PS21 update weekending Nov 4

A couple of great discussions over the last two weeks in both London and New York, a testament to some of the range of really great speakers we’ve managed to get. Many thanks to Thomson Reuters in Manhattan for hosting last week’s events on US foreign policy after the election chaired by Reuters senior editor Arlene Getz with Asha Castleberry, Charley Cooper and Mohamed Bazzi. Whoever wins this coming Tuesday, there are lots of very pressing challenges [many thanks to Jocelyn Spencer, Christine Mikolajuk and our other volunteers for helping organize].

A similarly fantastic discussion in London this Wednesday on 15 years of war in Afghanistan in conjunction with the King’s College London Afghan society. Thanks to Theo Farrell, Emma Graham-Harrison, Rob Johnson and Chris Kolenda for a truly stimulating – if not always uplifting – discussion, as well as our attendees from the Afghan Embassy in particular. A lot to drawer out, but the overarching – and more than a little depressing – message seems to be that the outside world have never really bothered to learn enough about the country to be effective. Definitely lessons to learn for future conflicts.

As many of you also know, we recently took on a new volunteer editor, Catherine Tilke. Under her direction, we’ve had a couple of great additions to the website over the last week, particularly Lorenzo Holt on the interplay between Libyan and Italian politics as well as her own on the difficulties of managing Europe’s migrant crisis. Email if you would like to write.

As always, many thanks for joining us on the PS21 journey. We had a couple of great events coming up in London over the next couple weeks, with some exciting plans for New York and Washington DC as well.

Peter Apps, Executive Director


US election drinks with Young Professionals in Foreign Policy

, Tuesday, November 8. From eight p.m. at Neo Bankside, Southwark

We have a few late tickets for our drinks event, which for the hardier souls will continue through the night until the results come in. Sign up here 


Twenty-first Century Peacebuilding from Northern Ireland to Syria

Monday November 14, six p.m. Kings College London

Monday November 14, 6pm War Studies Meeting Room, K6.07 Kings College London

According to the Global Peace Index, there are only 10 countries in the world in 2016 which can be considered free from conflict. The ongoing crisis in Gaza; worsening conflicts in the Middle East; the international stand-off  in Ukraine and the lack of a solution to the refugee crisis are some examples of the contributing factors that have made the world less peaceful in 2016 than it was in 2015.

Drawing on the lessons learnt in the Northern Ireland peace process, our speakers will assess 21st centruy peacebuilding strategies in the context of 21st century conflicts. Do we haev the tools to tackle some of these seemingly intractable situations? What have we learnt and what have we not learnt? Our speakers will look at conflict resolution and peace building strategies, contextualised in 21st century examples.

Dr Gordon Clubb is a Lecturer in International Security at the University of Leeds and is the director of the Terrorism and Political Violence Association. He has published on former combatants in Northern Ireland and the disengagement and de-radicalisation of terrorist movements.

Dr. Anastasia Voronkova is Research Fellow for Armed Conflict at the International Institute for Strategic Studies and Editor of the IISS’s new annual publication, the Armed Conflict Survey. Anastasia holds a PhD in comparative conflict studies from Queen Mary, University of London. She has extensive fieldwork experience in Northern Ireland and the South Caucasus. Her research interests include comparative conflict resolution, communication strategies and rhetoric of non-state armed groups, the political economy of armed conflicts, security and terrorism.

Prior to joining IISS she held teaching positions at University College London and Queen Mary University of London.

Haid Haid is a Syrian columnist and researcher who focuses on security policies, conflict resolution, Kurdish and Islamist movements. Prior to that, he was a programme manager on Syria and Iraq at the Heinrich Böll Stiftung-Middle East Office in Beirut. He also worked as a senior community services-protection assistant at UNHCR- Damascus office. He has a BA in Sociology, a post graduate diploma in counseling, an MA in social development and has just completed another MA in conflict resolution at King’s College.

Moderator: Professor Joe Maiolo is the Deputy Head of the Department of War Studies, Director of the Sir Michael Howard Centre for the History of War, and Professor of International History. He is an editor of The Journal of Strategic Studies, and co-editor of The Strategy Reader, a member of the editorial board for Intelligence & National Security, and a fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

He is currently a Visiting Research Professor at the Norwegian Defence Intelligence School, Oslo.

This event is being run in partnership with the Sir Michael Howard Centre for the History of War, at KCL.

Please sign up here.

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