Think Kent lecture videos
Think Kent provides a series of short videos which give an overview of our academics and their research and teaching expertise. The series of videos provides an insight into some of the areas of research which our world-leading academics are investigating and which play a key role in forming the internationally revelant education which is characteristic of the international learning experience at Kent. By viewing some of these video lectures, you will have an opportunity to see the breadth of our curriculum and wide range of academic expertise within the Kent community.
School of Anthropology and Conservation
Human Ecology in the 21st Century
Dr Robert Fish of the University of Kent, explains how the field of human ecology seeks to promote understanding of nature and the life-giving, life-saving and life-affirming role it plays in people’s lives.
Planet of the Apes: A Fragile Coexistence
Great apes include chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, orangutans and humans. Chimpanzees in the wild are widely, but discontinuously, distributed across Equatorial Africa; their numbers are dwindling across their range and in some countries, especially in West Africa, most chimpanzees occur outside protected areas. In this talk, Dr Tatyana Humle, Senior lecturer in Primate Conservation and member of the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) at the University of Kent, summarises some of the main challenges faced by both people and chimpanzees in this region and highlights the key drivers putting at risk co-existence between them.
Kent Business School
Accounting and Irrational Decision Making
Accounting is traditionally perceived as a neutral, value-free technique which only aims at securing efficiency and rational decision making. However, the use of accounting is strongly influenced by the social context in which it operates. As Italian Fascism sought to enlist the Alla Scala Opera House as a weapon of propaganda, accounting documents were a tool for the government to ensure the institution was fully committed to spreading a Fascist message through the operas staged.
Effective Social Media Strategies for Business Professionals
The popularity of online social networks is undisputed. Networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are being used for social but also professional purposes. Creating and managing an appropriate online identity and becoming aware of our digital footprint is important for our professional success as well as the development of social capital through online connections. In this lecture, Dr Fragkiskos Filippaios from the Kent Business School presents effective social media strategies for the creation and management of the online presence.
The feminine leader
The emergence of the business figure the “Feminine Leader” in the 1990s would appear to suggest that women’s inclusion in senior positions in contemporary organizations is no longer problematic. Why then is there still a “shortage” of women in senior leadership positions? Dr Patricia Lewis draws on the concept of postfeminism to explore the cultural norms which impact on the take-up and enactment of contemporary feminine leadership.
Doing Good with Optimisation: Improving Blood Collection
The collection, processing and distribution of blood products are vital in any healthcare network. In this talk, Dr Jesse O'Hanley discusses how a blood service can cost-efficiently organise the collection of blood from donors.
BAME employees and the impact of organisational politics on career progression
In most organisations there is a disparity between the number of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) employees at lower organisations levels and those who reach senior positions. In this lecture, Dr Madeleine Wyatt explores how the informal or political side of organisations presents a number of challenges for BAME employees’ career progression, discussing the impact of politics on their careers, and how BAME employees are left out of the loop when it comes to being passed knowledge about the rules of the political game.
What can you really get out of Business School in the new industrial revolution?
Machine learning is quickly improving and impacting upon many important industries. According to the world economic forum held in early 2017, it was predicted that 7.1 million jobs could be lost through redundancy, automation or disintermediation by 2020. As entire industries adjust, most occupations will undergo a fundamental transformation. While some jobs are threatened by redundancy and others grow rapidly, existing jobs are also going through a change in the skill sets required to perform them. In this lecture, Dr Maggie Zeng discusses how university students should be prepared for the challenges to come and how they can develop skills and knowledge that will make them ready to be competitive in the future.
School of Economics
Population Ageing and Economic Growth in Japan
Japan is experiencing population ageing in an unprecedented pace where one-third of the adult population today is above the age of 65. What is known is that the rest of the world is set to follow the path of Japan. What is not known is how population ageing affects economic growth. Dr Keisuke Otsu from the University of Kent explores these channels and quantitatively measures their effects.
