Welcome to the Saving Humans blog! Watch out for our daily posts from Birmingham academics reflecting on topics as varied as global access to reproductive rights, the Kindertransport movement, conflict and co-operation, climate change, cancer research, development, deforestation and the Nobel Peace Prize.
In addition to the blog we will also be providing links to useful resources relating to our posts.
To mark the first week (week commencing 30 September 2013) our theme leaders, Professor Paul Jackson, Professor Nicholas Wheeler and Professor Heather Widdows will share their thoughts.
Here’s more information about our bloggers of the week:
Week commencing 28 October 2013
Dr Frank Uekoetter
Birmingham Fellow, Reader in Environmental Humanities
Frank Uekoetter was born in Münster, Germany. He studied history, political science and the social sciences at the universities of Freiburg and Bielefeld in Germany, the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. In 1997, he graduated from Bielefeld University. From 1997 to 2001, he was a doctoral student at the graduate school of the Institute for Science and Technology Studies of Bielefeld University. In 2001, he received his Ph.D. from Bielefeld University for his dissertation on the history of air pollution control in Germany and the United States; the University of Pittsburgh Press published a translation in 2009. In 2002, he organized the conference “Nature Protection in Nazi Germany” under the auspices of the German minister for the environment Jürgen Trittin. This work eventually led to the publication of an environmental history of Nazi Germany with Cambridge University Press.
He was a research assistant at the History Department of Bielefeld University from 2003 to 2006 and a Dilthey Fellow with the Research Institute of the Deutsches Museum in Munich. He taught at Munich’s Ludwig-Maximilians-University and was a co-founder of Munich’s Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, which he left in 2013 to accept a Readership in Environmental Humanities at the University of Birmingham (UK).
Week commencing 21 October 2013
Dr Rosa Freedman
Lecturer, Birmingham Law School
Rosa graduated from Queen Mary University of London in 2005. Throughout her undergraduate studies she worked as a non-qualified residential social worker. Rosa undertook a specialised LLM (Public International Law) at University College London before completing the BVC and being called to the Bar at Gray’s Inn (2007). Rosa joins Birmingham Law School from QMUL, where she was awarded a studentship for the duration of her doctoral studies. She has previously taught Criminal Law on the LLB and the Law for Graduates programme. Rosa has written articles on legal matters for The Guardian’s ‘Comment is Free’ website, and has provided research and expertise to a number of NGOs. Her book, The United Nations Human Rights Council: an early assessment was published in March 2013.
Week commencing 14 October 2013
Dr Rita Floyd
Birmingham Fellow in Conflict and Security
Dr. Rita Floyd is Lecturer and Birmingham Fellow in Conflict and Security in the Department of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Birmingham (UK) and a Fellow of the Institute for Environmental Security, The Hague. She is author of several peer-reviewed articles and of Security and the Environment: Securitisation Theory and US Environmental Security Policy (Cambridge University Press, 2010). More recently she has co-edited Environmental Security: Approaches and Issues (Routledge, 2013).
At present, her main research interest is in the area of security and justice; specifically she is working on the monograph that develops a set of criteria that seek to govern the moral permissibility of security politics. Inspired in equal measure by just war theory as well as by the so-called Copenhagen School's securitization theory Rita has referred to this as ‘just securitization theory’. A chapter on ‘Just and unjust desecuritization’ developing some of the ideas developed in her monograph in progress, will be published in March 2014 in Contesting Security: Strategies and Logics (PRIO New Security Studies) edited by Professor Thierry Balzacq.
Week commencing 7 October 2013
Dr Ben White
Lecturer in Modern History
Ben White is a historian of the modern Middle East, specializing in the period between the wars when much of the region was under French or British mandate—but still heavily influenced by its recent Ottoman past.
He took an undergraduate degree in Arabic at the University of Edinburgh, then moved to St Antony’s College, Oxford, for an MSt in Modern Middle Eastern Studies and a DPhil in Modern History. While working on his DPhil he lived in Syria and France; he also interrupted it to spend the academic year 2005-06 back in Edinburgh, lecturing in modern Middle Eastern history. He returned to Edinburgh after completing his doctorate as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World, then spent 15 months in Princeton as a postdoctoral research associate in the Near Eastern Studies department. He started work at Birmingham in January 2011.
Week commencing 30 September 2013
Professor Paul Jackson
Professor of African Politics, Director of the International Development Department
Paul Jackson is a political economist working predominantly on conflict and post-conflict reconstruction. A core area of interest is decentralisation and governance and it was his extensive experience in Sierra Leone immediately following the war that led him into the area of conflict analysis and security sector reform. He is currently Director of the GFN-SSR which engages him in wide-ranging policy discussion with donor agencies engaged in these activities, including various European Governments, the EU, the UN and the World Bank, as well as the UK Government.
In addition, Paul was also Head of the School of Government and Society till July 2010 where he managed five academic departments and some 200 staff across political science and international studies, local government studies, sociology, Russian and European studies and international development.
Paul also works in several overseas locations including Rwanda, Uganda, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Iraq, Butan, India and China amongst others, and is an experienced aid evaluator as well as governance and conflict analyst.
Professor Heather Widdows
John Ferguson Professor of Global Ethics, Head of Research for Philosophy, Theology and Religion
Heather Widdows is a well-known international researcher and in 2005 she was awarded a visiting fellowship at Harvard University, where she worked on issues of moral neo-colonialism. She has led a number of funded projects on issues of property in the body; reproductive rights; human tissue; war on terror and ownership and governance of the genome.
Heather serves as a member of the UK Biobank Ethics and Governance Council and is also on the REF Philosophy Sub-Panel. She is Head of Research for the School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion.
She has published widely in these fields including two books in these areas Global Ethics: An Introduction (Acumen 2011); The Connected Self: The Ethics and Governance of the Genetic Individual (Cambridge University Press, 2013) as well as edited collections on Global Social Justice, with Nicola Smith, (Routledge, 2011), The Governance of Genetic information, with Caroline Mullen (Cambridge University Press, 2009) and Women’s Reproductive Rights with Itziar Alkorta Idiakez and Aitziber Emaldi Cirión (Palgrave, 2006). She has also published a number of articles in bioethics and global ethics.
Professor Nicholas Wheeler
Professor of International Relations and Director of the Institute for Conflict, Cooperation, and Security at the University of Birmingham
Nicholas J. Wheeler’s publications include (with Mlada Bukovansky, Ian Clark, Robyn Eckersley, Christian Reus-Smit, and Richard Price), Special Responsibilities: Global Problems and American Power (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2012); (with Ken Booth) The Security Dilemma: Fear, Cooperation, and Trust in World Politics (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008); (edited with Jean-Marc Coicaud) National Interest Versus Solidarity: Particular and Univeral Ethics in International Life (Tokyo: United Nations University Press, 2008); (with Ian Clark) The British Origins of Nuclear Strategy 1945-55 (Oxford: Oxford University Press). He is the author of Saving Strangers: Humanitarian Intervention in International Society (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000) and is currently writing a book provisionally entitled Trusting Enemies. This is a key output of a 3-year ESRC/AHRC Fellowship on ‘The Challenges to Trust-Building in Nuclear Worlds (awarded under RCUK’s ‘Global Uncertainties: Security For All in a Changing World’ programme. He is co-editor with Professor Christian Reus-Smit of the prestigious Cambridge Series in International Relations. Professor Wheeler is also principal investigator (with Professor David H. Dunn and Professor Stefan Wolff) on an ESRC project to investigate “The Political Effects of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles on Conflict and Cooperation Within and Between States”.