Security and Elections – The Use of Online Voting

Jim Killock, from the Open Rights Group  will be discussing the risks of electronic elections versus paper elections following the Welsh proposals to implement electronic voting, a trial of which will take place in the Autumn.  However, in the USA and many other countries, electronic voting has been condemned as insecure and open to hacking and other threats, such as voter intimidation when people vote online at home. Technologists including those working for the Open Rights Group believe that paper voting is more secure than computer systems, and worry that evoting could damage voter trust in elections. They also point to studies that show that online voting does not drive turnout.

Please join us for this fascinating discussion in the Interpol Main Hall, 4 – 6 pm on Wednesday 21st March.

For more information, please contact Abigail Blyth –

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First Current Events Seminar of the Academic Year

On Monday, 4th December 2017, the SRG will be hosting a current events seminar at 6pm in the Steve Critcher Room of the International Politics Building. The topic of the discussion will be about:

Islamic State – Beyond a crumbling Caliphate

For more information about the event, as well as some suggested readings if you are interested in the topic, please look our events page.

We are looking forward to seeing many of you for what will be a fascinating discussion!

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Final event of the academic year – Professor Vian Bakir and Dr Andrew McStay



Post Snowden Transparency Arrangements: ‘The Veillance Panoptic Assemblage and Emotiveillance’

Professor Vian Bakir and Dr Andrew McStay, Bangor University

Vian poster background



Following on from the successful Economic and Social Research Council funded seminar series DATA-PSST Debating and Assessing Transparency Arrangements – Privacy, Security Sur / Sousveillance and Trust. Bakir and McStay the principle and co-investigator of the project will present some of the insights gathered based upon the policy recommendations which were made over the course of the 6 seminars across the country. These have evolved and has now led to a spin off art project to further public awareness of these themes in the post-Snowden age.


These themes link into the research interests of our 2 guest speakers, with Bakir focusing on the role of sousveillance and how this can change official narratives whilst McStay focuses upon how emotions are now a key area which multiple actors focus upon. This occurs through what he terms emotiveillant technologies.

All are welcome to what will be a thoroughly thought-provoking talk on Monday, 8th April at 6pm in the Inter Pol Main Hall.


For more information, contact: Abigail Blyth –


Guest Speaker – Dr Bleddyn Bowen

The Wrath of Mahan: Space Warfare in the Cosmic Coastline

Bleddyn Talk


Modern military forces rely on space systems to provide communications and precision‐strike capabilities. Dr. Bleddyn Bowen, from the Defence Studies Department, King’s College London, asks ‘How is it best to think about the role of space-power in grand strategy? What are the universal consequences of the spread of space-power on Earth?’


He argues that answering these questions requires viewing the Earth’s orbit as a cosmic coastline. This ‘coastal’ space-power theory, which draws upon continental sea power theory, explains the less spectacular  – yet defining  – feature of space-power as one which is a supporting and enabling infrastructure. Furthermore, the theory helps critique the prevalence of the ‘Space Pearl Harbour’ fears pervading Sino‐US space security analysis through understanding the influence of space-power upon Earth as a dispersing effect.


Please join us for what will be a fascinating talk by Dr Bleddyn Bowen, now a Lecturer at the Defence Studies Department, King’s College London, which is based at the Joint Services Command and Staff College, UK Defence Academy. Previously, Dr Bowen was a  Teaching Fellow at Interpol in Aberystwyth, where he also completed an ERSC-funded PhD entitled Spacepower and Space Warfare: The Continuation of Terran Politics by Other Means. Whilst at Aberystwyth, he was a integral member of the SRG so we are delighted to welcome him back for this talk. It will take place on Monday, 3rd April at 6pm in the Main Hall of the International Politics Department.


For more information about the SRG and our events please look at our social media presence:

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Or for more information about this event specifically, email Mary Keogh –


Internal Staff Presentation – Dr. Warren Dockter


You are all warmly invited to the SRG’s second internal staff presentation of the semester.  Dr. Warren Dockter will be presenting upon ‘Wilfrid Scawen Blunt and British Imperialism in the Middle East: A Political-Historical Re-Evaluation’. The talk will be inherently inter-disciplinary and all are welcome to attend what will be a fascinating discussion.


The English poet and writer Wilfrid Scawen Blunt is often cast as an “anti-Kipling”, representing a voice of dissent to British Imperial policies in his poems and travel literature. Despite Blunt’s social influence with British policy makers and early Arab nationalists, studies of his influence have remained confined to the literary world. Consequently, examinations of  Blunt’s work have significantly overlooked his role as an intellectual bridge between liberal Arab thinkers and the British imperial policy making elite. However, given the current geopolitical environment of the ‘Arab Spring’, the ‘War on Terror’, and the rise of ‘ISIS’,a re-evaluation of Blunt’s influence and ideas on British imperial policy in the Middle East is required.  Ultimately,  the paper will illustrate that Blunt’s anti imperial ideas were co-opted and used for British imperial aims in the Middle East.

Please join us in the West Room, InterPol Building, on Tuesday, 14th March at 4:10 for what is sure to be a fascinating discussion.


