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OLD Annual Festival of Politics and International Relations 2018

Politics & International Relations Subject Group

Monday, 12 November 2018 at 09:00 - Friday, 16 November 2018 at 18:00 (GMT)

OLD Annual Festival of Politics and International...

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Festival of Politics & International Relations


The annual Festival of Politics & International Relations involves a programme of talks, debates, workshops and other events providing opportunities for argument and discussion on a range of social, political and economic issues – contemporary and historical, national and global.


Leeds   Beckett University

Festival of Politics & International Relations 2018

November 12-16


All   underlined sessions are free and   open to the public

Check   for updates & additions

Monday 12 November


Visit to Imperial War Museum North, Manchester

‘Lest   we forget’ exhibition


Tuesday 13 November





The Contested Nature of Knowledge


Dr Tom Houseman & Dr Robin Redhead


How   do we know what we know? What assumptions do we make about the sources of   information we draw on every day? In this session we will look at how   knowledge is produced and explore the often subconscious ways we interpret   certain types of information as fact.



Woodhouse Building WHG01 Lecture Theatre 1

Tackling FGM

Masooma Ranalvi

Chair: Dr Oriel Kenny


Eliminating FGM from the world is a   Sustainable Developmental Goal. Yet a global drive to eradicate female genital   mutilation (FGM), a custom commonly associated with Africa, will fail unless   efforts are extended to tackle the hidden ritual in parts of Asia.

India as a country has never been the   focus or even a mention in any anti fgm campaign. Yet FGM exists in India   Pakistan, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Malaysia ,Thailand and several other Asian   countries. The immigrant populations from Asian and African countries have   taken the practice to Western nations. It is estimated that 137000 women and   girls are affected by FGM in England and Wales alone with London recording   the highest prevalence rate of 21 per 1000 population.

WeSpeakOut, the organisation founded   by me is the largest survivor led movement in India working towards   eliminating FGM. As a movement for social reform it seeks to prevent FGM in   practicing communities through empowering women and girls, education and   mobilisation.

As a global issue there is a need to   collaborate across borders and create synergies between peoples. I would like   to share with you all my experiences in building a movement which started   from my community but has now become transnational with alliances and   collaborations across borders with various stakeholders and partners who are   an integral part of a global anti FGM front.


Masooma   Ranalvi currently works as trainer on issues of gender and sexual harassment   and is a social activist. In 2015, she took the bold step to be vocal about   her views on the practice on FGM, and how having been a victim of the   practice when she was young, it impacted her deeply and mobilised support to   start debate and discussion over the taboo issue in her community.

Since   then she has been at the forefront of a wide survivor led campaign in India   to end FGM in the community. She has inspired women and young girls across   the country of openly speak about their experiences with regard to FGM and to   actively engage in a campaign against the practice.

She   spearheaded a signature campaign asking the Government of India to ban FGM in   India and the petition has mobilised 150000+ signatures so far. She is   actively involved in exploring and researching the legal and policy level   changes and options that would work in India to effectively end FGM here.

She   has built a movement of women by actively using social media and technology   to let the voices of girls and women be heard across the nation. The facebook   Group: Speak Out on FGM has over 3000 followers and the whatsapp group of   over 100 women engaged in daily conversations on FGM.

She   has actively mobilised media to support the end FGM campaign with hundreds of   articles being published regularly on FGM in India in various languages, and   more importantly calling for members to question and be critical of the   blindly followed tradition.



Rose Bowl RB263

The Politics of Play:   Wargaming with the US military


Dr   Aggie Hirst

Lecturer   in International Relations Theory and Methods

Department   of War Studies, King’s College London

Chair:   Dr Tom Houseman


Dr   Hirst’s research is situated in the fields of IR/political theory and   critical military studies. She is Principal Investigator on a Leverhulme   Trust/British Academy funded project titled 'Producing Soldiers in a Digital   Age', which explores of the US military’s use of wargames and simulations to   teach and train service members. Drawing on extensive fieldwork conducted on   military bases and developing novel analyses of play and immersion, this   presentation explores the political and ethical implications of these   immersive training technologies.




Broadcasting Place


Dissertation supervision café

Dr John Willott & supervisors


An   opportunity for all final year dissertation students to meet their supervisor   prior to submitting the outline assessment at the end of the week.




