Beacon HT 2018, Week 6: Refugees, Reconstruction and Syria - Matthieu Cimino

With the manifest failure of the international community to act to save Syria's citizens and the recurrent infringement of any UN Security Council-backed resolution for a nationwide ceasefire, most recently after a week which has seen the relentless bombardment of Eastern Ghouta, this week's episode of The Beacon sees Adam Mazarelo interviewing Matthieu Cimino, Marie-Skɫodowska Curie researcher at the University of Oxford and an associate researcher at the IREMAM, Aix-en-Provence. They discuss a broad range of topics relating to the ongoing war in Syria: from the war's effects on neighbouring Lebanon and the prospects of return for refugees and reconstruction of the country, to the historical context of the Assad regime's rhetoric on Salafi Jihadism.

Beacon HT 2018, Week 5: Life in Gaza and Oxford - Lana Alhelou

In light of the tensions and ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza, this week's episode of The Beacon sees Adam Mazarello interviewing Lama Alhelou, Junior Members Scholar at Jesus College, Oxford and Gaza resident. They discuss the what it's really like to live in Gaza, the prospects of peace for the future and the attitudes of a generation of young people, for whom war has become a permanent feature of life.

Beacon HT 2018, Week 2: China, Australia and a Yard of Ale - Kevin Rudd

In this week’s episode of “The Beacon” – released on Australia Day 2018 – Verity Bligh talks to Kevin Rudd, a former Australian prime minister, current student at Jesus College and a lifelong Sinologist. Together, they discuss the nature of international diplomacy, China’s rise as a global power and the Turf Tavern “yard of ale” challenge. 

Beacon HT 2018, Week 1: "Enough Experts" - Professor Kalypso Nicolaidis

In this week's episode of "The Beacon", Verity Bligh talks to Kalypso Nicolaidis, Professor of International Relations at Oxford, about her innovative and engaging approach to make sense of big-picture current affairs. They discuss the meaning of Brexit through the lens of Greek mythology, the need for union rather than unity in Europe and the role of academia in a world that has "had enough of experts". 

Masooda Bano


In this week's The Beacon, Nicholas Chin interviews Masooda Bano, Associate Professor in the Oxford Department of International Development, Senior Golding Fellow, Brasenose College, University of Oxford and author of The Rational Believer: Choices and Decisions in the Madrasas of Pakistan. They discuss aid effectiveness, what we can do to make sure aid is more effective and looking at ways in which we donate money.

Taste Tibet

Taste Tibet




In this week's episode of "The Beacon", Verity Bligh speaks to Julie Kleeman and Yeshi Jampa, the husband-and-wife team behind Taste Tibet - hands-down the best food stall at Oxford's Gloucester Green Markets. Taking a step back from International Relations as an over-theorised academic field, this interview dives deep into Tibetan food and culture to look at the way in which ordinary people think about and engage with the world around them, in an increasingly multicultural and globalised age. 

Patrick Thewlis

Patrick Thewlis Interview


In this week's episode of The Beacon, Nicholas Chin interviews Patrick Thewlis, a quantitative research assistant on the Changing Structures of Islamic Authority project. They discuss the social determinants of intimate partner violence in Europe, assessing the socioeconomic conditions behind violence and the intrinsic data collection issues that hinder research in this field.

Avi Shlaim

Avi Shlaim Interview


Iron Wall.jpg

In this week's episode of The Beacon, Verity Bligh interviews Avi Shlaim, a leading historian on the Arab-Israeli conflict and professor emeritus of International Relations at St Antony’s college, Oxford. They discuss the challenges of studying the Israel-Palestine crisis, the meaning of national identity and the importance of History in a world of constant political turbulence

Edward Lucas

Edward Lucas Interview


In this episode of The Beacon, Verity Bligh interviews Edward Lucas, senior editor at The Economist and author of “New Cold War” and “Cyberphobia”. They discuss past and present Russian power politics, the importance of cyber-security and the future of journalism in a world of “fake news”.


Edward Lucas’ book recommendations:

  • “The Engineer of Human Souls” by Josef Skvorecky
  • “The Captive Mind” by Czeslaw Milosz
  • “The Great Terror” by Robert Conquest
  • “Gulag”, “Iron Curtain” and “Red Famine” by Anne Applebaum
  • “Bloodlands” by Timothy Snyder