For More Information:

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Or contact Mary Keogh –

Internal Staff Presentation – Dr Iain Johnston-White

‘The Politics of a Golden Alliance: Financing the Commonwealth War Effort in the Second World War’
On Tuesday, 21st February, there will be another SRG event, this time it will be a new member of staff presenting their research. Dr Iain Johnston-White who joined the Department in September 2016 will be presenting on his newly released book ‘The Politics of a Golden Alliance: Financing the Commonwealth War Effort in the Second World War’.
This was the subject of his PhD at Cambridge University before going on to teach both in Paris and at Oxford University. All are welcome to join us for this thoroughly insightful talk which we hope you will be able to join us for, on Tuesday 21st February in the Steve Critcher Room in the International Politics Department from 3.10 – 4.00.
More information can be found on the SRG’s Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Abigail Blyth-

First Event of the New Semester – Current Events Seminar

The SRG are pleased to announce our first event of the new semester. This will be a Current Events Seminar next week where we will discuss:
China’s presence internationally – the rise of a new world power
 Image result for rise of china
Certain world events such as the election of President Donald Trump and the UK’s electorate decision to leave the European Union have somewhat dominated discussions since the middle of last year. Whilst both of these are important world events with security and intelligence ramifications, they are not the only world events with such consequences. Some of the themes which will be explored within the seminar but are not limited to include:
·        Xi Jinping’s domestic reforms and how this affects their international stance
·        Will this cause greater difficulties for countries when negotiating with China due to his purging of opposition within China?
·        Growing relations between China and Russia – what does this mean for Asia and further afield
·        China’s ambitions in the South China Sea and the furthering of military objectives
·        Does China’s economic prowess cause security concerns?

For those who are interested, there is a Chatham House Report about the rise of China which can be Accessed here:
The event will take place on: Tuesday, 14th February 3.10 – 4 in the Steve Critcher Room of the International Politics Department.

For more information, please contact Abigail Blyth –

Exciting Events in the new semester

A very belated Happy New Year to everyone and a welcome back to all students back for their second semester this academic year! Despite getting off to a slow start last semester, the SRG has a number of exciting events planned for the upcoming semester. These will begin in 2 weeks time – on the 14th February with a Current Events Seminar. More information about the subject and the location of the seminar will be published in the next week.


We also have a number of speakers lined up for the semester, both from within the Department and from further afield. All of our events will be stimulating and allow any students who wish to attend to be part of the research environment within the Department. For anymore information about the upcoming events, contact Abigail Blyth –


More information can also be found on:




We look forward to seeing you all at one or multiple of our many events!

Current Events Seminar – What does Brexit mean for security in Europe?


Thank you to everyone who attended today’s presentation by Neil Waghorn about the use of civilian drones. Below are the details of our next event which we are already looking forward to!

Following the decision taken by British voters on 23rd June 2016 to leave the European Union, rhetoric surrounding the landmark decision has focused upon what this means for the future of the UK. Discussion has centred upon themes such as: Article 50 negotiations, trade, immigration and security. However, the ramifications of Brexit for Europe is equally important but has not received the attention it undeniably deserves. This includes questions such as how will Europol continue to operate, the potential negative implications on intelligence sharing, the possibility of other states holding similar referendums and the ongoing migration crisis affecting countries throughout Europe and further afield.

The SRG’s first current events seminar of the academic year will seek to discuss this very theme – What does Brexit mean for Security in Europe? All are welcome to attend what will be a fascinating discussion on the security implications for Europe which will cover, but is not limited to themes such as:

o   The effect upon intelligence sharing and cooperation

o   Implications for Europe’s Common Security and Defence Policy

o   Monitoring the continuing migrant crisis via Frontex


Additional reading is not required however if you would like to learn more on any of the themes which may be discussed, here are some articles which may be of interest:

o   CEPS – Implication of Brexit upon Common Security and Defence Policy

o   Financial Times – Brexit effect on France, Germany and other countries

o   Politico – Europol first in line for life after Brexit

o   BBC News – What the European papers say about Brexit


We look forward to welcoming you all to the first Current Events Seminar of the year, on Wednesday, 26th October, 1.00 – 2.30pm in the Steve Critcher Room.

For more information, please look at:

SRG Twitter

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Or email Abigail Blyth:

First Event of the Academic Year – Internal Presentation

We are pleased to tell you about the first SRG event of the 2016-2017 academic year. On Tuesday, 18th October Neil Waghorn – a third year PhD student from the Geography department will present on Securing the Skies: The Threat of the Drone and Counter-Measures. The talk will take place from 11 – 12 in the South Room in the International Politics Building.

The talk will examine how the explosion in the number of civilian drones has multiple affects, some positive such as potentially revolutionising industry and others negative such as terrorism. Therefore, the talk explores the potential threats posed by drones and examines the current regulatory, electronic and physical counter-measures and their limitations.


When: 11-12 18th October

Where: South Room, International Politics

All welcome and we look forward to seeing you for what will be a fascinating talk!

Aber SRG

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