Semester 2 2020/2021 Events

For a full list of University of St Andrews Events visit

For recordings of past events visit our media page.

Out of the Frying Pan: Abu Shekau’s Death and Implications for Boko Haram and Security in North-East Nigeria

Wednesday 2 June

4pm – 5pm BST

Hosted on Microsoft Teams. Email to book a space.

Join omeni as he explores the implications of the death of Abu Shekau on Boko Haram and the security environment in northeast Nigeria.

Shekau’s presence within Boko Haram since 2010 saw a variety of changes and challenges as splinter groups emerged and Boko Haram officially aligned itself with the Islamic State’s interest in West Africa. Would Shekau’s reported death in May 2021, supposedly at the hands of the Islamic State West Africa (IS-WA) faction of Boko Haram, make things better or worse for security in Nigeria?

Security in Post-Military Nigeria

Tuesday 4 May

1:30pm – 3pm BST

Microsoft Teams Email to reserve a space

A round table discussion about current and future security threats facing Nigeria as a post-military nation. 


Chair: Dr Akali omeni, Lecturer at CSTPV

Ambassador John Campbell, former US Ambassador to Nigeria
In his new book, Nigeria and the Nation-State: Rethinking Diplomacy with the Postcolonial World, John Campbell argues that Nigeria deserves greater attention. Already considered the “Giant of Africa” with a population of around 220 million, by far the largest on the continent, Nigeria is projected to have the third-largest population in the world by mid-century. While the country has occasionally made international headlines for Boko Haram attacks or, more recently, the #ENDSARS protests against police brutality, Western media coverage of Nigeria remains intermittent and simplistic. More consequentially, American policymakers have long neglected and misunderstood this dynamic country.

Campbell, the Ralph Bunche senior fellow for Africa Policy studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and a former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, in his book argues that Nigeria is neither a fully formed nation nor state. Ethnic violence, weak governance, and endemic corruption are all products of the country’s conception as an arbitrary colonial entity. To help address these challenges and build more durable ties with this strategically significant country, Amb. Campbell urges U.S. officials to stop projecting their own image of the nation-state onto Africa and embrace a more decentralized approach to diplomacy.

IGP Solomon Arase, former Inspector General of the Nigerian Police

Solomon Arase served as the 18th Inspector General of the Nigerian Peace. He was appointed in 2015 and before his appointment, Arase was head of the topmost intelligence gathering unit of the Nigerian police, the Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Bureau. He attended Ahmadu Bello University for his undergraduate studies and graduated with political science degree in 1980. He was recruited into the Nigerian Police a year after on December 1, 1981. He also obtained another bachelor’s degree in Law from University of Benin as well as Masters from University of Lagos. 

While in Police service, Arase served in various capacities including being Commissioner of Police in Akwa Ibom State as well as serving intelligence gathering unit as Assistant Inspector General. He is a Fellow of the Nigerian Defence Academy and had served in Namibia during the United Nations peacekeeping operation. Arase retired from the force in June 2016. After his retirement from Police service, Arase was appointed Chairman of a Task Force responsible for the implementation of a state Anti-Community Development Association Law in Edo State.

Professor ‘Funmi Olonisakin, Vice-President and Vice-principal (International) Kings College London
Professor ‘Funmi Olonisakin is Vice-President and Vice Principal International and Professor of Security, Leadership & development at King’s College London. She founded the African Leadership centre (ALC), which aims to build the next generation of African scholars and analysts generating cutting edge knowledge for peace, security and development in Africa. She was Director of the Conflict, Security and Development Group (CSDG) at King’s College London from 2003 to 2013. Prior to this, she worked in the Office of the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict. Olonisakin has positioned her work to serve as a bridge between academia and the worlds of policy and practice. 