Tackling Child Marriage: An Economic Approach
About a third of women in developing countries around the world are married before the age of 18, and one in nine before the age of 15. Child marriage typically leads to early drop-out from school and early childbearing. In the language of economists, child marriage disrupts ‘human capital’ accumulation – women who experience it tend to have less schooling, are more likely to have health problems, and less likely to have employment experience. This lecture discusses how this sociological phenomenon can be captured using a simple economic model and how intervention on a larger scale could break the perceived link between the age of a bride and her ‘quality’ and lead to a successful shift in norms.
Kent Law School
What Can States Do in Times of Crisis? Turkey's Gulenist Purge and the Defence of Human Rights
The 15 July 2016 attempted coup d'état in Turkey hit the world’s headlines with widely shared images of soldiers surrendering beside discarded tanks on Istanbul’s Bosphorus Bridge. Five days later, the government declared a State of Emergency and claimed the need to ‘derogate’ from its human rights obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights. United Nations and Council of Europe experts have expressed concern at the scale and scope of Turkey’s response, including mass suspensions, detentions and immediate closures affecting the judiciary, the army and police, education, trade unions and the media. In this lecture, Darren Dinsmore from Kent Law School, examines what limits States can place on human rights in times of crisis, identifies core problems with the Turkish government's use of emergency powers, and outlines the role of the European Court of Human Rights.
The Everyday Life of International Law
The field of international law continues to be understood both by the general public and in the academy as existing in opposition to national and local laws and realities. This conceptualization, which posits international law as an exceptional and external law, has accompanied the discipline since its formation, and continues to inform many, if not most of the manuals that serve as entry points into this field of study. In this lecture, Dr Luis Eslava discusses the ways in which international norms and aspirations shape local, everyday life across the world.
Reflections on the European Court of Justice's judgment in Van Gend en Loos
This lecture concerns the European Court of Justice’s seminal judgment in Van Gend en Loos in which the Court articulated the doctrine of direct effect, according to which EU law can create rights for individuals which national courts must protect. Over 50 years on, the judgment continues to provoke strong reactions, dividing those who welcome it as a legitimate exercise of teleological interpretation from those who denounce it as a classic example of judicial activism – of the ECJ ‘trespassing outside its province’ as Professor Hampson once put it.
Intellectual Property, Patent Law and the Politics of Knowledge and Value
Patent law is understood as a central technique by which inventions are turned into intellectual properties which can subsequently be traded and sold. In other words, it acts as the transformative mechanism by which inventive knowledge is transformed into a commodity. Moreover, patents are often seen as hallmarks of credit and credibility. However, they often turn out to be devoid of scientific and commercial values. How do patents then acquire their value?
Air Law & Space Law: spatial delimitation between airspace & outer space
There is no universally agreed precise legal, technical or political definition of either the boundaries separating airspace from outer space or of the term ‘outer space’ itself. Yet two separate legal regimes exist for the regulation of these two environments. Whilst states have complete and exclusive sovereignty of their airspace, there can be no exercise of sovereignty in outer space other than jurisdiction over space flight vehicles and objects such as space stations.
In this lecture, Dr Gbenga Oduntan, Senior Lecturer in International Commercial Law, critiques the leading theories that have been postulated to solve this problem, and proposes an original solution regarding the spatial demarcation boundary point issue in air and space law.
Should Households Repay Their Debts?
We assume that everyone should repay their debts and that credit would dry up if individuals did not do so. But is this true? In this lecture, Professor Iain Ramsay from Kent Law School, argues that there are good reasons to have a policy which supports non-repayment of debt and that the credit system will not break down. It may in fact be a good policy to encourage over-indebted individuals to file for bankruptcy, receive a relatively swift discharge of debts and receive a fresh start.
School of Politics and International Relations
Mapping the CIA's Rendition, Detention & Torture programme
The CIA’s Rendition, Detention and Interrogation (RDI) programme was established as part of the US-led ‘War on Terror’ for the apprehension and detention of terrorism suspects, in secret, so that they could be interrogated under torture. The Rendition Project, led by Professor Blakeley from the University of Kent, has provided the most comprehensive account to date of the fate and whereabouts of each of those detained and tortured within the RDI programme.
