New expert panel in Security Studies

Posted by er134 at Nov 21, 2013 10:52 AM |
70 international experts in the field of conflict prevention, mitigation and recovery support innovative degree programme

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 21 November 2013

The Department of Criminology at the University of Leicester has established the Security, Conflict and International Development (SCID) Panel of Experts in order to further enhance the learning experience of students on the innovative distance-learning postgraduate degree programme (http://tinyurl.com/cyehtly).

The Panel includes over 70 international experts in the field of conflict prevention, mitigation and recovery. Panel members are engaged in a wide range of activities to enhance the Course and support its students, including contributing to the newly established SCID Blog (http://uolscid.wordpress.com) and email discussion list (www.jiscmail.ac.uk/UOLSCID), supervising dissertations, and marking students work. Members also provide bi-monthly Online Guest Lectures, which are uploaded onto the Blog. Members will also participate in an annual SCID Symposium and contribute to an annual SCID Critical Reader.

The establishment of the Panel exposes students to the knowledge and views of a broad range of international experts and provides direct contact with senior professionals already working in the field of international development and peacebuilding. As one student has said “It has already proven invaluable to my studies”.

And a member of the Panel of Experts remarked: "The vast experience the Panel of Experts brings to this course will not only benefit the students, but will I think stimulate a greater awareness in the Panel members themselves of the great diversity of needs in post-conflict resolution, from disarming militias to dealing with financial sanctions and more. I welcome the chance to be involved."

Dr Eleanor Gordon, the Course Tutor said: "The Panel was established to further enhance the dynamic learning experience that we hope the SCID Course provides, by incorporating input from international experts currently active in a wide variety of areas covered by the Course: we hope this will make the course more engaging, more current and more relevant to those working or hoping to work in this field."

The Panel was also established in order to help bridge the divide between academia and the practical field, not least because the Course endeavours to equip its students with the knowledge and skills to pursue a career in the field of post-conflict recovery and wider international development. Ultimately, it is hoped that by bridging the gap between academia and the field, efforts to understand and better respond to the challenges posed by conflict can be enhanced.

As stated by one of the members of the Panel of Experts: "The nexus of Security, Conflict and International Development is a new, and comparatively under-studied, area of work. Although its influence on international relations is clearly growing, it has been subject to very little academic scrutiny and remains surrounded by many myths and misconceptions. By providing a space for academics and practitioners to discuss and debate issues the SCID Panel is fulfilling an invaluable role."

Other members have said: "[The SCID Panel of Experts] provides the forum for continuous synergy between academia, policy makers and practitioners to enrich understanding and training, inform decision making, and improve delivery of programmes to enhance security, conflict management and international development."

"[The establishment of the SCID Panel of Experts is an] innovative and ground breaking approach to bridging the often divergent worlds of academia and the worlds of practitioners and policy-makers. A divergence that does not serve the interests of those people most adversely affected by conflict and insecurity. An endeavour I am delighted to be a part of."

Ultimately, the establishment of the SCID Panel of Experts underscores the continued effort to ensure that the SCID Course remains at the cutting edge of field-based, technical and pedagogical developments and that the learning experience is exciting, engaging and, ultimately, useful.

Membership of the Panel is by invitation only and is only offered to those considered to have a high level of experience and knowledge of the field. Anyone who would like to be considered to be a member of the Panel of Experts or would like to request to be subscribed to the SCID Blog or Discussion List, should contact Dr Eleanor Gordon (eg132@le.ac.uk). Anyone interested in becoming a student on the Course, should contact Mr Russell Knifton (rk191@le.ac.uk).

Ends

Notes to editors:

For media enquiries contact Dr Eleanor Gordon at eq132@le.ac.uk

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