The return of the ‘Political Insights’ lectures


Two more events in the ‘Political Insights’ series gave Greenwich’s International Relations students a unique insight into politics in Europe and Australia.

Table covered in the flags of various nationsIn October 2023, Greenwich’s International Relations students gathered for two more talks in the School of Humanities & Social Sciences’ ‘Political Insights’ series. This ongoing and popular irregular series of talks gives students the chance to hear from - and question - a range of speakers with first-hand experience of various political arenas. Typically, speakers are non-UK diplomats or those otherwise working in politics beyond the UK who are able to share an international perspective on some of today’s most topical matters with Greenwich students.

"Germany and the UK in an ever-changing Europe"

The first event of the academic year took place in late October when Dr Clemens Kohnen, Head of the Political Department at the Germany Embassy in London, spoke to the Greenwich audience about some of the key challenges facing today’s Europe. Dr Kohnen - who has held posts in Russia, Israel, and Germany and has also been Deputy Chief of Staff, State Secretaries’ Office, for the German Federal Foreign Office, in Berlin - then took questions from students. Students’ questions ranged from Brexit to the political situation in the Middle East to the importance of languages in diplomatic careers.

"Politics: punishing purpose"

The second event took place the following week when Adam Collins visited Greenwich to talk to students on the BA (Hons) Politics & International Relations and BA (Hons) Languages & International Relations courses.

Adam’s talk - the title of which refers to the often relentless nature of a career in politics - focused on his long career working in Australian politics: his role as an Australian Labor Party staffer, working as the Australian Prime Minister’s media advisor, and being on the staff of the Australian Federal Treasurer. Adam also spoke briefly about his other work - being on the organising committees of both the 2012 Olympic and the Paralympic Games and work as a sports journalist and podcaster focusing, mainly, on cricket.

Dr Matthew Jones - Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations and Course Leader for Greenwich's International Relations degrees - who organised these events notes that these talks, like previous ones in the series, have been a great success. As well as being much enjoyed by the students in the audience, they’ve given Greenwich’s International Relations students the opportunity to hear valuable - and often unique - insights into global politics and additionally, as Dr Cécile Laval - the Head of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences - notes, they have also “really fostered academic debate and a sense of belonging whilst encouraging students to engage with employability and think about careers.”

Planning is underway for the next event - watch out for details of this and future events in this fascinating series from the School of Humanities & Social Sciences!