The Mile End Institute (MEI) has announced a series of events and high-profile speakers for 2015, a year which promises to have a momentous effect on politics and public life in the United Kingdom.
The Institute, formed in 2014 and led by Professor Michael Kenny, will formally launch on 2 March 2015, with a debate on what the future holds for the UK and its constitution.
On 31 March, MEI will host a public event to pose the question – are women’s rights human rights? The round table will seek to place the question in contemporary and historical contexts, a century after the Women’s Peace Congress of 1915.
Looking ahead to April, the Institute will host a major event during the run-up to one of the most exciting and important General Elections of our era.
In October, MEI will host the first in its series of annual Lord Peter Hennessy lectures, which will be delivered by one of the most important figures in the last few decades of British politics.
The 2015 programme will see a range of high-profile speakers contribute to some of the most critical debates of our time. Speakers include Professor John Curtice, BBC polling specialist and University of Strathclyde; David Davis MP, Conservative Member of the House of Commons; Frances Guy, UN Women's representative in Iraq and former British Ambassador; Lord Peter Hennessy, Attlee Professor of Contemporary British History at Queen Mary University of London; Deborah Mattinson, co-founder of BritainThinks and former pollster for Gordon Brown; and Dame Barbara Stocking, Former CEO of Oxfam UK.
All Mile End Institute events are free and open to the public. To secure tickets to any of the Institute’s 2015 events, please subscribe for updates via the MEI website. Tickets will be issued on a first-come-first-served basis.
The Mile End Institute seeks to build QMUL’s growing reputation as a centre of excellence for research in British politics and contemporary British history. Beginning in spring 2015, the Institute will embark on an ambitious programme of research, events, public engagement and policy analysis.
According to the Principal, Professor Simon Gaskell, the Institute will provide “a forum in which the most pressing and pertinent political questions will be debated and addressed”.
“The Mile End Institute will reflect many of the principles that underpin our activity at QMUL: public debate and engagement, intellectual rigour, and the exchange of ideas. The depth of our research expertise in the areas of political science, contemporary history, and international relations, will ensure that ideas are debated not just in the immediacy of the moment, but also informed by relevant historical understanding,” said Professor Gaskell.
The Institute will base its activities around three core objectives: to deepen understanding of some of the major policy challenges facing the UK; to contribute to the critical evaluation of market-led and state-directed forms of policy-making; and to develop a historical approach to the analysis of both governors and governed in British politics.
Lord Peter Hennessy, Professor of Contemporary British Politics at Queen Mary for more than two decades, will act as a senior adviser to the Institute’s Board, whose first Chair will be Professor Morag Shiach, Vice-Principal (Humanities and Social Sciences).
Professor Shiach said: “This new Institute is building in exciting and important ways on our previous work in Contemporary History, Politics and Public Policy and will have the leadership and the cross-disciplinary expertise necessary to tackle the most pressing emerging questions.”
According to Lord Hennessy: “I’m very pleased Michael Kenny has been appointed to lead the new Mile End Institute. I am confident the Institute will build on the pioneering work of the Mile End Group which it replaces.”
“Under Mike’s direction, Queen Mary and the East End of London will be sustaining its fine tradition of involvement in public and political life and the issue of the hour and the era, at a time of fascinating, if not perilous, uncertainty for our country, its politics and its people,” said Lord Hennessy.
The Mile End Institute is jointly housed in the School of History and the School of Politics and International Relations.
Prior to his appointment at QMUL, Michael held posts at Queen’s University, Belfast, the College of William and Mary in the US, and University of Sheffield, where he served as Head of Department.
He has been awarded Visiting Fellowships at: Wolfson College, Oxford; the Centre for Research into the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities at Cambridge; and, most recently, the Centre for Science and Policy at Cambridge. From September 2012 to August 2014 he held a Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship.
He was a founding editorial board member of the journal New Political Economy, serves on the boards of Political Quarterly, Juncture, Contemporary Political Theory, Global Politics and Open Political Science, and was one of the co-editors of the Oxford Handbook of British Politics. He is a member of the Leverhulme Trust’s Advisory Board.
He has published widely in the history of political thought, British politics and political history. His latest book is The Politics of English Nationhood, published by Oxford University Press, a wide-ranging account of the renewal of English national consciousness in the last two decades, and of the increasingly important public policy implications of this trend. In 2014, Michael was appointed the inaugural Director of the Mile End Institute.
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