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This is an independent site maintained by the academic staff of the Department of Politics and International Studies at SOAS, University of London. We use it to showcase our research, writing and commentary, and to provide up-to-date information about our Department.


The Queer Art of Whistleblowing

What should we make of the fact that Bradley Manning has become Chelsea, that Glenn Greenwald is gay, that David Miranda loves a man enough to submit to the harassment incurred by his partner’s work, that Greenwald’s detractors sought to tarnish him by association with—of all things—a porncompany? Possibly nothing generalisable, except that gender is doing…

Autumn 2013 Politics Department Seminar Series

Date: 9 October 2013 Speaker: Dr. Ian Cooper (Oxford University),  ‘Democratic Consolidation in Africa: the role of Presidential Succession Crises’   Date: 16 October 2013 Speaker: Dr. Kelly Kollman (University of Glasgow),  ’Deploying Europe: the Creation of Discursive Imperatives for Same-sex Unions’   Date: 23 October 2013 Speaker: Dr. Mayling Birney (LSE), ‘A Rule of Mandates:  How…

Newest SOAS Politics Newsletter

Check out the newest issue of the SOAS Politics and International Studies Newsletter, with all the news you may want about publications, media pieces, notices, awards, etc. http://www.soas.ac.uk/politics/newsletter/file85340.pdf  (in PDF)

A Bibliographic Entry for the Clash of Civilizations

Introduction From a contemporary perspective, the phrase “clash of civilizations” was popularized by the British-American Orientalist Bernard Lewis in an article for the Atlantic Monthly published in 1990. Lewis argued that Islamic militancy is reinvigorating an ancient rivalry between Islam and the “Judeo-Christian heritage” of the “West.” Harvard professor Samuel P. Huntington took up the concept and…

Iran Election: Change in Nuclear Diplomacy?

A major consideration ahead of Iran’s June 14 election is the impact of a new presidency on the country’s future nuclear negotiations. While the president in Iran lacks the power to decide on the strategy guiding nuclear talks, he has a substantial role in determining the style and tactics of negotiations. Iran’s Supreme Leader has…

Does democracy mean different things in India and Pakistan?

india-voter

In this post, I consider whether ‘democracy’ might mean different things in different places—focusing, specifically, on the relationship between democracy and the rule of law. Is democracy grounded in elections or a particular understanding of ‘justice’ set apart from ‘the rule of law’? Does this relationship operate differently in western contexts like the U.K. and non-western…

Margaret Thatcher and West Asia

Margaret Thatcher was a true Cold War Amazon. Her perception of world politics was seriously affected, if not determined by the global competition between the West and the Soviet Union. This bipolar world view lent itself to thinking in dichotomies: good versus evil, justice versus terrorism, freedom versus socialism. Many commentators have argued that her…

The tip of the spear: US Special Operations Forces

USSOCOM

The recent news of a possible shift in the operation of drones from the CIA to the Department of Defense was by and large received with a shrug. Given that the programme would likely be operated by the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) and under conditions of strictest secrecy, and probably launched from inaccessible “floating bases” on especially…