International Relations Office

Updates on the University's global engagement activities

Posts By: Charlie Lees

Greetings from Seoul!

📥  International Strategy, Partnership, Research, Visit

Seoul in September is a city in transition from the baking heat and humidity of high summer to something crisper and altogether more comfortable for a northern European like me. Over the 10 days I have been in South Korea, I have seen - and felt - this transition take place as more autumnal weather arrives in town. Tomorrow I shall be coming back home to Bath.

Overlooking Seoul, South Korea

Overlooking Seoul, South Korea

My trip to Seoul was made possible by an award of £4,000 from the University of Bath’s International Research Accelerator Scheme to visit colleagues at Yonsei University, as part of a planned research project with the provisional title Discounting our future: towards an understanding of how we model pure time preference and how this impacts upon environmental policy making. Once again, I would like to thank the University and colleagues who took the time to look at my proposal and give me this opportunity to deepen research links with colleagues at Yonsei.

Hans Schattle, who is a Professor of Political Science at Yonsei and also visited Bath last year as part of our Global Mobility Scheme, is hosting me on my visit. I first met Professor Schattle when I visited Yonsei as part of a University of Bath delegation in June 2013. We have kept in touch, through a PoLIS delegation I led to Yonsei in October 2013 and at the official University of Bath reception hosted in Seoul in October 2014 by our Vice Chancellor and Chancellor. Yonsei University is one of Bath’s key strategic partners and my working relationship with Professor Schattle is further evidence of our International Strategy starting to generate stable and productive research collaboration around the world.

While I was in Seoul, I also hosted a reception for a group of Bath alumni in the buzzy downtown district of Gangnam (made familiar to many outside South Korea through the K-pop star PSY’s worldwide hit ‘Gangnam Style'). We had a really excellent turnout, with one alumnus travelling over three and half hours from elsewhere in South Korea to attend the event. Bath alumni also took the opportunity to wish the University of Bath a Happy 50th Anniversary. I would like to thank Cassie Long for her organisation at the University of Bath and to our local alumni volunteer Youseok Cho, who was responsible for the logistics in Gangnam.

Meeting Bath alumni at the Reception

Meeting Bath alumni at the Reception

Finally, whilst at Yonsei, I gave a public lecture on what still appears to be the number one topic worldwide at present: Brexit. Over 50 students, Bath alumni, and other stakeholders attended the lecture and the question and answer session was a pleasure: Yonsei students are sharp, well informed, and engaged. Just like our own students, in fact, whom I look forward to teaching again in just over a week’s time.

Professor Charlie Lees at the public lecture

Professor Charlie Lees at the public lecture in Seoul

Charlie Lees is the Professor of Politics at the Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies. 

Hans Schattle's partnership visit to University of Bath

📥  Award, Funding/Scholarship, Mobility, Research, Visit

Recently the Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies has had the honour of hosting Hans Schattle, Professor of Political Science and International Relations at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, with help from Global Mobility Scheme Funding.

Here is what he had to say about his visit:

"I had the great pleasure of visiting the University of Bath, for the month of June, based in the Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies (PoLIS).

One of my main research topics is the concept of global citizenship, an idea situated at the intersection of political theory, comparative politics and international relations.  During my stay, I wrote a chapter for a forthcoming book on education for global citizenship in South Korea, and I also worked on content analysis for a long-term project examining how the idea of global citizenship has evolved in Korean public discourse.

The interdisciplinary setting of the PoLIS department offered me a most wonderful venue to work on these two projects; several conversations with colleagues in the faculty helped me think more richly about the theoretical questions and practical issues facing efforts to expand our horizons of political membership and responsibility beyond international borders.

The regular interaction with faculty colleagues at Bath engaged other academic interests, as well.  During my stay on campus, a North Korean soldier made global headlines by crossing, on his own, the heavily guarded land border into South Korea and asking for asylum. Professor David Galbreath (PoLIS) and I co-authored a news analysis on this incident published on The Conversation.

I am also joining in a study on time preference modeling, global governance and environmental policy now being coordinated by Professor Charlie Lees (PoLIS), my host for the visit, and Professor Michael Finus (Economics).

More recently, I had the pleasure of attending a research workshop in September coordinated by Professor Galbreath at the University of Sao Paulo that included several of the University of Bath's strategic partners, and I expect to collaborate on two projects emerging from this workshop on regional security governance and failed states.

I want to thank Professor Lees, Professor Galbreath and also Pro-Vice Chancellor (Internationalisation) Professor Colin Grant for all they did to make my visits to Bath and Sao Paulo possible, and to all the faculty members who met with me for the kind hospitality they extended.  Thanks to MJ in the Claverton building for many warm welcomes throughout the month as I showed up again and again with various colleagues.  Special thanks also to administrative staff Hannah Cook (PoLIS), Clare Drake (PoLIS) and Michelle Hicks (Humanities & Social Sciences) for their help with various logistics in arranging the visits.

It is wonderful to see closer social science research links developing between Yonsei and Bath, and I look forward to continued collaboration on all fronts."

Hans is the author of The Practices of Global Citizenship and Globalisation and Citizenship, both published by Rowman & Littlefield.