Now that we are in July, I must confess I am excited about a workshop being organised by my colleague, Dr Al Pinkerton courtesy of a British Academy early career networking grant. Hosted at Cumberland Lodge in Windsor Great Park, I am going to be a speaker and participant at this two day event between 29-30th July.
I am going to be blogging about the event but for the meantime Al has given me a challenge as a panelist in two sessions – Panel 1: ‘Demystifying the World of Foreign Policy’ and Panel 2 ‘Bridging the academic-foreign policy divide’.
Thankfully I stil have a few weeks to string some thoughts together but it is sobering to think that my first contact with UK foreign policy officials started in 1997 after I published an article in the policy-orientated journal, International Affairs about the Falkland Islands and UK-Argentine relations. It started over lunch and a conversation about my research projects and future interests. Since then I have enjoyed semi-regular conversations and engagements with a variety of UK government departments and specialist agencies interested in the Polar Regions.
The relationship between academics and foreign policy professionals while rewarding is never straight forward, and one area I will mull over is what kind of ‘divides’ exist and how they manifest themselves in a variety of ways. But I also want to be positive as well. I really value this interaction and enjoy writing in journals and magazines read by foreign policy communities such as International Affairs and RUSI Journal.