situation in Egypt develops, talk of elections and democracy are widespread and seeming increasingly irresistible.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Video of Dr James Pattison's Seminar

Hello all,
A video of James Pattison's seminar on "The Ethics of Employing Private Military Force" delivered on the 20th January is available here. The seminar was a great sucess; once again it was very well attended and proved a stimulating discussion.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Wednesday, 12 January 2011