After graduating from my undergraduate Masters at the University of Edinburgh and Institut d’Etudes Politiques Grenoble (Sciences Po) with a First in 2005 I became a journalist, initially as a Hugo Young Intern at the Guardian and then on the BBC News Scholarship. I worked in London, Cardiff and Glasgow as a reporter and producer before moving into policy work as a researcher with the RSA in London. From there I became Policy, Research and Media Manager for Community Matters, the national representative body for community charities. After four years as a policy practitioner I have come back to Edinburgh to research my doctoral thesis as a Principal’s Career Development Scholar, and I have a particular interest in practice-based models of learning and in bringing together practitioners and academic researchers. I am also an Associate Fellow at the Third Sector Research Centre.
My doctoral thesis looks at the role played by emotion in making policy and how that affects policy’s symbolic cultural power. Policy making is usually framed in terms of rational choice, yet considerable work is done by participants to control emotion or mobilise it. Taking an ethnographic approach my project aims to better understand what is meant by policy participants by “emotion” and “emotional” behaviour or thinking and how that in practice is part of the process of making policy. I am trying to examine the importance of interpersonal and relational factors to the policy making process, particularly as way of containing and expressing thoughts and behaviours associated with coping with the changes policy making can bring to individuals, groups and societies which are not usually formally acknowledged. My work draws upon a range of disciplines and literatures, including ethnographies of other cultures’ decision making and administrative processes and their symbolic cultural meaning, such as Vincent Turner’s classic work on rituals.
Room 4.01: Registration
9:30-11:00: Breakout Session One
Room 4.01: Beyond the Leviathan: Non-State Actors on the World Stage
‘Never again’ or the politics of blind optimism: Finitism and post-Crisis Financial Regulation.
Hezbollah: Accidental Anarchists?
Latin American organized crime: Understanding, measuring and comparing drug related organized crime
Assessing Military Adaptations in Iraq and Afghanistan Using System Dynamics Modelling
Room 7.01: A House Divided: People and Parties in Contested States
Fighting for the centre: multi-ethnic parties in divided societies in comparative perspective
Imagining Independence: Framing Understanding of Independence in Political Discourse
Governing Iraq: Framing the Role of Institutions and Historical Institutionalism in Divided Societies
The effect of electoral systems of the governance of multiethnic and divided societies?
11:00-11:15: Coffee break
11:15-12:45: Breakout Session Two
Room 4.01: Security 2.0: New Approaches to Threat Perception & Response
The examination of the possible connection of micro-financing women and increasing girls’ enrollment in schools
Market Research Organisations in Security Politics: how knowledge is created and used
The Study of Alliance in Middle East Politics: A State of the Art
Media and Politics in the Arab World
Room 7.01: Evolving Democracy: Trial & Error in Representative Government
Religious Variation and Politics
Young voters in the UK: The Case of Higher Education Students
A comparative study of electoral governance in Nigeria and
Territorial decentralisation and territorial development in Colombia: a ‘race to the bottom’ or a ‘race to the top’?
14:00-15:30: Breakout Session Three
Room 4.01: Shining a Light: Understanding Public & Private Dynamics of Policy
The EU enlargement in the case of the Nordic States: a political and socio-economic analysis
EU External Relations in the energy sector
Policy circles in Bulgarian politics
Studying Emotion in the Field
I am a Master’s by research in Politics and International Relations student at the University of Edinburgh. I was raised in California’s Bay Area, a resilient cultural melting pot filled with people trying to better themselves through work, school, and cultural and social interactions. In many ways, growing up with such diversity motivated me to become a charity worker and world traveller. The personal growth I have experienced from traveling and being a political participant has had a deep and lasting impact on me and is a continual inspiration to dedicate my life to making a difference.
My focus is an examination on the possible connection between women empowerment through microfinance in Guatemala as a way to increase the attendance rates of girls in primary and secondary schools. The research topic looks into how microfinance lenders can improve in a way that can impact girls’ attendance rates in schools by advocating women empowerment through micro-lending programmes and/or within loans itself in Guatemala.
I am a first year PhD student in politics at the University of Edinburgh. I did my MA in International Affairs at the Lebanese American University and my BA in law at the Lebanese University. I have worked in the field of news media for over seven years with four different TV channels of various orientations as a reporter, bulletin producer, news presenter, and talk show anchor. The range of my experience includes undergoing an intensive training program with BBC, field reporting during the 2006 Israeli war on Lebanon, and live coverage from Gaza after the 2009 war and from Libya during the 2011 popular upheaval. I have also made journalistic contributions in written media, by writing analytical articles pertaining to Arab issues for four different newspapers in Lebanon, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates.
Summary of Project
Satellite media represented an adequate space for employing micro notions of discourse (particularly interactive communication) to reconfigure macro notions that relate to power and its sociopolitical representations in the Arab World. It created an Arab public sphere disconnected from state rhetoric and actively cultivated the social dynamics of Arab popular uprisings. Media was a strategic instrument for introducing regional reconstruction. Its leverage was established through extensive coverage, an intense interplay with popular dialectics, and a provocative pattern of discourse aiming to void targeted regimes from their supporting dogma. The Libyan uprising constitutes my case study due to the diverging point it represents in the course of the media/politics interplay. In the Libyan case, media’s soft power introduced military hard power after formulating a general Arab consent (official as well as popular) regarding foreign intervention. Furthermore, it actively engaged in the process of drawing the strategic goals of the uprising, propagating new ruling elites, and even shaping alternative political structures.
I joined the MSc (Research) after graduating from Nottingham Trent University in 2009 with a BA in International Relations and Global Politics. During my undergraduate degree I spent time volunteering at a maternal health charity and for a credit union. After graduating I worked for two years at a credit union in Nottingham running community development and partnership projects.
My research generally speaking is focussed around how security politics happens. I focus on how knowledge is created and used in the domain of security politics. I am also particularly interested in how International Relations and Politics interact at the academic level.
This project is concerned with how certain forms of knowledge are created in security politics. It will focus on forms on those forms engineered by market research organisations (MROs) that involve the views of the electorate. It will explore the extent to which MROs play a role in security politics and identify the kinds of research conducted and the methodologies employed. It aims to identify how the electorate may be viewed as an ‘audience’ in securitization theory. This project will contribute by exploring potential neglected actors hence supporting the argument that ‘security’ is not solely the activities of executive branches of government, specialist departments and security professionals.
Imagining Independence: Framing Understanding of Independence in Political Discourse
While the language we use to describe the state and its role within the international system remains familiar, the concepts of statehood and sovereignty have changed dramatically. This is nowhere more evident than in the proposals put forth by substate nationalist parties, where parties now advocate for devolution federalism, enhanced autonomy, or variants of independence. My research will explore how this has evolved, with special interest in the cases of Catalonia, Flanders, and Scotland.
Ed Parsons completed a BA in History and Politics at the University of Durham in 2007 and an MSc in Arab World Studies with the CASAW Centre (University Edinburgh/Durham) in 2009. He worked for the Council for Arab British Understanding as Education Officer from 2009-2011, during which time he coordinated and delivered an education programme on Arab culture and Middle Eastern politics to approximately 10,000 UK school students a year. In October 2010, he escorted a British Parliamentary Delegation to the Gaza Strip. His current research interest is the nature of Private War Makers in the International System.