Grimshaw Annual General Meeting 2018

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The Grimshaw Annual General Meeting (AGM) elected Grimshaw’s new Executive Committee for 2018-2019 academic year.

The AGM started at 18:00 in NAB 2.09 with an International Relations quiz session in which the winning group of Tom Fenu, Bhargav Sri Ganesh and Ronald Kim received a bottle of wine for the prize.

The election then began from 18:45 alongside some pizza and drinks as Grimshawers picked their next President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and Trips Manager. Before choosing the future Executive Committee, members approved the new Club Constitution proposed by the current President and Vice President that reformed mainly types of events organising, positions in the committee and their respective roles.

With a significant majority, the name of our society has been modified from “Grimshaw International Relations Club” to “Grimshaw Club” .

Newly elected Executive Committee members for 2018/19 are:

  • President: Horatio Lyons
  • Vice-President: Joshua Weinert
  • Secretary: Maitrai Lapalikar
  • Treasurer: Isabella Wilkinson
  • Trips Manager: Nicholas Wyatt

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Congratulations to all new committee members and looking forward to another successful year!

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Grimshaw Trips Organisers Meeting

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On Thursday the 19th of October, the Grimshaw Club is holding an introduction for anyone interested in organising an overseas trip as part of the 2018 Grimshaw Trip series.

The trips are famous both in and outside of LSE, and are ran with the support of the International Relations Department. They are an opportunity to visit a country of specific interest in the field of international relations, and meet with some of the country’s most important politicians, diplomats and academics. Trips organisers, with the help of the Grimshaw Club, are responsible for organising all aspects of the trip, including meetings and selecting delegates when applications close in January. The trips usually take place around the first week of Easter break.

Organising a trip is hugely rewarding and employers are often keen to discuss them at interviews. Interviews with major consultancy and finance firms usually involve discussing a project in depth, and organising a trip provides an answer which stands out and acts as a very good talking point. The trips are also a good networking opportunity and provide a chance to meet with ambassadors and politicians, who can provide valuable advice about careers in international politics.

This event is mandatory for anyone interested in organising a trip, and will provide crucial information about the next steps, with a view to decide on trip locations and organisers by the end of the session. Even if you’re not sure about whether you want to organise a trip, do come as the event will be an opportunity to learn more and get an idea of what is involved. The event will also be an opportunity to meet other people who are also interested in organising a trip, and to potentially plan a trip together.

The event will be held at the IR Common Room on the 7th floor of Clement House, beginning at 18:00 and finishing at roughly 19:00, and is open to both undergraduates and postgraduates from all years.

Come and join our meeting on Thursday!

Grimshaw Coffee Morning with Dr. Brian Klaas

Join us on Wednesday, November 16, 2016 from 10 – 11 am for a Coffee Morning with Dr. Brian Klaas on ‘The West and the Decline of Democracy’ .

The Grimshaw Club’s famous coffee mornings are back! To start off the year, we are thrilled to be joined by Dr. Brian Klaas, a fellow in Comparative Politics at LSE, to discuss the work surrounding his latest book: ‘The Despot’s Accomplice: How the West is Aiding & Abetting the Decline of Democracy’.

Dr. Klaas’ book draws on years of extensive interviews on the frontlines of the global struggle for democracy, from a poetry-reading, politician-kidnapping general in Madagascar to Islamist torture victims in Tunisia, Belarusian opposition activists tailed by the FSB, West African rebels, and tea-sipping members of the Thai junta. Cumulatively, their stories weave together a tale of a broken system at the root of democracy’s global retreat.

The discussion will start with a 20 minute introduction by Dr. Klaas, followed by a general Q&A discussion to finish by 11:00 am.

The event is free to attend, coffee and snacks will be provided.

