UACES Chair’s Message — December 2019

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UACES Chair, Nicholas Startin

UACES Chair, Nicholas Startin

Nicholas Startin, University of Bath

It has been another busy few months for UACES. At UACES 2019 in Lisbon, we welcomed over 450 delegates to the University of Lisbon’s Faculty of Law. I would like to thank the organisers and everyone at the UACES office and on the Committee, for ensuring that the conference ran smoothly. It was a pleasure to attend plenaries and panels and to meet and catch up with UACES friends, old and new.

It was great to be able to present the UACES Best Book Prize to Jan Zielonka for his OUP-published book Counter-Revolution: Liberal Europe in Retreat and the Best PhD Prize to Anna Wambach for her very pertinent doctoral thesis on the European Union in British news discourse. The beautiful surroundings of the Ajuda Botanical Gardens  were a fitting location to celebrate these successes and to hold our conference dinner.

My journeys by train between London and Lisbon were certainly long, but it did give me a brief opportunity to switch off from the outside world! I am sure that train travel across Europe, as the high-speed network continues to evolve, will become an increasingly popular mode of transport for future conference travel as the consequences of climate change become increasingly apparent.

I am delighted to announce that the call for papers for the 50th UACES Annual Conference, hosted by Queen’s University Belfast, is now open. I very much look forward to returning to Northern Ireland’s capital city where UACES 2002 was held. I am sure colleagues will want to participate in what will be a milestone event in the history of the Association. You have until late January to submit a paper or panel proposal.

I would like to take this opportunity to formally welcome Jocelyn Mawdsley as UACES’s new Treasurer. If you are interested in becoming directly involved with the Association, we are welcoming nominations for a new UACES Secretary and two new Committee members. I am also very pleased to report that, following approval at our AGM in Lisbon, we will be introducing the new role of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Officer. The closing deadline for these nominations is the end of January. In the interim, my thanks to Katharine Wright from the UACES Committee for leading in the EDI role and to the newly formed working group, who are charged with overseeing the finalisation of our EDI policy.

In relation to this, I am very pleased to report that our Erasmus+ Jean Monnet funded project DIMES (Diversity, Inclusion and Multidisciplinarity in European Studies is now up-and-running. The inaugural workshop will take place in Leiden on 5-6 March 2020. The call for participants and paper-givers is now open. My thanks to all involved in this exciting development.

Our annual Doctoral Training Academy (DTA) took place in November at the University of Kent’s Brussels School of International Studies. The theme this year was ‘Teaching and the Profession’. My congratulations to our Graduate Forum Committee for organising another excellent training day for PhD and early-career researchers.

At the DTA, we welcomed three new GF Committee members: Lisa-Claire Whitten, Carlos Bravo and Barış Çelik, and said goodbye to our outgoing GF Committee members Kamila Feddek, Nele Marianne Ewers-Peters and Amy Manktelow. Thank you to Kamila, Nele and Amy for all their invaluable work as part of the Committee.

The DTA was preceded by a UACES-sponsored lecture (‘Britain Rues the Waves? UK Foreign and Security Policy Post-Brexit‘) by Professor Amelia Hadfield (Head of Politics, at the University of Surrey, and the Director of the newly formed Centre for Britain and Europe). After Amelia’s excellent lecture, a vibrant discussion ensued, which was moderated by UACES Patron Paul Adamson (Chair of Forum Europe and founder of Encompass Europe) with Ian Bond (the Centre of European Reform’s director of foreign policy) acting as discussant.

As for our journals, can I draw colleague’s attention to the forthcoming highly pertinent special section in JCER on the theme of democracy in Europe, as well as to the recently published JCMS Annual Review of the European Union in 2018? A reminder too that, thanks to the generosity of the James Madison Charitable Trust, we are offering a funded research trip for a PhD or early-career researcher to the Historical Archives of the European Union in Florence.

Finally, on behalf of the Association, I would like to thank Joshua Barritt for all his work as Events and Publications Officer over the last 3 and a half years. Josh will be greatly missed and I wish him all the best as he embarks on his PhD at the University of Manchester. I am delighted to announce that we have recently appointed Emma Marlow as Josh’s replacement and I am sure that colleagues will want to join me in welcoming her to the UACES community.

As ever, do email me if you have any suggestions about the Association and its future.

Nicholas Startin, University of Bath

6 December 2019

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