Networks of Power (NOP) is a research centre which brings together scholars with common interests in the construction of power relations on a national and international level.
NOP is at the forefront of academic research in this area and we provide advice to governments all over the world.
The Centre forges links between academics and policy makers as well as fostering and supporting high-quality research. It acts as a forum where links can be forged between academia, the media and various institutions of national and global governance.
Our international speakers’ seminar, organised and chaired by Professor Yossi Mekelberg has gone from strength to strength. It continues to bring people to Regent’s University London to hear some of the world’s most important political figures and diplomats engage with the academic community. Highlights of the 2015-16 programme were:
Religion Power and Politics
Tom Villis is continuing to work on his book project, Religion Minorities and Englishness. This project is concerned with two related questions: firstly, the extent to which expressions of Englishness consciously or unconsciously excluded religious minorities and, secondly, the ways in which religious minorities defined and expressed their own ideas of Englishness. He is also pursuing a related project on the political and social views of David Jones, the Anglo-Welsh artist and poet who is increasingly being recognised as one of the most important – and neglected – figures of modernism. This involves work on the Catholic intellectual community with which Jones was involved, with archival sources in Aberystwyth (where Jones’s papers are held at the National Library of Wales), Georgetown library in Washington D.C. (which owns many of the literary papers of British Catholic writers) and various locations in England.
Christopher Daily has continued his collaboration with Cambridge University Press on the history of dissenting academies (some of which is published, see appendix below). He has developed his role as associate fellow of the University of Gronigen’s research group working on the ‘Critical Concepts and Methods for the Study of Religion in Modern China’. He continues to work on his second monograph, which is a study on the earliest Protestant theological library imported into China via Malacca during the nineteenth century.
Regent’s University and Networks of Power academics are at the forefront of Human Rights policy formulation. Neven Andjelic has continued as an Expert Member of the Council of Europe’s Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and has visited many parts of Europe as part of this role over 2015/16. He has also put together an Erasmus+ grant application with collaborators in the University of Montenegro.
Regent’s Complexity Studio
Orit Gal’s team at Regent’s University London launched their report in June 2015 on Reclaiming Agency: How to Save Advertising (and Build a Better World). Orit Gal and he Kate Fanning were praised for ‘designing the research project, supporting the analysis and providing academic rigour.’ In particular, representatives from the advertising industry praised the team for helping them to ‘look at the world of advertising through new eyes. This is a good example of how research in the social science can help ethical entrepreneurship. Read the report.
Politics and Security
Professor Yossi Mekelberg, from Networks of Power, has continued to build his reputation as one of the foremost public intellectuals concerned with politics and security in the Middle East. He has produced a weekly column for Al Arabiya, provided expert comment as an associate fellow of the Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House, and appeared numerous times on the mainstream media. Some of these activities are collected in the appendix.
Dr Álvaro Méndez has been continuing his research on the rise of China in Latin America. He presented his work in Peru at the Universidad del Pacifico this Summer and in Cuba in the Fall. His conclusions are being published in a forthcoming monograph, Intervention by Invitation: How Colombia Negotiated US Participation in Plan Colombia. He also continues to collaborate with the Global South Unit at the LSE and it publishing a co-authored book on China and Latin America.
Dr Sara Bazoobandi continues in her role as a member of Global Agenda Council (GAC) of the World Economic Forum 2014-2016. She has attended GAC meetings in various parts of the world and has produced work for the media, think tanks and universities (see the appendix for examples).
Dr Caroline Varin continues to build her reputation as an expert on private security and the changing face of war. As well as participating in conferences all over the world, she has done extensive field work in Africa and produced a book on Boko Haram and the War on Terror.
Power and Performance
Networks of Power is continuing its innovative interdisciplinary research project with colleagues from the drama and performance programmes at Regent’s University London. Mark Hamilton has been continuing his project on the aesthetic potential of Bharatanatyam (a South Asian performance genre). He has worked with Shane Shambhu on the ways in which contemporary ideals of creative freedom and the strictures and transformative power of non-European hereditary forms might profitably interact.