Top Tips on TTIP with Prof Andrew Lang: Reflections on the current state of economic diplomacy

by Jiahui Quek

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Last Thursday, we had a coffee morning discussion with Professor Andrew Lang from LSE’s Law Department regarding the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and other issues related to the current state of economic diplomacy. TTIP is a mega regional trade agreement that is currently being negotiated between the US and EU, which has sparked much public interest due to how the negotiations have been conducted, and some controversial provisions.

 

Professor Andrew Lang gave us a concise overview of the three pillars underpinning the TTIP negotiations: market access, regulatory cooperation, and rules pertaining to issues such as investment protection. A particular sticking point in the negotiations has been the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), which is not only a source of contention between US and EU negotiators, but also massively controversial internationally despite its inclusion in numerous existing bilateral investment treaties and trade agreements. The EU has openly acknowledged deficiencies with the existing ISDS system and has proposed an Investment Court System to address these problems, but the US prefers making minor tweaks to the existing system. The problems with the ISDS system has much to do with how the system is structured, with no mechanism for resolving interpretative divergences and conflicting jurisprudence, which perpetuates a legal ambiguity which makes states uneasy about ISDS provisions. While both EU and US seem to agree that adjustments need to be made to the current system, it is not so clear if they will come to an agreement on how the system should be adjusted. Any agreement between the EU and US will mark a significant step in attempting to fix a system that has been riddled with controversy.

 

Many characteristics of the TTIP negotiations are actually emblematic of the current state of and recent trends in economic diplomacy. Firstly, they mark an attempt by the US to write the rules of the trading regime, in light of how the multilateral trade system underpinned by WTO rules and negotiations seems to be faltering. Secondly, public concerns about the level of transparency in the TTIP negotiations are not new. During the discussion we noted some of the similarities between the ongoing TTIP negotiations and the negotiations on the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) between 1995 and 1998. The MAI negotiations marked a turning point in the involvement of civil society and public opinion in economic diplomacy, and since then public demand for enhanced transparency in international economic negotiations has been a force that negotiators have had to grapple with. The EU has clearly gleaned some lessons from the MAI experience, with its concerted efforts in public consultation and engagement. Nonetheless, the question remains as to how much transparency is sufficient and ideal, to attain the tricky balance between public accountability and the necessity for flexibility of negotiating positions. Given these characteristics, the process and outcome of the TTIP negotiations will give some valuable indications about the future of international economic diplomacy, and should be worth following.

 

Turkey: Student Delegation

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Turkey is a fascinating country and its position in the Middle East has long been distinct, symbolically linking Europe to Asia geographically, its broader position in the region reflects this fact and Turkey maintains strong ties to Europe and NATO whilst simultaneously inextricably linked to the situation in MENA. This student delegation will be focused on assessing the relationship between the international and the domestic sphere, how many issues transcend these barriers and what actions a government can undertake in order to combat them. The focus of this delegation will thus be twofold, concerning both domestic and regional developments; more specifically the effects of the recent surge of refugees fleeing Syria, ethnic minority and women representation in government, Turkish strategies to tackle threat of ISIS and more broadly, developments in Turkey’s regional and international position.

  • Trip Leader: Amba Tadaa
  • Estimated Costs:
  • Estimated Dates: 27th March – 4th April

Provisional Itinerary:

This delegation will begin in London on 25th May with a meeting with Research Turkey (a Turkish think tank) before leaving two days later to Ankara.

List of Anticipated Organizations:

  • US Embassy Ankara
  • UK Embassy Ankara
  • Russian Embassy Ankara
  • Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Ankara
  • UNHCR Ankara UNDP Ankara
  • Altan Tan (Turkish MP and Kurdish Supporter)
  • Research Turkey – London based Think Tank
  • Center for Strategic Research Turkey (SAM) – Ankara based Think Tank
  • Additional Think Tank to contrast SAM – undecided as of yet
  • LSE Alumni

 

 

The delegation will then move to Istanbul where there will be more think tank meetings, sight seeing and a meeting with LSE Alumni.

