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PAIS Professor Shirin Rai elected Fellow of the British Academy

The Department of Politics and International Studies (PAIS) at the University of Warwick is delighted to announce that Professor Shirin Rai, Professor of International Political Economy, has been elected to a Fellowship of the British Academy.

This prestigious award recognises outstanding research across the Humanities and Social Sciences. In 2021, the British Academy elected 52 UK Fellows; the University of Warwick's press release can be accessed here.

On receiving her award, Professor Rai said: “I am delighted to have been elected as a Fellow of the British Academy and look forward to working with colleagues in the Academy - particularly in the Politics and International Relations Section - through my research and impact work to address issues of international development, social (in)equalities and innovative methodologies. I thank colleagues in PAIS and the wider gender and politics community for supporting my work”.

Professor Nick Vaughan-Williams, Head of PAIS, commented: “Professor Rai’s election to a Fellowship of the British Academy reflects her long-standing status as a world-leading researcher in gender, political economy, and development. Her Directorship of the Warwick Interdisciplinary Research Centre for International Development (WICID) – hosted in PAIS – is a beacon of excellence across research, education, and impact in the Social Sciences at-large. Colleagues and I are proud of Professor Rai’s scholarly achievements, but PAIS is also very fortunate to benefit from her academic leadership and warm collegiality. Her tireless efforts to support early career scholars and embed principles of equality, diversity, and inclusion have been transformational in the Department. Very many congratulations, Shirin”.

The PAIS Department is home to two Fellows of the British Academy: Professor Shirin Rai and Professor Stuart Elden. 

Mon 26 Jul 2021, 12:40 | Tags: Front Staff Impact PhD MA UG Faculty of Social Sciences

Franklyn Lisk Publishes Research Study for the African Development Bank

Professor Franklyn Lisk has recently published a research study, carried out on behalf of the African Development Bank.

This research study was commissioned by the Office of the President, African Development Bank (AfDB), as a ‘knowledge product’ on a new model of a geographically demarcated and integrated agro-industrial ecosystem that the Bank had developed and termed Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone(SAPZ). As the consultant selected for the study, I was required to provide relevant information concerning planning and implementation and policy guidance that can be used by the Bank for the design and programming of the SAPZ as a flagship spatial solution aimed at agricultural transformation and rural development in its 54 member-states across Africa. The study frames the SAPZ model within the institutional mandate of the AfDB as a regional development financing agency; defines and explains key conceptual and strategic (legal, institutional, regulatory and policy) issues; makes use of a political economy framework to illustrate critical factors involved in implementation of the model, such as the role of the state and its engagement with private investors; and presents and evaluates empirical evidence from 8 different country case-studies drawn from existing agro-industrial experiences in the region, as the basis for recommendations pertaining to drivers of success and common pitfalls to avoid. The main ‘takeaways’ from the study are that the SAPZ model has great potential to stimulate structural change with employment opportunities, promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, aid transitioning to internationally-competitive and green industrial development, and support regional trade and integration.

You can read the research study here.

Tue 13 Jul 2021, 10:26 | Tags: Front Staff Impact Faculty of Social Sciences Research

Coventry students address United Nations global conference on the legacy of the slave trade

Grave of MyrtillaTwo Coventry school pupils have addressed a prestigious United Nations conference thanks to the support of the University of Warwick’s Colonial Hangover project.

Just five student teams were chosen from around the world to speak. Harvir Dhatt [15] and Aadam Vohra [15] of Lyng Hall School, part of the Finham Park Multi Academy Trust, represented the UK with their presentation at the 12th Annual Global Student Conference on slavery and the transatlantic slave trade.

This year’s theme was “Ending Slavery’s Legacy of Racism: A Global Imperative for Justice.”

Harvir and Aadam spoke about the links between Coventry and the transatlantic slave trade – which the Colonial Hangover project helps local school students to explore - and also reflected on their own experiences as young men of Indian and Pakistani heritage.

