SOAS Policy Forum

The SOAS Policy Forum is a student-led international affairs think tank at the School of Oriental & A

The SOAS Policy Forum is the self-organized student policy institute at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. We are a non-profit, non-partisan organization that engages with public policy on international affairs. We host an array of events, conduct research into pertinent and critical issues, and provide a platform for the SOAS student body to meaningfully participate in public policy.

Operating as usual

06/12/2018

Thank you to everyone who came to the SOAS Policy Forum's talk on conflict in the South China Sea with Bill Hayton and Professor Chris R. Hughes.

We hope have a good Christmas break and we look forward to seeing you again next term.

22/11/2018

The South China Sea: Threats to the Rules Based Order - 6 December (18:30 - 19:30).

Bill Hayton (Chatham House and BBC News) will discuss China’s increasingly assertive role in the South China Sea and its implications for the rules based order. This talk will be chaired by Professor Christopher R. Hughes (London School of Economics and Political Science).

Details here - https://www.facebook.com/events/2069262370052171/

21/11/2018

Thank you to everyone who came to the SOAS Policy Forum's panel discussion on the North Korean Nuclear Crisis with Dr John Hemmings, Cristina Varriale, and Dr James H***e.

We look forward to seeing you again in December for our talk on conflict in the South China Sea with Bill Hayton and Professor Christopher R. Hughes.

18/11/2018

Recommended think tank podcasts:

‘Atlantic Council Events’ by the Atlantic Council - https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/atlantic-council-events/id977650212?mt=2

‘The Brookings Cafeteria’ by the Brookings Institution - https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-brookings-cafeteria/id717265500?mt=2

‘The Readout’ by the Center for Strategic and International Studies - https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-readout/id214886950

‘Carnegie Endowment Events’ by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace - https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/carnegie-endowment-events/id749384925?mt=2

‘Chatham House podcast content’ by Chatham House, The Royal Institute of International Affairs - https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/chatham-house-podcast-content/id1066287516?mt=2

‘CNAS Podcasts’ by the Center for a New American Security - https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/cnas-podcasts/id1023379713?mt=2

‘Curated Conversations’ by the Center for Strategic and International Studies - https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/curated-conversations/id935747073?mt=2

‘Deep Dish on Global Affairs’ by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs - https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/deep-dish-on-global-affairs/id1169079758?mt=2

‘Diplopod’ by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace - https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/diplopod/id1161512268?mt=2

‘Events from the Brookings Institution’ by the Brookings Institution - https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/brookings-brookings-event/id1164631872?mt=2

‘The President's Inbox’ by Council on Foreign Relations - https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-presidents-inbox/id1172546141?mt=2

‘RUSI Analysis Podcasts’ by the Royal United Service Institute - https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/rusi-analysis-podcasts/id300480449?mt=2

‘Undercurrents’ by Chatham House, The Royal Institute of International Affairs - https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/chatham-house-undercurrents/id1361961369?mt=2

‘World Affairs’ by the World Affairs Council of Northern California - https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/worldaffairs/id101215657?mt=2

‘The World Next Week’ by the Council on Foreign Relations - https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-world-next-week/id306597476?mt=2

14/11/2018

The North Korean Nuclear Crisis: Strategy and Denuclearization - 21 November (19:00 - 20:00).

Dr John Hemmings (Henry Jackson Society) and Cristina Varriale (Royal United Services Institute) will discuss the Trump administration’s strategy towards the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and whether there is any prospect for the verifiable denuclearization of the DPRK. This panel will be chaired by Dr James H***e (Chatham House).

Details here - www.facebook.com/events/2158977091026887/

13/11/2018

Thank you to everyone who came to the talk on Japan's new security partnerships with Professor Wilhelm Vosse and Dr Yuka Kobayashi, organised jointly by the SOAS Department of Politics and International Studies and the SOAS Policy Forum.

Below you can find more details about the book edited by Professor Wilhelm Vosse and Professor Paul Midford which was discussed this evening.

