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Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies seminars

Hear from academics and practitioners with expertise in Politics, Languages and International Studies. View our upcoming seminars on this page.

October 2023 Seminars

Seminars will take place in 1 West North 2.04 from 13.15-14.05 GMT.

Tuesday 3 October 2023

  • Speaker: Ms Mimi Mihailescu, University of Bath
  • Time: 13.15-14.05
  • Title: Meme-ing Waves: Unpacking Political Narratives in the Romanian Context
  • Abstract: Political memes are no longer (only) a humorous feature of internet culture, but they act as a vehicle for information diffusion and reimaging of politics. Using a mixed-methodology approach combining content analysis, descriptive statistics, and social network analysis, this paper delves into the multifaceted nature of memes, their collective narratives, and their significance in the political discourse surrounding the 2020 Parliamentary election in Romania.

Tuesday 10 October 2023

  • Speaker: Dr Gabriel Huland, University of Bath
  • Time: 13.15-14.05
  • Title: The Syrian Conflict in the News: Coverage of the War and the Crisis of US Journalism
  • Abstract: The Syrian conflict constitutes one of the most covered events in this century. The Syrian Conflict in the News analyses the coverage of the Syrian conflict in US newspapers from March 2011 to April 2018. Gabriel Huland argues that US foreign policy dominates the frames of the conflict, which suggests that mainstream newspapers are excessively indexed to elite narratives.

Tuesday 17 October 2023

  • Speaker: Professor John Boswell, University of Southampton
  • Time: 13.15-14.05
  • Title: En/Countering the State: Understanding Citizen Agency at the Front Lines of Democratic Government
  • Abstract: Democratic reformers ignore the most common way that marginalized citizens encounter the state: in the frontline implementation of laws, policies and services. Citizens are not meek targets. Ethnographic studies across health, education, planning, policing and beyond reveal subtle forms of agency on the frontlines, as citizens evade, challenge or outwit authorities. What do these forms of resistance entail, and what are the wider impacts for participation in democratic life?

Tuesday 24 October 2023

  • Speaker: Dr Nye Davis, Cardiff University
  • Time: 13.15-14.05
  • Title: Class, Power, Democratic Socialism: The Politics and Legacy of Aneurin Bevan
  • Abstract: Despite Aneurin Bevan’s contemporary legacy, there remains fundamental disagreement concerning his politics. Bevan serves different purposes to different factions, being revered as a pragmatic institution builder by some, while others emphasise his political radicalism and dedication to socialism. Drawing on a new collection of Bevan’s writings, ‘This is My Truth: Aneurin Bevan in Tribune’ (2023) and an upcoming book ‘The Political Thought of Aneurin Bevan’ (2024), this paper seeks to reengage with the core elements of Bevan’s political thought, offering an alternative perspective on this complex figure and new insight into his intellectual development.

November Seminars 2023

Seminars will take place in 1 West North 2.04 from 13.15-14.05 GMT.

Tuesday 14 November 2023

  • Speaker: Dr Leah Owen, Swansea University
  • Time: 13.15-14.05
  • Title: "Enemies Within/Enemies Without": How Do Emotional and Security-Based Fears of "Infiltration" Direct and Shape Campaigns of Mass Violence?
  • Abstract: ‘Infiltrators’; ‘fifth columns’; ‘cancers’ – how does the location of a supposed threat affect how violent movements react to it? Intense emotional responses of disgust and fears of 'contamination' often coexist with more conventional 'strategic' arguments, with striking similarities existing between them. Despite important work in social psychology and conflict studies, accounts that bridge such affective and material explanations remain elusive. Drawing on the ‘neo-ideological synthesis’ outlined by Leader Maynard (2022), as well as work by Neilsen (2015) and Straus (2015), this presentation outlines a model of ‘intimate threat’ in extreme anti-minority politics.

Tuesday 21 November 2023

  • Speaker: Dr Sara Polo, University of Essex
  • Time: 13.15-14.05
  • Title: Female Empowerment and Extreme Violence against Women
  • Abstract: Why does extreme violence such as bombings sometimes kill high proportions of women? Academic literature seeks to understand indiscriminate attacks, but the gendered dynamics of such violence have largely been ignored. Other studies focus on gender-based violence such as sexual assault, but far less is known about a widespread phenomenon that we call extreme violence against women -- explosive attacks disproportionately affecting women. We theorize that female empowerment raises the costs of extreme violence against women, making it less likely. Empirically, we introduce new global data on explosive violence targeting women.

Tuesday 28 November 2023

  • Speaker: Dr Robert Geist-Pinfold, Durham University
  • Time: 13.15-14.05
  • Title: Understanding Territorial Withdrawal: Israeli Occupations and Exits
  • Abstract: From Ukraine to Afghanistan and beyond, occupations and exit dilemmas dominate contemporary geopolitics. However, the literature rarely scrutinizes a pivotal, related question: what makes a state withdraw from occupied territory, or entrench itself within it? `Understanding Territorial Withdrawal' addresses this research gap, by building and testing an analytical framework for predicting exit from occupation.

December Seminars 2023

Seminars will take place in 1 West North 2.4 from 13.15-14.05 GMT.

Tuesday 5 December 2023

  • Speaker: Professor Petra Schleiter, University of Oxford
  • Time: 13.15-14.05
  • Title: The UK Voter ID Reform: Effects on Voter Attitudes and Behaviour
  • Abstract: Voter ID is justified by governments as a measure to combat electoral fraud and to increase voter confidence in the electoral process. Opponents highlight the potentially adverse effects of these reforms on voter turnout, perceptions of electoral integrity, inclusion, fairness, and satisfaction with the electoral process. This paper examines how a voter ID reform in the UK affects electoral behaviour and attitudes, focusing on the 2023 local elections in England, which are the first elections affected by the introduction of voter ID in the Elections Act of April 2022.

Tuesday 12 December 2023

  • Speaker: Dr Fernanda Gallo, University of Cambridge
  • Time: 13.15-14.05
  • Title: Hegel in Italy: How Ideas Became Political Practice
  • Abstract: This paper investigates the long process of transition whereby Italy ceased to be a cluster of dominated and isolated states and became a single nation-state. It does so by exploring the influence of Hegelian thought in shaping a new political vocabulary, in large part through the contribution of the Italian Hegelians. It approaches Italian political thought actively engaging with recent broader debates in the history of political thought, exploring the relationship between the development of Italian Hegelianism and the formation of the Italian State and how this tradition was re-shaped during the fascist regime by three key intellectuals: Benedetto Croce, Giovanni Gentile, and Antonio Gramsci.

Seminar enquires

For further information about our seminars, you can contact the organiser.