Her most recent research has focused on “Reframing narratives of Peace and State Building in Africa” and on “Future Peace, Society and the State in Africa”. In January 2015, Professor Olonisakin was appointed by the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, as one of seven members of the Advisory Group of Experts (AGE) on the Review of the UN Peacebuilding Architecture. She was also appointed in 2016 as a member of the Advisory Group of Experts for the UN Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security. She serves on the board of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue and Chairs the Africa Regional Advisory Committee of the Open Society Foundation. The University of Pretoria appointed ‘Funmi Olonisakin as an Extra-Ordinary Professor in the Department of Political Sciences in 2016. In 2018, she was appointed to the Council of the United Nations University.

‘Funmi Iyanda, Film and Television Producer
Funmi Iyanda is a multi-aard winning Nigerian Film and Television producer, and CEO of OYA Media with offices in Nigeria and the United Kingdom.  She is the producer and host of PUBLIC EYE, a TV show which tackles and illuminates the issues of polity, asking the right questions of the right people and creating an accountable ecosystem from leaders to people. Her latest film, WALKING WITH SHADOWS premiered at the 2019 London Film Festival and has played at several festivals since. An innovator, she has won recognition for her pioneering work as a journalist, entrepreneur, an advocate of women, children, and sexual monitories. 

Before venturing into the film industry, Ms. Iyanda hosted and produced Nigeria’s most popular and groundbreaking talk show NEW DAWN, which ran nationally for eight years with unprecedented and yet unsurpassed ratings. Her shows have been syndicated across Africa, including the genre-bending well-received TALK WITH FUNMI, an audacious socio-reality documentary television series. She produced and presented a string of International critically acclaimed shows including MY COUNTRY NIGERIA, a 3-part series commissioned by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). She is the founder of the Change-A-Life Foundation, a social service non-profit organization with the mission to act as a bridge between people with human, community, and leadership potential yet in great need and the individuals, agencies, and organizations with the capacity and willingness to meet these needs. Funmi is also a member of several boards globally. She is a graduate of the University of Ibadan and holds a certificate in Global Leadership and Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School. She is also an honorary fellow of the University of Cumbria UK, a BBC 100 women to watch, UN women global equality champion, and one of Forbes 20 Power Women in Africa. Funmi is a member of several global networks including Aspen Institute’s Global Leaders Network, Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, and a fellow of the Desmond Tutu Leadership Programme.

The Transnational Extreme-Right

Past, Present, and Future: A Three Part Series 12 April – 10 May 2021

Microsoft Teams Email to reserve a space

The History of Extreme-Right Transnationalism

12 April 2021, 3pm BST 

The event starts at 7am PDT/ 10am EDT / 3pm BST / 4pm CEST.

Chair: Dr Tim Wilson, University of St Andrews

Bàrbara Molas, York University (Toronto)

 Transnational Francoism: The British and The Canadian Friends of National Spain (1930s-1950s)

Dr Paul Jackson, University of Northampton

Transnational neo-Nazism in the 1960s: The World Union of National Socialists

Dr Graham Macklin, C-REX, University of Oslo

The Americanisation of Britain’s extreme right

Contemporary Extreme-Right Transnationalism

26 April 2021, 3pm BST 

The event starts at 7am PDT/ 10am EDT / 3pm BST / 4pm CEST.

Chair: Dr Sarah Marsden, University of St Andrews

Noah Tucker, University of St Andrews

From ‘Family Values’ Diplomacy to Pan-Eurasianism and Armed Insurgency: The Evolving Political Utility of Russian Far-Right Internationalism 

Marilyn Mayo, Anti-Defamation League Center on Extremism 

The Internationalization of White Supremacy

Dr Kacper Rekawek, Counter Extremism Project (soon to be C-REX, University of Oslo)

Tip of the Spear: Far-Right Violence Abroad 

What’s next for Extreme-Right Transnationalism?

10 May 2021, 3pm BST

The event starts at 7am PDT/ 10am EDT / 3pm BST / 4pm CEST.

