Upcoming Events

Our upcoming, scheduled events are listed below. Please check our Facebook page for latest details. Our past events can be viewed here.


First Week, Monday 9th October, 7.45pm

Lecture Room 23, Balliol College

Andrea Berger - Avoiding Fire and Fury: Lessons from a North Korea Watcher

Andrea Berger is Associate Fellow at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies and Deputy Director of Proliferation and Nuclear Policy at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).

Ms. Berger specializes in non-proliferation, arms control, sanctions policy, and Korean peninsula security issues. Previously, Ms. Berger worked on non-proliferation issues for the International Centre for Security Analysis. She has also worked for the Canadian government, most recently in the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development. Ms. Berger holds an MA in International Peace and Security from the Department of War Studies at King's College London, a BA in Political Science from Carleton University in Ottawa. 

She will be addressing Oxford International Relations Society on the topic, 'Avoiding Fire and Fury: Lessons from a North Korea Watcher'. What is the DPRK's current capacity and why does it prize being able to strike the US so highly? Is Trump's approach really so different from the current spectrum of actions against the regime? Is subversive regime change a solution?

Second Week, Friday 20th October, 7.30pm

Mark Lowen - The Erdogan State? In conversation with the BBC's Turkey Correspondent

RE-SCHEDULED - Unfortunately Mark's journalistic commitments have meant that he is no longer able to visit IRSoc in Second Week. Please check our Facebook, mailing list and website for updates on the rescheduled visit later in Michaelmas or Hilary Term.

Oxford International Relations Society will be in discussion with Mark Lowen, BBC Turkey Correspondent since 2014. Mark covered the attempted coup and aftermath in 2016 and reports extensively on Erdogan's domestic policies and Turkey's relationship with Russia and EU nation states. Prior to this posting, he acted as BBC Athens Correspondent from 2011, covering in detail Greece's economic and political crisis. Previous to his Greece posting, he was BBC Balkans Correspondent from 2009, where he covered the emergence of democratic elections in Kosovo and the trials of prominent war criminals. Mark graduated from Balliol College, Oxford, with a degree in History and French. 

Mark will share his extensive and varied journalistic expertise with IRSoc and will answer questions on any topic with which he has experience.

Location TBC

Third Week, Thursday 26th October, 7.30pm

Lecture Room 23, Balliol College

Federico Varese - Mafia Life: Love, Death and Money at the Heart of Organised Crime

Federico Varese is a Professor of Criminology at the University of Oxford and a Senior Research Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford. He has written on the Russian mafia, Soviet criminal history, migration of mafia groups, Somali piracy, the dynamics of altruistic behaviour, and the application of Social Network Analysis to criminology. He is the author The Russian Mafia (2001) and Mafias on the Move (2011). Mafias on the Move was the Recipient of The International Association for the Study of Organized Crime 2012 Outstanding Publication Award.

Professor Varese will be addressing Oxford International Relations Society on the topic 'Mafia Life: Love, Death and Money at the Heart of Organised Crime', focussing on Russian organised crime. Copies of Prof. Varese's new book, Mafia Life, will be available to purchase at the event.

Professor Varese holds degrees from Bologna University, Cambridge University and Oxford University. He was a Prize Research Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford, and a visiting professor at Yale University and City University of Hong Kong. He is currently on the editorial Board of The British Journal of Criminology and has been Editor of the journal Global Crime.

Third Week, Friday 27th October, 4pm

Careers visit to International Institute for Strategic Studies, London

Exclusively for IRSoc members, London-based IR think tank IISS are hosting a careers-oriented networking evening in Third Week. Please subscribe to our mailing list and follow our Facebook page for more details. 

Fourth Week, Thursday 2nd November, 7.30pm

Latner and Warriner Room, St Peter's College

Sir Frank Berman KCMG QC - Has diplomacy really evolved?

Oxford International Relations Society is looking forward to hosting Sir Frank Berman who will be giving a talk on "Modern Diplomacy: Has it really evolved?"

Sir Frank Berman is a distinguished diplomat and civil servant. After a Rhodes Scholarship to Wadham College, he joined Her Majesty's Diplomatic Service, and from 1965-1971 served as an assistant legal advisor for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He served as legal advisor for the British Military Government of Berlin from 1971–72, and at the British Embassy in Bonn from 1972-74. He has been a legal counsellor for the FCO and counsellor for the UK Mission to the United Nations.

