Why this website?
I’m a Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at Loughborough University. I’m particularly interested in the study of political violence and nonviolence, in politics and religion, but also more generally in social and political structures, ethical questions, and current political and international affairs. My list of publications is available here.
I have been teaching in British universities for over ten years, on topics as varied as media and politics, strategic studies, protest and resistance, political thought, terrorism and political violence, and politics and religion.
Over those years, many of my students have produced work of high analytical quality, based on thorough research, and putting forth original and sharp arguments. Some of the most interesting work has asked students to articulate a critical analysis of a case study of their choice.
The aim of this blog is to publish some of outstanding work done by those students (building on a similar initiative which included other modules in my department too). Why? Because this can help:
- foster students’ learning, by providing examples of top student work and an aspiration to work towards for current and future students;
- contribute to a deeper understanding of specific political and international issues (especially political violence, and politics and religion), by publishing high-quality analyses of such issues on the internet;
- promote sharper critical engagement across our global society, improve the quality and depth of public debate, and showcase healthy scepticism and enquiry.
Why “Socratic Hive”?
Socrates was a philosopher notorious for his questioning of received opinion in the agora. The questioning was meant to query sophisms and seek truth and justice. He is a model of critical inquiry leading to deeper knowledge and understanding.
Hives are of course the enclosed structures in which bees live and raise their young, which they then leave to fly around and pollinate.
“Socratic hive”, then, is just a way of trying to illustrate the aim of this blog: to foster critical inquiry in the enclosed space of the academy, but also to share this with broader society.
What is on the website?
I have for the moment included two modules which I designed and teach:
In each case, I have also added links to further online resources which are helpful to get deeper knowledge and understanding of the relevant topic.
I hope you will find these pages interesting. Feel free to share comments which can contribute to the critical analysis.