Rose Bowl Lecture Theatre C

Negotiating Battlefields


A talk by Rae McGrath followed by   Q&A for which he will be joined by Dr Rachel Julian


Chair: Dr Steve Wright


This talk sets out to put humanitarian   response in modern conflict within a realistic framework and argues that the   current response structures - the so-called humanitarian architecture - are   ill-equipped to provide the most basic life-sustaining needs of non-combatants   trapped within complex wars where combatants either intentionally or   carelessly ignore the restraints required by International Humanitarian Law.   McGrath argues that internal priorities and unrealistic aims of implementing   agencies, the all-encompassing War on Terror, the shifting and often Kafka-esque   rules imposed by major donors, irrelevant and outward-facing conflict   analysis and the reluctance of the international humanitarian community to   demarcate specialist roles all   conspire to defeat our best intentions; to help those most vulnerable to   death, injury and displacement in conflict. McGrath explains the realities of   negotiating today's complex war zones in order to deliver food and essential   aid across frontlines to displaced and beseiged communities and calls for an   urgent review of how the international community responds to this most basic   human duty.


Rae   McGrath served for 18 years in the British Army as a military engineer before   he began working with humanitarian aid organisations, initially delivering   food aid to communities in Darfur Province of Sudan during the famine of the   mid-1980's. He worked throughout Africa and Asia and, responding to the daily   toll of victims, established community-based landmine clearance programmes in   Afghanistan in 1988. He was the founder and first Director of the UK-based   international NGO Mines Advisory Group (MAG) and the author of many key   reports and two books on the impact and effective response to landmines,   cluster munitions and unexploded ordnance. In the period leading up to the   2005 Peace Agreement in Sudan Rae was instrumental in a number of innovative   crossline projects funded by the European Community and IGAD Partner Forum   and initiated the first landmine clearance programme in the Nuba Mountains.   McGrath has also established and directed field programmes responding to   natural emergencies, including Indonesia following the 2004 tsunami in Aceh,   and in Java following the 2006 Bantul/Yogyakarta earthquake. He is an active   civil society campaigner and was a founder member of the International   Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), representing the campaign when it was   awarded the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize, he delivered the Nobel Lecture. McGrath   played a key role in the Cluster Munition Campaign (CMC) which resulted in   the treaty banning the weapons in 2008, he was author of some of the key   technical papers and a member of the CMC international steering committee.   From 1997 he was an associate and visiting lecturer at the Post War   Reconstruction and Planning Unit (PRDU) at York University where he was   awarded an Honorary Doctorate in 2014. In 2017 he was awarded an Honorary   Doctorate of Laws by Leeds Beckett University for his work related to   International Humanitarian Law. Rae worked as Senior Programme Manager for   emergency response for Save the Children UK from 2009 to 2012 and led   responses to emergencies in Ethiopia, West Sumatra, Somalia, Liberia,   Tunisia, Libya and Jordan/Syria. In early 2013 he became Country Director for   North Syria and Turkey for Mercy Corps, responsible for high volume   cross-border food aid to civilians in opposition and contested areas of North   Syria, he also initiated refugee and migrant response programmes in Turkey.   Since leaving Mercy Corps in 2017 McGrath has been UK-based, working on a   book and advocating for a renewed international commitment to addressing the   needs of civilians in conflict. He lectures widely on conflict and   humanitarian issues.

Wednesday 14 November



Broadcasting Place


Volunteering presentations

Dr Sophia Price


Current   Level 6 (3rd year) students will give assessed presentations for the Active   Politics and Volunteering module. Current Level 4 (1st year) and Level 5 (2nd   year) students are invited to attend in order to find out more about the   types of volunteering undertaken by PIR students and how the level 6 module   is assessed



Rose Bowl RB310

Focus Group

Dr Robin Redhead


All   Politics & IR students are invited to attend this focus group meeting   with Robin Redhead to discuss how things are going on your course: what you   like, what could be improved, and any actions that need to be taken.




Rose Bowl Lecture Theatre E

Microfinance – Marxist Feminist perspectives


Dr Sophia Price & Brett Byatt


Microfinance has been at the forefront   of attempts at a variety of levels to marry gender empowerment with economic   growth through entrepreneurialism. However this ‘Smart Economics’ of   financial inclusion has come under widespread critique. Both presenters will explore specifically   Marxist Feminist approaches to understanding the underlying forces that have   driven the widespread adoption of microfinance and the impact this has on   gender relations in the Global South


Brett   Byatt is currently in his 3rd year of studying Politics BA(Hons) at Leeds   Beckett University and has recently published an article ‘The case of Kiva   and Grameen: Towards a Marxist feminist critique of ‘smart economics’’ in   Capital and Class


Sophia   Price is Head of Politics and International Relations at Leeds Beckett   University. She has recently published an article 'The Risks and Incentives   of Disciplinary Neo-liberal Feminism: The Case of Microfinance' in the   International Feminist Journal of Politics



Rose Bowl Lecture Theatre E

Lehman Brothers 10 Years On


Speaker   to be confirmed




Rose Bowl Lecture Theatre E

Marx@200 – What relevance does Marx have today?


