Initially a graduate student on the MSocSci, I converted to a PhD (supervised by R. W. Davies and awarded in July 1984). I am now Professor of Russian and European Politics at the University of Kent.

Amongst the many notable memories I have I recall  Prof Alec Nove as the Friday evening speaker at annual conference in Cumberland Lodge sometime in mid-1980s when East Germany allegedly overtook the UK in gross GDP terms, arguing that no system has yet been invented that can stop Germans working. This was somewhat debunked after 1989; but the point is not that Nove got this one wrong (and he got most things right), but just how hard it is for any one toiling in the field of Russian and EE studies to know what should be known, rather than what is presented as knowledge.