The Politics and International Relations Public Speaker Programme Returns for 2021

Aimed at discussing issues of the day, our first gathering of the year takes place on Feb 3rd.

The Public Speaker Programme (PSP) begins for 2021 this month, virtually for the time being. The aim of these talks is to have a dialogue among practitioners, academics and students. Starting with a 30 minute mini-lecture and, the session is then open for Q&A. Aimed at discussing issues of the day and illustrating how academia can converse and have impact on public policies and social problems.

February 3, 5pm – 6.30pm  In Conversation with Dr. Harmonie Toros, link: Click here to join the meeting

SUMMARY: In this talk, titled “What’s love got to do with it? Gender narratives and Violent Extremism” Dr. Harmonie Toros will present her research carried out for NATO on gendered narratives concerning returnees. Dr. Toros will also discuss how academics can contribute to public policy, and introduce her future work for the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).

February 17, 5pm – 6.30pm  In Conversation with Director General Angus Lapsley, link: Click here to join the meeting

SUMMARY: Angus Lapsley is the Director General for Strategy and International/European Affairs for the UK Ministry of Defence. He was the Director for Defence, International Security and South East Europe at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) from 2017 until 2019. Angus joined the UK Civil Service in 1991 and has gained extensive, invaluable expertise in security policy and in European Union affairs: he served in the UK Representation to the European Union, as Head Counsellor on the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy, and Director in the European and Global Issues Secretariat of the UK Cabinet.


In this talk, we will learn about UK’s foreign and defence policy, and current issues such as NATO’s/Euro-Atlantic defence policy, the defence implications of exiting the European Union, the UK’s bilateral defence relationships, and the future strategic challenges ahead (eg nuclear deterrence, cyber, space, exports).

March 3, 5pm – 6.30pm  In Conversation with Mr. Sam Chetan Welsh (Greenpeace)link here

Sam Chetan Welsh is a Political Advisor who is currently leading the political strategy for Greenpeace’s ocean plastics and oil campaigns. He has previously developed lobbying strategies for transport, air pollution and renewable energy campaigns and has a background in commercial and charity public affairs. He previously worked with the Non-Profit Global Citizen and for the public affairs and media relations firm PLMR. He has extensive expertise on pressure politics and political campaigning. 

In this talk, we will learn about Greenpeace’s campaigns and priorities, and about the persuasion techniques and lobbying strategies that Greenpeace is adopting. We will get a close-up insight on Greenpeace’s strategies to achieve political influence, and the do’s and don’ts in pressure politics. Sam will also discuss the climate crisis, and what policies are needed to tackle the environmental challenges of our day. 

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