We look forward to seeing you again later this November for our panel discussion on the North Korean Nuclear Crisis.

Manchester University Press - Japan's new security partnerships Japan's new security partnerships - Browse and buy the Hardcover edition of Japan's new security partnerships by Wilhelm Vosse

Rediscovering a sense of purpose: the challenge for western think-tanks 07/11/2018

Relevant article on think tanks:

The Director of Chatham House (2007-), Dr Robin Niblett, has recently published an article on think tanks in the journal International Affairs (Volume 94, Issue 6, 1 November 2018, Pages 1409–1429).

The article traces the evolution of think tanks over the past 100 years, the current challenges think tanks face, and proposes how think tanks can best serve societies today.

The article is open access and available here: www.academic.oup.com/ia/article/94/6/1409/5162428

Rediscovering a sense of purpose: the challenge for western think-tanks Abstract. A series of centenary anniversaries for some of the original think-tanks, as well as increasing turbulence in domestic and international affairs, mak

02/11/2018

Japan's New Security Partnerships: Beyond the Security Alliance - 13 November (18:00 - 19:00).

Professor Wilhelm M. Vosse will discuss Japan's security policy beyond the US-Japan security alliance, and non-US centred bilateral and multilateral security cooperation. This talk will be chaired by Dr Yuka Kobayashi and will be followed by a Q&A session.

Details here - www.facebook.com/events/344112472812602/

This event is co-hosted with the Department of Political and International Studies at SOAS, University of London.

23/10/2018

Thank you to everyone who came to the SOAS Policy Forum's talk on Iran with Dr Sanam Vakil and Dr Jacob Parakilas. We look forward to seeing you again in November for our panel discussion on the North Korean Nuclear Crisis.

22/10/2018

Today from 19:00 - 20:00: Iran After US-Decertification of the Nuclear Deal.

Dr Sanam Vakil (Chatham House) will discuss Iran’s politics and foreign policy following the US’s decertification of the Iran nuclear deal (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action - JCPOA), as well as the Trump administration’s policy towards Iran. This talk will be chaired by Dr Jacob Parakilas (Chatham House).

Details here - www.facebook.com/events/2164043047152779/

SOAS Policy Forum 17/10/2018

Thank you to those who came to our introductory meeting on writing policy papers.

On the student resources section of our website you can find the following resources to help you write a policy paper for the SOAS Policy Forum:

- Writing guide
- Submission requirements, process, deadline, and disclaimers
- Policy paper examples
- Research resources

If you require any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

www.soaspolicyforum.org

SOAS Policy Forum A student-led international affairs think tank

03/10/2018

We have now sent out a welcome email to those who signed up at the SOAS Freshers Fayre and to those who have emailed us since.

If you did sign up to the SOAS Policy Forum but haven’t yet heard from us, please email us at [email protected].

SOAS Policy Forum 28/09/2018

Hello SOASians. We hope that you’ve had a good summer break and are looking forward to the new academic year.

The SOAS Policy Forum is a student-led international affairs think tank founded in 2014 at SOAS, University of London. We are the only UK student-led think tank that focuses on the international affairs of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. We are a non-profit, non-partisan, non-political society that provides a platform for SOAS’s students to meaningfully engage with public policy in international affairs.

We aim to publish policy papers throughout the year on issues relating to security, law, development, economics, health, migration, and energy in the international affairs of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. If you would like to write a policy paper for the SOAS Policy Forum, please sign up to our mailing list and visit the student resources section of our website (www.soaspolicyforum.org) to access our writing guide, submission requirements, policy paper examples, and resources for research. Once you have chosen a topic, please submit a proposal as soon as possible. If you need any assistance with wiring a policy paper, or even just picking a topic, please do not hesitate to contact us.

We also host termly talks and panel discussions on issues in international affairs. We have several upcoming events that will be announced in due course.

We hope to see you at today's Freshers Fayre.