Chair: Dr Olivia Brown, University of Bath

Dr Ryan Scrivens, Michigan State University

Global Reach, Local Presence: Future Trends in the Transnational Extreme Right-Wing Movement Online

Julia Ebner, Institute For Strategic Dialogue

 LARPS, Trojan Horses and DIY Terrorism 

Dr Benjamin Lee, University of St Andrews

Think Global, Act Local

Media Development Aid and Preventing Violent Extremism
some distinctions in communication interventions in conflict

Professor Jake Lynch, University of Sydney

Thursday 15 April, 5pm BST

Microsoft Teams
Email to book a space.

Jake Lynch is the most published and most cited author on Peace Journalism, with six books and over sixty articles and book chapters to his credit. His work has appeared in field-leading scholarly journals, and been translated into languages including Korean, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic and Bahasa Indonesia. He served as Secretary General of the International Peace Research Association from 2010-12. Jake has also devised and delivered training courses for professional editors and reporters in many countries, for clients including major official aid agencies. For his contributions to both theory and practice, he was awarded the 2017 Luxembourg Peace Prize, by the Schengen Peace Foundation. Before taking up an academic post at the University of Sydney, in 2007, Jake enjoyed a near-20-year career in journalism, with spells as a Political Correspondent for Sky News and Australia Correspondent for The Independent, culminating in a role as on-air presenter at BBC World TV News, for whom he presented over 1,000 live news bulletins. He won five international awards for his documentary film, Soldiers of Peace, narrated by Michael Douglas. In 2020, he was a Leverhulme Visiting Professor at the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations of Coventry University. In 2019, his debut novel, Blood on the Stone, an historical mystery thriller set in Oxford of the 17th Century, was published by Unbound Books.

Paul Wilkinson Memorial Lecture 2021
Thursday 4 March
5pm GMT
Microsoft Teams
Email to reserve a space

Professor Paul Gill, University College London
What is a risk factor for (violent) extremism?

Paul Gill is a Professor of Security and Crime Science at University College London. He has over 90 publications on the topic of terrorist behaviour. He has conducted research funded by the Office for Naval Research, the Department of Homeland Security, DSTL, the European Union, the National Institute of Justice, CREST, Public Safety Canada and MINERVA. He currently manages European Research Council Starter Grant project entitled GRIEVANCE. These projects focused upon various aspects of terrorist behaviour including the IED development, creativity, terrorist network structures, risk assessment and management, and lone-actor terrorism. 

Solidarity with Belarus
Friday 5 February
2:30pm GMT
Microsoft Teams

Belarus has been under the ever-tightening authoritarian grip of Alyaksandr Lukashenka since 1994, including a series of deeply flawed elections. But the presidential election on 9 August 2020 propelled the country into a phase of unprecedented popular mobilisation for democracy and human dignity – joint opposition candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya confounded the regime’s presumption of dominance through patronage and fear with a resounding electoral victory.

The rigged official results, unsurprisingly, saw Lukashenka named as the winner. The surprise which followed was the massive, snowballing popular rejection of the electoral theft. These demonstrations were met by unprecedented levels of violent repression, including documented rapes, brutal beatings, murders in security force custody, and mass detentions.

Tsikhanouskaya, now operating from Vilnius, has designated 7 February 2021 the Day of Solidarity with Belarus. The Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (CSTPV), together with the Schools of International Relations and History at the University of St Andrews, has assembled a panel to discuss the current situation, what the democratic world’s policy responses should be, and how ordinary citizens can show solidarity.


Andrei Dynko, editor of Nasha Niva
Alexandra Logvinova, head of public outreach for Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya
Dr Tomasz Kamusella, Reader at University of St Andrews School of History
Professor Rick Fawn, Professor at University of St Andrews School of International Relations
Dr Tim Wilson, Director of CSTPV
Stephen Gethins, Professor in Practice at University School of International Relations
Dr Kurt Bassuener, Seniro Associate at Democratisation Policy Council

Contact to reserve your space.

Poster - Solidarity with Belarus