Simon Copeland completed an MA in International Security Studies and an undergraduate degree in Law at the University of Leicester. He has been actively involved in a number of projects at the ICCS, including rapporteur work to produce an official policy report for the workshop 'NATO and Emerging Security Challenges; Researching for a key development policy report 'Decentralisation, Peace agreements and Post-conflict reconstruction' and undertaking rapporteur work for the workshop 'Responding to Uprising: Urban Security between Resilience and Resistance'.
Natalie Palmer is currently studying for MA in International Relations (Diplomacy) at the University of Birmingham and holds an undergraduate degree in Transatlantic Studies and International Relations from the University of Dundee. Her current research focus is the upcoming Scottish independence referendum, primarily looking at the constraints and credibility of the foreign and security policy of an independent Scotland, in comparison with the foreign and security policies of the Nordic states. Having participated in the ICCS Trust, Diplomacy and Conflict Transformation training programme in April 2014, Natalie has now joined the Institute on a work experience placement. Natalie has considerable experience with simulations, attending Model UN and Model NATO conferences as both a chair and a delegate. Therefore, her research within the Institute is focused upon formulating the simulation aspect for the 2015 training programme, including finding a suitable topic and forum upon which to model the simulation.
Nawaz Hanif is a graduate of International Relations and Politics and is currently completing his Masters in Security Studies at the University of Birmingham. His current research explores ontological inquiries of drone technology and covert warfare and how potential changes may be affecting military and media narratives. Nawaz is a former Death Penalty Investigator at the legal action charity REPRIEVE, primarily investigating torture and drug trafficking. He was often drafted to undertake desk-based research around covert drone warfare in Pakistan and facilitated a surprise visit to Pakistan by the UN Special Rapporteur on Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights in Spring 2013. At the ICCS, Nawaz is assisting the team working on The Political Effects of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles on Conflict and Cooperation Within and Between States."
Hannah Caswell holds an LLB Honours in Law from the University of Warwick and has recently completed an MA in International Relations (Security) at the University of Birmingham. She focused her post-graduate studies on issues of civil war, state-building and post-conflict peacebuilding in the African region and this is where her current interests continue to lie. Actively involved in the Institute, she is attached to the state-building and intervention research cluster . Hannah was a project officer supporting the Institute’s first Trust, Diplomacy and Conflict Transformation training programme. For this she undertook the production of a thorough preparation handbook for the events participants, in addition to logistics for the event. She is also sub-editor on the Institute’s bi-annual publication and has been responsible for collating and designing the news and events section of the publication.
Richard Judd completed an MA in International Relations from the University of Birmingham and an undergraduate degree in International Relations of the University of the West of England. His research focuses are on Security and Development and Conflict Transformation. Richard is attached to both the Cooperation and Trust-building cluster, and the State-building and Intervention cluster. His current projects include working with the Institute’s Director, Professor Nick Wheeler, on Trustbuilding in Iran, undertaking intensive research into the Obama Administration’s outreach to Iran and also working with Professor Paul Jackson on a research project looking at reintegration of Maoist Combatants in Nepal. For this project Richard is undertaking systematic research on disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration.
Joanna Skelt recently completed her PhD thesis on ‘The Social Function of Writing in Post-war Sierra Leone: Poetry as a Discourse for Peace’ at the Centre of West African Studies, University of Birmingham. She is working on the development of an interdisciplinary Creativity and Conflict Transformation programme for the ICCS. This will explore how creative narratives and the process of participation and production of such narratives aid our understanding of conflict and contribute to its transformation and will include case studies in varied settings. Jo has worked as an educational author writing citizenship and social studies materials in West Africa and the UK and is also a creative writer. Most recently she has worked on projects combining literature, community engagement and social cohesion in Birmingham.
Rudi Vrabel is a postgraduate student of International Political Economy with an interest in forging links between political economy and the field of security. During his undergraduate studies he was interested in the increasing link between security and economic development in Afghanistan, and particularly the relationship between NATO and the World Bank, which he also published on during one of his professional experiences. Whilst at the institute Rudi has analysed the issue of cooperation in international finance, where traditional entrepreneurial conflict and (in)security in the markets are increasingly becoming accompanied by unwanted collaboration among interconnected and loosely regulated private international financial institutions. Rudi’s work was published on the institute’s blog as well as in a Slovak financial newspaper. He has recently secured a position of junior financial analyst, where he continues to analyze trends in political economy and finance.