SOAS Policy Forum A student-led international affairs think tank

17/01/2018
Photos from SOAS Policy Forum's post 15/11/2016

Last night we had a fantastic discussion on what a Trump presidency might mean for US foreign policy, which filled the BGLT. Thank you to our speakers, and thanks to the audience - sorry that there were so many unanswered questions! However, throughout the year the Policy Forum will be exploring this further as the President Elect transitions into office.

Our next event is next Wednesday at 7pm in the ALT. Rajan Basra will be speaking on the crime terror nexus.

https://www.facebook.com/events/874706595999554/

18/10/2016

Our research topics are now online, ranging from Territorial Disputes in the South China Sea to Arms Dealing to Human Trafficking - if you want to join a cluster, then send us an email ([email protected]) with the code project in the subject line. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1gtGAYhttDPDG1OHyZ9YBkV5QULnGnZFmsCbwx9WXbfo/edit =0

Google Sheets - create and edit spreadsheets online, for free. Create a new spreadsheet and edit with others at the same time -- from your computer, phone or tablet. Get stuff done with or without an internet connection. Use Sheets to edit Excel files. Free from Google.

12/10/2016

The second of our research drop in's is at 7pm tonight in SL43, which is to the left of the atrium in the Paul Webley wing. The door will be open, so please drop by with thoughts and ideas for our research clusters!

10/10/2016

We are in SL42

10/10/2016

Good morning everyone!

We are holding three research drop in's this week, where you can come and tell us about your ideas, and we then organise them into either independent or group projects. They are at;

Today at 15:00 in SL42/43

Wednesday at 19:00 in SL42/42

Thursday at 16:00 in SL42/43.

There will also be a google doc where you can see what research is going to happen, and we will try to have them formalised by next week.

We look forward to seeing you throughout the week!

06/10/2016

The SOAS Policy Forum’s first meeting of the year will take place this evening at 6pm in B102. This is a change from the original room and time, and we apologise for any inconvenience this might cause you. The agenda is the following:

· Information about the aims, strategy and organization of the Policy Forum.

· How you can get involved.

· A brief talk about our events.

· Information about research projects.

We will be hosting research drop-ins next week, where we would like you to come along and talk to us about topics you’re interested in. We will give more information about the time and place of these sessions at our meeting on Thursday.

That’s all for now. We look forward to seeing you at 6pm on Thursday in the Brunei Gallery, room B102.

30/09/2016

After a summer of reorganising and planning for the upcoming year, the Poicy Forum is back, starting with engagement tomorrow at the SOAS freshers fair, in and around the Russell Sq campus.

Look out for our banners and our wonderful volunteers who will be standing next to them with the details on our first few events (which will be up on this page shortly) and our research proposals for the next few months.

We look forward to meeting fresh faces and seeing a few old ones too!

30/07/2016

Congratulations all 2016 graduates!

21/07/2016

Last and (probably) most important announcement from me.

With a few more days to go till graduation, I would like to take the time to make a final announcement. A great many of us, myself included, will be graduating, I wish everyone all the very best and sincerely hope you will stay in touch whereever you go.

For those who are staying, you will enjoy the fruits of the past year's preparation. As we begin to take the Policy Forum, and its future incarnation as the school supported student run think tank, some points should be noted:

- I am happy to announce Jonathon Kitson as the new Director with Ellen Tveteraas as Deputy Director. Joining the Committee team will be Panida Wayrojpitak, Sashi Schaffter, Audre Verseckaite, Siren Borge, Alienor le Mire-Cahn, Mirko Yimesghen, Louis Akerman, and Alex Andrade Martins.

Positions are to be confirmed by the new Director.

- Negotiations are ongoing still but they are very promising. We are working interim immediate concerns like room booking rights and the such like.

- Alumni are still free to attend our events and contribute to our work. I will send round a link/email to keep in touch where ever you end up!

- An exciting programme of events has been drawn up for next year to get the show started but in the new academic year there will be many opportunities to get involved and contribute.