This lecture explains how Professor Blakeley’s team compiled the largest public database of rendition flights by CIA aircraft, a database which is key to understanding how the global rendition system operated and evolved between 2001 and 2007. When triangulated with documentary evidence amassed by The Rendition Project team, this database has been crucial in providing evidence for litigation on behalf of victims at the European Court of Human Rights.
What is a Liberal Arts degree?
Professor Glenn Bowman
In the last few years a BA in ‘Liberal Arts’ has appeared as a degree programme offered by several of the top UK universities. This talk provides a background to that 21st century re-emergence (liberal arts has been a mode of education since the classical period) and demonstrates that the term refers to some very different programmes across those UK, Continental and US universities which advertise it.
The End of International Order?
Are the many crises that constantly seem to happen a sign of the end of international order? It certainly feels like the world is ‘spinning out of control’ and that ‘order is collapsing’ and a growing number of scholars are now suggesting that we appear to be returning to a multipolar system.
In this lecture, Professor Flockhart argues that a return to a multipolar system is an overly simplistic reading of the current situation. What appears on the horizon is more likely to be a completely different international system, which is composed of different international orders rather than by different sovereign states.
Russia and Ukraine: Memory Wars and Memory Laws
Should states 'secure' their historical memories by means of law? Drawing on examples from the ongoing 'memory wars' in Eastern Europe, Dr Maria Mälksoo, Senior Lecturer in International Security at Kent’s Brussels School of International Studies, puts forth the argument that the attempts to protect historical memory by 'memory laws' tend to reproduce and amplify rather than alleviate the existing security concerns. Issues of historical remembrance should be allowed to live in the political realm, or that of speech.
Negotiating with terrorists - an alternative path to security?
Terrorism is identified by most states and international organisations as one of the main security threats facing us all. In this talk, Dr Harmonie Toros, winner of the 2017 Sir Bernard Crick Prize for Outstanding Teaching, explores how, contrary to a widely held public and official view, negotiations may be a sound policy option in responding to terrorist violence. She argues that the main arguments used against “negotiating with terrorists” - that it would legitimise terrorists and delegitimise the state, and that it is too complex - are often not insurmountable obstacles. Negotiations in fact do often lead to a political solution to terrorist conflicts and recent research demonstrates that political solutions are the most effective at bringing an end to terrorist violence.
What future for British foreign policy?
Brexit raises a broad set of questions for the UK on the orientation and objectives of its national foreign and security policy. EU membership has been a key component of the UK’s diplomacy and foreign policy since 1973.
The Brexit challenge for the UK’s foreign, security and defence policy will be to simultaneously re-tool its policies towards the EU, its bilateral relationships with the remaining member states and its relationship to the wider world.
Does this new context for Britain’s foreign policy provide new opportunity for international inﬂuence or is the UK now consigned to diminished position within global politics?
School of Psychology
Sexual Offending: Measuring and understanding paedophilic sexual interest
Sexual offending is a topic that many people simply don’t want to think about. Perhaps due to this, many people hold myths about sexual offending. Unfortunately, the sexual abuse of children is so prevalent that it demands the attention of scientists so that prevention and intervention is based on what works rather than myth. One common myth about sexual offending is that child molesters are always paedophiles. In fact these terms are not interchangeable with many child molesters not showing evidence of a sexual interest in children beyond their offences. However, having paedophilic interest is, as you might expect, related to a higher risk of offending. As a result being able to measure paedophilia is extremely important. In this video Dr Caoilte Ó Ciardha examines different approaches that can measure age appropriate-sexual interests in male participants. He then discusses the potential of these approaches in the measurement and understanding of paedophilic sexual interest.
Long-Term Memory: Modulating Consolidation
Long-term memory consists of three phases of encoding, consolidation and retrieval. Consolidation is the phase in between encoding and retrieval in which the memory goes through various processes such as abstraction and stabilisation. Consolidation can be modulated by different intervention methods such as sleep and physical exercise. In this talk, Dr Amir-Homayoun Javadi talks about what memory consolidation is, and how it can be modulated. He mentions sleep, brain stimulation, music and physical exercise as effective methods of consolidation that can be used for cognitive enhancement.
