Global Societies

Conference Schedule

Tuesday 14th June 2011

Venue: Main Lecture Theatre – Arts Building

9.15-10.00 – Registration and Coffee (Outside Main Lecture Theatre – Arts Building)

10.00-10.10 – Welcome from Prof. Colin Thain

10.10-11.00 – Keynote Speech from Diane Abbott MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington

11.00-11.15 – Coffee Break (Outside Main Lecture Theatre – Arts Building)


11.15- 12.15 – First panel session – International Security

(Chair: Jonathan Robinson)

  •  Rebranding NATO: From Nuclear Stand Off to Nation Builders (Jonathan Priestley)
  • “The Real Question Is: ‘Do We Want To Stop North Korea?” The Realist Approach in Korean Peninsula Crisis (Dominika Kaczkowska)
  • A Social Constructivist Interpretation of US Military Deployment (Anthony Maher)


12.15- 1.15 – Second panel session – Political Economy

(Chair: Jonathan Robinson)

  •  The Impact of Democracy and Capitalism in the Third World: An Inherent Contradiction? (James Hughes)
  • Capitalism, Globalisation and Democracy (Joren Bailliere and Kuba Neneman)

1.15-2.00 – Lunch (Outside Main Lecture Theatre – Arts Building)


2.00-3.00 – Student Political Groups ‘Question Time’ Debate

(Chair: Jonathan Robinson)


3.00 – Coffee will be made available outside the Main Lecture Theatre – Arts Building


3.00-4.00 – Third panel session – Perspectives on Gender and Sexuality

(Chair: Ranieri Maglione)

  •  The Mechanisms of Global Spreading of Gender mainstreaming Policies (Natalie Werner)
  • Representations of rape victims in the media (Elena Lynch)
  • The Moral Status of Feminist Advocacy: The dilemma of imperfect foresight (Bryn Gough)


4.00-5.00 – Fourth panel session – Diversity, Cultures and the International

(Chair: Ranieri Maglione)

Is Islamic finance an alternative to conventional finance? (Farhia Abukar and Isir Hussein)

  • Political and Social Place of the Catholic Church in Poland and the ‘Battle for the Smolensk Cross’ (Konrad Jagodzinski)
  • Urbanisation and Modernisation on the Peripheries: Nouakchott, Mauritania (Joseph Bergson)


5.00-5.30 – Dr. Peter Kerr – Prizes and Awards!

5.30-6.30 – Prof. James Curran – Guest lecture: Misunderstanding the Internet

(Organised by the Sociology Staff/Student Committee in conjunction with the Student Conference Committee)

6.30-8.00 – Wine Reception (Atrium of the Muirhead Tower


Keynote Speaker – Diane Abbott MP

We are lucky enough to have Diane Abbott, MP, Shadow Minister for Public Health and generally popular political personality as our keynote speaker. Diane has been an MP since 1987, in which time she has developed a reputation for standing up for civil liberties, speaking out on issues such as tuition fees and the Iraq war. She has been a frequent guest on the BBC’s This Week, and has appeared on other prominent TV shows. Diane has also founded the London Schools and the Black Child initiative, which aims to raise the educational achievement of black children in London. Aside from politics, Diane has also impressively performed Chopin’s Prelude No. 4 in E minor to an audience of piano enthusiasts. The conference committee would like to take this opportunity to thank Diane for coming to speak to us.

Keynote Speaker – Dr Peter Kerr

Dr Peter Kerr, who I’m sure we’re all familiar with, has kindly agreed to give a short speech and to give out the prizes (see below.) Peter is the author of Postwar British Politics: From Conflict to Consensus and has written numerous journal articles on British Politics.

Keynote Speaker – Professor James Curran

James Curran is Director of the Goldsmiths Leverhulme Media Research Centre, supported by a £1.25 million grant from the Leverhulme Trust. He has held a personal Chair at Goldsmiths since 1989.

Professor Curran’s attendance has been organised by the Sociology SSLC, and we would like to thank them for agreeing to combine their event with ours and giving everybody a chance to see Professor Curran’s Lecture. In addition, we would, of course, also like to thank Professor Curran for coming.

Structure of the Student Presentations

The structure of the student presentations is divided into four main panels – International Security, Political Economy, Perspectives on Gender and Sexuality and respectively, Culture, Diversity and the International. The abstracts associated with these presentations can be found at the end of this programme.


  • The best three speeches from across the panels will receive prizes of £100. This will be judged by an independent academic panel.
  • The Sociology SSLC is giving away two Valefest tickets to the best question from the audience, so please ask away!

Student Political Groups “Question Time” debate

As you will notice on the schedule of events (featured on the following page), we have also arranged a “Question Time” style debate between Birmingham University Conservative Future, Birmingham University Liberal Democrats, and Birmingham University Labour Society. Two representatives from each society will be appearing on a panel for an hour-long debate/argument. We would like to strongly encourage the audience to be as involved as possible and ask as many questions as they can come up with.


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