american flag
The USA will be going to the polls on November 3rd (Credit: D Williams)

The University of Birmingham will be taking part in a unique broadcast, hosted by the University of South Wales (USW), which will analyse the US Presidential Election on the 3 November 2020.

The online broadcast, which will take place over 24-hours, will give experts and students from across the world the chance to debate and analyse the US Presidential Election. The event which involves students and academics from 13 universities in total, ‘Decision 2020 – Academic Live Review’ will give renowned experts and students an opportunity to provide analysis on aspects of the election, which will decide whether Donald Trump will win a second stint in the White House, or if Joe Biden will take over the reins

University of Birmingham students will produce a segment which will focus on US foreign policy, NATO and transatlantic relations which will be broadcast live from 23:20 GMT on YouTube.

Professor Mark Webber from the School of Government at the University of Birmingham commented: “In a year when traditional teaching has been turned upside down what better way to get students involved in active learning than a live media debate? Students from the School of Government, University of Birmingham, have been hard at work preparing for the US election. They will host a 90-minute broadcast on election night – involving debate, interviews and commentary – as part of a live multimedia event organised by the ‘Decision 2020’ consortium of universities from the US, the UK, Brazil and Australia.”

The project is being run in collaboration with 3PH Group Production and media professionals and is being sponsored by the British International Studies Association (BISA), City University and the University of South Wales. The UK institutions involved in the live show include, as well as the University of Birmingham, the University of East Anglia (UEA), the University of Stirling; City, University of London, Loughborough University, and SOAS University of London. Their experts will comment on US foreign policy and NATO, the role of religion in elections, the implication of the election result on global security; and power, privilege, race, and ethnicity.

Professor Bela Arora from the University of South Wales, is the academic lead on the project, who has brought together the institutional partners. Susanne Weber, who has worked in international broadcasting for the BBC for over 20 years, is taking on the role of Executive. Producer and skills development lead. Harrison Castle, of 3PH Group is an events production expert who will take the role of technical production lead.

“Each contributor and their teams will be working remotely from their own institutions and given a 90-minute segment in the show to comment on their particular subject and expertise,” Prof Arora explained.

“This can include videos to introduce themselves, one-to-one interviews, a panel discussion, and possible pre-recorded pieces with an individual talking a key theme of the election.” As with any election, the possible outcome is uncertain.

“Throughout the event we’ll be keeping an eye on international rolling news coverage and looking for responses to the breaking headlines from those involved,” Susanne Weber said.

“It’s possible there’ll be a confirmed winner, or there could be no result and counting of mail ballots could make it impossible to name a victor until the end of November.”

“It’s even possible that one candidate could declare himself winner in spite of losing or ‘no result’, which could potentially lead to protests and counter-protests.”

The project team said “Whatever happens, it’s going to be a great opportunity for experts and students to join forces to analyse an event which will have a huge impact on many millions, even billions, of lives across the globe.”

For more information or interviews, please contact: Hasan Salim Patel, Communications Manager (Arts, Law and Social Sciences), University of Birmingham or contact the press office out of hours on +44 (0) 7789 921 165.