How Diversity Benefits Organisations
Leadership research has uncovered a variety of social psychological biases that impede women’s career progression. Despite these scientific advances, women are still vastly underrepresented in leadership positions across multiple domains. In this talk I review social scientific research on role models and reflect on my recent research outlining why contesting gender stereotypes might be a fruitful path when trying to attenuate biases hindering women's career progression. Finally, I outline how interventions aimed at attracting or retaining women in leadership positions may benefit from implementing this notion.
School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Integrated care evaluation: "How can I be sure?"
This presentation builds a case for politicians, service providers and evaluators to be more realistic about what integrated care can achieve and how it can be measured. It commences with a definition and description of various methods and frameworks, continues with a common set of beliefs about what integrated care can achieve, outlines the evidence landscape, and puts forward new methodology that is more sensitive to evaluating integrated care. The presentation ends with some key messages.
Dealing with Everyday Problems: A History of Advice Provision and Welfare Rights
The newspaper or magazine ‘problem page’ grew in popularity from the 1920s and 1930s, making household names out of Claire Rayner, Marje Proops and other columnists with the ability to dole out common sense advice in all manner of personal affairs. But advice provision was also seen as a vital part of protecting citizens and their welfare rights, particularly between the 1940s and 1960s.
In this lecture, Kate Bradley explores how newspapers and radio programmes provided advice in print and over the airwaves, as well as to individuals, and what this meant for how the rights of ordinary people were defended.
£1million donors: Who Gives, Who Gets and Why?
Who makes donations worth £1 million or more, and why? This talk explores the world of mega-philanthropy, sharing insights into the people who give - as well as those who ask for - the biggest charitable donations. Drawing on nearly a decade of research, this talk explains how many million pound donations are given by UK donors and to UK charities, what kinds of causes receive such support and what donors hope for in return.
Flexible working: The way of the future?
The way we work has changed considerably in recent years with an increasing number of people gaining access to flexible working and more control over their work schedules. But in reality, has such flexibility given employees more freedom and autonomy?
Domestic Violence Prevention?
In this talk, Dr Marian Duggan discusses her current research project which is an analysis of how the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (also known as ‘Clare’s Law’) is operating in Kent. Billed by the Government as a domestic violence ‘prevention policy’ and regularly referred to in the media as a ‘success’, she evaluates exactly how this scheme is operating in practice, whether it is achieving its aims of violence prevention and how useful a tool it is in reducing the average of two women a week who are killed in the UK as a result of domestic violence.
Social Networks and Social Support
This talk describes the advantages of supportive social networks with particular reference to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental health difficulties. It also outlines the Social Network Guide used to measure social networks. The talk ends with a current social networks intervention study in Brazil.
The role of the voluntary sector
We all engage with the voluntary sector and with voluntary organisations on a regular basis. As volunteers, donors, beneficiaries or in other roles, voluntary organisations touch all of our lives in a wide range of ways. Given this key role, a number of influential social thinkers have sought to explain the significance of a strong voluntary sector to a strong society.
In this talk, Dr Eddy Hogg from the University of Kent’s Centre for Philanthropy, explores four of these thinkers: Alexis de Tocqueville, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber and Karl Marx. Each has a different take on the role of the voluntary sector – not all of them complimentary – and each of these perspectives can help us to ask key critical questions about the role of the voluntary sector in contemporary social life.
Caring in Later Life: A Matter of Social Justice
Over a third of the UK’s 6.5 million carers are aged 65 years and over. Older carers have a distinctive profile. They disproportionately provide intensive levels of care and tend to care for longer hours over many years. Reluctance to identify as ‘a carer’ and ask for help from services also means older carers care unaided. They are at significant risk of poor physical and mental health, reduced quality of life and poverty, and cannot be assumed un-problematically to protect their own health and well-being. These are matters of social justice.
