JDB, Policy Briefs and Politics

Several years ago, my colleague (Dr. Mike Keating) and I sought to introduce a new form of assessment to our students that bridged academic rigor with real-world practical skills. The result was the Policy Brief.

Having introduced the concept to our students we felt the process involved was worthy of wider attention so we sat down, put our heads together once more and produced an article that was subsequently published by the Political Studies Association in their publication ‘Politics.’

All well and good you may say, but why mention this now?

Well the editors have just issued a new publication dedicated to articles that address Learning and Teaching and have chosen to include our piece along with only 8 others that it refers to in the introduction as being ‘the best articles on learning and teaching that have been published in ‘Politics’ in recent years.’

I’m delighted that our work has been recognized and thrilled to be able to bring it to you HERE.

Hope you enjoy it.

JDB and the Foreign Affairs Committee

On Tuesday October 15 I was very proud to appear before the UK Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee as they begin hearings into the direction of the US-UK relationship under the coalition government. We covered a great deal of ground and I am delighted to be able to bring you coverage of that event:

Full details of the hearings can be found HERE

The hearings can be watched HERE

My testimony runs from 15:37 to 16:13.

 

Elizabeth Idienumah: In Memorium

Every once in a while, news arrives that hits you like a ton of bricks, coming from so far out of left field that you could never have seen it coming, even if you’d been looking for it. This is not a piece about the Government Shutdowns, Debt Ceilings, or the Tea Party. It is, however, a short and personal piece about something that puts all that nonsense into context.

As a talking head on various media outlets, I’m expected to be able to talk on demand, but this week I have been left lost for words, due to an event that I know has distressed a number of people that I have been fortunate enough to work with at Aljazeera. Last weekend we lost one of the most wonderful people I have ever had the pleasure to know: Elizabeth Idienumah.

Elizabeth was not necessarily someone you would know from watching Aljazeera, but if you had ever worked with the channel, if you had been invited to give an interview, then she was someone you would never forget: glamorous, statuesque, striking, utterly charming and a true professional, Elizabeth worked as an Interview Producer in the London bureau of Aljazeera English, arranging for those of us with something to say, to turn up at the right place, at the right time and deliver the goods on camera. Heading into the London studios has always been a pleasure, one made all the more enjoyable by the team on the Interview Desk. Along with her colleagues Mandy, Ruchi and recently Caroline, Elizabeth was always on hand to ensure that the interviews went smoothly and on schedule.

Yet Elizabeth brought an extra dimension with her; an essential quality of decency and passion for news gathering and information delivery that was a delight to behold. Always ready with a wide, beaming smile, she was a joy to work with. Elizabeth could be relied on to go far beyond the necessary and perfunctory aspects of her remit, and to inquire how things were going.  She remembered the details that counted, the facts that mattered and understood how to get the very best out of those of us she worked with. Of course, she made it seem like anything but work. Her warmth and focus was always something to anticipate, a pleasure to behold, and all too suddenly, a wonderful, poignant memory.

Working with Elizabeth at Aljazeera was always a pleasure and her passing this weekend, aged 42, is an absolute tragedy; a loss to her colleagues, to the network and to those of us who had the very great pleasure of working with her over the last several years. To say that she will be missed is an all too obvious sentiment. She will be succeeded, but never replaced…