Politics @ Surrey

The blog of the Department of Politics at the University of Surrey

The Outsider (Part II): ‘Reunited (1990-1998)’

In 1949, two German states were founded, the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) and the communist German Democratic Republic (East Germany). In 1961, the division between the two states was cemented, quite literally, through the construction of the infamous Berlin Wall at the orders of the East German government. In 1989, the Berlin Wall […]


The Outsider (Part I): The extraordinary career of Mrs Merkel

A Research Puzzle: The girl who ate peanuts Sixteen years as German chancellor. A long time indeed. Much has been made of how many British Prime Ministers and US Presidents Angela Merkel has seen come and go – Prime Ministers Blair, Brown, Cameron, May, and Johnson; US Presidents Bush Jr, Obama, Trump, and Biden. Not […]


Pack it up, pack it in

So I’m moving on from Surrey, after 17 great years. From 1 May I’ll starting up as Professor of Politics & International Studies at the Open University, while still keeping a role as Visiting Research Fellow at our Centre for Britain and Europe, so I’ll not completely disappearing. I’ve reflected on the (rare) experience of […]


Um. Hello? [waves]

I know my IR colleagues like nothing better than a strategic review document, since it gives them hours of enjoyment coding for stuff and generally feeling like there’s some interest in their field. And the arrival of the UK’s much-delayed Integrated Review this week has given me some sense of that, even as it almost […]


Lop the loop

Let’s thank my need to get the car MOT’ed for my chancing upon a very interesting discussion about the OODA loop on the radio. For those not into military tactics, the Observe-Orient-Decide-Act loop was devised by a US fighter pilot in the Cold War to conceptualise ways of (literally and metaphorically) out-manoeuvring your opponent: essentially […]


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