The Transnational Politics of Empathy
Creating more or better empathy is now framed as an affective ‘solution’ to a wide range of social ills and as a central component of building cross-cultural and transnational social justice. Yet empathy - understood in shorthand as the affective ability to ‘put oneself in the other’s shoes’ - can easily become a kind of end-point.
Precisely because it is so widely and unquestioningly viewed as ‘good,’ its naming can represent a conceptual stoppage in conversation or analysis. Thus, the most pressing questions tend less to be ‘what is empathy?’, ‘what does it do?’, ‘what are its risks?’, and ‘what happens after empathy’, but rather the more automatic refrain of ‘how can we cultivate it?’
The End of Violence?
It is often claimed that we live in dangerous and violent times, a belief that is encouraged by news of wars, especially the Syrian conflict, and terrorist incidents and the threats they pose. But there are many social scientists who argue that, to the contrary, violence has declined over long periods of human history and we are actually living in one of the most peaceful periods of our species’ existence.
Training Child Protection professionals through gaming and simulation technologies
Dr Jane Reeves, Director of Studies MA Child Protection and Co-Director of the University of Kent Centre for Child Protection, discusses the use of advanced simulation and gaming techniques in the training of child protection professionals. How can approaches and technologies from the gaming and entertainment industries aid teaching and learning and assist in the protection of children and young people?
The body is an amazing mechanism that enables us to exist, move and function throughout our daily lives, but we often overlook its importance for our social identities and for the maintenance and development of societies.
In this talk, Dr Chris Shilling highlights how 'body matters' are key to contemporary social trends and problems, explores the potential of classical sociology to aid our understanding of embodiment, and identifies some of the multiple reasons why the body has become a source of conflict in the contemporary era.
Women, Fashion & Age
Throughout history, certain forms and styles of dress have been deemed appropriate – or rather inappropriate – for people as they age. Older women in particular have long been subject to pressures to tone down, to adopt self-effacing, covered up styles.
In this lecture, Professor Julia Twigg, Professor of Social Policy and Sociology, explores how clothing and dress are highly relevant to the analysis of age, and how they intersect with some central issues in relation to later life and its cultural formation, opening up the complex ways in which ageing is both a bodily and a cultural phenomenon.
Benefit claimants: stereotypes and implicit attitudes
Our everyday lives are awash with stereotypes. Through the media and through everyday conversation the picture we are given of certain social groups is slanted, simplified, and often negative. Women may be portrayed as incompetent, irrational, or emotional (or sometimes all three). Black men may be portrayed as angry and aggressive. Even if, consciously, we passionately disagree with these stereotypes, they may still affect our unconscious thoughts and reactions.
In this lecture, Dr Robert de Vries explores these unconscious attitudes, with particular reference to how we might feel about a particularly maligned social group – welfare benefit claimants.
The Cosmopolitanization of Science: How the Global South Shapes Emerging Science
Good governance of science is at the heart of developing national competitiveness for many countries. It is commonly perceived that the ‘globalization of science’ may result in a ‘Westernization of science’. Yet the embedded ambiguity of new scientific advancements and the changing nature of transnational collaborations have enabled a shift in power dynamics in world science.
Drawing on her 2012 book ‘The Cosmopolitanization of Science’, Dr Joy Zhang, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, uses China’s experience in stem cell research as an example to demonstrate how actors from the Global South can assume a more contributory role in steering global scientific norms.
Unit for the Enhancement of Learning & Teaching
Curriculum Internationalisation in Higher Education
Curriculum internationalisation is a topic of growing global academic importance, as universities expand and recruit staff and students from beyond national borders and seek to make relevant impact through teaching, innovation and engagement.
This lecture first defines curriculum internationalisation and then moves on to answer the question as to why curriculum internationalisation is important. Challenges to introducing and developing curriculum internationalisation are then discussed along with examples of a number of ventures, which have been introduced at the University of Kent in support. Finally, some requirements for sustainability are referenced, with the aim of driving curriculum internationalisation in a manner which results in lasting impact.