He served first as deputy legal advisor, then as legal advisor for the FCO from 1988-99, and was made an honorary Queen's Counsel in 1992. Since joining Essex Street Chambers in 2000, he has specialised in international arbitration and advisory work in international law, serving as a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration since 2010. He is a visiting professor of international law at the University of Oxford, the University of Cape Town, and King's College London, and has won numerous awards.

Location TBC

Fifth Week, Monday 6th November, 7.30pm

High Profile Middle East Official

Oxford International Relations Society are looking forward to welcoming a high profile Middle East speaker on Monday 6th November, 5th week. 

Due to the sensitive nature of this event, the location will be revealed on the day to those who have signed up to the event on Eventbrite, here. If you would like to attend, please register before 21.00 on Sunday 5th November. 

Only Oxford students and staff members will be permitted entry, please bring your Bod Card or Oxford University ID. Large bags and bottles of water will not be permitted. 

This event will be free for Oxford IR Society members and for all those who register to attend.

Sixth Week, Wednesday 15th November, 7.30pm

Lecture Room 23, Balliol College

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Roger Griffin - The Terrorist Avatar and Inner Mass Murderer: The non-unitary self and its role in fanatical violence

Professor Griffin's Powerpoint Presentation can be found here

Professor Roger Griffin is widely acknowledged to be one of the world's foremost experts on the socio-historical and ideological dynamics of fascism, as well as the relationship between modernity and violence deriving from political or religious fanaticism, in particular contemporary terrorism. His theory of fascism as a revolutionary form of ultranationalism driven by a ‘palingenetic’ myth has had a major impact on comparative fascist studies since the mid-1990s. His 1991 book 'The Nature of Fascism' redefined the debate over fascist phenomena and ideology and his definition is widely accepted by analysts today. 

Professor Griffin will be addressing Oxford IR Society on the topic: "The Terrorist Avatar and Inner Mass Murderer: The non-unitary self and its role in fanatical violence"

Griffin's work has led him to analyse the psychological dynamics of terror groups targeting civilians and terrorists' ideological behaviours. He published 'Terrorist's Creed: Fanatical Violence and the Human Need for Meaning' in 2012 and has acted as advisor on radicalisation to the Home Office, global governments, think-tanks and local communities throughout the world. Griffin is also an Associate Fellow of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence in London.

Seventh Week, Monday 20th November, 7.30pm

St Benet's Hall, 38 St Giles'

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How will future aid impact Afghanistan's development process? A panel discussion in partnership with the Farkhunda Trust

Oxford International Relations Society are delighted to host a panel discussion in partnership with the Farkhunda Trust, on the subject of 'How will future aid impact Afghanistan's development process?'

Our panellists include:

Rahela Sidiqi, Senior Advisor for UN Habitat & Government in Afghanistan. Rahela has campaigned grassroots women's rights activist and policy advocate for over 23 years. She is Founding Director of the Farkhunda Trust for Afghan women's education. The Trust was set up in memory of Farkhunda Malikzada, whose brutal murder on the streets of Kabul in 2015 shocked the world. Farkhunda Trust's mission is to provide scholarships to women from disadvantaged backgrounds to enable them to pursue higher education and, ultimately, to contribute to shaping a progressive Afghan society.

Michael Ryder, Secretary of the Royal Society of Asian affairs and the UK’s Special Representative for Deportations with Assurances. Previously Michael acted as UK Special Representative for Sudan and South Sudan, UK Special Envoy to Mali and UK Senior Civilian Representative in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Michael has also been the Deputy Ambassador in Kabul, Deputy Secretary of the Butler Inquiry and Head of the FCO Inquiry Team, the Hutton Inquiry and the UK Special Representative for International Drugs Issues.

Further speakers to be announced.

This event will be free to all Oxford University members and staff, including Oxford IR Society members. There will be no dinner preceding the event.

Seventh Week, Thursday 23rd November, 7.30pm

Jonathan Leader Maynard - The Role of Ideology in World Politics

Lecture Room 1, Christchurch

Oxford International Relations Society is looking forward to hosting Dr. Jonathan Leader-Maynard who will be giving a talk on the topic of 'The Role of Ideology in World Politics'.

Dr. Leader-Maynard is a Departmental Lecturer in International Relations based at New College. His primary research is on the ideological dynamics of mass killings and other atrocities, aiming to produce a general account of the role of ideology in these informed by the latest research on both phenomena. He holds a BA in War Studies and History from King's College London, along with an MPhil and a DPhil from Oxford University.

We will also be launching our termly journal, Lighthouse, after the talk and Q+A.