- Next year we will be working closely with no fewer than six departments to deliver a service of providing a platform for students, training and developing policy analysis skills, engaging established and upcoming experts from the policy community, funding and pushing for new and innovative research, publishing this year's hard work in the same research, and becoming the first school-authorised student-run think tank.

- We are committed to keeping access to our organisation fee-free and we have done this through carefully balanced donorship which will also give our members access to employers.

- A membership pyramid will be drawn up but in essence, so long as you have a tie/link to SOAS you will be welcome to be counted as our membership.

Finally, thank you for a strong two years and I hope going forward the SOAS Policy Forum in its new incarnation will strive for even greater impact. There is much afoot in the world, and this kind of platform and service will become even more relevant.

All the best,
Alexander Lee

03/03/2016

The members of the Policy Forum were saddened to hear of the death of the School’s former director, Professor Paul Webley CBE, today.

Professor Webley was director for nine years, and although most of our members only experienced the last few years of his directorship he was an excellent steward of the School, and contributed much in the realm of economic psychology. He was instrumental in moving SOAS into the North Block of Senate House, from which will all benefit from in the coming months and years.

We send our condolences to Professor Webley’s family, and will be signing the book of condolences set up at SOAS. We encourage our members to do the same.

22/02/2016

Reminder: 7pm in V328 Vernon Square, Dr David Skarbek will be speaking on the economics of prison gangs and what that means for the prison system.

28/01/2016

Reminder: an important announcement and vote will be held this evening 6:30pm in room G50.

Photos from SOAS Policy Forum's post 24/01/2016

Thank you to all attendees and guests of our conference on transitional justice in Libya. The event was well received and we hope to be making the audio and video available as soon as.

Policy Forum Conference Team

24/01/2016

Seeking Editors for Think Tank Editorial Team
The SOAS Policy Forum is looking for applicants to the editorial team. We are the self-organized student policy institute at SOAS. We are a non-profit, non-partisan organization that engages with public policy on international affairs.

Activities will include producing the annual student magazine, Policy & Discord, a variety of policy papers and pamphlets, with potential expansion into areas such as newspapers, and video interviews.

Applicants should have some experience in the following (extensive knowledge in all aspects is not required):
- Proofreading/copyediting
- Referencing (footnote style) and source checking
- Using editorial style notes (International Affairs house style)
- Use of editorial software (InDesign, Photoshop etc.)
- Experience in poster creation is a bonus
- Interest in international and current affairs!

Applicants should send an email to [email protected] with the header ‘Editorial Team Application’ to express interest, relevant experience and possible time for tea/coffee interview (on us). Applicants may be at any stage of any degree programme

Applicants will gain experience in editing an international affairs magazine and supporting the publication of policy-oriented documents on critical issues.

Alexander Lee
[email protected]
President, Policy Forum

15/01/2016

Tickets sold out! Please remember to come early to clear registration, guarantee a seat and enjoy the refreshments!

If you are bringing a +1 and guests, remind them to present themselves under the name the ticket was registered to.

Looking forward to the conference on Friday!

NB: There will be an open door policy after the majority of the ticketed attendees have been seated.

14/01/2016

Last ten tickets of the conference! We will have an open door policy on the day itself after the majority of ticketed guests arrive.

Also, February is a month to look forward to -- we have 4-6 events planned.

01/12/2015

Thank you to all who attended our event last night. Sam gave a insightful and entertaining talk. As he mentioned, if you would like further information on the evidence he used, either tweet him or email him [email protected]. Our next event will be after the holidays, on Monday 18th January. We look forward to seeing you there!

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Our Story

The SOAS Policy Forum is a student-led international affairs think tank founded in 2014 at the School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Given SOAS’s unique regional focus, we are the only UK student-led think tank that focuses on the international affairs of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. We are a non-profit, non-partisan, non-political society that provides a platform for SOAS’s students to meaningfully engage with public policy, by focusing on developing the skills needed to seek and propose realistic solutions to critical issues in international affairs.

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