Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Security and International Relations Programme Seminar


"Round-table on the Bombing Campaign against ISIS"

Thursday October 16th 18:00, Fyvie Hall, Regent Street

This round-table will discuss the efficacy of the bombing campaign against ISIS in both Iraq and Syria.

All are welcome to attend...

Dr Jamie Allinson, Lecturer in International Relations
Dr Aidan Hehir, Reader in International Relations
Dr Farhang Morady, Senior Lecturer in Globalization and Development
Dr Thomas Moore, Principal Lecturer in International Relations

Friday, 14 March 2014

Security and International Relations Programme Seminar

United We Fall? The ‘Norm of Consensus’ in UN Security Council Decision-Making

Dr Jess Gifkins, University of Exeter

18:00, 20th March,
Westminster Forum, 5th Floor, 32-38 Wells St, University of Westminster, W1T3UW
All are welcome to attend; for further information please contact Dr Aidan Hehir (a.hehir@wmin.ac.uk)

The UN Security Council sits at the centre of UN infrastructure for international peace and security, making decisions that affect the lives of millions. Yet, its decisions are largely made behind closed-doors and there is often little indication of the process by which decisions are reached. This paper will explain and illustrate a key feature of the Security Council’s decision-making process: the norm of consensus. The UN Security Council was explicitly designed not to require consensus – to overcome the limitations of the League Council. Yet, so far this century, over 91% of resolutions voted on by the Security Council have passed with the unanimous support of all fifteen members. In this paper I will outline both behavioural and rhetorical evidence to suggest that this trend has become a ‘norm’ of decision-making in the Council. This can be seen both in voting patterns and in statements given after a resolution is voted on. The shift to consensus based decision-making affects not only the process of reaching a decision, but also the decisions which are possible. This norm can actually lead to decisions which are difficult to implement, as members find language they can agree to, rather than agreeing on the essence of a decision. As such, the norm of consensus can shape decisions in ways which limit the capacity of the Security Council to address crisis situations. 

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Security and International Relations Programme Seminar

Gendering (counter) Revolutionary Processes in Egypt

ProfessorNadje Al-Ali, SOAS, University of London

18:00, 27th February,
Westminster Forum, 5th Floor, 32-38 Wells St, University of Westminster, W1T3UW
All are welcome to attend; for further information please contact Dr Aidan Hehir (a.hehir@wmin.ac.uk)
Nadje Al-Ali is Professor of Gender Studies at the Centre for Gender Studies, SOAS, University of London. Her main research interests revolve around gender theory; feminist activism; women and gender in the Middle East; transnational migration and diaspora moblization; war, conflict and reconstruction’ art & cultural studies and food. Her publications include What kind of Liberation? Women and the Occupation of Iraq (2009, University of California Press, co-authored with Nicola Pratt); Women and War in the Middle East: Transnational Perspectives (Zed Books, 2009, co-edited with Nicola Pratt); Iraqi Women: Untold Stories from 1948 to the Present (2007, Zed Books); New Approaches to Migration (ed., Routledge, 2002, with Khalid Koser); Secularism, Gender and the State in the Middle East (Cambridge University Press 2000) and Gender Writing – Writing Gender (The American University in Cairo Press, 1994) as well as numerous book chapters and journal articles. Her most recent book (co-edited with Deborah al-Najjar) is entitled We are Iraqis: Aesthetics & Politics in a Time of War (Syracuse University Press).
Professor Al-Ali was President of the Association of Middle East Women’s Studies (AMEWS) from 2009-2011. Recently, she has been elected to the Board of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA). She is also a member of the Feminist Review Collective and a founding member of Act Together: Women’s Action for Iraq (www.acttogether.org). She is currently involved in several projects with Iraqi academics and women’s rights activists with the aim to facilitate the introduction of women and gender studies and increase evidence-based research capacity in Iraq.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Security and International Relations Programme Seminar: The Economics of Killing

"The Economics of Killing".
Vijay Mehta chair of Uniting for Peace and Founding Trustee ofFortune Forum Charity.
23rd January 18:00, Westminster Forum, 5thFloor, 32-38 Wells Street.
Globalisation has created an interconnected world, but has not diminished violence, militarism and inequality. The Economics of Killing describes how the power of global elites, entrenched under globalisation, has created a deadly cycle of violence.

Vijay Mehta shows how attempts at peaceful national development are routinely blocked by Western powers. He locates the 2008 financial crisis in US attempts to block China's model of development. He shows how Europe and the US conspire with regional dictators to prevent countries from developing advanced industries, and how this system has fed terrorism.

Mehta argues that a different world is possible, based on policies of disarmament, demilitarisation and sustainable development.
Vijay Mehtas books include The Economics of Killing (2012), The Fortune Forum Code: For a Sustainable Future (2006), Arms No More (2005) and The United Nations and its Future in the 21st Century (2005).
He has appeared in various TV programmes including BBC World, Press TV, Ajtak-24 hour Indian news channel, and Think Peace documentary, Canada, among others. Vijay Mehta is the recipient of the Global Indian Karmaveer (Action hero) Puraskaar (Award) by iCONGO (International Confederation of NGO’s). He is now a noble-laureate 2012 – 2013 of the iCONGO team of advisors and mentors. Vijay has been appointed as a fellow of the New Westminster College, Province of British Columbia, Canada in 2013.
Vijay Mehtas new book The Economics of Killing: How the West Fuels Wars and Poverty in the Developing World is published by Pluto Press (UK) / Palgrave Macmillan (USA) / Amazon (Worldwide). For reviews and endorsements of the book, please visit: www.theeconomicsofkilling.org
Vijay.a long standing activist for peace, development, human rights and environment
The Sunday Times Magazine, London 1st February, 2009
Vijay Mehta lends intellectual credibility to the project and wrote The Fortune Forum Code for a Sustainable Future, a sort of manifesto that will underpin the groups future activities.
The Independent, London 26 September 2006