Politics and International Relations Student Research Conference

We are delighted to announce the 2019 Politics and International Relations Student Research Conference

The aim of this conference is to showcase the best undergraduate research in politics and international relations at The University of Manchester, to encourage students to think of themselves as researchers and to experience academic research first hand.

It will be a friendly, supportive opportunity for students and teachers to discuss other students’ research together. It is a celebration of the research being carried out by students.

The conference will also include a voluntary session for second year politics students on how to start thinking about a final year dissertation, starting at 3.30pm. 

The conference will open at 9.30am, ending at 4.15pm, on Tuesday 7 May, in Roscoe building on the main university campus, room 1.010.

Conference programme 


  • Welcome by Professor David Richards, Head of Politics 

9.45am - 10.45am

Panel 1: Ethnicity, Identity and Subjectivity 

  • Chaired by Elena Barabantseva 
  • Matipa Mukondiwa - Beyond Domination and Resistance: Neocolonial Relations in Postcolonial Zimbabwe
  • Heather Proctor - The Eastern European Other: Identity Construction in British Culture
  • Syahmi Shaarani - Consociationalism and Ethnic Politics in Malaysia: Changing Political Norms in 'New Malaysia'?

10.45am - 11am

  • Coffee and tea break 

11am - 12.15pm

Panel 2: Freedoms, Morality and Rights

  • Chaired by Richard Child
  • Ben Hart - Does Utilitarianism Persuasively Demonstrate the Impossibility of Genuine Moral Conflicts?
  • Pretty Joanes - Addressing the Problems of Subjectivity and Ambiguity in the Communications Act, Section 127
  • Iona Taylor - Rights v Borders: The Tensions Between Human Rights and the British Asylum System
  • Shashi Balan Weil - Can we Justify Life Without Parole? 

12.15 - 1pm

  • Lunch 

1pm - 2.15pm

Panel 3: Accountability, Legitimacy, Communication and Discourse

  • Chaired by Greg Charnock
  • Thomas Futcher - Comparing Political Innovation in Trump's use of Social Media and JFK's use of Television in the Field of Political Communication
  • Bianca Getzel - Thinking the Unthinkable: How Security Discourse Damages ASEAN Legitimacy 
  • Vitoria Spoorenberg - The Global Rise of Authoritarian Populism: The Case of Bolsonaro in Brazil 
  • Joshua Wakeford - Does the Liaison Committee hold the Prime Minister to Account?

2.15pm - 3.30pm

Panel 4: Disobedience, Resistance and Violence

  • Chaired by Adrienne Roberts
  • Sarah Abdulhadi - Countering Representations of African People as Victims Through an Exploration of the Resistance of African people Through Popular Culture
  • Léocadie Darpas - Can we Justify Violence Within Civil Disobedience?
  • Catriona Murray - The Political Controversy over Tree Felling in Sheffield, 2014-2019

3.30pm - 4.15pm

Preparing for your dissertation - voluntary session for second year students 

  • Are you taking politics dissertation next year (2019/20)?
  • Are you thinking about taking politics dissertation next year?
  • Do you want to find out what is involved? 
  • Or even, get started on yours early? 

Liz Richardson will be holding an optional session on what a politics dissertation involves and how to get going.