(by Ali Lantukh)
At the end of September, PRIMO fellows descended upon Oxford University from far and wide to attend our annual conference and outreach event at the Department of Politics and International Relations. The first two days at the department featured sessions on practical issues — working in the private sector, lead by our partners at JLR (with thanks to Stuart Jackson); talks on academic publishing and dissemination via social media from Nuffield College’s Professor Ben Ansell and John Louth, an Editor-in-Chief at the Oxford University Press; and finally insight from scholar and diplomat Nigel Gould-Davis on the intersection between academia and policy.
A host of speakers and guests joined us for the third and fourth days of the conference as we mulled the theme, “Navigating the Political: The Study and Practice of International Relations in Turbulent Times.” Particularly apt in a shell-shocked post-Brexit Oxford, the theme of communicating research findings and expert opinions to non-academic audience was met head on in panels on academics into government and academics and politics, featuring a keynote speech from the New Economics Foundation’s Professor Marc Stears. Beyond Westminster’s wranglings, we were given a window into the Columbian peace process and the climate for researchers and NGOs in China, Turkey, and Tanzania, thanks to a wide variety of speakers from Oxfam, Amnesty International, academic, and private sector settings.
PRIMO sends out a huge thanks to all those involved in the conference’s organisation, particularly our Scientist-in-Charge Professor Andrew Hurrell, and events team Jo Ostridge and Jon Askonas, and now begins preparations for our final annual conference in Brussels next year.