Addressing representatives from 28 countries and H.E. Mr. Alie Kabba, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Sierra Leone to the United Nations, Harvir said: “Coventry’s legacy still remains unknown to many of the population living in it. Until I had conducted my research for this presentation I hadn't realised how close to home this legacy had existed. It prompted me to question, have I remained too silent?”

Aadam spoke about examples of racism in today’s society such as the abuse directed towards footballers like Marcus Rashford and asked the delegates to consider whether this was a legacy of slavery – “although slavery, as a constitution, has been abolished, the deep-rooted attitudes still have prevalence today.”

“It is vital that we learn to appreciate and value all people regardless of race, religion, skin colour, gender, and respect our differences as points of celebration rather than of division,” Aadam concluded.

Dr Shahnaz Akhter, Research Fellow of the Colonial Hangover project, based within the Department of Politics and International Studies at Warwick, said: “In their presentation Harvir and Aadam focused on placing their local and personal history within the context of the legacies of the transatlantic slave trade. Over the year they have really engaged with the work that the United Nations outreach programme on the transatlantic slave trade and slavery does, and their presentation highlighted why it is so important that we continue these conversations on the legacies of the transatlantic slave trade. These legacies often form part of our everyday environment and the Colonial Hangover project works with schools to examine these hidden legacies.”

Reflecting on the conference, Aadam said: “I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to voice my beliefs and share the history of slavery in my home of Coventry and also my motherland of South Asia. All of the presentations were thought-provoking and inspiring pieces of academic work.”

Harvir said: “I offer my heart-felt thanks towards everyone at the conference, it was an honour to speak in front of so many members about a topic which is not only important but something I am passionate about. Everyone’s presentation was enlightening – the charisma in their work meant I came away with transformed views of the wider issues.”

Mrs Cathy Smith, Associate Headteacher at Lyng Hall, said: “The inspirational and professional delivery and subject matter was both thought-provoking and a pleasure to witness. I’m incredibly proud of the students who represented Lyng Hall on a truly global stage, ably facilitated by our own Miss Lisa Hagan, Director of English, who co-ordinated the project with Colonial Hangover at Warwick University.”

17 June 2021

PHOTO CAPTION: the tomb of Myrtilla in Warwickshire, one of the oldest graves of an enslaved black person in the UK, which was discussed by Aadam in his presentation. Credit: Dr Shahnaz Akhter.

Mon 21 Jun 2021, 10:39 | Tags: Front Staff Impact Faculty of Social Sciences

Online report launch: Racism, mental health and pre-crime policing: the ethics of Vulnerability Support Hubs

Medact's upcoming report Racism, mental health and pre-crime policing: the ethics of Vulnerability Support Hubs is based on documents obtained through a series of long-running Freedom of Information requests. It exposes how a counterterrorism police-led project blurs the boundaries between security and care in disturbing and dangerous ways. We will hear from the three report co-authors and other experts in the field:

  • Dr Hilary Aked – Medact’s Research and Policy Manager
  • Dr Tarek Younis – Cultural and critical clinical psychologist and Lecturer in Psychology at Middlesex University
  • Dr Charlotte Heath Kelly – Reader in Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick
  • Vicki Nash ─ Head of Policy, Campaigns and Public Affairs at Mind

Please register for the event at Medact's website:

Wed 19 May 2021, 12:14 | Tags: Front Staff Impact PhD MA Faculty of Social Sciences Research

Keith Hyams Wins the 2020 Andrew Light Award for Public Philosophy

The International Society for Environmental Ethics (ISEE) is pleased to announce publicly the winner and finalists for the 2020 Andrew Light Award for Public Philosophy. ISEE established the award to promote work in public philosophy and honor contributions to the field by Dr. Andrew Light, who was recognized for his distinctive work in public environmental philosophy at ISEE’s 2017 annual summer meeting.

