Laura is a current PhD candidate at BSIS, and was convening PO848 Negotiation and Mediation in Autumn 2019.

Laura’s PhD research asks how blame makes a villain of the EU, which encompasses studies into populism, Euroscepticism, emotions, and polarisation.  She draws from the post-structuralist ideas of Foucault, as well as neuroscientist Lisa Feldman Barrett’s work on emotions as constructed.  Her primary focus is the key role of ‘blame’ in the Brexit campaign, and she has also conducted research into the role of blame and self-victimisation in Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

In addition to conducting research, Laura holds a part-time role as Executive Director of the International Mediation Institute (IMI), an international NGO based in the Hague (www.imimediation.org/).  IMI focuses on corporate, legal, and family mediation, and acts as a standard-setting body worldwide.  It has a key role in promoting mediation and contributes to international taskforces, most recently in the development of the new UN Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation (the Singapore Convention).  Laura’s work brings her into contact with mediators, policymakers, and other stakeholders.  She acted as Graduate TA for PO848 Negotiation and Mediation in 2017 and 2018, having taken the subject herself in 2015, and believes mediation is a valuable skillset for a diverse range of positions and industries.

Laura started her PhD in International Relations at the Brussels School of International Studies in September 2017.  Prior to that, she worked as a consultant, policy writer, and marketing/PR professional in Australia; as a consultant to the diamond industry in Antwerp; as a teacher in Russia; and as a sailor in the United Kingdom.  She obtained her MA in EU External Relations at BSIS in 2016, after writing her dissertation on ‘Gayropa’ in the discourse of Russian political elite, and whether that was in aid of countering EU hegemony or due to local understandings of homosexuality.  She was awarded the John Groom Prize for the Best Taught Performance on a Politics Program, and later completed a Diploma in Federalism, Decentralisation, and Conflict Management at the Institut für Föderalismus in Switzerland, summa cum laude.  Prior to that, she gained First Class Honours for her BSc in Politics and International Relations via the University of London's international programmes (London School of Economics) in 2010, and has further qualifications in management, project management, and teaching.

She is originally from Tasmania, Australia, and needs people to know that both Tasmanian Devils and drop-bears are real.

Laura also teaches Intro to IT for Research and Presentation. She has previously been a Teaching Assistant for Foreign Policy Analysis, International Relations Theory, and taught on Fundamentals of Dissertation and Research (FDR) at BSIS.

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