Dr Sophia Price, Dr Tom Houseman &   Dr Tom Purcell  


On the 200th anniversary of Karl   Marx’s birth, major western international newspapers were awash with praise   for a 19th century radical thinker and communist revolutionary. An opinion   article in the New York Times announced ‘Happy Birthday, Karl Marx. You Were   Right!’ and another article in the Financial Times ran with ‘Why Karl Marx is   more relevant than ever’. However, this begs the bigger questions - what Marx   was right about, and what exactly is he still relevant for? Marx himself   famously declared that, “If there is one thing I am certain of, it is that I   am not a Marxist”. In this special Marx@200 event for the Politics and   International Relations Festival, three self-identifying ‘Marxists’ will   provide different answers to what it means for them to think with and beyond   Marx in 21st century conditions of financialized, racialized, and gendered   forms of contemporary capitalism.



Broadcasting Place BPA 201

How to Get Heard: Experiences of Women in Politics and   International Relations


Dr   Robin Redhead & Dr Sophia Price


The notion of the ‘old boys club’ is   prominent in the practice of politics and international relations. Women   continue to struggle to find ways of getting their voices heard within public   office and behind the scenes in the inner sanctum of parliament and   diplomatic circles. In this session we will look at ways that women have used   activism to mobilise support against the ‘old boys club’ mentality. We will   explore women’s empowerment and the persistent struggle to be taken   seriously, on their own terms, in their own voice.




Venue TBA

Level 6 Chill Out Session


Dr Robin Redhead


Feeling   the pressure of your final year of study? Want to do well, but not sure if   you can? You need to de-stress. Come and take a break with tea and cake.

Reward   yourself for taking some time off! You deserve it…


Thursday 15 November



Woodhouse Building


Volunteering briefing


Dr Sophia Price, Alex Webster, Sophie   Moody


This   session is designed for current Level 4 and 5 (1st & 2nd year)   students to go through the requirements for the 100 hours of volunteering   required for the Active Politics and Volunteering module. All current Level 4   & 5 students should attend.



Rose Bowl Lecture Theatre G

How to be a Space Invader


Paul Routledge, Professor in   Contentious Politics and Social Change, Deputy Director of Leeds Social   Science Institute, and Co-Convenor of Leeds Social and Environmental Justice   Action Network

School of Geography, University of   Leeds

Chair: Dr Sophia Price


Donald Trump in the White House.   Growing inequality worldwide. Forty million people affected by catastrophic   flooding in South Asia. The media is full of stories of the rise of   authoritarian politics; economic inequality; and the effects of climate   change. It can sometimes feel that the world around us is dangerous,   unpredictable, and in permanent crisis.

However, beyond the mainstream media’s   obsession with ratings, celebrity and spectacle, people around the world are   attempting to challenge economic and social injustice and fashion   alternatives to the current state of affairs.

Professor Routledge argues that   protest always poses political interventions in the political order that   determines what is visible and what can be said and heard in political   discourse and the places in which this occurs. Protests call into question   the structuring principles of that order by making visible the inequalities   and lack of freedoms (or wrongs) inherent in it.

Being seen and heard through protest   involves a keen understanding, and creative use of geography - whether that   be through transforming landscapes, using, occupying, defending or abandoning   territory or developing solidarity and communication networks. In this talk   Paul will draw upon his scholar activism from the past 25 years to show how   protestors draw from and deploy a strategic geographical imagination to make   sense of the world of protest and build effective campaigns.


Paul’s   research interests include critical geopolitics, climate change, social   justice, civil society, the environment, and social movements. He has   long-standing research experience concerning development, environment and the   practices of social movements in the Global South, particularly South Asia   and Southeast Asia, and in the Global North. In particular, his research has   been concerned with two key areas of interest: the spatiality of social   movements in the Global South and Global North; and the practical, political   and ethical challenges of scholar activism. Paul’s research involves   politically engaged and committed research that is practice-based and   conducted in horizontal collaboration with social movements. This has   included work on: transitions to democracy in Nepal in 1990 and 2006; the   anti-roads (environmental) movement in Scotland; anti-dam resistance on the   Narmada river, India; anti-tourism/environmental struggles in Goa, India; the   alter-globalisation movement, especially the People’s Global Action network   of Asian farmer and indigenous people’s movements. Paul’s most recent book is   Space Invaders: radical geographies of   protest (Pluto Press, 2017)  





Rose Bowl RB 437 Lecture Theatre   B


Paths to Justice, Truth   and Memory in Argentina


Dr   Ayeray Medina Bustos

Chair:   Dr Steve Wright


Argentina   has been following different paths to deal with its worst past repression   after the dictatorship that ended in 1983. Attempts at truth and justice were   the creation of the CONADEP (National Commission on the Disappearance of   Persons) in 1983 and the condemnation of nine Argentine junta members.

