Past Events

Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in Humanitarian Aid

Panel featuring Angela Crack, 12 March 2018



This student-organised event explored the implications of the recent revelations concerning Oxfam workers in Haiti. Angela Crack sat on the discussion panel with a researcher from Haiti, Dr Clara Rachel Eybalin Casseus (pictured, photos by Milan Kreuschitz).

The event unpacked many of the issues involving sexual violence in aid that will be discussed on the second panel of our upcoming Civil Society Under Attack workshop. Check out the programme here.

Free Webinar on Methods for NGO-Related Research

Angela Crack, 28 February 2018

Targeted primarily at postgraduate students and early career researchers, this free webinar provided an insight into the research methods of leading scholars in NGO research. Students from around the world logged on to ask questions from our experts about how to deal with the data challenges of their research project.

Convened and chaired by Angela Crack. Panel members included Dr Nicola Banks (University of Manchester), Dr Ellen Gutterman (York University of Toronto),  Dr Amanda Murdie (University of Georgia), Professor Aseem Prakash (University of Washington) and Dr Sarah Stroup (Middlebury College).

The Idea of Austerity in British Politics, 2003-2013

Convened by Susana Sampaio-Dias, 27 February 2017


Nick Anstead presented the findings of an extended analysis of a dataset of 1,843 think tank publications containing 37 million words, using a Computer-assisted Text Analysis (CATA) to examine the idea of austerity in British politics between 2003 and 2013. In contrast to much ideational work which argues that ideas are important at times of crisis because they can address uncertainty, this presentation argued that moments of crisis can lead to the reformulation of ideas. Empirically, this research demonstrates the transformation of the idea of austerity. Prior to the 2008 financial crisis, austerity was largely understood either in historical terms or as a practice applied in other countries. In the aftermath of the crisis, both the political right and left attempted to co-opt the idea of austerity for their own ends, combining it with various other ideational strands on which they have historically drawn.

Approaches to Data Justice

Convened by Susana Sampaio-Dias, 6 February 2017

Data Justice

Lina Dencik, Senior Lecturer at Cardiff University, presented her research project ‘Data justice: understanding datafication in relation to social justice’ funded by a Starting Grant from the European Research Council. In this talk, Lina reflected on how as more and more social activity and human behaviour is being turned into data points that can be tracked, collected and analysed, we are seeing the advancement of new forms of decision-making and governance. This speaks to a significant transformation in how our society is organised and the ways in which we are able to participate in it.

Spin & Political Public Relations in the UK

James Dennis, 8 November 2017

2017 - Roscoe EVENTBRITE.001

RoscoeJames Roscoe, Director for Communications and Stakeholders at the Department for Exiting the European Union, joined students to offer a practitioner perspective of political communication. Drawing on his experience as Director of Communications in the Cabinet Office, Communications Secretary to The Queen, and Press Officer to PMs Blair and Brown, he and TCS member James Dennis discussed how political elites to seek to shape and control the flow of information.

Beyond Slacktivism: Political Participation on Social Media

James Dennis, 7 November 2017


CEISR2This presentation examined how routine social media use shapes political participation in Britain. Since the turn of the century, many commentators have argued that political activism has been compromised by “slacktivism,” a pejorative term that refers to supposedly inauthentic, low-threshold forms of political engagement online, such as signing an e-petition or “liking” a Facebook page. In contrast, James argues that Facebook and Twitter create new opportunities for cognitive engagement, discursive participation, and political mobilisation. Please visit for more information on this study.


‘Translating Development’: A Seminar of the Listening Zones Project 

Angela Crack, 12 October 2017

Afghanistan 2010

A free seminar targeted at translators in development NGOs, co-convened by INTRAC, the University of Reading and the University of Portsmouth, with the support of the Institute of Modern Languages Research (SAS). Held at Senate House, London.

– Watch the video recording of Panel 1 ‘Translators in development NGOs’ with: Alberto Sanz Martins (Translations manager, Oxfam GB), Jessica Matthews (Internal communications officer, Family for Every Child), Patricia Sommer (Freelance translator), Verity Leonard Hill (Translations manager, Save the Children).

– Read the report in the ITI Bulletin (Oct-Nov 2017) by translator Marga Burke-Lowe.

 Saving Refugees or Policing the Seas?

Convened by Susana Sampaio-Dias, 17 October 2017

Refugee crisis coverage

This talk presented the findings from a research project commissioned by UNHCR to measure how the issue of migration to Europe is currently framed in the news media across the EU. Kerry Moore and Iñaki Garcia-Blanco (together with a vast team of researchers)  compared the 2014-15 national press coverage of 5 member states: UK, Sweden, Germany, Spain and Italy, examining in particular the main themes of news coverage, how migrants are labelled, which actors have a voice in migration news, and the reasons for and responses to migration outlined. With an evidence base informing their understanding of how the news media as a key site (re)producing dominant public discourses currently articulates migration as an issue, the aim of the report was to better inform the humanitarian interventions of UNCHR and other agencies in media and policy debates.

Reflections on #GE2017

James Dennis & Nora Siklodi, 5 October 2017


When the Prime Minister first announced the snap election back in April, many predicted that this would be an election dominated by the Conservatives, with the Labour Party scrambling to save seats. However, Theresa May’s gamble failed. The Conservatives lost their parliamentary majority and turned to the DUP to support them in forming a new government. In this roundtable members from the School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies at the University of Portsmouth reflect on the historic result and what this means for British democracy. This event featured contributions from TCS members James Dennis and Nora Siklodi.


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