Welcome to SOAS Politics

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.


Laleh Khalili and Lisa Hajjar speak on Torture, Drones and Detention

The following is an audio recording of a joint book talk held on 16 January 2013. Laleh Khalili and Lisa Hajjar recently published their Time in the Shadows: Confinement in Counterinsurgenciesand Torture: A Sociology of Violence and Human Rights, respectively. The event was held at the School of Oriental and African Studies, and featured a…

WWF drones raise serious questions for international security

We are currently bearing witness to great changes in international security. Gone are the days of state monopoly over internal and external security agencies. State policing and military agencies are now serving alongside a variety of global, regional, and subnational security providers. The latest to join this mix of non-state actors is the World Wildlife…

Farid Boudjellal: An Algerian Exception

Sixteen years after the French conquest in 1830, unlike Morocco and Tunisia, Algerian independence from France was achieved 50 years ago. Self-determination occurred after a gruesome and bloody war lasting eight years until 1962, the year in which over a million Français d’Algérie (French Algerians or Pied-Noirs) fled the ountry. Among them were indigenous Jews and Muslim…

Exciting doctoral studentships at SOAS

Dear colleagues, The Department of Politics at SOAS (University of London) is pleased to announce several PhD studentships in 2013. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) the Department was rated in the Top 10 for Politics, with special expertise in International Politics and the politics of South Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Central Asia,…

CIDA is hardly a wasted enterprise

The National Post recently published two articles about Canada’s aid effort in Afghanistan, with both suggesting that tax dollars have been wasted in that enterprise. As someone who acted as a senior advisor with CIDA, serving with Canada’s Provincial Reconstruction Team in Kandahar in 2008 and 2009, I believe it’s important to set the record…

Germany and Israel: Is It Friendship?

In the second of two posts on German-Israeli relations, Felix Berenskoetter argues that a shared commitment to the memory of the Holocaust and to Israel’s right to exist has not formed a true friendship between Germany and Israel.  When there is a meeting between German and Israeli government officials, it has become a ritual to…

An Act of Friendship? Re-reading Grass on German-Israeli relations

In the first of two posts on German-Israeli relations, Felix Berenskoetter goes against the grain to ask whether the controversial poem by Guenter Grass ‘What must be said’ can be read as an act of friendship vis-à-vis Israel. In April this year, Günter Grass, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature and one of Germany’s…

Glimpses of the Thailand-Myanmar border

1 September 2012 My first direct encounter with Burma starts in Thailand. The overnight coach from Bangkok’s Morchit terminal to Mae Sot in the Northwest stops at several Thai army checkpoints where soldiers with bulletproof vests and surgical masks survey passengers’ identity cards. With the first check in process, four people quietly slip off the…