Afternoon travel to Istanbul via bus 1st of April –

Sightseeing options will include

Ankara:

  •  Ataturk Mausoleum
  • Anatolian Civilizations Museum

Istanbul:

  • Aya Sofya
  • Topkapi Palace
  • Blue Mosque
  • Basilica Cistern
  • Grand Bazaar
  • Galata Tower
  • Archeology Museum
  • Museum of Innocence
  •  Costs will thus vary but estimations are around £400

 

Israel: Student Delegation

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Israel is

  • Trip leaders: Robin Kunst and Lucrezia Raggio
  • Estimated dates: 4th April – 11th April
  • Estimated cost: £600-650

Provisional Itinerary

Monday, 4th April 2016.

  • 10:55 Departure from LCY Airport
  • 23:00 Arrival in Tel Aviv (the flight will include one layover in Rome FCO Airport) –
  • Group leaves and goes to the hotel

Tuesday, 5th April 2016.

  • 9.00: Breakfast
  • 10.30: Briefing of the American Embassy
  • 13.00: Lunch
  • 14.00 – 18.00: Sightseeing in Tel Aviv
  • 19.30: Dinner

Wednesday, 6th April 2016.

  • 9.00: Breakfast
  • 10.30: Briefing of the German Embassy
  • 13:00: Lunch
  • 14.00 – 16.00: Sightseeing – Optional visits of museums in Tel Aviv
  • 18.00: Meeting with LSE Alumni – Exchange of views about the situation
  • 19.30: Dinner with LSE Alumni – Location TBC

Thursday, 7th April 2016.

  • 9.00: Breakfast
  • 10.30 – 18.00: Day Trip to Haifa
  • 19.30: Dinner

Friday, 8th April 2016.

  • 9.00: Breakfast
  • 10.30: Briefing of UNHCR
  • 13:00: Lunch
  • 14.00: Briefing of the EU External Action Services in Israel
  • 17:00 Briefing of UNICEF
  • 19.30: Dinner
  • 21.00: Social Event

Saturday, 9th April 2016

  • 9.00: Breakfast
  • 10.30-18:00: Day trip to Haifa Sunday,

10th April 2016

  • 10.30-18.00: Day trip to Haifa
  • 19:00: Wrap up discussion with LSE Alumni

Monday, 11th April 2016

  • 17:10: Departure to London
  • 23:00: Arrival in London

 

If you would like more information then check out the Facebook group or email the trip leaders (L.Raggio2@lse.ac.uk  or R.A.Kunst@lse.ac.uk).

Serbia: Student Delegation

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Situated in the middle of the Balkans, Serbia has lived through events such as the rule of the Ottoman Empire, the outbreak of the First World War, Communist rule, the violent breakup of Yugoslavia and NATO’s bombing campaign in 1999. Today it remains a key player in a number of important international issues. This trip has for goal to explore in depth two of these issues: the process of Serbia’s accession bid to the European Union and the ongoing migration crisis in the region.

 

  • Trip leaders: Anna Nadibaidze  and Meruyert Syzdykbekova
  • Estimated dates: 4-9 April, 2016
  • Estimated cost: £260

Provisional Itinerary:

  • This trip will include meetings with Serbian officials, international organisations, professors and students from the University of Belgrade, as well as professionals dealing directly with refugees and the refugees themselves.
  • Since most organisations are situated in Belgrade, we will spend most of our time in the capital. We will also plan some tourism and will have time to enjoy Serbian nightlife

List of organisations that we will have meetings with:

  •  Delegation of the EU to Serbia
  •  UNHCR and some professionals dealing directly with refugees
  • UN in Serbia
  • OSCE Mission
  • University of Belgrade, Faculty of Political Sciences
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Parliament and some MPs
  • USAID
  • UK Embassy

If you are interested and would like more information, check out the Facebook group or email the trip leaders (m.Syzdykbekova@lse.ac.uk/  a.Nadibaidze@lse.ac.uk).