With this award, ISEE strives to recognize public philosophers working in environmental ethics and philosophy, broadly construed, and who bring unique insights or methods that broaden the reach, interaction, and engagement of philosophy with the wider public. This may be exemplified in published work or engagement in environmental issues of public importance.

This year’s honorees have made important contributions and provide distinctive examples of the work in public environmental philosophy that is happening today. The winner and finalists will be honored at an International Society for Environmental Ethics group session at the Eastern Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association on Thursday, January 14, 2021.

This year’s Light Award winner is Dr. Keith Hyams, Reader in Political Theory and Interdisciplinary Ethics in the Department of Politics and International Studies at University of Warwick (United Kingdom). Dr. Hyams, who earned his DPhil at University of Oxford in 2006, has published academic research in areas that include climate ethics, climate justice, urban resilience, and the governance of global catastrophic risk. However, what distinguishes him as a public environmental philosopher is his work across disciplines, sustained collaboration with non-governmental organizations, and public engagement on issues that include urban adaptation in low income countries, environmental and human rights for Indigenous peoples, and health and environmental injustice in informal settlements in six African cities (Johannesburg, Lusaka, Kampala, Nairobi, Lagos, and Freetown). Dr. Hyams’s collaborators describe his approach as “always one of developing a constructive partnership,” and note that he brings to this work methodologies that help various publics and policymakers to integrate and constructively discuss ethical issues at stake in environmental decisions. Dr. Hyams’s work on climate adaptation is especially notable. In this area, he has served as an ethics advisor to the Indigenous Health Adaptation to Climate Change network, co-authored a report on ‘Remedying Injustice in Indigenous Climate Adaptation Planning: Climate Ethics, Inequality, and Indigenous Knowledge’ (available at:, served as an advisor to the city of Cape Town climate adaptation department, and worked with international NGOs such as Oxfam and Practical Action on the ethics of climate adaptation. Additionally, Dr. Hyams has mentored six postdoctoral researchers and multiple doctoral students, helping them to develop their own skills in publicly engaged environmental philosophy. This year’s Andrew Light Award recognizes the collaborative, publicly engaged, and ethically grounded work of Dr. Keith Hyams as distinctive contributions to public environmental philosophy.

This year’s finalists are Dr. Kian Mintz-Woo of University College Cork (Ireland) and Dr. Jeremy Moss of University of New South Wales (Australia).

Dr. Mintz-Woo, a lecturer at University College Cork, is an early career scholar who has already demonstrated a sustained commitment to publicly engaged philosophy. As a graduate student at University of Graz, Kian Mintz-Woo helped to develop a public art exhibition, Exhibition CliMatters, which was shown in multiple venues in Austria and drew over 1700 visitors, and he founded, organized, and contributed to the Climate Footnotes blog ( As a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University, Dr. Mintz-Woo collaborated with Professor Peter Singer on an article, “Put a Price on Carbon Now!” published in Project Syndicate on May 7, 2020. Dr. Mintz-Woo’s academic writing focuses on climate ethics, particularly carbon pricing, discounting, and the social cost of carbon.

Dr. Jeremy Moss is a Professor of Political Philosophy at University of New South Wales (Australia) whose work focuses on climate justice, the ethics of renewable energy, and ethical issues associated with climate transitions. He is Director of the Practical Justice Initiative and leads the Climate Justice Research program at UNSW as part of this initiative. Professor Moss’s work has been featured in The Guardian, and Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), National Aboriginal Radio, Al Jezeera, and LeMonde, and he has developed a Climate Justice website ( “to provide accessible discussions of the justice-related issues that underpin an effective response to climate change.” In addition, he has published op-eds on climate ethics in The Conversation, including “When It Comes to Climate Change, Australia’s Mining Giants are an Accessory to the Crime”).

Tue 12 Jan 2021, 10:55 | Tags: Front Staff Impact Faculty of Social Sciences Research

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