However,   three amnesty laws were created afterwards: Full Stop, Due Obedience and   Pardon (‘Indulto’) laws. The creation of those laws caused negative reactions   among most parts of the Argentinean society. They felt betrayed. As stated by   Webb and others (2010) ”the former military leaders called for amnesty   whereas almost all the victims believe that reconciliation and justice can   only be achieved through punishment of the perpetrators” (pp.26-27).

After   42 years Argentina succeed in prosecuting its worst perpetrators as an   institutional response to repression and public trials are contested in many   cities of the country. I had the great opportunity to work as a psychologist   at those trials in Bahia Blanca, by assisting hundreds of victims and   witnesses, as part of the Ministry of Justice.

This   presentation will argue that public trials might contribute to truth,   justice, memory and also to reconciliaton at national and personal levels.


Ayeray Medina Bustos is a Pychologist   from Argentina. She gained her Masters in Sweden (Eramus Mundus scholarship)   and completed her PhD at Leeds Beckett University.

She assisted and accompanied victims   of the last genocide in Argentina at the public trials of crimes against   humanity as part of a team at the Ministry of Justice and after that, in the   Protection of International Human Rights, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs   and Worship in Argentina.



Rose Bowl Lecture Theatre D

About a War –A film


Directed by: Daniele Rugo and Abi   Weaver

Film screening & talk by Daniele   & Abi, followed by Q&A

Chair: Dr Rachel Julian


'About a War' presents compelling   testimonies of ex-fighters from the Lebanese Civil War who bravely volunteer   a rare glimpse into the trauma, regret and redemption of a militiaman.

Through extensive interviews, rare   archive material and an evocative original soundtrack, the film explores the   personal motivations and choices, the harrowing battles, international   interventions and political power struggles that transformed their lives.


Daniele   Rugo is a filmmaker/scholar and Senior Lecturer in Film at Brunel University,   London. His research has been funded by AHRC, ESRC and British Academy. He is   the author of two feature-length documentaries and his publication include:   Philosophy and the Patience of Film (2016), James Benning's Environments   (2018). He is an affiliate of the Centre for Lebanese Studies and has been an   associate of the American University of Beirut.


Abi   Weaver is a BAFTA award winning producer/director who has worked across a   range of visual media from independent feature documentaries and online   shorts through to programming for major UK broadcasters (BBC, ITV, Channel 4   and Channel 5). She has been funded by TECHNE, Arts and Humanities Research   Council UK to undertake a PhD at the University of Surrey. Her publications   include: Dark Beirut: The (in)visibility of electricity (2017) and 100 Years   of Futurism (2018).



Rose Bowl Lecture Theatre D

Around the Wall: Bend It like Bethlehem – Women's Football in   the West Bank


Documentary film + talk and Q&A

Tania Aghanian (Politics & IR)   & Chris Webster (School of Sport)


This   documentary film follows a group of women footballers from the UK and Germany   on their second football trip to Palestine. The film highlights key cultural   issues surrounding local women’s participation in sport as well as the   struggle to remain in their homelands.


Friday 16 November



Rose Bowl

RB B437 Lecture Theatre B

Volunteering presentations


Dr Sophia Price


Current   Level 6 (3rd year) students will give assessed presentations for the Active   Politics and Volunteering module. Current Level 4 (1st year) and Level 5 (2nd   year) students are invited to attend in order to find out more about the   types of volunteering undertaken by PIR students and how the level 6 module   is assessed

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Do you have questions about OLD Annual Festival of Politics and International Relations 2018? Contact Politics & International Relations Subject Group

When & Where

Leeds Beckett University
various venues at City Campus- please see individually listed events for details
City Campus
LS1 3HE Leeds
United Kingdom

Monday, 12 November 2018 at 09:00 - Friday, 16 November 2018 at 18:00 (GMT)

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Politics & International Relations Subject Group

The Politics & International Relations Group offers two undergraduate courses: BA (Hons) Politics and BA (Hons)
International Relations. Each subject can be combined with a specialism in Human Rights, Global Development, Peace Studies or Political Economy, reflecting some of the areas of research within the group.  It is within the School of Social Sciences.

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